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Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Posted by MizLizzie (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 13:33

So, I encouraged my sister to go induction. She has a beloved set of that waterless cookware she swears by, and God knows she can cook circles around everyone I know. The cookware is at least 30 years old and weighs a ton. She said induction was a no-go if she had to surrender the cookware. So she put a magnet on it, and reportedly, it stuck tight. But her new Whirlpool range was delivered yesterday, and . . . nope. Won't heat.

Her cast iron works. So it seems the range is fine. Is the magnet test not totally reliable? Could it be kinda-sorta magnetic, and she misjudged?

Thanks for any insight. I hate her to have to use a disc. That kind of negates the joy of induction. She may return the range for something conventional.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

I have some triply stainless waterless cookware I bought in 1980. It works just fine.


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Hmmmm. I think the magnet test tells us that the cookware very likely is magnetically susceptible, and if a field is present it will heat up. Perhaps there is something about the pan design that keeps it from actuating the sensor that each hob uses to ensure a pan is above it. For example, a bottom with a thick rim around the outer edge might gap the pan too far for the sensor, even if the induction field could reach it ok.

We need to know more about the pan base design. Also, was the magnet test performed on the bottom underside in more than one location?

kas


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Thanks, guys. I will ask her and report back.


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

I wonder if it was either installed wrong or is defective and not operating with sufficient wattage. Tests I ran comparing cast iron to various sandwich pans showed the cast iron heated to temperatures 2-4x that of sandwich pans at the same wattage for the same time. (Testing cooking surface not bottom of pan.). Maybe if there was insufficient wattage it would seem like a sandwich pan wasn't working at all.

Anyway, unless you could risk a "magic feather" conversation it probably has to go back.


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Was this unit replacing an old unit and slotted in the same spot, or was this part of a remodel?

What would happen if the installer wired this @ 120v (i.e., didn't wire correctly) instead of the required 240? I'm guessing it would look like it's working but have inadequate power on induction elements. I'm not a pro so maybe someone who is can check my thinking.


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

The magnet test is not infallible. You need to have or buy cookware that is advertised as induction compatible.

The disc has poor reviews and just is not successful, for the most part. It does seem like an easy fix, but it's not.

Induction cookware is not expensive. IKEA, Macys own Tools of the Trade, check out Martha's Macy line (online shop), tjmarshalls, certain lines of Tramontina at Walmart.com, Newly made Farberware classics line, not old Farberware,. It hurts some of us to give up fave old stuff, but you do get over it and love the new stuff.


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Ed-C points out something we generally overlook -- whether there is enough susceptible material in the base to capture enough of the available field lines. One might also add whether the material has the right conductance for best results.

First, the field lines have to penetrate the material. Second, they have to be captured in the material due to its higher mu. Third, they have to induce current in the material. Fourth, the resistance of the material has to be in the right range to both allow the current (not to high) and become heated by the current (not to low). In other words, Baby Bear's inductive porridge bowl.

Ed C's measurements suggest that the usual sandwich designs (with probably 400 series stainless steel on the base) may not be optimal in all these respects, and that it is possible that the OP's sister's pans are deficient in some respect not evident by the magnet test. Because I haven't myself come across a pan that is magnetic on the base and doesn't heat on my induction cooktop, I would still want to be sure that this wasn't a sensor problem.

Ideally, we need to know whether field lines are present when the pan is on the hob. One would think that if the sensor didn't see the pan and one turned on the hob, the error light would show. Otherwise, field lines would be generated. If field lines are generated without heating, then Ed-C's conjectures look the most promising.

kas


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Ed-C and everyone, thanks for putting thought into this.

The range replaced an old one as a part of a kitchen "refresh" with all new appliances and countertops. I do know they had an electrician come in and upgrade their wiring in keeping with the new range's specified requirements. Still, the wiring is well worth looking into. It is possible something isn't hooked up right, or there was a misunderstanding.

I wish I had a piece of her cookware here so I could put it on my Bosch. I will suggest she find a local friend with induction and ask them to give one of her pots a try. That might rule something in our out.

Thanks again.


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

MizLizzie:

My posts above were before I saw your post on the other thread stating your sister was very happy with her new set up. My guess is that's more consistent with the hypothesis that her waterless cookware isn't compatible than with the alternate that the cooktop isn't getting enough power. Also, I see from the Whirlpool manual that if the cooktop were getting the wrong voltage it might indicate a fault (F42 or F43) (p.24 of use & care manual).

However, the installation guide seems to indicate that it could function at either 120v or 240v, with a wattage output that would be 1/2 power if operating at 120v (p.2 of installation manual).

Therefore, to be sure the range was wired at 240v for full power, I suggest an experiment. Both your sister's left front hob & mine are rated at 1,800 watts. I placed a 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet on that hob & poured 4 cups of room temperature water (67 deg. F) into it. After turning that hob on power boost it took 3 minutes 15 seconds to get a rolling boil. My suggestion is that if she can boil 4 cups of room temp. water in about that time (or faster) on that same burner set to max power (boost), then her appliance is probably operating with sufficient voltage.

Of course, the voltage limitation may be for total wattage output and not pro rata by hob, to test that she'd have to have all the other hobs going on full (but not power boost) when she did the test.

If she does the first or second tests above & finds that it takes closer to 5-7 minutes to get to boil, then I'd speculate that her appliance was wired at 1/2 voltage. I'd do the test before calling an installer or electrician to avoid any unnecessary expense.

If it's the pans, you might get her these for the holidays, to preserve family tranquility. http://www.amazon.com/T-fal-C798SC64-Stainless-Copper-Bottom-Multi-Layer/dp/B001KS6N7U There's some decorative copper on the outside that isn't functional, but there is a copper disk sandwiched in the aluminum that is. I did tests on one I purchased and while it didn't perform as well as an All-Clad mangetic steel sandwich pan, it is much more affordable. I figure that the only cook that would notice the performance difference is Walter White.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cheap Induction Pans


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RE: Magnetic cookware not inducting on new Whirlpool . . . ?

Yes, after the initial shock, she has really come to love it, and I think she will grieve over her cookware less and less as time goes by. Thanks for the cheap cookware tips; I will pass them on. I did score her 3 nice pieces of Calphalon try-ply at TJMaxx this weekend, and I ordered her a couple of Anolon pieces that I really like. Fingers crossed!

Again, thanks for all the input. Much appreciated.


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