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Anyone with professional knowledge about electrical switches and sockets in open living area kitchen?

(24 Posts)
CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 15:35:49

My four years old daughter and I moved in a newly built property two years ago. I have concerns about our kitchen area with electrical switches and sockets so close to the cooker top edges, and the sink basin. Our only electrical sockets are at the L corner of our kitchen. To have access to them and the appliances plugged into them we have to lean over our cooker top - risking burns from the hubs and oven - and sink drainer. I have concerns about my daughter and mine safety. See photos attach.
Our landlord is ignoring my concerns. What can I do?

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 15:43:15

I attach the photo of the switches next to the sink bowl, the photo of the switches and electric sockets above the L shape worktop, and a photo of the kitchen when in full use.

catslife Sat 11-Feb-17 16:04:45

Do you rent direct from the landlord or via an agency?
Does the cooker belong to you (and was it installed by you) or was this done by the landlord?
If the latter is definitely LLs responsibility. But the problem is that the individual switches and electrics were probably tested before the kitchen and appliances were installed and could be safe but just not in the correct place. Personally would request an electrical safety test and take it from there.

peggyundercrackers Sat 11-Feb-17 16:17:31

Switches seem ok, I don't really see anything wrong with where they are installed.

wowfudge Sat 11-Feb-17 16:47:15

There is no requirement for landlords to have electrical safety tests carried out, only gas safety.

In terms of the regulations on the positioning of the sockets, as long as they were compliant with the regs at the time the work was done, that's all you can expect/ask for.

Why has the cooker been pulled forward in the middle photo? What is that about? It's a tiny kitchen so unless the cooker were swapped with the fridge I can't see there is a way round things.

tommytippedup Sat 11-Feb-17 16:56:37

Building regs wouldn't have signed off a new-build if they were unhappy with the positioning of the sockets. I'm not sure where else you could put them in that kitchen tbh.

catslife Sat 11-Feb-17 18:29:56

www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/electrical-safety/
What I'm unsure about is the fact that you can pull the cooker away from the wall like that. I thought appliances such as cookers were supposed to be more secure than that to prevent it toppling over. Was it installed professionally?

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 18:57:31

@ catslife Thanks. We rent directly from our landlord, and the cooker is ours. It was fitted by a professional electrician. We are waiting for the HHSRS to get back to us. I do believe the switches are too close to the cooker edge and that having all the electrical sockets fitted on the corner of the L worktop sandwiched between the stove and the sink drainer is not safe. Thank you.

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 19:03:13

@ peggyundercrackers Thank you for your reply. Do you see nothing wrong in having to lean over a cooker top to put bread in your toaster?

tommytippedup Sat 11-Feb-17 19:09:08

Where do you want them moved to?

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 19:10:43

@ wowfudge. Thank you for your reply. The cooker was pulled out for some contractors to work out where our cooker could be moved. Our only floor unit and drawer can not be open because the developers omitted to allocate the standard 65 cm worktop depth for free-standing appliances and to fit in a corner joint at the junction of our kitchen run where our cooker edge and the floor unit and drawer edge are joining. This floor unit is the designated dishwasher space. However, since the unit door can not be fully opened no dishwasher would fit. Furthermore, doors from kitchen equipment should not obstruct one another. I hope this clarify why the cooker is pulled out.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Sat 11-Feb-17 19:13:03

I would also ignore the concerns you were raising if I were your landlord.
The sockets were where they are presumably when you viewed the property and like others have said, will meet building regs. You could grill your toast if it concerns you that much and there is nowhere else suitable for them to go.

Do you want to stay in your property or leave?

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 19:17:47

@ tommytippedup according to the floorplan of our kitchen, the sink was fitted at the wrong place. It should have been 60 cm further to the right. Meaning. we won't have to lean over the cooker top or sink drainer to have access to our toaster, etc. We were given access to a show flat and given a floor plan before signing our contract. However, our kitchen is not what we signed for. See photo of the show flat and of our kitchen. Thank you.

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 19:24:19

@ MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Thank you for your reply. I already had a few professionals in our property and they believe the L worktop setting is a fire hazard. According to the floorplan of our kitchen, the sink was fitted at the wrong place. It should have been 60 cm further to the right. Meaning. we won't have to lean over the cooker top or sink drainer to have access to our toaster, etc. We were given access to a show flat and given a floor plan before signing our contract. However, our kitchen is not what we signed for. See photo of the show flat and of our kitchen.
We love our flat. We are trying to have our kitchen altered or being moved to another property.

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 19:34:28

@ catslife Thank you for the link :-)

Drquin Sat 11-Feb-17 19:35:33

When I got my kitchen fitted, I'm sure I remember a 300mm requirement for sockets to be from hob / sinks. Assuming that's a requirement rather than just good practice, the plug sockets look ok (judging by your tape measure) but possibly not the ventilation and cooker hood switches.

If you're renting, I'm not sure though how much recourse you have for the kitchen layout being "wrong", surely that's between the owner (landlord?) and the seller. The landlord obviously then has to comply with any rental requirements.

Notwithstanding all that, on a practical level ..... it's a small kitchen, limited worktop space so space was always going to be tight. I can imagine standing diagonally at that corner placing bread in toaster, thus not leaning over the hob.

I know it's what you're trying to do - I agree you need to establish anything "illegal" rather than "impractical".

PigletJohn Sat 11-Feb-17 19:38:51

There is a regulation about the distance of sockets and electrical fittings from a bath or shower.

There is no regulation about the distance of sockets or electrical fittings from a sink or cooker.

However it is unwise to put them where you have to lean across a hob, or where they are likely to be splashed, or where the flex would drape or hang over the hob . This would be "unsuitable for their location"

For safety, I suggest you stop using the socket over the cooker. I doubt the house owner could be forced to provide another socket in a more suitable place.

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 19:59:45

@ Drquin Thank you for your reply. It is tricky because most literacies about electrical switches and sockets refer to those fitted above straight line worktop and not in the corner of an L-shape worktop. Concerning practicality, I am attacking my landlord on the ground that we were made to sign our contract under deceit. Our kitchen is nothing to compare with the show flat kitchen and its floorplan. Our property is riddled with defects. The kitchen is only the tip of the iceberg. I am trying to get as many housing regulations and standards in my file before bringing in an MRICS surveyor so I could serve Peabody with an injunction asking them to carry out the outstanding works within 28 days else I will get a court order.

CelineW Sat 11-Feb-17 20:02:46

@ PigletJohn Thank you for your reply. Our landlord is Peabody. Our property is an affordable rent flat. I am hoping to get the HHSRS coming to carry a health and safety inspection.

wowfudge Sat 11-Feb-17 23:30:42

OP why is your cooker not fitted under the unit which looks as though it houses the cooker hood? That looks the obvious place for it to go.

StillSeekingResponsibleAdult Sat 11-Feb-17 23:41:22

We are having a new kitchen fitted, which is L shaped and has limited spaces where things can go, due to doors/ windows. I'm sure we were told we had to move a socket because of cooker/ sink distance. If this is a new build I think similar regs should apply, but I'm not sure whether the distance in your case is acceptable, even if the angle makes it unworkable.

CelineW Sun 12-Feb-17 00:11:20

@wowfudge The cooker was only moved to permit the contractors to see where all the electrical switches and sockets are. They wanted to put our cooker where our cooker is instead and move our fridge freezer in our dining area. I had to refuse the work because the cooker would have been straight on the corner wall with no space on the left-hand side for protruding panhandles and the oven door would not be fully openable. Also, our open living area door would open straight into the cooker! (See photo)

CelineW Sun 12-Feb-17 00:13:46

Correction: They wanted to put our cooker where our fridge freezer is and move our fridge freezer into our dining area.

CelineW Sun 12-Feb-17 00:17:27

@StillSeekingResponsibleAdult Thank you for your reply and all the best with your new kitchen

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