Induction Cooktop Cannot Detect Pan – What to Do?

I have recently refurbished my kitchen. Apart from having an electric cooktop, I decided to bring in an induction cooktop.

The steel finish adds class to my countertop. Not only does it give precise settings, but it also does the job faster compared to other cooktops

I am still learning how to use it for cooking. The other day, it didn’t switch on despite keeping the pan on it.

At times it emits strange noises. Once it shut off in the middle of cooking. 

I found out that although it takes time to get a hang of induction cooking, it isn’t that tough. Issues crop up, just like any other appliance. 

Most of the time, it’s our lack of knowledge. Other times, your machine has cocked off and needs an expert hand to make it up and running. 

Allow me to tell you all about some common troubleshooting problems and how to deal with them to keep your induction in top shape. 

Why the Induction Cooktop Cannot Detect Pan? 

The reason why your induction cooktop cannot detect the pan placed on top of it could be due to two causes – operational or technical. 

Here are the possible operational reasons why the induction may not detect the pan :

Compatibility Issue

It is important to understand that not all materials are compatible with the induction cooktop

The pan that you choose to cook on your induction cooktop must be ferromagnetic.

This quality enables the induction to transfer magnetic energy inside the pan and create heat to cook food.

Some examples of induction-compatible pans are magnetic grade stainless steel and iron. 

Solution 

An easy way to test whether your pan will work on the induction cooktop is to turn the pan upside down.

Place a magnet at the bottom of your pan. If it sticks to the bottom, your pan is induction compatible. 

If your pan is not made up of compatible material, the induction cooktop will not be able to detect any pan placed on top of it. In this case, you should invest in some induction-ready pots and pans.

The Shape of the Pan 

The induction cooktop will only be able to detect a pan that has a flat bottom surface.

If the bottom is not flat, the burner may fail to detect the presence of the pan on top. 

Similarly, the burner on the induction cooktop is designed to detect cookware of a particular diameter. If the pan is too small, the induction will not be able to detect it. 

Some inductions have big burners while some have small burners. You need to make sure the pan is sitting comfortably on the center of the burner.  

You will not find this problem in high-range inductions that have no zones and large burners. 

Solution 

The pan you wish to cook food on an induction cooktop must have a flat bottom. It must sit properly on top of the burner.

With the help of smart inbuilt technology, your induction will be able to detect the presence of the pan. 

The diameter of your pan should not be too small. Go through the instructions to find out the right dimensions for the burner on your induction cooktop.

Use a correct dimension pan and always place it on the center of the burner. 

You can make out the center from the top of the induction surface. The burner is designated with a ring shape on top. Place your pan in the center of the ring. 

The dimension may increase or decrease an inch from the circle drawn on top. Any size lesser or more will not be detected with your induction cooktop.

Technical Snag

In case the problem persists even after you use induction compatible and a flat bottom pan, the most likely reason why your induction cooktop is not detecting a pan is a technical snag.

Solution 

You need to reach out to the company’s customer care and complain. The fixing of your cooktop requires expert hands. 

As the induction cooktop has a complicated circuit inside, I would advise against trying to fix the technical snag yourself. 

In case you open it up and try to meddle, there are high chances the induction brand will not consider it under warranty and may ask you to pay for the service. 

Here are some more common issues you may find while using an induction cooktop and possible solutions.

Let us begin! 

Induction Cooktop is Not Switching On 

An induction needs a constant stream of electric supply to work. Electric power is used to create a powerful electromagnetic field. 

The induction requires a particular voltage to function well. If there is inadequate voltage, your cooktop will not switch on. 

A deficient power supply, blown fuses, problems in circuits like circuit overload, and damage to power supply wires are common causes for the power not to reach the induction.

Solution 

Go through the instructions and make sure you have the right voltage for the induction to function.

Check if the power is connected to the circuit breaker

Next, look for any breaks, cracks, or disconnections in the wiring. Check the connection at the junction box. Make sure there is no overload or blown fuse.

If all is fine, then the problem is technical and you should contact customer care. 

Also read: Do Induction Cooktops Break Easily?

The Touch Buttons on the Panel Do Not Work 

Most inductions come with a ‘control Lock’ feature. If your induction is in auto-lock mode, no button on the panel will work. 

The control panel buttons are sensitive to touch.

A thin grease of the film is all it takes for the buttons to not work properly. 

Solution 

Read your instruction booklet to unlock your induction. Most of the time the Lock button is displayed with the picture of a lock.

You need to press the lock button and hold down the button with your fingers for a few seconds. 

A beep will sound indicating your panel is unlocked and ready for use. If you cannot locate the lock button, refer to the diagram in the instruction booklet. 

Keep the display panel clean. Wipe off the control panel buttons to remove grease and residues. 

Even after following all the above steps if the induction does not work, contact your brand’s customer care and let the expert handle it. 

The Induction Cooktop Shuts Down in the Middle of Cooking 

Inductions come with many safety features that help to keep the food cooking process a safe experience. 

One such safety measure is the automatic shutdown feature on overheating. 

If the induction cooktop crosses the safe limit temperature and heats up, it will automatically shut down.

The inbuilt sensors do this to give time for the induction to cool down. 

Solution 

Do not cook at high temperatures for a very long duration. 

Do not overwork your induction cooktop. Give it short breaks in between. This will prevent it from overheating. 

The Induction Hob Not Working on One Side 

This could be an operational issue or a technical defect. 

Operation issue 

The most likely cause is that the induction cooktop is not installed according to instructions. 

A faulty wiring or improper setup causes improper current supply between the power source and the induction burners. 

Technical issue 

The fault could be in the component of the induction cooktop. A faulty or damaged coil burner is the most common cause. 

Solution 

The installation of the induction should be as per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Make sure there is a proper power supply to your induction cooktop. 

If all is fine, it is a technical snag. Call the customer service of your particular brand. Do not attempt to repair it on your own. 

Let us proceed toward some useful maintenance tips that will ensure your induction cooktop remains in good working order 

Useful Tips for Maintaining your Induction Cooktop

Maintaining an induction cooktop is a pretty easy affair.

A little care is all that is needed to keep it up and about. 

  • Clean it every time after use. We do not want dirt or grease buildups on the shining glass-ceramic. Place special attention on the burner areas. Wipe away all the spilled gunk. This will prevent further scratches on the glass surface. 
  • The display buttons may be coated with steam water droplets. Wipe them dry
  • It is best to wipe liquids off with a sponge. Use a wet sponge for dry spills.
  • Follow up the sponge with a paper towel and wipe the induction surface dry. 
  • For hard water stains, use a white vinegar solution
  • Use baking soda and vinegar mix to remove tough dirt spots. You can also use a mild soapy solution along with a sponge.
  • Avoid harsh chemical cleaning solutions and metal scouring pads.
  • For baked-on residues, use specialized scrappers at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Use a clean paper towel on the stainless steel parts of the induction 
  • Make sure to switch off your induction while not in use.

Conclusion 

The most common reason for induction not recognizing your pan is incompatibility. The induction will only work with induction-compatible cookware. 

An incompatible size of your pan will not be detected. The diameter should be no more than an inch smaller than the induction burner ring.  

The surface of the pan also needs to be flat for the induction underneath to detect the pan presence. 

If all is fine, you need to call customer care to repair any technical fault. Repairing an induction cooktop can be a costly affair.

Especially if it is not under warranty. I would recommend that you compare the repair cost with the purchase of a new induction cooktop. 

I hope you found other troubleshooting issues equally helpful. Follow the tips above to keep your induction well maintained in top working condition. All the best!

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Hey there! I'm Sasha, just your regular mom-turned-kitchen-appliances enthusiast. When I gave my kitchen a makeover, I took a shine to new kitchen appliances like Induction Cooktops, Air Fryer, Instant Pot, Microwave, and Oven. I'm always up to some fun experiment, whipping up a storm, and writing about common questions people have about the efficient use of these kitchen gadgets