Gas Cooktop Installation: Everything You Need to Know
Cooking is an art, and a gas cooktop can be your canvas. There's something about the precision and control of full-gas work that elevates your culinary experience.
If you’re planning to professionally upgrade your old electric cooktop with a new appliance – a shiny new gas cooktop and oven version – you’re in for a treat.
What is a Gas Cooktop?
A gas cooktop is a kitchen appliance that is designed for cooking and is powered by natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), also known as propane.
It is built into a kitchen countertop or can be part of a range, and it provides a cooking surface with multiple gas burners.
How Does a Gas Stove Work?
Gas cooktops work by using a fuel source, usually natural gas or LPG, that is ignited by an electronic ignition system or a pilot light.
When you turn on the cooktop burner, the gas line releases fuel which travels to the burner. In modern designs, an electronic ignition system launches a spark that ignites the gas, producing the flame you use for cooking.
Once the flame is ignited, you can adjust its size and, consequently, the heat it produces, by turning the knob of the cooktop. This mechanism allows you to control the cooking temperature with remarkable precision.
Lastly, an important safety feature of gas cooktops is that they often have a flame failure device. This device detects if the flame goes out and will automatically cut off the gas supply to prevent leaks.
What are the Types of Gas Cooktops?
Gas cooktops are a popular choice for home kitchens due to their precision cooking and quick temperature control. They come in various types to cater to different needs and preferences.
- Open burner: Open burners feature visible flames. They provide direct and intense heat, making them suitable for a wide range of cooking tasks.
- Sealed burner: Sealed-burner cooktops, with their modern design and covered burners, are user-friendly and simple to clean.
- Modular: Modular cooktops offer flexibility by allowing you to customise your cooking surface. They feature individual modules such as burners, griddles, grills, or even induction elements that can be combined to create a personalised cooking area.
- Drop-in: Drop-in cooktops are designed to be installed into a cutout in the kitchen countertop. They have a sleek and seamless appearance, as they sit flush with the countertop, making them easy to clean. Drop-in cooktops often have a modern and minimalist look, making them a popular choice for contemporary kitchen designs.
- Portable: Portable gas cooktops are freestanding units that can be placed on any flat surface in your kitchen. They offer a handy solution for users seeking an additional cooking burner without committing to a fixed gas cooktop installation. Portable gas cooktops are also great for outdoor cooking, such as camping or picnics.
- Pro-style: Pro-style cooktops typically have high-powered burners that can deliver intense heat for tasks like searing and stir-frying. Pro-style cooktops often feature heavy-duty construction and larger cooking surfaces.
- Gas-on-glass: Gas-on-glass cooktops have a sleek and modern appearance with sealed burners mounted on a smooth glass surface. This design makes them easy to clean and adds an elegant touch to your kitchen. They are a popular choice for contemporary kitchen designs.
- Continuous grates: Continuous grates are a feature found in many other gas ranges and cooktops, especially in professional-style models. These grates cover the entire cooktop and oven surface and provide a continuous and stable platform for pots and pans. These features allow for effortless transitioning of cookware between burners, removing the need for lifting during the process.
Choosing the Right Gas Cooktop
Some factors to consider when choosing a new cooktop or a gas cooktop include:
- Measure your available space and choose a cooktop that fits your available space.
- Depending on your cooking habits, opt for a cooktop with an appropriate number of burners.
- Assess the British Thermal Unit (BTU) output, which determines your burners’ heating capabilities.
- Special features like safety valves and grates can enhance functionality and safety.
What are the Advantages of Gas Cooktops?
Here are the advantages of gas cooktops:
- No preheating needed: One of the standout features of gas cooktops is their ability to reach the desired cooking temperature instantly. Unlike electric stoves that require preheating, gas burners are ready to use as soon as you turn them on. This not only saves precious time in the kitchen but also conserves energy, making them incredibly efficient.
- Precise temperature control: Gas cooktops offer unparalleled precision when it comes to heat control. Adjusting the flame is as simple as turning a knob, allowing you to fine-tune the temperature according to your specific cooking needs. Having this degree of control becomes particularly vital when preparing intricate recipes that call for exact temperature regulation.
- Even heat distribution: The open flame of a gas burner provides even heat distribution across the surface of your pan or pot. This uniform heat distribution eliminates hot spots and cold areas, ensuring that your food cooks consistently. As a result, the risk of unevenly cooked dishes is significantly reduced, allowing you to achieve culinary perfection more easily.
- Faster cooking: A gas cooktop generally heats up and cools down faster than an electric stove, resulting in quicker cooking times and more efficient energy usage. The quick response of gas stoves and burners to temperature changes enables fast, accurate adjustments for superior control during cooking.
- Compatibility: Gas cooktops are incredibly versatile when it comes to cookware. They are compatible with a wide range of materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, copper, and more. Gas cooktops grant you the freedom to use any cookware, while induction cooktops may need special, magnetically compatible pots and pans.
- Lower operational costs: Though gas cooktops may have a higher upfront cost than its electric alternatives, they yield long-term savings in operational expenses. Natural gas, commonly used in gas cooktops, is often more cost-effective than electricity. This cost-efficiency can be particularly appealing for those who cook often and rely on their cooktop for daily meal preparation.
What are the Disadvantages of Gas Cooktops?
Here are the disadvantages of gas cooktops:
- Fixed position: Once a gas cooktop is safely installed, it is typically fixed in place due to the gas line connection. Unlike some electric ranges or portable induction cookers, which offer flexibility in terms of placement, moving a gas, cooktop, and oven installation together can be considerably more challenging.
- Installation complexity: Installing a gas cooktop can be more complex, particularly if your home does not already have a gas line. The gas installation process may require the expertise of a licensed professional, which can add to the overall cost of adopting a gas cooktop.
- Potential health risks: Gas cooktops can pose potential health risks, primarily related to indoor air quality. Homes equipped with gas stoves may contain higher concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, which is a by-product of gas combustion.
- Environmental impact: Using gas stoves has been associated with significant environmental impacts, particularly concerning the emission of greenhouse gases. Gas cooktops release methane into the atmosphere, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
- Higher upfront costs: The upfront cost of a gas cooktop can be higher than that of an electric stove. Although gas cooktops typically provide long-term savings with lower energy expenses, their initial cost might discourage those on a tight budget.
What to Consider Before Gas Cooktop Installation
Here are the key things to consider before you hire a qualified gas fitter to install your gas cooktop:
- Gas line availability: Check whether your kitchen has an existing gas line that can be used for the cooktop. If not, you’ll need to have it installed, which can only be done by a qualified professional.
- Gas type: Verify the type of gas available in your area. Gas cooktops can be designed for natural gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). Make sure that the cooktop you select matches the type of gas available or make the necessary conversions if required.
- Gas shut-off valve: Check if there is a readily accessible gas shut-off valve near the cooktop.
- Gas leak detection: Invest in a gas leak detector solution that can help you test for gas leaks once the gas installation check is complete. This is a crucial safety step to guarantee that all connections are secure and leak-free.
- Kitchen layout and ventilation: Proper ventilation, such as an exhaust fan or hood, is essential to disperse any gas fumes or cooking odours. Installing appliances with proper ventilation secures your gas cooktop functions efficiently while maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
- Cooktop location: Determine the ideal location for the cooktop. It should be situated on a stable, level surface with the appropriate clearances from adjacent cabinets, walls, and combustible materials.
- Budget: Consider the cost of the new gas stove or cooktop installation, and any necessary modifications to the kitchen. Gas cooktops may have a higher upfront cost compared to electric alternatives.
- Local regulations: Choosing the appropriate gas appliance is just the start. It’s equally important that a qualified gas fitter performs a safe installation. The professional will be informed about all relevant legal and industry standards. Familiarise yourself with Australian regulations governing gas appliance installations.
- Manufacturer’s instructions: Carefully read the installation manual provided by the cooktop manufacturer. Following your cooktop manual’s installation instructions is crucial to avoid malfunctions or potential warranty issues.
- Warranty considerations: Be aware that some manufacturer’s warranties can be revoked if the installation is not performed by a licensed professional. Verify the warranty terms to understand the implications.
- Maintenance: Routine care and maintenance of any gas-related issue is essential to prolong its life and guarantee optimal performance.
- Safety check: Safety should always be the top priority. Take necessary precautions during installation, conduct leak tests, and follow all safety guidelines to prevent gas leaks and other potential hazards.
- Professional installation: Keep in mind that gas stove installation involves dealing with potential hazards such as gas leaks, which should be entrusted to trained professionals.
Consider all necessary factors and make sure you have everything required for your upcoming cooktop installation. With the assistance of a licensed gas fitter from Cyber Plumbers, you’ll achieve a safe and successful installation.
Can Anyone Install a Gas Cooktop?
The short answer is no, it is illegal to install a gas cooktop unless you are a licensed gas fitter.
If you like to cook, a gas cooktop will be one of your best investments. If so, don’t you want your cooktop to have the treatment it deserves? After all, you’re not only paying for the services of these professionals, but you’re also paying for hassle-free cooking and a long life ahead for your gas cooktop.
If you are replacing an existing gas oven, you should already have a fully equipped, existing gas supply and gas connection. However, whether it’s a replacement cooktop or if your project involves installing gas fitters on a new cooktop (or if you don’t have a gas line), you must hire a professional gas fitter for the job.
Remember, gas lines and equipment can be dangerous and should only be handled by a qualified professional.
Therefore, while some may feel capable of completing the installation on their own, it is illegal and must never be considered.
The Dangers of a DIY Gas Cooktop Installation
Apart from the fact that it is illegal to do any gas installation without qualifications, here are some of the risks associated with a DIY installation:
- Gas leaks
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Fire hazards
- Property damage
- Legal and insurance issues
- Voiding warranty
The simple rule is, when it comes to any gas installations, don’t do it. Leave it to the professionals.
Why Choose Gas Oven Installation by Cyber Plumbers?
Upgrading your kitchen with the installation of a new gas oven can enhance your cooking experience while adding value to your home. But remember – this is NOT a DIY project.
At Cyber Plumbers, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional gas installation services, particularly on your new gas cooktop. Forget about the hassle and stress and let a qualified gas fitter from Cyber Plumbers get the job done.
Contact our expert team today to schedule your gas cooktop installation.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See Cyber Plumbers’ Terms & Conditions here.