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Installing an electric cooker

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Caution

Electricity is dangerous and can be hazardous. In doubt? Call a qualified electrician.

General

As a general rule an electric cooker will require its own radial circuit. This means it requires a direct connection to the consumer unit with its own fuse way there. Electric cookers use a vast amount of power so must not be connected to a normal household circuit.

The basic circuit layout is as follows, the wire from the cooker is connected to a terminal outlet box. This terminal outlet box is connected to the control unit (this is the switch on the wall by the cooker). The control unit is connected to the consumer unit. See Routing Cable for details on installing the cables.

Consumer Unit

At the consumer unit, the cooker will require its own fuse way. A 30amp fuseway can support an appliance of up to 7.2kw providing that the control unit does not also have a socket outlet. For higher powered appliances a 45amp fuse or greater is required. The control unit is then connected to the consumer unit by a radial circuit.

Run cable from the consumer unit but do not connect it to the consumer unit at this time. Leave some spare cable at the consumer unit so that it will be easy when you come to connect at the end.

If the consumer unit does not have a spare fuseway then you will need to have a new extra consumer unit, which will require connection to the meter, this will need to be done by your electricity supplier.

Radial Circuit

The radial circuit will run from the consumer unit to the location of the control unit, which is usually next to the cooker. Ensure that the correct cable size is used see Choosing the correct size cable for details of this. For lengths up to 12 metres, 4mm2 cable can be used otherwise 6mm2 cable should be used for lengths up to 20 metres.

Control Unit

The radial circuit is then connected to a control unit which is a large on/off double pole switch for the cooker. It should be placed near to the cooker but not over it. Control units with sockets are also available but are best avoided if possible. If you do decide to have one, then the power limits of the circuit have to be upgraded i.e. higher fuse and larger cable. Fit the control unit in place, see Installing a electrical mounting box for help. Connect the mains cable from the consumer unit to the control unit. There are be 3 terminals for the mains supply cable and 3 terminals for the cooker cable.

The mains supply cable should be connected to the Mains side of the switch marked ‘Mains’ or ‘In’. The red conductor should be fixed in the Live terminal (L), the black fixed in the Neutral (N) terminal and the bare wire with a green/yellow sleeving fitted into the Earth terminal (E or ) and tightened securely.

The output or load connectors should then be fitted in the same way - (red to the Live terminal L, black to the Neutral N terminal and the bare wire with a green/yellow sleeving to the Earth terminal E or ) to a cable which will run to the terminal outlet box.

Terminal Outlet Box

The cable from the cooker is then connected to this box. Fit the terminal outlet box behind the cooker and connect up the cooker cable and the cable from the control unit to the three terminals in the connector unit. There are three screw terminals in a connector unit. The red conductors from both cables should go together in one terminal, the earth conductors together in the central terminal, and the black conductors should go together in the remaining terminal.

Finally tighten the cable grip on the cooker wire exiting the terminal outlet and close the cover.

Consumer Unit

SWITCH OFF ELECTRICITY AT THE MAINS BEFORE WORKING ON EXISTING CIRCUITS

Lastly connect the cable to the consumer unit.

Prepare the end of the new cable for connection by stripping back the sheath. See Preparing the cable for connection

Switch off the power. Remove the cover of the consumer unit, but DANGER: even though the main switch is off, live cables are still present entering the consumer unit from the meter. If in doubt call a qualified electrician.

Break out an entryway hole in the consumer unit case and pass the cable through. Connect the black conductor to the neutral block with the other black conductors. Locate a spare fuseway and fix the red conductor into that, ensuring that it is an appropriate power rating - if not upgrade the fuse or if it is a MCB (miniature circuit breaker) replace it with a higher one. Fit the green/yellow earth conductor into the earth block. Finally refit the consumer unit case and restore power.

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