Who installs ovens and stoves?
Ovens and stoves in Australian kitchens need to be installed so that they conform to various different statutory requirements, and so that they honour the manufacturer’s instructions. Because these appliances use gas and electricity (and are typically roughed in to mains connections), they'll also need to be installed by licensed plumbers/gasfitters and electricians.
As with any work done by plumbers, gasfitters or electricians, you should be given a compliance certificate once it's installed - this certifies that your oven or cooktop's been installed so that it conforms to the relevant regulations, and that it's been tested to make sure it's safe and that it works properly.
How much clearance is required around cooktops?
There are rules in Australia about how much space there needs to be around cooktops - these are listed in the Australian Standard AG/601-AS5601. Gas burners in particular get plenty of attention, thanks to the fact that they operate using a naked flame.
According to Australian regulations, the minimum clearance between a gas cooktop element or burner component is:
- 600mm of vertical clearance to a combustible surface, and 200mm of horizontal distance to a vertical surface. If these measurements can't be met, the surface in question must be protected with a fire resistant material in accordance with AG/601.
- 600mm to a rangehood
- 750mm to an exhaust fan.
It's worth noting that with exhaust fans and rangehoods there isn't a specific clearance requirement under the Building Code of Australia. Like all appliances though, these need to be installed according to statutory requirements, and so that the installation meets the manufacturer’s specifications.
The Standard also states that the horizontal clearance from a hotplate or burner to a vertical combustible material (like an acrylic splashback, for example) should be over 200mm. If not, the splashback or other material needs to be protected with a non-combustible material to a height of 150mm for the full length of the cooker.
How much clearance is required around ovens?
Ovens are usually well insulated by design and the skin of the oven usually won't get hot enough to cause issues. Different brands and models are built differently though, so you should always check the clearance requirements and recommendations for your specific oven with the oven's manufacturer.
Other measurements and rules:
- Hob height should be 10mm higher than the adjacent bench top.
- There are no clearances specified for electrical cooktops within AS3000 (Electrical Installations). Having said that, minimum clearances for electrical cooktops are specified in the AG601 Standard.
- A minimum of 50mm clearance is needed from the front edge of the bench top to the cut out for cooktop.
- A 100mm clearance is required between the underside of the benchtop and the in-bench cooktop safety barrier.
- A nominal ventilation gap at the front of the safety barrier is recommended, and a 150mm minimum ventilation/access gap between the rear of the safety barrier and back cabinetry are also required.
- If fan-assisted chassis venting isn't incorporated into the oven unit, there should be an allowance for an air gap of between 50mm to 90mm behind the back of the cabinet above the wall oven to allow venting of hot air from the oven.
- The BCA doesn't require an oven flue to vent to the outside.
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