Can you install a new gas cooker yourself – or do you have to pay a lot of money for a gas safe engineer to to it? Also, is it OK to disconnect a gas cooker (with bayonet fitting) to clean behind it and then reconnect? The answer to these questions was quite surprising when I investigated the issue.
Firstly, it should be obvious that if there is no current gas installation then you need a gas safe engineer to install some. It’s illegal for anyone else but a gas-safe engineer to install or repair anything to do with gas.
What about the bayonet fitting?
Let’s say you already have a gas cooker installed and you just want to disconnect it and connect up a new cooker. The easy-fit bayonet fittings make it so simple you could do it in less than a minute. But if it is a new gas cooker (or a second-hand one) the regulations say that it must have a gas safe engineer to connect it up. It is illegal to connect it yourself!
Read on for a full explanation, and advice about when you can and can’t connect and disconnect a gas cooker.
Rules on connecting a different cooker
On this particular subject I have corresponded with someone at the official gas safe website. I asked if it was OK to unplug the hose on the old one and just connect the new cooker up. I said that the bayonet fitting is clearly designed to be easily connected and disconnected so surely this isn’t classed as “installing” is it?
I received the following reply –
Any new gas appliance must be installed by Gas Safe Registered engineer as described in Regulation 3 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 ”
I have to admit I couldn’t see any sense to this, especially as it’s so expensive to have an engineer to fit it and it takes so little time. But when I queried it I was told that a new cooker won’t necessarily come with a hose fitted to it, and, “something could have come loose during transit”.
So the hose must be fitted to the cooker by a qualified gas safe engineer. They must check that the appliance is OK and there are no gas leaks, either from anywhere on the cooker or from the hose connections to the cooker and the bayonet fitting at the gas supply.
What about disconnecting to clean cooker?
If you already have a gas cooker fitted and connected, and it has the bayonet fitting at the end of the hose that can be undone by pushing and twisting anticlockwise then you are allowed to disconnect the cooker in order to pull it out and clean behind it. You can then push it back in place and reconnect it. This was clarified in the following reply to 1 of my emails –
A bayonet fitting is designed for as a quick release fitting to enable the easy removal of a cooker for cleaning purposes. To do so would not be classed as gas work.
However, when installing a new appliance, that appliance must be commissioned and set up correctly. This IS classed as gas work, and as such any person who does this must be Gas Safe Registered ”
It’s very annoying to have to pay for a gas safe engineer to connect up a new cooker, especially as it’s likely to be an extremely quick and simple job for them. Hopefully there may be a local engineer who might not charge too much. We mustn’t forget that these regulations are made to protect us. You cannot take risks with gas.
Once a gas cooker is safely installed we are free to disconnect and reconnect it as long as we are only doing so to clean behind it or for some other reason. If one is going to be transported to a new location it should be fitted and checked at the new location by a qualified engineer.