What Does ‘F’ Mean on an Induction Hob?

Induction F error code

The letter ‘F’ on an induction hob usually implies a fault or error code. If you see this letter displayed, it indicates a problem with the appliance.

But precisely what does ‘F’ mean on an induction hob? And how can you overcome this error and get your cooktop functioning?

Unfortunately, this is not a straightforward answer. The error codes used on induction cooktops vary by brand. Issues that may trigger an ‘F’ code include problems registering cookware, overheating cooking zones, or issues with internal components.

This article explains the most common meaning of the ‘F’ code on an induction hob and actionable troubleshooting steps.

We also look at the meaning of the ‘F2’ and ‘F3’ error codes, which typically relate to induction hobs with a SenseBoil® function, and the various ‘F’ codes on Bosch hobs, which seem to differ from most other brands.


What Is the ‘F’ Code on Induction Cooktops?

Meaning: On most induction hobs (including AEG and Electrolux), the ‘F’ code means that the hob rings are not registering the cookware you’re trying to use. Depending on the make and model, your hob might alternatively display ‘F1’ or ‘U’ error codes for the same issue.

Solution: Induction hobs work by using electromagnetic currents to heat pots and pans directly, so they can only be used with induction-compatible pans that can carry an electrical current.

If you are getting the ‘F’ error message, check that your pans are induction-compatible by:

  • Looking for an induction symbol (coil or zig-zig icon) on the base of the pan.
  • Holding a magnet to the base of the pan and seeing if it sticks. All induction pans are magnetic—if the magnet sticks, your pan is made from an induction-compatible material.
  • Checking that you’re using stainless steel cookware, cast iron pans, or enamelled steel pans. Copper or aluminium pans are not compatible unless they have a magnetic base.

After checking that you’re using suitable induction-compatible pans, make sure you place them directly on the induction zone when trying to cook to help the appliance register their weight.

The hob might also struggle to register the cookware if there is anything between the pans and the induction surface, so ensure both the hob and pans are dry and clean.

If you’re still seeing the ‘F’ code displayed, try resetting your hob by switching it off at the mains and turning it on back after 30 seconds.

If this doesn’t fix the issue, there might be an internal connection fault inside the induction hob. Call a qualified electrician to inspect and resolve the problem.

Top Tip: Remember, not every induction hob will use the same error codes. To determine the exact issue and solution, refer to the user manual that came with your induction hob.

Touching induction hob controls

What Do ‘F2’ and ‘F3’ Codes Mean on Induction Hobs?

Meaning: On some types of hobs with advanced features, the ‘F2’ and ‘F3’ codes both indicate that the SenseBoil® function isn’t working. ‘F2’ code indicates the pot is empty or contains liquid other than water, whereas ‘F3’ implies there is too much or too little water in the pan.

Solution: The SenseBoil®  feature is designed to prevent water from boiling over by automatically adjusting the heat when a rapid boil is detected. Therefore, you need to have the right amount of water in the pan and attempt to boil water only when using this advanced setting. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure the surface of the hob is dry before attempting to use it.
  • When using the SenseBoil® feature, don’t activate any induction zones with empty pans on them. This will lead to an ‘F2’ error message.
  • Check the amount of water you’re trying to boil. You should use between 1 and 5 litres (1 to 5 kg) of water for the SenseBoil® function to work, leaving at least 4 cm at the top of the pan.


What Is the ‘F’ Code on Bosch Induction Cooktops?

Meaning: Bosch induction cooktops use several ‘F’ error messages – F1, F2, F4, F5, and F6 – which have different meanings to most other brands of induction hob. They all indicate that the appliance is overheating.

Seeing these codes on the display shows that either:

  • The cooking zone has switched off as it was overheating (F1 or F6).
  • The electronics have overheated and the cooking zone has been switched off (F2 or F4).
  • There is hot cookware near the control panel (F5).

Solution: If your induction hob is overheating and has turned itself off, you need to wait until the electronics have cooled down to a safe temperature before continuing to cook.

Wait a few minutes before returning your pan to the induction ring and switching it back on.

If you have an F5 error code, simply move your hot cookware away from the control panel and the error message should disappear.

If you don’t do this in time, the hob will switch off. Wait a few seconds before turning the hob back on and continuing to cook.