Three Things You Need to Know About Cooker Isolation Switches

Posted on: 3 January 2020

An isolation switch gives some protection to cookers, stoves and cooktops. This switch turns off the power supply to the appliance if there is an emergency or when you need to have maintenance work done.

If you're about to install a new cooking appliance, then you might not be sure whether to install a switch. What do you need to know?

1. You Don't Always Need a Switch

Not all cookers need an isolation switch. For example, you don't generally have to have one if you're installing an oven; these switches are there to protect cooking surfaces that have open heat, like cooktops.

However, most open cooking surfaces do need electrical isolation, even if you're using gas power. Gas hobs usually use electrical ignition, so they typically need some kind of isolation switch.

2. You Need to Put the Switch in the Right Place

It's not enough to install a switch in any old place around your cooker. There are standards you have to meet to get the switch in the right place.

For example, you need to be able to turn the switch off and on safely. You shouldn't have to reach across a hob to get to the switch but should be able to go around the cooker itself.

Some isolators need to be located within a certain distance of the appliance. They may also need to be kept in a place that is immediately accessible. You shouldn't have to move anything to get to these switches.

However, in lower-risk scenarios, say if you're protecting an electrical ignition system on a gas hob, then you might be able to install your switch in a less accessible place, such as in a cupboard or under a worktop.

3. You Shouldn't Install a Switch Yourself

Installing an isolation switch isn't necessarily a complex job for a qualified electrician. However, it's a job you should not take on yourself.

This kind of job needs to be done by a professional who can guarantee that their work is up to standard and safe. This isn't an electrical job that falls into an acceptable or safe DIY category.

If you aren't sure if your new cooker needs an isolation switch, or if you know you need one fitted, then contact a local electrician. They can give you solid advice on whether you need a switch and, if so, which type you should use. They can also then install the switch so that your cooker is safe to use.