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Cupboard With Drawer Unit Below a Wall Socket in Kitchen?

Postby Woldul » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:48 pm

Hi all, just looking for some clarification about installing a new kitchen. I’m pretty much keeping the same layout of the old one in house I’ve just bought – it seems that the current design does not comply with some of the stuff I’ve read up on (mainly socket above hob) but probably I’ll get an electrician in to move it slightly. Its quite a small kitchen and I’m puzzled by B&Q’s kitchen planner saying I cannot place a cupboard with drawer unit below a wall socket – is to do so in breach of building regs? – it’s a bit of a pain as to comply with this makes it very difficult to have any drawer units?

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Postby ericmark » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:17 am

We have what is called safe zones, so from a socket, switch, or any other electrical plate, wires should go vertical or horizontal, never diagonal, and should not change direction unless there is a plate to show that is likely, so if you wanted to move socket behind the hob, and the wires come down to it, then the electrician would put a blanking plate instead of socket then run wires horizontal so in the future that plate will alert one that the wires come down to it.

So the kitchen fitter is assuming cables are following save zones, so does not want to drill a hole where the wires may be.

As to socket behind a hob, with an induction hob that would not be a problem, it may be with a gas hob, but that's gas regulations.

Back in the days of 14th edition of wiring regulations we had rules about sockets and sinks, idea was 2 foot flex on kettle and socket 3 foot away from sink, so you have to unplug kettle, however that regulation has long gone, with a waste disposal unit you may want a socket within inches of the sink underneath of course, to supply it. So today with 18th edition that rule is well gone.

But before 2004 any tom dick or harry could wire a kitchen, in England, not Wales the rules have been dropped so again anyone can wire the kitchen, so in real terms you have no idea as to if the person wiring the kitchen has followed the rules, so safe zones may not have been followed, so your kitchen fitters have to get their wire detectors out and actually map where the cables run.
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