You may not be able to install a new circuit for an electric cooker as only a qualified engineer is allowed to do that – but you can learn how to install, wire, and connect your electric cooker safely if you want to replace or upgrade your gas oven. Take a look at an electric cooker installation guide here…
How to Prepare
Bear in mind that electric cookers generate a lot more evenly distributed intense heat – therefore they take a great deal more power. That means the fuse you use will be larger than 13 amps – up to 50 amps in some cases. You’ll need a heat-resistant thick cooker cable and an accessible double pole isolating switch.
What Switches You Need
Normally when a switch is installed it interrupts the live wire of the circuit – the switch breaks the connection. Using a double pole switch the connection to the live and neutral pole is broken eliminating the risk of any residual current causing a shock when the switch is off. This type of switch is all about safety – powering down any excess current in the neutral wire to prevent a shock if the switch is tripped.
The Type of Circuit Used
Don’t share a radial circuit with any other kitchen appliance – your oven needs one all to itself. With a radial circuit the cable comes from the consumer unit and travels to the socket where the cable ends – unlike a ring circuit where the current travels back to the consumer unit. So radial circuits can only serve a smaller area – and need to be connected to your electric cooker only.
There is an official formula for arriving at the circuit requirements of an electric cooker based on the average use when cooking for a family. The first 10 amps are estimated at 100% and the remaining current at 30% - regulations permit a 12KW cooker to be supplied from a 30amp circuit, but a 45 amp alternative is well worth considering.
Cooker Control Unit
Your cooker must be connected to a cooker control unit – using the correct size cable directly related to the power of the cooker. You need to install the unit within two metres of the cooker – but never directly above it. Run the thick cable capable of supporting the amount of electricity your oven will need close enough to the appliance to avoid tripping over it, and not so close that it could cause a fire hazard. You could consider feeding some of the cables through the wall or use cable clips to hold it in position.
The cooker control unit fits a patress box – and can be flush or surface mounted. Varieties include simple switching facilities or include a socket. Some come with neon lights to signify that the unit is turned on and the current is reaching its destination.
The wiring of your electric oven is very similar to wiring a plug – switch off any source of power to the oven at the mains supply before feeding your circuit cable into the control unit. You can strip the end of the circuit cable in advance to save time. Remember that your cooker will be very heavy to move so you may need some help with the lifting.
The cooker control unit has two separate sets of terminals and connectors – the incoming mains goes into the terminals marked mains, and the outgoing cable is connected to the load's terminals. The load cable then runs to the terminal outlet box which is just a junction box in the wall where the cooker cable is connected to the mains cable you’ve just installed. The terminal outlet box has a cover plate which allows easy access and is also safe – and is normally placed about halfway up behind the cooker.
When all the wires are appropriately tight you can close up the outlet box and complete all remaining connections to your control unit. Get the cooker back into position and switch on the mains power to test that you’ve done everything correctly!
When you need a qualified engineer to help with any electric cooker issues simply get in touch with Exclusive Repairs. You’ll be sent an experienced technician with expertise to help fix your electric cooker problems – and your fully insured service comes with a six-month quality guarantee.