Jenn Air Induction Chipped on Corner - could it be a lemon?

tamarahlOctober 11, 2013

Looking for advice on what to do next:
Last night my brand new Jenn Air 36" Induction cooktop with the floating black edge (not the Euro stainless) chipped in the corner, right near the edge of the countertop. I am baffled as to how it happened. I was not cooking, just putting away some stuff in a neighboring cabinet and my elbow brushed against the cooktop corner and I felt a sharp pain and then saw the glass was in many small pieces.

I called Jenn Air today, and reported the problem, but they told me if it is IMPACT-related it is NOT covered under warranty. If it is THERMAL related, then they WILL cover it. They recommend I have a service tech come out to look at it for $120, and then have him replace the glass top for an additional $345 plus labor. But, I don't want to pay for these repairs if the surface is so fragile, as I fear it will just happen again.

Background: I bought it from a local store in January 2013, had it delivered in April 2013, and finally installed in September, less than a month ago. I have not even used it for weekend pancakes and bacon yet!

Has anyone else had this issue? Do I have any recourse? I really do not want to go out and buy another brand/style induction cooktop.

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foodonastump

I wonder if something is going on with ceramic these days. I got a chip in the middle of one of my burners on my Bosch range within a week of using it. And it's already stained. And this silver texturing gets messed up with using a razor blade on it, as the instructions say to do. I had no such problems with my old Frigidaire cooktop for many years.

I think we're both SOL unfortunately.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:16AM
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sjhockeyfan325

Food, is yours a Bosch induction? I have one on order and this concerns me!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 11:10AM
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tamarahl

I decided a picture is worth a thousand words. My chipped corner with some of the glass fragments nearby are seen here.

After spending over $1900, I feel there must be a resolution to this problem. Should I ask American Express to get involved, since they double the warranty period? Or, if this is not covered under the JA warranty is that a useless maneuver?

How can an appliance chip so easily? Could a worker have dinged the corner when it was first installed but not fully protected, ie. covered? And then re-attached it so it would look ok, but easily fall apart when knocked?

As you can see, I am trying to rationalize how I can spend all this money for a new top. I think the stainless edge on the top and bottom would be more solid, if I have to do a new top. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 12:08PM
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llaatt22

Do you still have the original packing?
Does the packing show any compression in that particular area?
Since the overall cooktop is likely sound and you have no one to proceed against for damaging it, look around for a shop that can grind the damaged area to minimize further potential cracking and go ahead and use it for now.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 3:17PM
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jellytoast

First thing I would do is call the store where you purchased it and explain the situation. You are much more likely to get help from them then you are from the manufacturer. The store can work directly with the sales rep to get the issue resolved. Let them know that is what you want ... a repair or a replacement.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:31PM
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SparklingWater

How is your elbow skin area, btw? You said you felt sharp pain. Is there a mark, bruise or cut in the skin? If so, I'd snap a photo now.

It's hard to imagine an elbow causing that irregular break in the new JA cooktop. Your photo shows nasty, irregular edges of the cooktop corner and the piece of glass. Pressure down ward from an elbow or equivalent constant force, imo, should have resulted in a clean edge break, i.e., not like that.

It may be a JA defect, or as you said installation related (half off, pushed back, now off).

I highly doubt your elbow caused an irregular break such as that. Sorry this has happened and hope you're okay, and get some resolution from the companies. If this is new make, JA should look into this from a QA and safety perspective.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 5:51PM
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foodonastump

SJ - No, mine is a lowly radiant so hopefully (for your sake) we're talking apples and oranges. So far I'm happy with the oven, but the cooktop has me joining the "electric sucks" crowd faster than Bush turned the liberal Dennis Miller conservative.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:19PM
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dadoes

A little bit of damage like that, while it's irritating, I'd consider it an unfortunate "accident" that doesn't impact the unit's functionality and carry on with my life. But maybe that's just me.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 8:30PM
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tamarahl

Thank you, all, for your helpful advice and empathy. In answer to your questions, the original packaging is long since discarded. The store where I bought it told me they cannot help me, since I purchased it in January. They also said the Ceran is extremely durable and they have not heard of any chipping. They recommended I go to Jenn Air and see what they say. My elbow is not bruised, and I feel fortunate that I did not cut myself on the corner.

I will look into grinding down the corner, so it is not a hazard to my kids or anyone who is using the cooktop. I will send a letter to Jenn Air management informing them of the fragile corner and see what they say. I imagine they will tell me to buy a new top. I am sad to see my immaculate new kitchen looking damaged, but c'est la vie.

I am still hoping that induction will turn out to be the right decision for me. It is hard to explain to everyone why I shut off my gas line in my kitchen and instead went with induction. Now, even I am second guessing my decision.

:-(

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:17PM
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Sophie Wheeler

It appears that the cooktop sits up off of the counter and isn't contacting it fully in that corner? Why isn't it seated fully in the cutout? THAT is a problem that renders the corners more vulnerable to damage. Who installed this cooktop?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:44PM
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foodonastump

I imagine it's a foam strip holding it up?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Sophie Wheeler

There shouldn't be anything "holding it up" from the counter. It should sit directly on the counter. If it doesn't, it's vulnerable to damage. Which is what happened.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:37AM
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foodonastump

It's hard for me to judge how high it's sitting, but unless the foam compresses to zero the cooktop will and should be raised a tiny bit as I understand it. If you're saying it should have been installed without foam, then it would seem Jennair is to blame for faulty instructions.

This post was edited by foodonastump on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 10:12

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:04AM
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SparklingWater

Good find, foodonastump. Still believe there is some room for discussion by OP with JA.

By the way, OP, I am admiring your lovely countertop. No way could I live with a chipped cooktop (perhaps could live with the glass rounded off carefully) next to it.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:55AM
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tamarahl

The cooktop was professionally installed by the company that did all my appliances. I chose them because they are SZ/Wolf factory certified, as that doubles my warranty for those units. They have a letter of endorsement on their website from the Director of Services at Whirlpool Corporation, as well.

The induction's intact rear left corner is visible in the attached picture. It seems to rise a bit above the counter but I cannot tell from the installation booklet if it is too high.

Thank you for the compliment on the countertop, Sparkling, it is called Taj Mahal quartzite.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Sophie Wheeler

No way should any corner of a glass cooktop sit off of the counter. I'd contact the company that did the install. If the edges aren't supported by the counter, they are vulnerable to breakage.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 12:19PM
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foodonastump

Hollysprings, I 100% understand your reasoning, but you know as well as I that any company's first line of defense is "was it installed per specs" and if that height-raising foam had not been installed, per the instructions I posted above, then that's automatic grounds for wiping their hands of any issues.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 12:55PM
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llaatt22

Since it is new and unused, the cooktop being elevated that much above the counter may be normal. You might try leaving a few large water filled pots on it to see if it will start to compress down to a more usual clearance with the counter. Mlght be worthwhile to also see at the same time if the power output from the various burners is good by heating up the water to a simmer. if the foam doesn't compress much from its present state, or if it rebounds after the pots are taken off after several days, it may be that a mistake was made in the type of foam supplied or used.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 2:28PM
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weissman

I can't tell from the picture, but are you sure the installer actually installed the foam? It could be their mistake. It seems to me that corner is vulnerable just like the other one. I'd contact the installer next.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 3:48PM
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jellytoast

"It appears that the cooktop sits up off of the counter and isn't contacting it fully in that corner? Why isn't it seated fully in the cutout? THAT is a problem that renders the corners more vulnerable to damage."

That is the first thing I though of, too, when I saw that broken corner, and upon seeing the second picture, the cooktop definitely looks like it is sitting too high off the counter. As weisman pointed out, it appears to be only a matter of time before the other edges become damaged as well ... a pot set down a bit too heavily, a dropped utensil, etc.

I wonder if there is something obstructing the cooktop from underneath that would prevent it from sitting flat on the countertop?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 6:36PM
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tamarahl

I am going to call the installer tomorrow, what are the appropriate questions to ask them?

A few come to mind:
Why are the corners higher than the countertop?
Which foam did you use?

I wonder, will they blame the granite installer for not making the cooktop hole large enough?
Will they blame the contractor for not having created a level surface?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:13PM
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jellytoast

Is the surface not level? That is something you can easily check on your own before calling the installers. If the hole wasn't large enough and they went ahead and installed the appliance, they have some liability there.

I would just tell them exactly what is going on ... the appliance is not sitting flat on the countertop and the corners are vulnerable to breakage.

I would also have them check underneath to see if something is obstructing the unit to keep it from seating fully.

Take plenty of pictures before they get there.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:45AM
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tamarahl

It seems like every single thing that can go wrong, or break, has done so in my remodel, and no one ever takes any responsibility. That is why I am treading carefully as I decide my next step. I am sure the installer will claim the contractor or countertop folks are somehow responsible for this debacle.

Thus, I have sent a photo to Jenn Air Customer Experience of the intact corner, that is "floating" on the countertop, to see if they believe it is installed properly. Then I will approach my installer with Jenn Air's recommendation.

What a headache!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 2:19PM
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weissman

If there was a problem with the countertop, the installer should have noticed it and made you aware of the problem before installing the cooktop. Did the countertop people have the specs for your cooktop in order to do the cutout?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:07PM
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tamarahl

Here's what Jenn Air said:
Ms. Lyons,

It does not appear to be installed properly. The portion that is raised should be flush against the countertop. It may be due to the cut-out not being the right dimensions possibly.

Sincerely,

Jesse D.
Jenn-Air Senior Specialist
Jenn-Air

So, now I should go to countertop folks or appliance installer?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:52PM
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tamarahl

Yes, the countertop folks did have the cutout template from Jenn Air.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Lift the cooktop out of the hole and measure the cutout to see if it is to spec.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 4:44PM
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foodonastump

Before going to either I'd ask Jennair how the cooktop is supposed to be flush if there is foam installed per the instructions, and how much of a gap is expected to result.

To reiterate, I 100% agree with Hollysprings that this creates a stress point, unless I'm misunderstanding how the foam is to be installed which at present I don't think I am. On another thread jakvis notes that foam "has been used for years on cooktops." I cannot reconcile "should be flush" with putting foam underneath.

Once they explain that away, I'd talk to the installer next. If the cutout is wrong they shouldn't have installed it, as I believe someone said above.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 4:55PM
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jellytoast

I would think that the foam wouldn't be so thick that it couldn't compress when the weight of the stove was on it. My recessed lights have a foam piece all around them but they still sit flush against the ceiling.

I've never seen a cooktop sitting up off the counter like that ... they have all been flush on the countertop.

If the cut out was not big enough for the installation to be done correctly, the installers shouldn't have installed it.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 12:03PM
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foodonastump

I agree it looks high but I wouldn't expect it to compress to absolute zero either. There's a gap (MUCH smaller) along the edges of my slide-in range as a result of the foam. But yeah, that installation doesn't look right to me either.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:55PM
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tamarahl

I sent my appliance installation company the email from Jenn Air. The appliance installer contacted Jenn Air, sent photos, and got a written response from a different technical representative saying the installation looked to be correct. Great, how confusing is that?

So, I called Jenn Air safety officers to say I was concerned about the sharp edge being a hazard to my family. They arranged for a service rep to come out, free of charge, to look at it and assess the cause. They also arranged for a new top to be on the truck when he came out, in case it needed to be replaced.

Well, they came out and agreed it was chipped, but said it was definitely not Thermal-related, so jenn Air would not pay to replace the cooktop. I could pay $300 for the identical glass top or $500 for the stainless framed version. The repair guy said it was not possible to assess how it broke or who was at fault, the installer, someone who worked near it putting on the tile backsplash, or Jenn Air who might have sold me a Ceran top with a fracture that was not visible to the eye but appeared after installation.

So, here is my new cooktop, which I paid an additional $500 for, and hope with its' stainless frame, will be more hearty than it's predecessor. At the end of the day, I decided it was not worth arguing with everyone about who was at fault. No one was ever going to take responsibility anyway.

And this is what it looks like when the top is removed, in case you were curious:

Thanks for all your advice, GW forum readers.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:37PM
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weedmeister

Thanks for the followup. I can't see from the picture but is this one sitting flush to the countertop?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:59PM
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tamarahl

Yes, it is completely flush. Hope this picture illustrates better.

Here is the left, rear corner:

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 1:07PM
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SparklingWater

I think you were wise to bite the bullet of confusion and buy the new JA induction top. I realize it's no small chunk of change but it resolves the problem. All kitchen redo's are compromises along the way-mainly money compromises.

As to the stainless edges, I love them! I'm a fan of SS, and think it helps to make your countertop even more the elegant focus while adding a nice frame to your induction cooktop not previously there.

Nice.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 2:59PM
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sjhockeyfan325

It looks great!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:57PM
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llaatt22

It is the broken ugly duckling that became a swan!
Elegante.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:59PM
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tamarahl

Thanks guys, you sure know how to make a girl feel good! I think the new cooktop looks pretty sharp, too.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:08PM
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tamarahl

In a highly unexpected twist, I got a call today from Mary at Jenn Air. We have been playing phone tag for the last two weeks. She told me that Jenn Air will reimburse me for the cost of my new top! She will call the repair company in the morning, and have them reverse the $500+ I put on my credit card last week for the Euro-style stainless steel framed Ceran top. She said the repair report deemed it cosmetic, but she felt since it was under warranty, Jenn Air should cover the replacement. I was shocked, but impressed with their customer service. Yippee!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 7:55PM
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a2gemini

1969 - Zowie - that is wonderful news - I am so happy for you to have the framed model plus a rebate! Have fun spending your bootie! You deserve it!!
Maybe some new pots for that gorgeous cooktop!
Also - it is good to see what is underneath the cooktop and why you don't want to go much larger than the actual burner with all of the wires and electronics.
Have fun cooking!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:37PM
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tamarahl

Thanks, A2, sometimes dreams really do come true, right? Fortunately, I already bought new All Clad D5 brushed SS pots and pans. Williams Sonoma discontinued carrying them in stores (now you can only buy online) so I got my 12 set for 50% off!

But, I WAS trying on winter coats when the call came in, and did end up splurging on a Puffer, an especially lightweight one - I'll call it the coat that JA bought :-)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 8:58PM
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kjente

tl1969 - I'm curious - now that you've had the cooktop for more than six months, how do you like it? Would you stll buy the same cookware? We're building and that is the cooktop that came with our house. It's also the cookware that I think that I want. Hopefully, you're still around.
Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 9:27PM
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tamarahl

I am very happy with both my cooktop and my all clad D5 cookware, kjente. The pots cook like a dream and carry the heat beautifully. We cook a lot of pasta and I love how fast it boils water. It is a breeze to keep clean, so I maintain a sparkling cooktop all the time, unlike my days of gas. The stainless steel framing has stayed on, and there have been no chips or other issues with my JA. All in all, I am a very happy camper!

Side note: My bro in law loves to cook, and is really good in the kitchen. He thinks cooktops must be gas to be most effective. He has said that he would be too concerned about shattering the glass with all his banging around in the kitchen. To each his own :-)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:14PM
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hvtech42

Some people have complained about excessive buzzing or noise on Kitchenaid induction cooktops. Since JennAir is also made by Whirlpool, I'm wondering if you've experienced that?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 1:40AM
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kjente

Thanks for the update!, TL! I am somewhat in your brothers camp but I'm willing to give it a good shot. Sorry Hv I can't help you. We did a walk through of our house last week. They boiled a pot of water in an enameled tea kettle. There was no clicking or buzzing. But that's one pot, one time, not enough for a tried and true.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 3:39PM
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