View Full Version : Why doesn't electricity just go through the metal pot rather than stove coil?
01-13-2004, 12:29 AM
I'm wondering why, on my electric stove, the electricity doesn't just travel the route of least resistance (that is: through the nifty copper bottom of my pot, which is bound to be a better conductor than whatever the stove coil is made of) rather than whatever the stuff the stove coil is made of, which has to be made of something electrically resistive (to generate heat and all)?
01-13-2004, 12:41 AM
My SWAG is that the coils have to be coated with an insulating material. Otherwise, as you say, there is no reason why the coil wouldn't just short out across the pot.
01-13-2004, 08:41 AM
The electrical conductors inside the heating element are surrounded with an insulator made of (usually) magnesium oxide.
01-13-2004, 09:00 AM
When they make the element, they take a resistence wire and string it through a series of insulating beads. Then they thread the whole thing through a tube, which is then curled up into the shape you're familiar with. In this way, the wire can heat the tube without touching it and energizing it.
01-13-2004, 09:22 AM
There are (or were) such things as inductive hobs, but they don't seem to have become popular; I'd suggest that the reasons for this might include:
-Unwanted heating of metal handles.
-The efficacy of the heating will be somewhat reliant on the material and construction of the pan.
-Glass pans (which were in vogue at the time inductive hobs were launched) couldn't be heated at all.
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