Whether you’ve bought a new appliance or want to update the kitchen walls, there might be times when disconnecting a gas cooker is necessary. But how to do it, and can you do it yourself?
According to UK Gas Safety Regulations 1998, you can only disconnect a gas cooker yourself temporarily. To do so, you must first determine the type of connection.
You can then turn off the gas, disconnect the hose and remove the cooker from its place. Reverse the steps to connect it again.
Who Can Disconnect A Gas Cooker?
When replacing an appliance or moving it to repaint the wall behind it, you might not give a second thought to unhooking it from the mains. However, the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 state that you can only disconnect a gas cooker temporarily.
What this actually means is that you can unhook the hose and move the appliance, but then you have to connect the same appliance again to the same connection and position it in the same place.
If you have to disconnect the gas range permanently – for instance, to move it to another spot or replace it with an electric stove (or even with a new gas cooker) – the job must be carried out by a gas-registered engineer.
How To Disconnect A Gas Cooker?
If you don’t want to disconnect the gas cooker permanently and want to save on contractor fees, the steps below can show you how to carry out this task safely.
1. Gather the Necessary Supplies
In most homes, gas hoses now use quick-release connectors to connect to the cookers’ valves. However, you still need some supplies.
Depending on the connection type, you’ll need:
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe wrench
- Thread sealant
- Cap or plug for the gas pipe
- Gas leak detection spray (alternatively, soapy water)
2. Prepare the Area
Safely disconnecting a gas hob can only be done if you turn off the gas first. To do that, locate the gas mains valve, usually located near the gas metre (or in a nearby cupboard). Turn the handle to the off position marked on the valve.
Open the doors and windows and remove any flammable materials from the work area.
To prevent accidents, it is a good idea to turn off the electricity. In this way, if there is a gas leak and someone accidentally operates the light switches, you won’t risk triggering a fire.
3. Determine the Connection Type
The next step is to find out which type of connection your gas cooker has. There are three main possibilities:
- Bayonet connection: Perhaps the most popular in the UK, the bayonet fitting consists of a quick-release coupler with a lever or collar that you can press and hold to disconnect it. This connection has a cylindrical or round inlet on the side or behind the gas cooker.
- Compression fitting: Another popular type of connection is the compression fitting. It consists of a compression ring and a nut that, when tightened against the ring, creates a leak-proof connection. You need a wrench to unfasten it. You can easily recognise this connection by the visible nut.
- Threaded connection: A classic connection type, it consists of male and female ends that screw onto each other. The connection is typically sealed with Teflon tape or another type of thread sealant. This fitting is also easy to recognise, as the cooker will have screw-like threads on the inlet.
4. Disconnect the Gas Hose
The three fitting types above are all easy to disconnect, but the process is different for each of them.
To disconnect a bayonet fitting, look for the cylindrical inlet and locate the lever or collar holding it in place. Press on it to release the connection and, with the lever or collar pressed, gently pull the gas hose away from the fitting.
This connection type should disconnect easily. If it is stuck, you should call in a professional to prevent damage.
To disconnect a compression fitting, simply use an adjustable wrench or pipe wrench to turn the nut anticlockwise. Once it’s loose, pull the hose away from the cooker inlet.
A threaded fitting is disconnected in the same way – use a wrench to turn the female fitting anticlockwise to loosen it. Then, pull gently to remove the hose. Remove any thread sealant from both male and female threads.
5. Test for Leaks
With the gas cooker disconnected, place a cap or plug on the hose or gas pipe coming out of the wall. This step is crucial to prevent leftover gas from leaking into your kitchen.
To ensure that there is no leak, use a gas leak detection spray or soapy water on the capped fitting. Bubbles forming near the cap mean that there is a leak. Reseal the pipe and call in a certified gas engineer. If there are no bubbles, you can carry on with your work.
For safety reasons, it is best to leave the gas valve closed until you reconnect the cooker.
Do I have to hire a Gas Safe engineer to disconnect the gas cooker?
Yes, according to current regulations, you must hire a Gas Safe engineer to disconnect a gas cooker permanently. However, you can disconnect it yourself, if you plan to reinstall the same appliance in the same spot and without altering the gas installation in any way.
Why is it important to involve a Gas Safe registered engineer?
Gas appliances, including cookers, can be potentially dangerous if not handled properly. Gas Safe registered engineers have the necessary training and expertise to ensure the safe disconnection of gas cookers, protecting you, your property and others from potential risks.
What should I do if I suspect a gas leak during or after disconnection?
If you suspect a gas leak during or after disconnecting a gas cooker, immediately open the windows and doors to ventilate the area. Remove flammable materials if you haven’t done so already and avoid creating any sparks or flames. Do not operate the light switches.
It is best to evacuate the premises and contact National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 or via textphone (minicom) on 0800 371 787. Avoid fixing the leak yourself and wait for a qualified professional to arrive.
Disconnecting a gas cooker is a straightforward job that won’t take you more than five minutes. However, you can only disconnect the cooker yourself temporarily. This means that you must reconnect the same cooker in the same spot when you’re done with your tasks.
According to current regulations, a new gas cooker is illegal to install yourself. This task can only be carried out by a competent and qualified engineer who is Gas Safe registered.
You must also hire an engineer if you want to disconnect the hob permanently (e.g. to move its location or replace it with a different type of cooker, such as an electric stove).
That said, if you only want to disconnect your stove temporarily, you must find the type of connection you have, turn off the gas at the mains, turn off the electricity, unfasten the connection and remove the hose. Don’t forget to cap the pipe and test for leaks before reconnecting the electricity.