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No cooker point! 25 year old UK house

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No cooker point! 25 year old UK house

Old 25th Feb 2021, 18:57
  #1 (permalink)  
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No cooker point! 25 year old UK house

We are trying to buy a house from a distance and finding it very difficult to find out the details of the property we have picked.

We have had a house buyer survey carried out and the report is now with us. There does not appear to be an electric cooker point in the kitchen. We queried this with the vendor, whose parents lived there before their deaths a year ago. The vendor has visited the property to look for us and has not been able to find one, anywhere in the kitchen, so it is not just that it is hidden behind the installed gas cooker or behind stuff in a kitchen unit cupboard. The surveyor does not clear cupboards or pull out appliances to check these things.

Is it likely that a house built just 25 years ago does not have a point for an electric cooker? If we buy it, it will be the first home we have had without one. All of or houses were built in the last 60 years.

The estate agent has also been to the property to measure the width of the installed free standing cooker for us and reports 50cm. This is a bit odd, we have looked at cooker specs at a shop with many models for sale, the narrowest available seems to be 55cm, the one we would prefer is 60cm. We also believe that 55cm was the standard width 30 or 40 years ago. Increasing the width of the cooker space by 5cm or 10cm is not possible without completely redesigning the whole kitchen. When we had our first fitted kitchen 25 years ago we already had a 55cm wide cooker. Our worktops were made with a 55cm wide space but the cupboards below were 60cm apart for just this situation. When we bought a new cooker it was 60cm wide and it was made to fit by simply cutting back the overhang of the worktop over the unit bases and refitting the edging trim strip. Has the estate agent messed up reading the tape or rounded excessively?

How many times can we ask for these things to be checked? We are 5 hours drive away from the property so just popping over to have a look is not on, at least until the covid19 restrictions are lifted a lot.

There are other issues which we could put to rest if we could spend a day there..... Damn Covid19.

Rans6..........................

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Old 25th Feb 2021, 19:39
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Mine was 25 in December and has no cooker point. But that's 'cause I built it and like cooking with gas. Could this one be the same?

CG
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 19:46
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I think if I were you I'd get in touch with the estate agent selling the house,they will want their commission asap,so the sooner the sale goes through,the better for them,and therefore they should be willing to go and check a few details.Oh and I had a girlfriend 25 years ago,who had to buy a new cooker&she had to buy one just 50cm wide,which wasn't so easy to find.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 19:47
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c52
 
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I thought journeys in connection with moving house were ok.

If there's a power supply to the cooker, must there not also be a prominent switch to turn it off in a place that's clearly accessible?

If it's one of a series of houses, can you check with a neighbour?
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 19:57
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Don't ever, EVER, buy a property without visiting it. You are alone. The agent is not your friend.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 20:26
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When I rebuilt our kitchen the cupboards moved a bit and tbe cooker point would now be in a cupboard. The electrican removed tbe power point switch and replace with a flat plate. He also removed the cooker fuse to make the circuit safe
The point is now inside a cup board behind some plates.
I also increased the cooker space from 50cm to 75 so small width cookers do or did exist.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 20:32
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Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
 
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My cooker point is behind my built-in kitchen cupboards - you have to take out a couple of the sliding drawers to reach it. So not visible and hard to locate unless you know where it is.

50cm seems to one of the standard widths - just checked the Curry’s website and they have 32 electric coolers in that width.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 20:34
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Worth getting a picture of the distribution board. See if there is a 45Amp breaker in there. Quite common for people who don't use it (cook by gas) for it to get "repurposed" for a power shower or a garage feed.
A picture of the board will also show if there is space to install the 45 Amp feed if necessary.
I agree with others I'd never buy a house without seeing it in person. A. I trust esate agents as far as I can throw one & B. House buying is as much about gut feel as the basic numbers & floor plan.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 20:44
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Best bet would be to get an EICR done. One needs to be done at least every ten years on every domestic property anyway, and as people rarely bother to get these done it makes sense to get one done before buying a house. Apart from the obvious safety reassurance it gives, it will also identify every electrical circuit in the house, so if there's a hidden cooker point then it should show up in the report.

If you do get one done, don't be too alarmed at any defects marked as C3, as the rules changed, so every property that's more than a couple of years old will automatically get at least one C3 defect, asthere used to be a C4 category, to cover any safe item that complied with the regulations that applied at the time of installation. What would have been a C4 now has to marked C3, a pretty damned daft situation, IMHO.

If the EICR has any C2 defects then get the vendor to fix them before completion, as the installation may be unsafe. If it has any C1 defects then immediate action needs to be taken to prevent injury or death - most electricians will require the supply to be isolated and sealed (effectively cut off) if they find a C1, or at least tell the owner they have to get the defect fixed immediately.

Cost of an EICR varies, but it's typically about half to one man day of work, so probably somewhere between £200 to £500 depending on the area and local rates.

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Old 25th Feb 2021, 20:52
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We have friends moving from East Sussex to Cambridgeshire and they have been to their new (hopefully) property several times. It is one of the things that is allowed.


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Old 25th Feb 2021, 20:58
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You could get them to check the distribution board. The breakers should be labelled. A cooker breaker will be for just the cooker and be, probably, 40amps. (Might be less in the UK with 240v. Someone there chime in and tell us?) Not sure why a builder would install a circuit for a cooker if the first customer had specified gas cooker.

If no cooker circuit then you may have to increase the size of your supply and distribution board to meet the power supply for it if the other appliances (eg, furnace, tumble drier) use up the installed supply.

Echo the above. Would you buy a car without seeing it?
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 21:08
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See and avoid
 
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You don’t want buyers remorse with something as expensive as a house.

Visit if you can. Don’t trust the agent.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 21:10
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Without seeing it ? Well, some people buy horses without prior sight......
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 21:15
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I have a house that is rented out. It is a new build (only 5 years old). About a month ago the tenant complained that the oven was no longer working.

Having gone to investigate, it turns out a plate had moved in the cupboard and turned the switch off on the respective socket. I was astonished to find that the fan oven was wired to a normal switched outlet with a 13 amp fuse/plug inside a cupboard. Having removed the oven to troubleshoot I then wired it into the more conventional junction box that was also provided.

Did a bit of research and the regs allow a normal plug/socket set up providing the wattage is below a certain value. Think it was around 2800 watts.
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 23:56
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Barmy. 10mm contiguous cable to the distribution box. 6mm if the hob is going to be gas. Yes, you can get away with less, but . . .

I borrowed a bungalow, build c 1970, which had one wire/fuse (yes, fuse) to the cooker, one for the rest of the house, and one for lighting. Old bloke had wired a supply to his radio into the cooker box 13amp outlet. I checked, and there was no fuse, so the 13a type plug was limited only by 60 fuse wire.

Probably best to go and look at your intended house. A survey is a often an expensive joke. Take a spirit level and a ball bearing, a multi-meter and a laptop camera. Amazing what you can find down drains.

Talking of which, do you know who's responsible for the foul sewer manhole and associated pipes? Can be a huge issue.

I could go on all night.
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 09:51
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c52
 
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Don't forget that the agent is being paid by the vendor and will invariably put the vendor's interests above yours. I suppose you could employ an agent of your own, but really, there is no substitute for seeing with your own eyes. It IS legal (IANAL). It might even be legal to stay in a hotel for the purpose of assisting a house move.
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 10:15
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Old bloke had wired a supply to his radio into the cooker box 13amp outlet. I checked, and there was no fuse, so the 13a type plug was limited only by 60 fuse wire.
My uncle's divorced brother had been an electrical installation engineer for SEEBoard. After they had both died, I helped my aunt clear her brother-in-law's house ready for sale. The way he had jury wired some of his electrical appliances into the mains defied belief. I seem to have more multi-gang extension leads than I have things to plug into them. He clearly didn't see the need for fripperies like that, two items wired into a terminal block leading to the socket was quite adequate in his bedroom. Left uninsulated too. Some strange elephantine mechanical time switch too which took me ages to unravel with the circuit isolated... think it controlled a storage heater from a 13a socket if I remember aright.
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 10:18
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We also have a house with the cooker switch in a cupboard that has caused tenants to ask "why has the oven stopped working".

I will add to a previous comment: Never, ever, ever, EVER, EVEEEER buy a house without seeing it.
Did the agent tell you about the 3 constantly barking dogs in the neighbour's house or the free range chickens clucking and sh1tting all day in the other neighbours garden or the chap across the road who likes to dismantle old cars in his garage (not visible on Google street view) with an angle grinder?
Get in the car and go and look even if it's in John O'Groats!
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 10:23
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" We are trying to buy a house from a distance and finding it very difficult to find out the details of the property we have picked.

We have had a house buyer survey carried out and the report is now with us "

Just to be clear here. You're contemplating buying a house, which you haven't actually physically inspected only viewed on the net and yet you've decided to have a survey done ?.

Now that does seem, even allowing for Covid restrictions, to be rather rash when it comes to expenditure given estate agents are more than capable, in fact, they are noted for doing so for obvious reasons, of taking photographs and writing the sales literature in such a manner that often, strangely, omits other points which only become evident on viewing as other contributors have also commented about.

Slightly off topic, but closely aligned, there are now constant adverts to buy a car.....on line. Some people probably will, it's going to sound trendy after all to tell your friends, but, as with any major purchase, would anybody seriously consider and actually purchase without inspecting first.

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Old 26th Feb 2021, 11:26
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With regard to buying unseen cars from [email protected]@. My son bought one as a new arrival meant a upgrade to estate. He gets a £allowance per month in lieu of a company car, checking round a found a suitable one in Bristol and it was delivered to his house with a 14 day money back etc.
It turned out not suitable for his wife so was collected in 4 days and the refund in his account 2 days later.
Would recommend
A house? No way would go and see the quirks and local.
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