What to Do When a Glass Cooktop Shatters?

A suddenly shattered glass cooktop can halt dinner in its tracks, and depending on the cause of the break, it can also be a costly issue to face. Unlike a basic crack, a shattered glass cooktop is virtually unusable and needs to be replaced before you can use the range again.

Don’t Use the Cooktop

Replace a shattered glass cooktop immediately.

Discontinue using the shattered glass cooktop and turn off the breaker that the range is connected to before attempting to inspect or remove the broken piece. A completely shattered top will not work properly, and getting any type of moisture from food items or cleaning supplies on a broken portion can cause further damage to the range. A shattered glass cooktop is also more likely to cause electric shock. Even if the top is only cracked in one spot, it’s still best not to use it.

Determine the Cause of the Break

If your product is under warranty, the manufacturer will want to know how the damage occurred to determine whether the glass cooktop is replaceable under the agreement. If you weren’t present for the damage that caused the shatter, the pattern of the break can give you clues as to how it happened. A definitive impact point with radiating cracks around it, resembling a spider web, is typically caused by something being dropped on the cooktop. A figure-eight pattern with cracks radiating around it is caused by overheating. When the entire cooktop is shattered without any central point, thermal shock, caused by a drastic increase or decrease in temperature, is likely to blame.

Contact the Manufacturer or Retailer

For products still under warranty, contact the manufacturer or the retailer that you purchased the range from as quickly as possible to determine if it will pay for the replacement. Even if you want to do the work yourself or hire a private contractor, calling the holder of the warranty is still a good idea; having someone else do the work or attempting to repair the appliance yourself could null your agreement. It can also be helpful to ask whether there was a recall on the product. In this case, you may be eligible for a replacement part or unit, even outside of the warranty time frame.

Cleaning Up the Glass and Removing the Cooktop

Remove the shattered cooktop after talking with the manufacturer or retailer. Turn off the breaker that the range is connected to and unplug the unit from the wall if you haven’t done so already. Consult your owner’s manual to determine how to disconnect the cooktop from the range. Wearing heavy-duty gloves, unscrew the cooktop and detach any wires according to the manufacturer directions, and then place a thick, large trash bag over the range, folding it along the sides. Lift the cooktop up and set it on a flat surface. Slide the unit into a large trash bag. Have a friend or family member help if possible. Vacuum the area around the range thoroughly to clean up any glass. Contact your trash service provider to determine how to dispose of the shattered top; in some cases, the manufacturer may not want you to handle the unit or dispose of it until a service provider sees the unit. If this is the case, cover the cooktop with a large plastic bag, taping it to the sides, to keep the glass in place until you’re ready to proceed with repairing or replacing it.

Replace the Cooktop or the Range

Price-check replacing the cooktop versus replacing the entire range. In some cases, one may be cheaper than the other. You can purchase a new cooktop via the manufacturer as well as through appliance parts dealers; oftentimes, the latter will be more cost effective. If your unit was very old to begin with, replacing it may be the best option. Depending on the range deals in your area, you might be able to get a new unit for roughly the same price as a new cooktop.

About the Author

Amanda Bell spent six years working as an interior designer and project coordinator before becoming a professional writer in 2010. She has published thousands of articles for various websites and clients, specializing in home renovation, DIY projects, gardening and travel. Bell studied English composition and literature at the University of Boston and the University of Maryland.