Sunday, 17 April 2011

How to install an induction hob

This is one of our more major problems which is in its third week now so I thought it about time I brought you up to speed...
We bought an induction hob for our snazzy new kitchen, partly because we think that electricity has a longer term future than gas and mostly because it sounds really cool.  I’m not particularly sure what goes with installing hobs, as opposed to cookers, but I thought it would be a case of cutting a hole in the worksurface and Project Manager doing a bit of wiring.
Once we were happy with the kitchen units being square, joined together, joined to the wall...we unpacked the instructions for the hob to see what was next.  I read the instructions, showed them to Project Manager and read them again.  According to the diagram, the hob not only needed a 50mm worksurface (which we did have) but it also needed a 50mm ventilation gap between the base of the hob and the top of the drawer unit.  This pretty much left us scratching our heads so I went off to ‘google’ for a bit to see what I could glean from the various forums – DIYnot, DIYexpert, Askapatronisingelectrician.com
I wasn’t much wiser for that bit of research so put my efforts into other tasks, leaving Project Manager to come up with a solution, as he always does.
Except this time, Project Manager couldn’t find the instruction manual!  Obviously, it was my fault.  So I got on the phone to Currys with a story about us only opening the packaging now and there not being instructions and could they send some, please.  And, to be fair, once we had established that it was not the oven I needed instructions for but the hob, they were very obliging.
In the meantime, I did dome more ‘googling’ to try and find replacement instructions but with no luck.
We decided to go ahead and massacre our pan drawer unit, based on what we remembered of the original instructions and from the balance of opinion on the DIY forums.   When I say massacre, I mean alter the spacing of the drawers.  Prior to this destructive task, we also decided to test our pans to see if they were induction-compatible.  Given that we were about to destroy a drawer unit that cost over £100 and possibly have to replace a set of pans worth over £100, it seemed like a good time to check these things – incase we decided to call a gasman after all!  Luckily, all the pans were compatible so the ‘alterations’ commenced.
We then got the hob out of its box...and out fell the instructions.  Doh!
Luckily, we were correct about the ventilation spacing, although according to my research, this is very unusual.  So the hob was duly connected and sat awaiting connection to the consumer unit for when the Sparky came to do his first fix.
Unfortunately, the Sparky doesn’t have Customer Communications at the top of his list so, despite me giving him our written instructions, he carried on as he would normally.  He connected in the lighting circuit and the garage before packing up for the day to come back (at some unknown point) to do the second fix.  There was no explanation given or follow-up email so we were understandably frustrated and Project Manager very angry.
I had a word with the Amazing Mike (Project Manager rolls his eyes) the following day who did his own bit of customer care and acted as middle man to try and negotiate a truce.  An explanation was forthcoming about not being liable for connecting new circuits into old (which we hadn’t actually asked him to do but I won’t go into that in order to keep this shorter!).
In the meantime, I have discovered that our BBQ isn’t in storage, that our Actifry makes yummy casseroles and that we do actually have a combi-microwave so all is not lost and I don’t have to live off frozen microwave meals!
How do you install an induction hob?  I am waiting to find out...
Wee Boys and Project Manager testing out the new space

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