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.