All modern-day electric kettles automatically turn off once the water has reached boiling point.
One of the best things about having an electric kettle is that you no longer have to watch your water as it boils. You can fill it up with water, turn it on, and leave it to do some chores, and it will shut off on its own.
This function is because of the thermostat. All electric kettles should have thermostats that trigger the automatic shut-off feature.
Here’s How Electric Kettle Thermostats Work:
The thermostat is the primary control component for electric kettles. Once the water reaches boiling point, the thermostat can detect that and trigger the power of the electric kettle to shut off. The automatic power-off feature of electric kettles would not work without the thermostat.
What Do Electric Kettle Thermostats Do?
When an electric kettle is turned on, an electric current passes through the metal coil, which is the heating element. The metal coil then turns the electrical energy into thermal energy, which heats the water inside the kettle.
Electric kettles are sealed units, so the temperature rises quickly when turned on. This has been the main problem with earlier models of electric kettles, as they would end up setting off smoke detectors because of the amount of steam coming out.
Now, modern-day electric kettles have thermostats to prevent this from happening.
Electric kettle thermostats can detect the temperature once it reaches a certain point, which would trigger the kettle’s automatic shut-off feature.
This is convenient since people no longer have to watch over their kettle as it boils water. It is also a good safety feature to prevent the room from getting filled with smoke.
How Does An Electric Kettle’s Thermostat Work?
The thermostat is the component of the electric kettle that controls the device and determines how long it stays powered on.
Electric kettle thermostats are usually mechanical. They are often made of two pieces of metal discs that are bonded tightly together. One of these pieces expands faster than the other when the temperature increases, while the other piece triggers the automatic shut-off function.
These metal discs normally have a cleaver shape, making the thermostat so effective. Because of the shape, it would suddenly snap once it detects a certain temperature.
Thermostats work by responding to temperature changes in electric kettles.
Here is how the process goes:
- Once the electric kettle is plugged in and turned on, electric current will travel through the metal coil or the heating device, turning the electrical energy into thermal energy.
- The thermal energy output then heats the water inside the electric kettle.
- As the water is heated, steam starts to come out.
- The thermostat is tripped by the rapid increase in the temperature induced by the hot steam.
- When the steam temperature rises to a certain temperature, one of the metallic discs of the thermostat will then snap and causes the power to shut off.
When this happens, you will hear a clicking sound, and that’s when you know that the electric kettle is done boiling the water and has turned off on its own.
Most people would think that the thermostat is reacting to the temperature of the water, but that is not the case. The thermostat is often located at the top of the electric kettle, so the water doesn’t even touch it. Instead, it reacts to the temperature of the hot steam being produced as the water is boiling.
So it doesn’t matter how much water is inside the electric kettle – the thermostat still works. Of course, it would trigger the automatic shut-off function faster if you are boiling 2 cups of water than if it was a liter of water.
The thermostat works regardless of how much water you pour inside the electric kettle because it detects the temperature of the steam rather than the water. This is a clever solution so that the thermostat device does not need to come in contact with water.
Do All Electric Kettles Have Thermostats?
When kettles were first invented, people had to watch over their boiling water to avoid any hazardous incidents.
Before electric kettles had thermostats, there were so many incidents of these devices catching fire because they were left unattended and were not turned on even after the water had reached boiling.
Nowadays, all newer electric kettles have a thermostat.
The thermostat is a simple and inexpensive mechanical device that even the cheapest and most basic electric kettle has. You would be hard-pressed to find an electric kettle nowadays that does not have a thermostat.
So it doesn’t matter whether you buy a high-end branded electric kettle or a cheap basic one that costs less than $20 – it would still have a thermostat and an automatic shut-off function.
At What Temperature Do Electric Kettles Stop?
Electric kettles automatically turn off once the water has reached boiling point. The thermostat triggers this as it detects the temperature.
Electric kettles generally stop at near 100° Celsius or 212° Fahrenheit, the temperature at which water boils.
We use the term “near” because mechanical thermostats cannot detect the exact temperature of the water. In most cases, the water may not be exactly 100° Celsius, but it is very close to that.
What Happens If An Electric Kettle Doesn’t Have a Thermostat?
Thermostats are placed in electric kettles for a reason, which is safety. If an electric kettle does not have a thermostat, it can create several safety risks for you.
Here are the things that could happen if an electric kettle doesn’t have a thermostat:
- If an electric kettle doesn’t have a thermostat, you would need to watch over it all the time as the water boils.
- The electric kettle could overheat since it would just keep running even when the water had reached boiling point.
- When an electric kettle overheats due to the absence of a thermostat, its plastic components could melt and eventually damage your kettle.
- Melting plastic components could also release toxic chemicals into your water.
- The electric kettle could blow a fuse or even fire without a thermostat.
If your kettle doesn’t shut off on its own, then something could be wrong with the thermostat, and you need to have it checked by an expert to avoid any of the abovementioned hazards.
A thermostat may be a simple mechanical device, but it greatly impacts how we use our electric kettles. Even a small task, such as boiling water, can be dangerous without a thermostat.