Hello, I would like to replace the stove in my kitchen with a gas one. However, I'm not sure whether there is a gas supply for the stove. I've attached a picture of whats behind my oven/underneath my stove - is that big screw on the wall a gas supply cap? Appreciate the time you took to read this and help!
From your picture I cannot see a big plug. But normally a gas pipe would be sealed with a threaded plug with a square end , which would be proud, or a cap which would be neater but the threads on the outside of the pipe not the inside. A kitchen of an older house would normally have expected to have a gas point, assuming your house has gas, and that would be usually in a corner. You could unscrew the plug and gas will be apparent so be ready to put it back smartly. Keep plenty of fresh air and no lighted matches etc. It is handy to have cookers on a flexible hose which is plugged into a wall socket. This socket will screw into the gas supply, hopefully where the 'plug' is now. Although I have safely ( so far ) messed with gas in my house for years I obviously have to recommend anyone to seek professional assistance . I recall a house being blown up a few years ago not many miles for me!
As said older houses did have gas supplied to wall lights, fridges, ovens etc. However coal gas would have tar in it, so any small leak would self seal, when we stopped using coal gas between 1968 and 1976 many gas pipes started to leak, a smell was added so you could detect a leak, natural gas does not naturally smell, often it was impossible to detect where the leak was, the leak is detected at the meter with special equipment basic gas is turned off and they see if pressure drops, if not then OK if it does then have to find leak, so often the gas was simply isolated from outlets not used, so having a bung does not mean gas behind the bung.
Gas has a load of problems, Ronan Point collapse resulted in it being banded from many high rise flats, and even in houses where a gas oven or hob is used you also need ventilation to remove combustion products so in a kitchen using gas the cooker hob is piped outside, with electric often only fitted with filters.
Sucking any air out of the house also causes problems with any open flues, although called open flues it means any fire not getting combustion air from outside, so as part of the using of gas it also means using heat recovery units instead of simple extractor fans, or ensuring there is another method of ventilation. Since we have started fitting sealed doors and windows, using gas has become harder, even when there are vents in the windows, often you find them filled with expanding foam where people have tried to stop drafts.
Gas is great for a central heating boiler with a balanced flue, but for cooking it is not as controllable as electric, and more dangerous, specially where people have go use to the safety features of electric, lost count of the times my wife has left the hob switched on, it auto switches off if no pan on it or if max time exceeded so it does not really matter, electric ovens have thermostats, and multi elements even steam, so heating from side, back or top, with out without fan, with or without steam makes the modern electric as controllable as old solid fuel with dampers to direct the flue gases. And an induction hob is faster than gas, so the old saying "Now we are cooking on gas" is no longer true.
But be it electric or gas, the problem is the normal guy does not have the test equipment, so taking a chance with electric can mean you get a shock, but with RCD protection not so much of a problem, but no real option with gas, has to be some one gas safe registered as we don't have the equipment to test even if we have the knowledge.
I am quite surprised by some comments. Gas not controllable as electric for cooking? I turn down a boiling pan on gas it stops at once , as is instantly. An electric ring boils away for minutes and makes right mess. You need anticipation for electric cooking , I know, my mother had it and it was rubbish. 'Bungs' I read as stop ends screwed in with relevant sealants. There is no need to be scared of natural gas and it is quite controllable using your senses- smell but electricity causes many fires each year as do candles , especially among those that are artistic or who follow various religions. My advice is really use common sense and do not exceed your knowledge with specialist equipment. My boiler is now 43 year old an Ideal Standard E type CF 80,000 BTU. You can probably guess who maintains it. Best Wishes.
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