Gas cooker installation

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.

Gas regulations

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”.

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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


Summary

Don't cut cornersIt’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.

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15 thoughts on “Gas cooker installation”

  1. Hi, I recently moved into a housing association rental property and the gas supply for the cooker has been capped off but there is no back plate elbow and the pipe, although it has been capped off, is not securely fixed and is loose.

    My question is: should it be ready to have a cooker attached, or is it normal for me to have to pay for a gas fitter to fit a back plate elbow when connecting the cooker at extra expense?

  2. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hi Paul. Yes, it should be ready to connect a cooker, but as the cooker has been transported and could potentially have had something come loose, or dislodged it should be checked and connected by a gas-safe registered engineer. They would be able to check that the previously installed pipework is safe too.

  3. Hi there,
    I have just moved in to a property with a gas oven. The gas itself is connected as we can light the oven with a lighter but i think it needs to be plugged in, I this something i am safe to do myself?
    When we do light it manually, the flame size does not change and it does smell quite strong of gas? Is this something i should arrange for the landlord to check? Or will the flame size adjust when it has been plugged in.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

      Hello Leah. I’m not sure from your description whether you brought the gas oven when you moved in, all it is a gas oven that was there when you moved in. If it’s the former, and it has been transported, then I believe it needs inspecting and connecting by a gas safe engineer in case anything has become damaged all dislodge during transit.

      When you refer to plugging in, I’m also unclear exactly what you mean. The gas pipe plugs in if it is a bayonet fitting on the end of the rubber hose. But obviously that must be already plugged in you can light the oven. So I’m presuming you mean some sort of electric plug for electrical igniting. If there is some electrical connection I’ve only ever heard of that allowing ignition, or maybe auto ignition.

      If there is a strong smell of gas and the flame size is not adjusting, then it clearly does need looking at. You should contact your landlord and ask them to send a gas safe engineer. Or at the very least show you exactly how to use it properly if it turns out that this is the problem.

  4. Well the GSR person is telling you a lie (I know I used to work there). GSR are funded by a fee on each installer, which is why they are saying an engineer must be used, instead of giving truthful advice, but the law is clear – regulation 3 only applies to ‘work’ as defined in regulation 2 of the same law, and ‘work’ is explicitly defined as not including bayonet fittings. 100% clear from a legal standpoint, you do not require a license to connect or disconnect a bayonet fitting because this is not inscope of the law (check the HSE website, even clarifies this!). Shame on you Capita (the operator of GSR)!

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