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Posted By Topic: Range switch compliance in existing situations

Feb 14 2020 20:38

One for the veterans

Was it ever compliant to have a range switch directly above over in very close vicinity to the appliance?

I am asking because it's one I've come into a lot and most the time others I ask say it's existing so it's fine but I feel like they forget the part that it can be left that way provided that it was compliant when installed

So was this ever compliant? Or are all the ones I come across possibly non-compliant from the start or have become non-compliant due to changes in kitchen etc

Also if possible could you point me to the location of the clauses


Feb 14 2020 21:43

That's how it was done. Perfectly ok to leave as is. My extra question would be if a kitchen is upgraded with a new bench top but the new hob and oven are in EXACTLY the same position as the original range does this mean the original switch position needs to be shifted? My interpretation has been that it does because you no longer have like for like replacement. But have found this a few times when doing other work at premises.


Feb 14 2020 22:14

Interesting, thank you

And to answer your question, I believe it's fine to stay as is if you're maintaining it all in the same location, that's basically what my first question was about, I just needed to make sure if it was originally compliant and as long as it still applies with the original rules it can be maintained in that way

Feb 15 2020 13:58

I believe the requirements WRT location of witch are relatively recent, certainly weren't in ESR 68 of 1993 Regs.

Under 1976 Regs, at one stage there was choice, either switch or socket, but whichever it was couldn't be hidden behind the range. Finding that one would be trickier, would have been an Amendment that first allowed the socket option.

Accordingly yes, there was a time when it was compliant to install such switches in position where operator had to reach across hob.
For interpreting replacement of fittings, forget "like-for-like"; as it's a fatally flawed concept unless "like" is defined - which it never is. Unfortunately EWREB seem to use it, but again they have never defined what they mean by it. Formally, ie in terms of either ESRs or wiring rules, it simply does not exist.

Basically we only have to apply today's wiring rules to PEW actually done, so when we're not installing a switch we don't need to worry about it's location. The question of switch location simply doesn't arise for an oven; so the question is whether, if we are installing a hob, we can use an existing switch. My answer is the rule we are applying [4.7.1] is a rule about the hob; so we can only use the existing switch if it's in a compliant location for the new hob.
But that pre-supposes that we're installing a hob, rather than replacing one appliance (range) with another (hob).

When a freestanding range is replaced with separate hob & oven, either one of the new appliances can be regarded as being a replacement, with the other being a new install. Either way of viewing it is equally valid.

If the hob is treated as the replacement, then the switch is existing. No need to do anything with it (as long as it has suitable rating). It is not being installed, so today's rules do not apply to it.

But if the oven is treated as the replacement, then (as above) the hob must be a new-install, and as such it requires a switch that meets today's rules.

All of which is assuming the existing range was direct-wired. If it had a socket, then it gets a bit more complicated. Hard to pretend that changing from socket to direct-connected appliance is in the same league as unplugging a range and plugging in something else (neither of which is PEW).

The best words we had about this were in the original 2010 ESRs, in ESR 66; where the difference between needing a CoC or not was that "replacement of any fitting with a fitting of appropriate size, type, and rating for the electrical circuit" didn't need a CoC. Those words blew most people's idea of 'like-for-like' out of the water. I wish we still had them, because they were very clear - and they would resolve a lot of arguments about what is "low risk PEW".

But while they no longer exist, they're better than "like-for-like" because that term never officially existed.

ESR 59(3) allows an installation to be maintained in original condition; ie using the original rules for the existing installation. the only difference here is that the hob & oven are now fixed in place, rather than being parts of a free-standing range. From the installation point of view, there's no real change. There's a hob exactly where there used to be one, and same for the oven. And if we were changing to a new replacement freestanding range, the question about the switch location would never arise.
So I see nothing wring with adopting the view that the hob is a replacement, and the oven is new, and leaving the switch where it is.

Feb 15 2020 19:49

Thank you, that's awesome to know, I'll try have a look