Your cooker is the most important part of your kitchen, where you create everyday meals for your family and feasts for special occasions.
Although there are pros and cons of both gas and electric cookers, many people choose an electric model because they cook food more evenly and can also be easier to clean.
So just how easy is it to change from a gas to an electric cooker?
There are a few things you need to know before you go ahead.
Checking for an Electric Cooker Circuit
It’s easy to think that because gas cookers plug into an electrical socket used for the ignition, it will be straightforward to do a simple swap. However, electrical cookers require a significantly higher current supply that a gas cooker needs just for ignition.
Even if you’ve had a gas cooker for a while, there is still a chance that your house will have a dedicated electric cooker circuit.
You can check your fuse board/electrical consumer unit to see if there is a circuit labelled “Cooker”.
However, if the fuse board/consumer unit is old or poorly labelled you may not be able to tell exactly what each circuit is and what it supplies.
You can also try looking in your kitchen for a large switch adjacent to your cooker, which is usually red (although not in every case).
If there isn’t a large red cooker switch in an obvious place, try looking inside any cupboards next to the cooker, as they are often installed at the back of units.
Finally, if you still can’t see a cooker switch, try looking down the back of your existing stove to see if you can see a cooker connection point.
As electric cookers use a considerably higher current, any previous electric cookers in your home will have used a dedicated connection point. If you find one it’s a good indicator that you have a dedicated electric cooker circuit already installed.
If you’ve checked everywhere and don’t have an electric cooker circuit installed, you’ll need to employ a qualified electrician to install one for you before you buy your new cooker.
Although most cooker retailers will offer an installation service, this only includes connecting the cooker to an existing point of a high enough rating.
Is the Existing Electric Cooker Circuit Powerful Enough?
In the UK, the majority of cooker circuits are installed as 30/32A circuits as standard and would be suitable for most single electric cookers.
However, some modern induction hobs may use a higher current than older cookers. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check if any existing circuit can supply the require amount of electricity.
You may be able to check the current of your existing supply but looking at your fuse board/consumer unit. However, cookers usually show their requirements in kW rather than AMPS.
As a rough guide:
- A 32A circuit is suitable for cooker up to approximately 7.5kW.
- A 40A circuit is suitable for cooker up to approximately 9.5kW.
- A 45A circuit is suitable for cooker up to approximately 10.5kW.
- A 50A circuit suitable for cooker up to approximately 11.5kW.
If you’re in any doubt, it’s worth asking a professional, qualified electrician to check the required current. If it’s not sufficient you will need them to install an appropriate circuit before you buy your new appliance.
Removing Your Old Gas Cooker
How Much Does it Cost to Change a Gas Cooker to Electric?
Many retailers will offer to send a fully qualified electric installer and will install your cooking appliance professionally and safely on the day of delivery, often charging less than £100.
They may also offer to remove your existing gas appliance and send one of their Gas Safe registered experts for little additional cost.
However, as mentioned earlier, if you don’t have a suitable circuit, you may need a licensed electrician to run a larger wire from the circuit breaker and install a new higher voltage receptacle for the new stove.
This conversion can take anywhere between one hour and several hours, so you will need to take into account the cost of the electrician’s time and any materials.
The cost will vary depending on how far the electrical panel is to the stove in your house and also how much your electrician charges per hour, but you may need to allow several hundred pounds to pay for the work.
If you’re looking to switch to an electric cooker, see our roundup of the top 10 best electric cookers here.