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Sockets dirsctly above my cooker

well iv now been told where my cooker is the sockets above my hob are illegal is this true? there is a cooker switch and also a plug socket right above where my cooker hobs are.

im not sure what to do if it is illegal I live in an apartment block all the other apartments have had new kitchens etc apart from mine as my landlord does not seem to want to sort this.
please help I don't have a man around the place to ask

kind regards

3 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Illegal? Maybe not. A good idea, maybe not!

If you or a competent professional feel it is unsafe you could ask your local Private Sector Housing Officer to inspect and assess using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), and if you hand them a report from a competent Electrician commenting on it even better. Then, if it is considered a Category 1 hazard, they are obliged to serve an Enforcement Notice on the Landlord. They can also do this for Category 2 hazards.

Might be fair and proper to first ask the Landlord, in writing, to remove the hazard.

In any case, you should consider what you may have to do yourself sooner to remove the risks to you or others you allow to use the hob / socket etc.

Hope that helps, Jason.


Answered 7th Oct 2015

Hi Nikki the switches you have are not what would be classed as illegal, however what you have would not be recommened, the recommended measurements from a heat source such as hob or freestanding cooker is 300mm/30cm from the edge of appliance to closest edge of socket your situation sounds like a code 3 which is where if an inspection was done you would be advised to correct it but it wouldnt fail depending on individual circumstances, an inspection should be carried out every five years in a rented property (provided by landlord) so you may be due one and an electrician can can make a decision based on what he can see. I would recommend not using the socket if possible to minimize risk of a fault.

Hope this is helpful more advice available if needed.
Qualified electrician


Answered 9th Oct 2015

Hi Nikki,

Landlords are bound by "recommendations" only when something goes wrong, in that if something happens and he did not follow industry recommendations he would be asked why and probably have the book thrown at him as it is doubtful that he will have a good answer.

Landlords have to follow regulations. There are no current regulations that cover the need for an electrical inspection in a private let property, though the recommendation is every 5 years and a visual inspection after every tenancy.
The recomendations for the cooker point are as follows

In the absence of any advice in the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions, an electrical fitting such as a socket outlet, switch, control unit etc. should be positioned to enable safe operation and to avoid the harmful eects of heat and steam from cooking activities.

A minimum distance of 300mm, measured horizontally from an electrical fitting to the edge of a high level grill, free standing cooker, individual hob, sink or drainer, is considered acceptable for the purposes of avoiding adverse effects from using a cooker, sink or drainer.

Basically the landlord can choose to follow recommendations, though most decent landlords do once they are aware of them.

If there was a fire on your cooker how could you switch it off? Would he rather his property burn down where he would be liable in Court for damage to possessions or life as he did not follow recomendations?


Answered 11th Oct 2015

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