Buying an oven ? Beware the pitfalls, especially online.

Feb 28, 2018
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Hello , thought I’d share recent experiences of buying an oven “online”. Well my last oven , a Smeg pyrolytic gave up the ghost in a magnificent style tripping the RCD in the consumer unit and knocking the lights off. Any way I won’t go into the details of what caused the problem just the problems with a new oven. Now during this lockdown period many of us are doing our shopping online especially with the convenience and fast delivery times . Now my partner has the attitude of you get what you pay for and has always gone for higher end stores with good customer service and extended guarantees. So she scoured the John Lewis website for a suitable replacement. There are dozens to choose from and eventually opted for a John Lewis own brand. She asked me take a look to see if there were any problems with this oven going into the existing housing. I looked at the physical dimensions and found it was almost identical to the existing oven and so assumed it would be a straightforward install taking no more than 20 mins or so. After all my 2 previous ovens had a 13 amp plug on and so all I thought would. be necessary would be remove old oven . Plug new oven in ( sockets behind oven) , slide new oven in and secure with 2 screws. How wrong I was , when the new oven arrived I was keen to get it installed. The delivery men took the old oven for recycling. As I unpacked the new one I. kept looking for the power cable but all the obvious hiding places were empty. So then looking through the user manual I found there was very little information about the electrical install other than some basic safety things and the fact it had to be installed by a competent person. There was no real power connector on the oven where a cable could attach and I gradually came to terms that this oven required a more permanent connection. I was fuming, we had plans for the day and now I was going to have to find a means of powering this oven in a safe and not too expensive manner. Why had I got in this unsatisfactory situation. ? I returned to the John Lewis website to see what it actually said about installing. Now there was an option to purchase an install package but that was about £80 -£90. Why would I pay that for what seemed an easy install.?
Now if we know basic electrics we should know 13amps supply is good for a 3kwatt appliance. On an additional web page I found that the oven was rated at 3kw for cooking but 3.5kwatt for pyrolytic cleaning. This meant that for this higher power rating a 15 amp circuit and fuse was required. I opted to replace a double socket with a 20 amp junction box and then used 2.5mm csa cable to the oven. So all was safely connected and the oven sprang into life.
Now my gripe is that the marketing bumpf could have so easily and plainly state “ this oven requires a permanent 16 amp supply circuit and is not suitable for connection via 13 amp plug “ or “ this oven can be fed from a 13 amp socket” if that is the case for a 3kwatt oven.
I feel that some trade body should be enforcing plain speaking when it comes to safety aspects. I’m sure there will be many people that just opt for sticking a cable with a 13 amp plug on and assume it’s ok. Anyone else been fooled.?


Sep 15, 2018
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South Manchester
Rule of thumb, a 2kw oven can be plugged into a 13 amp socket, a 3kw oven should be hard wired preferably to a proper "cooker box."

Most houses in the UK used to have a separate 30 amp fused supply for a "cooker." Bearing in mind a conventional cooker will have a grill and four hotplates as well as the oven and there's nothing to stop the user having them all on at the same time.

In these days of halogen hobs, many people just have a built in oven, as do we. We've a Baumatic 3kw oven. I had a 30w supply originally for a cooker, but with a re-wire and a new kitchen, the oven is connected to the kitchen ring main. But I still have the oven connected to a small "cooker box" in the cupboard above it. I changed it afte the re-wire from the double 13amp socket I had in there to which our first oven was connected as it was only 2kw.

The Baumatic instructions clearly said it had to be hard wired and not be on a 13amp plug.

The mention of a "competent person" in the instructions really means "no DIY, get a certificated electrician"
The manufacturer expects you to follow that advice and obviously felt they had no need to expand on that.

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