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Kitchen circuits

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by bolty2uk, 25 Apr 2015.

  1. bolty2uk

    bolty2uk

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    Hi all.
    New to the forum, lots of very handy information here but i have a quick enquiry for the technically gifted out there.

    Im having a kitchen put in. The electrics will be via a 32amp ring main which is just for the kitchen.
    Firstly, my question is do my appliances just plug into these sockets or will i need 13 amp fused spur units fed from the ring main for each appliance? Obviously be easier if i could just plug them into a low level double socket?
    Secondly, we intend in having a seperate oven, hob and extractor fan. The oven is 13amp so can this just be plugged in? Or do i need a fused spur unit, seperate curcuit and switch?

    Just not sure of the correct way, spoke to two electricians, one said everything can just be plugged into the ring main with a fused spur unit for the cooker, hob and extractor fan. The other guy said everything needs a fused spur unit and seperate cable and switch for the oven and hob..

    Anyone know the best and correct way of doing it

    Many thanks
    Sam[/b]
     
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  3. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Electrically speaking, there is no difference between using a plug/socket and an FCU. The more important question is whether it is desirable to have high-load appliances (like washing machines, dryers etc., and particularly ovens) supplied from the one-and-only ring circuit in a kitchen. Although that's precisely what often happens, many would favour having separate circuit(s).
    Many ovens (but not 'cookers' with an electric hob as well) are 'just 13A' and therefore can theoretically be fed by a plug/socket or FCU from the kitchen ring. However, many/most people would advise a separate circuit for cooking appliances (not the least so as to leave some power for other things!). This also 'future proofs' you in relation to other electric cooking appliances you may get in the future.
    See above. There is no absolute right or wrong and, as you have discovered, opinions will vary - and you seem to have encountered the two extreme views. Personally, I would certainly have a separate circuit for ovens/cookers, and possibly a further separate circuit for WM/dryer etc. (although many would probably not do the latter).

    I'm not sure this will help you very much!

    Kind Regards, John
     
  4. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    You don't have to have FCUs, although many people find them more convenient than a plug and socket behind the appliance or behind the tins of beans in the adjacent cupboard.

    And most people think they look better than sockets above the worktop and plugs with flex going through the rear of the worktop down to the appliance.

    As to whether they can all be plugged in only your electrician can say, given the loads, usage cycles and location on the ring. A radial might be a better option.
     
  5. ericmark

    ericmark

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    There are a number of methods and the regulations have suggestions in the appendix on how they can be met which is often regarded as a regulation.

    We talk about a kitchen ring and include conductors in parallel and one could argue as to what requires dedicated circuits. The location of the consumer unit is important if some distance from the kitchen there is no problem but if in the kitchen it could be. It's down to the load in each leg of the ring.

    Where a grid switch is used to remotely switch sockets if every switch only controls one socket then I would consider it as a dedicated supply even if there is not a dedicated fuse. The reason for two cables to grid switch is simply the switch terminals are too small to take 4mm² cable so two 2.5mm² cables are used instead.

    In the main we would not use FCU on a new ring. We are told although not a regulation only a guide in the appendix that any fixed appliance over 2kW should have a dedicated supply. This would include Washing Machine, Tumble Drier, Dish Washer, Oven, and Immersion Heater. The Immersion heater is always given a dedicated supply and the Tumble Drier should also have a dedicated supply for same reason. They take a large current for a long time. We often use a dedicated circuit for the oven as some ovens are over 3kW so can't run on a 13A socket the same applies to the hob which also takes more than 3kW.

    But although Washing Machine, Dish Washer, and Oven are all over 2kW the thermostats and timers built in mean they don't draw that current over an extended time. So although putting Oven on a dedicated circuit is good future proofing it does not really need it.

    Tumble driers and Washer Driers should both be on dedicated circuits but historically with the exception of the old Bendix washing machines were pulled out into the centre of the floor to use. So they were portable appliances and so did not need or want a dedicated supply. (Top loaders) As time went on we did not change the practice even though we should have done. So even today we simply plug in the tumble drier.

    So neither electrician is either right or wrong it is just a different way of interpreting the regulations.

    I noted when my mothers kitchen was re-done switched fuse connection units (FCU) were used for extractor, hob, and oven even though the consumer unit was in the same room. In fact had the consumer unit not been in the same room I would have objected as the FCU was behind the hob so with a hot hob would be dangerous to use. The hob has now been changed to a halogen with knobs on but the original was induction with touch control. Touch control is clearly using electronic devices so health and safety rules mean a non electronic device must be available to switch it off.

    I hate touch controls they simply don't give you the control required they are too slow to operate but that's another story.
     
  6. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I am personally of the opinion that all 13A plugs should be in free air. The FCU is not quite so bad as it can transfer heat to the wall. All fuses get hot that's how they work. So they need cooling. With some ovens the fans built into the oven will cool a plug within the oven carcase. And with 3A fuses there is not that much heat anyway. But any plug with a 13A fuse should be in free air to cool. Some immersion heaters do have a 15A plug and socket in the airing cupboard but they do not have fuses inside so will not heat up in the same way.
     
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  8. bolty2uk

    bolty2uk

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    Thanks for the replies chaps. All very informative and very much appreciated.

    I think i may be even more confused now :)
    What I am thinking now is getting a ring main put in the kitchen, this will have 4 double sockets, 2 will be at work top height and supply a toaster, kettle and a George foreman grill and the other sockets will be at low level and supply a washing machine and fridge. That is all we need. Also from this circuit I was thinking of spring off to a fsu which will supply the extractor.

    So this leaves the oven and hob, I know that the oven needs a 13 amp supply but I can't find any info on the electric hob. So what I've been advised is a seperate radial circuit for these two with 2.5mm cable from a 20amp mcb, the board will have a rcd BTW, This radial would go to a socket which I could plug the oven in and possibly the hob too but need to find out about that a bit more.

    The info really is appreciated guys
    Sam
     
  9. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Unless I'm misunderstanding you, I find it very hard to believe that many people would agree with that. A ring final connected to a load via a switch surely does not constitute a 'dedicated circuit' for that load, does it?

    Kind Regards, John
     
  10. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    As I said, opinions/advice will vary - but, if those are the only significant loads, then that is probably OK (certainly very common!)
    You didn't mention an electric hob before! If there is an electric hob as well as oven, you really will need a separate cooker circuit. Your electrician will advise, but the most common is probably a 6mm² (possibly 4mm²) radial circuit on a 32A MCB - that would be adequate for any cooker requirements - now or in the future. There's really no point in installing a new 20A circuit for the hob and running the oven off the ring.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  11. ldoodle

    ldoodle

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    As an example, we have 5 double sockets above worktop for small appliances. Everyone has something plugged into it. I'd hate to have to keep unplugging something to plug something else in. All large appliances are on accessible SFCUs with flex outlets behind them.

    Also, the doubles below worktop... aren't they rated at 20A (at best) so 2x 13A appliances would be exceeding that?
     
  12. securespark

    securespark

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    Yeah. I would fit a single socket for any appliance 2kW or over.

    In other words, I would not plug 2 appliances 2kW or above into a double socket.
     
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