Food is one of our basic needs as human beings, needing it primarily for energy and nutrition. That is why homes need to be fitted with cooking stoves, whether electrical or gas. As opposed to the open fires that our ancestors used to cook with, using stoves produce less smoke and needS less work. Because we can adjust the heat accurately, stoves are also less dangerous and more efficient. With just a flick of our wrist, a blue flame flickers to life, ready to cook up your meal. If your old stove is starting to break down or you’re moving into a new, unfurnished home, we’ll be tackling everything you need to know about connecting and fitting gas hobs in your property.
The Different Parts of a Gas Hob
As their names suggest, gas appliances use gas as fuel. Before installing a new one in your house, you need to first understand how it is meant to work and what are its different parts. It’s also beneficial to know a gas hob’s difference from a gas cooker.
Natural gas comes from a gas main that is connected to the cooker or stove. When you turn the control knob on, the valve regulator opens and gas flows through the jets of the burners. And once the cooker ignition is pressed, a circuit or batter produces a spark that ignites the gas. A hob burner is merely a part of an entire cooker. Let’s examine its parts.
The valve of your gas hob controls the gas supply from the pipe to the jet. It is either fully opened or fully closed. The jet is used to distribute the gas evenly through tiny slots that form a circle on the edge of the burner. In the middle of this circle, a burner cap prevents food from spilling onto the burner and keeps the gas flow focused on the burner slots. When you switch your knob on, the ignitor creates the spark that should burn the gas as it exits from these slots.
When part of an entire cooker, the gas is shared by the oven and the grill. Setting the oven to your desired temperature will trigger a gas flow to the burner at the back of the oven. While the grill works the same way, the gas flames flow our from the pipe’s tiny holes to heat up the gauze or grid equally.
Can I DIY my Gas Hob Connection?
Now that you know how a hob operates, it’s important to learn what you can or cannot do during a gas hob connection. If you want to fit a gas hob yourself, always remember that you are not allowed to connect the hob unless you are a Gas Safe registered engineer.
According to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, you must be competent before working on a gas appliance. Regulation 3 (3) it states that anyone who is rewarded for gas work (whether fitting or otherwise) should be registered with Gas Safe. While a lot of DIYers debate the meaning of “competence” under the regulation, we believe that you must have the knowledge and experience to fit gas appliances before installing your own. There are different exams, as well, that cover domestic, commercial, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and other gas fitting skills.
While this regulation prevents unregistered professionals from selfish motives, it also protects the public and the customer from dangerous activities. Should some catastrophe result from your work, then that is a clear sign that you are not competent enough to handle a gas fitting task and have broken the law. Assuming no major accident befell you, you are most likely going to face legal action.
When looking at instructions fitting your gas hob may look simple and straightforward. However, this four-step process needs to comply with different standards that your installation manual may not mention. Gas Safe Registered engineers normally run many checks before, during and after their work. Though tedious, the process is necessary. Before carrying out any gas work, it’s important to know and understand the regulations and standards for every aspect of your task.
A good compromise we recommend is to call a registered fitter and work together in a mentor-student type of fashion. The fitter can act as your adviser when dealing with finer points of the regulations, approves the final plan before starting and checking the work once finished. While you may have a difficult time finding registered fitters who are willing to do this, this is still a better way to DIY your gas appliances without breaking the law.
What are the Regulations for Gas Hob Connections?
Before you start fitting your gas hob, you need to draw out your plans. Here are some things you can take note of:
- Distance: While you work, keep a safe distance from anything that could be a fire risk. If you’re working with an LPG instead of NG, it is worth noting that LPG tanks are more flammable than NGs and should not be placed below ground level. For this reason, consult a gas engineer for specific regulations.
- Ventilation: While you’re keeping a safe distance from any fire risks, make sure that the room you’re in is also ventilated. Should a gas leak occur before or after installation, it is better to place the gas appliance where there is a window or door nearby. With this in mind, there are also guidelines when it comes to positioning your hob:
- If the hob is placed under a window, the window should be at least 500mm away from it.
- If it is by a door, it should be at least 500mm away.
- The hob should always be against a wall and at the end of a worktop.
- Hot Zones: When installing your cooker or hob, take note of the hot zone on top of and on either side of the appliance. Make sure that there is nothing fixed for 760mm above it, including the extractor hood. On both sides, the hot zone is at 150mm where nothing is placed up to a height of 460mm. Once you have your hot zone laid out, there should be no plugs, kitchen units or wares placed here that could burn or melt.
- Gas and Electricity Supply: Your gas and electricity supply should be placed within 1.5m from your appliance’ location. Check what kind of feed your hob will need. Normally, most gas appliances only need 13A. In some cases, however, you will need a 32A fused spur.
Fitting a gas hob into your home is not as simple as it sounds. While you may have these regulations and standards down pat, we still recommend having an expert on board. Our engineers at Plumbingforce are Gas Safe registered and can install and test your gas hob. Book an appointment with us today.