There are many guides for the minimum distance a socket or cooker switch can be from a hob or cooker. The reason there are recommendations for the minimum distances is to reduce the risks associated with electrical switch gear or socket-outlets being too close to a hob or oven.
Depending which guide you read relating to cooker connection units near hobs, ovens and cookers, the distances range from 100mm to 300mm. As the recommended minimum distance for sockets near sinks is 300mm we would prefer to go by the 300mm rule based on the same factors as mentioned in the sockets and sinks guidance..
Cooker Switch Regulations
The relevant regulations relating to cooker switches and isolators includes BS 7671 Wiring Regulations and Part P of the building regulations, other 3rd party guides are also available for guidance on cooker switches, sockets, switches, spurs and isolators siting locations, positions and requirements in a kitchen.
Possible risks associated with a hob or cooker switch / isolator or socket being behind a hob or cooker.
If a hob switch or isolator is located behind a hob and the user requires to turn off the hob quickly the user should NOT have to reach over a hot hob in-order to turn it off.
- Water and heat damage to electrical accessories
If a cooker isolator is installed behind the hob or oven then there is risk of heat damage to the cooker isolator from the hob or cooker, in addition to this should a pan boiler over there is the risk of the cooker isolator getting wet.
Can a cooker switch be behind a hob?
No, a cooker switch should be located at least 30cm (300mm) horizontally away from the hob.
Can a cooker switch be above a hob?
No, a cooker switch should be at least 300mm horizontally away from a hob.
Can you have a socket behind a cooker?
No, a socket should not be installed behind a cooker or hob, all electrical accessories should be ideally 300mm away or at least 100mm.
Can a socket be behind a hob?
No, sockets, switches or spurs should be installed at least 300mm horizontally away from a hob.
Cooker switch directly behind a hob.
A cooker switch or isolator should NOT be installed directly behind a hob for the reasons mentioned above.
Limited Space in a Kitchen
In some scenarios there may not be enough space in the kitchen to install cooker switches, sockets or spurs 300mm away from a hob or oven. In those circumstances it would be up to the installer to decide on a safe and readily accessible alternative location. Some guidance we found recommends a minimum distance from 100mm, however 300mm is the preferred distance up to a maximum distance of 2 meters and certainly not directly behind the hob.
A kitchen fitter may alter the layout of an existing kitchen by relocating the hob or oven which places the hob or oven too close or directly in front of existing electrical accessories. In those circumstances you should instruct an electrician to relocate the electrical accessories to a safe location, this is best done before the new kitchen is fitted.
Sockets, switched fused spurs, light switches, cooker switches and hob isolators should not be installed behind or directly above a hob or oven.
Electrical Fittings Near Cookers
The NHBC answers this question;
“How far should an electrical accessory be located from a gas or electric cooker or hob?”
A minimum distance of 100mm, measured horizontally from an electrical accessory to the edge of a
free standing cooker or individual hob is considered acceptable for the purposes of
avoiding adverse effects from using a cooker or hob. An electrical accessory should not be located
immediately above a cooker or hob due to the possibility of people reaching over suffering burns or
the flexible cable of connected equipment being damaged.
– Source: NHBC – Electrical Fittings Near Cookers
Part P of the Building Regulations
Socket distance from a hob Part P
Design and installation:
P1. Reasonable provision shall be made in the design and installation of electrical installations in order to protect persons operating, maintaining or altering the installations from fire or injury.
BS 7671 On-Site Guide
7.4 Proximity to electrical and other services;
528.3 Electrical and all other services must be protected from any harmful mutual effects foreseen as likely under conditions of normal service. For example, cables should not be in contact with or run alongside hot pipes.
5 Isolation and switching – Means of isolation should be provided;
462.3 For every item of equipment
5.4 Functional Switching;
463.1.3 All current-using equipment requiring control shall be controlled by a switch
❯ Get your copy of BS7671 On-Site Guide
Electrician’s Guide to the Building Regulations
5.2.2 Location of accessories in kitchens;
- Wiring accessories (e.g. sockets, switches) should be mounted on the building fabric and not kitchen furniture.
- Cooker control switches, extractor fan switches, ect should not be mounted so that it is necessary to lean or reach over hobs for their operation.
- Socket-outlets should be installed at a minimum of 450mm from the floor.
- Accessories should be installed at a minimum of 300mm from the edge of kitchen sinks and draining boards.
- 6,7,8,9,10.. See the “Electricians Guide to the Building Regulations” for further info.
❯ Get your copy of The Electrician’s Guide to the Building Regulations
Conclusion – Socket and switch distances from a hob or cooker
Conclusion: How far should a socket or cooker switch be from a cooker, hob or oven.
The minimum distance a cooker switch, spur or socket can be from a hob or oven is between 100mm and 300mm horizontally away from the edge of a hob, oven or free standing cooker, this includes electric and gas hobs. (Depending on the source of guidance)
– Source: IET The Electricians Guide to the Building Regulations = 300mm
– Source: NHBC Electrical Fittings Near Cookers = 100mm