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Gas cooker and hob appliance guide

If you have a gas oven or hob in your home then it’s probably something you use regularly, if not every day. As with any gas appliance, it’s important to ensure your cooking appliances stay in good working order and regularly serviced to keep your household safe.

In this guide you can find out more about making sure your cooking appliances are installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer, and the warning signs you need to look out for which may mean the appliance isn’t working correctly, efficiently or safely.

Table of contents

Gas cookers and gas hobs explained

Gas cookers are one of several cooking appliance types available, alongside electric cookers and dual fuel cookers, which combine an electric oven with a gas hob. When a gas cooker is switched on and working correctly, it will feature crisp blue flames around the hob rings and inside the oven.

There are two gas types when considering gas cooker options, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), with natural gas being the most common type.

Gas cooker running costs?

One of the main benefits of using gas cookers is that they’re often cheaper to run than electric cookers, and they’re also very popular because they provide easily manageable, instantly adjustable heat. Butane/ Propane can, when purchased in smaller volumes may work out less cost effective for you than electric cookers so it pays to do your research and explore your options.

Gas cooker and hob maintenance

As is the case with any gas appliance in your home, making sure your gas cooker or hob is properly maintained is essential to keeping it in good working order, not only for the sake of efficiency, but most importantly, to ensure your household stays safe.

Aside from proper cleaning, gas hobs don’t usually require much more by way of routine maintenance, but it’s important to check your gas cooker or gas hob manufacturer’s guidelines to find out how often a service is recommended. Most manufacturers recommend getting a gas appliance serviced annually, and any gas cooker service engineer you choose needs to be Gas Safe registered.

During a gas safety check, a Gas Safe registered engineer will check your gas oven and hob to ensure it’s safe to continue using in your home. They’ll make sure that the gas is burning correctly, that the appliance is secure, and pipework is securely connected and not worn or damaged, and that it’s suitably located. The engineer will also check the ventilation requirements for safety and comfort of use.

While an annual gas safety check is always a good idea to make sure your gas cooker remains efficient and safe to use, you may come across particular problems that mean you’ll need a competent Gas Safe engineer to undertake any repairs.

Remember, only a Gas Safe registered engineer can safely repair or service your gas cooker, gas oven or gas hob.

Common gas cooker problems

Here are some of the most common signs which may indicate an issue with your gas cooker:

  • Gas oven burner won’t ignite
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Cooker door won’t close properly
  • Smoke coming from gas oven
  • Gas odour
  • Excessive condensation on kitchen windows
  • Excessively warm surface above oven door

If you’re concerned that your gas cooker or hob isn’t working as you’d expect it to, contact a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Signs of an unsafe gas cooker or hob

There are certain signs which could indicate that your gas cooker or gas hob is unsafe. Look out for:

  • A floppy yellow flame inside the oven or around the hob ring, rather than a crisp blue one
  • Black or brown marks around the appliance
  • Gas odour

If you do notice any of these signs, then you’ll want to get your gas cooking appliance serviced straight away by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

It’s important to act quickly, because an incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or improperly maintained gas cooking appliance can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a potentially deadly poisonous gas that’s produced when natural gas or LPG is burned. These normally low, safe levels of CO can elevate to a dangerous level when the appliance doesn’t burn as it should, and it can be especially dangerous because you can’t see, taste or smell it.

Concerned about carbon monoxide from your gas hob or gas cooker? Find out more about the signs and symptoms, and if you have immediate concerns about possible CO or think you can smell gas, find out what to do in a gas emergency.

Gas oven or hob installation

Whether your home already uses natural gas or LPG as a fuel, or you’re converting to using natural gas or LPG in your home, there are a couple of things to bear in mind when it comes to having a gas cooker or gas hob fitted.

Installation of a gas hob or oven should only be carried out by a competent qualified, registered gas engineer who is Gas Safe registered. This will ensure that your newly installed gas cooking appliance is correctly fitted and safe for use.

If the old gas oven or hob needs to be removed or disconnected it’s important that this is only carried out by a suitably competent Gas Safe registered engineer. Only a registered engineer will have the right skills to do this safely.

Always check Gas Safe ID Card

You’ll need to check the Gas Safe ID Card for the Work Category “Cooker” to ensure that they are qualified to install, commission, exchange, disconnect, service, repair, safety checking and break down of domestic cooking appliances. This does not include range cookers though and as such you’ll need to look for “Range Cookers” listed for any work related to a range cooker.

Although these two will cover many interactions, it pays to ensure that your Gas Safe engineer can also work within your domestic property. For example, if you live in a Caravan, Leisure Accommodation Vehicle (LAV), Residential Park Home (RPH) or Boat, you’ll want to ensure they have qualifications relevant to these. You can see the list of Domestic Categories on our PDF guide below:

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/media/2318/defining_the_domestic_id_card_work_categories-refined-mar-17.pdf

Will I receive any documentation?

Whether you receive any documentation from your engineer will depend on the type of installation they’ve carried out for you in your home.

If a new gas hob or gas oven has been installed, then the Building Regulations do not require your Gas Safe registered engineer to notify the installation. If the Gas Safe registered engineer does notify the gas hob/oven the homeowner will receive a Declaration of Safety Certification, but this isn’t a regulatory requirement.

There’s one exception, and that’s with gas-fired range cookers which feature a flue. If you’ve had one of these installed, your engineer should notify the Local Authority although it’s up to you to ensure this is done. The Building Regulations Certificate should arrive within 10-15 working days of notification.

Gas oven and hob regulations

Certain new gas appliances will require a Building Regulations Certificate by law, including gas boilers, gas fires, new central heating installations and any heat generating appliance.

What about gas oven and hob installation regulations?

For these, the requirements are a little different.

Rather than a Building Regulations Certificate, the regulations for gas hob installation and gas cooker installation can be subject to a Declaration of Safety Certificate. These certificates are issued specifically for flueless cooking appliances, and can be voluntarily notified by the installer.

There’s one exception when it comes to notifying gas cooking appliances and that’s gas-fired range cookers, which do feature a flue. In this case, your Gas Safe registered engineer would need to inform the Local Authority that they have installed one of these in your property.

There are other installation conditions that must be met to ensure compliance with regulations:

  • For all free-standing gas cookers with a high-level grill, there needs to be a minimum of 610mm of clear space above the grill however manufacturer’s instructions will provide exact detail on this.
  • All gas cookers must have 20mm of free space on either side or as stipulated in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Brand new gas cookers installed in flats must feature a ‘Flame Supervision Device’. This detects whether a flame has been extinguished and will then automatically turn off the gas supply to the burners.

Your gas cooker or gas hob will only be compliant with the regulations if installed by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer.