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How run new power circuit for oven in apartment?

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  1. #1
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    Default How run new power circuit for oven in apartment?

    I have a problem with a downstairs end-unit in a 2-storey brick/tile/concrete unit in Perth.
    Kitchen renovation includes electric oven replacing gas, so need a new electrical circuit from the fusebox, which is in the bedroom on the other side.
    I thought the electrician would do it like in a 2-storey house, but apparently it is not legal to use the roofspace and wall cavity of the strata unit above.
    Running all around the external wall cavity would be too hard, he says, and the short way is a common wall.
    Going underground would be expensive.
    So we are left with running it inside? Can put conduit through built-in robes, and behind the cornice a bit, but it needs to cross a passageway to the kitchen.
    Can you chisel out a channel in a concrete ceiling, put the TPS cable in, and plaster over?
    I don't like the thought of ripping out large amounts of cornice to hide the conduit. Or exposed conduit.

    Any suggestions please?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How run new power circuit for oven in apartment?

    The methood you described is called chasing. Messy and a lot of work but if its your only choice it may be viable.

    Its generally better to chase a conduit into the channel and then you can run the cable through the conduit.

    Depending on the concrete ceiling area size might be better to put a few battens up and some gyprock and run the cable in the newly created cavity?

    Given your comment about underground I assume your on a concrete slab?

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    Just putting TPS in a channel and plastering over it isn't allowed. You can run conduit (or similar mechanical protection for the cable) in a channel but unless you do the chasing work for the electrician it will end up expensive. Normally stove circuits aren't RCD protected so there are quite rigid requirements regarding cable protection so that someone doesn't accidently drive a screw or nail into them. Does your strata space end at the surface of the walls/ceilings? This sort of work can be a nightmare if you have to intrude into common property.

    The most attractive option (or should I say the least unattractive option) is likely to be rectangular duct run on the wall/ceiling surfaces instead of conduit. You can get quite small cross section ducting (to suit a single run of whatever size cable you need for the oven). Spend the extra money and fit corners etc that are designed for the duct and you will get a better looking job. Fastenings are inside the duct so there are no saddles etc showing and the duct is paintable. With a bit of effort, you can run the duct in corners, just below the cornice etc such that it is hardly noticable.

    Talk to your electrician about duct sizes, run length, cable size etc, then perhaps agree to run the duct yourself where you want it if you are fussy about appearance.

    BTW, you refer to an electric oven replacing gas. Are there electric hotplates there already? If so... how big, what size circuit, can it support a new hotplate/oven load? Now, that would be easy!

  4. #4
    2K Club Member toooldforthis's Avatar
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    maybe change the hot plates to gas and use that circuit for the oven?
    generally speaking cooks prefer gas hot plates and electric ovens.

  5. #5
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    Hi , It sounds like it's going to be a rather labour intensive and therefore expensive exercise. A friend of my wife also had a kitchen make over which included replacing the Gas oven with an electric unit and while I don't wan't to sway you either way She regrets it. Her unit layout permitted access via roof tiles over the attached garage and removing the plasterboard on one wall of the kitchen , not helpfull to you granted ; but she regrets going to an electric oven. Has any one else gone electric and what solution did they come up with ? ducted skirting or something else not yet considered. Keep us posted

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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforthis View Post
    maybe change the hot plates to gas and use that circuit for the oven?
    generally speaking cooks prefer gas hot plates and electric ovens.
    Sensible idea.

    BTW my sister also prefers a gas oven over electric.

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    The new cooktop is gas - far better IMHO than electric except for induction. (as was the old)
    But I'm surprised to hear people prefer gas ovens. They have become rare except for cheapy 54cm freestanding models.
    While gas cooktops are still standard for anyone who has the option, so far as I have seen in Perth.

    Why conduit needed for chasing in concrete? They chase TPS into brick walls all the time with no conduit. Deeper?
    I figure cutting into concrete is going to be hard work. Maybe just a case of having the right tool? But I don't want to risk cracking the slab, and wondering if chasing into the concrete is allowed and safe.
    I'll see how small the conduit can be for 2.5mmˆ2 TPS, and how easy it will be to hide.
    Maybe I should sell the oven and get a gas one. Thanks for the responses.

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    2K Club Member toooldforthis's Avatar
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    not sure if this will help cause of new models and possible standards/regs
    but about 15 years ago I put in a new electric oven in a place that had no oven at all; and I had a wiring issue like yours, but I was able to buy an oven that plugged into a standard power point and didn't require its own circuit.

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    UPDATE: there is a separate circuit to an air-con 15A outlet in the lounge room, about 12m away, along the external wall, past bay window and corner.
    Closer than the meter box at least, and no ceiling to cross. If it was my place, I'd run conduit from that above or behind the skirting board. Let the furniture kind-of hide it. But not legal, apparently.

    > Given your comment about underground I assume your on a concrete slab?

    yes, above and below. Normal Perth materials.

    Quote Originally Posted by chalkyt View Post
    rectangular duct run on the wall/ceiling surfaces instead of conduit. You can get quite small cross section
    Is this the right conduit to use? (2.5mmˆ2 TPS for a 15A socket, right?)
    DETA 16x10mm Trunking I/N 4330858 | Bunnings Warehouse
    I'll get some and see how it looks. Doing the trunking myself would make sense. Thanks.

    Can I thread the cable behind the plaster cornice, or does it need conduit there too? Would probably have to rip out and replace the cornice above the bay window.
    But poke it through the longer runs? Anyone done this?
    Otherwise 10x16mm trunking just below the cornice and painted over.

    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforthis View Post
    I was able to buy an oven that plugged into a standard power point
    I thought of that (getting a second hand oven with 10A plug to keep it legal-ish) but most of the unit, including lounge room and study, is on the same 16A circuit.
    So with oven, dishwasher heating, kettle, toaster, etc., it will trip too often.

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    Basically, the rules require "free" TPS to be 50mm below the surface and able to move if someone drives a nail or screw into the wall. Exceptions can apply if the cable is mechanically protected or circuit is RCD protected, which normally doesn't happen with stove circuits because of the inherent leakage to earth with the stove elements. The rules are there to minimise the chances of someone making contact with the live conductors through misadventure (i.e. drilling or cutting into them if they are concealed).

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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkyt View Post
    Basically, the rules require "free" TPS to be 50mm below the surface and able to move if someone drives a nail or screw into the wall.
    How does this work for a 70mm stud wall (stove circuit)!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    How does this work for a 70mm stud wall (stove circuit)!
    50mm nail leaves 20Mm space , cable free to move!



    PeterQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldtrack123 View Post
    50mm nail leaves 20Mm space , cable free to move!



    PeterQ
    Sure one side only, and the other side! Centred wiring won't leave 50mm free space.

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    Normally 90mm stud +lining +lining=100+. But in 70mm stud wall, cable should be free to move (good practice anyway not to have cables tight... you never know when you want just a bit more cable to make a connection). Electrical apprenticeship 101 "Always make it easy for the next person... it might be you!"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkyt View Post
    Normally 90mm stud +lining +lining=100+. But in 70mm stud wall, cable should be free to move (good practice anyway not to have cables tight... you never know when you want just a bit more cable to make a connection). Electrical apprenticeship 101 "Always make it easy for the next person... it might be you!"
    Wouldn't you try to nail into the stud normally, where the wire can't move (much) ?
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkyt View Post
    Electrical apprenticeship 101 "Always make it easy for the next person... it might be you!"
    yeah right would be nice if that motto stayed with people as they progressed beyond apprenticeships., Then there is Domestic Contractor 101, pull on the cables so they are as tight as piano strings, this way you use less cable!
    and if this makes a return job more difficult just quote more.

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    Given all the hassles involved, personally I'd just stick with gas.

    I say that as an electrician myself and a life long "electrical guru". There's an awful lot of work involved in this case to install an energy supply (electricity) to a location that presumably already has a perfectly good energy supply (gas) available. Personally, I'd just use gas unless you've got $$$ to spend.

    But if you do go electric, well then chasing = apprentice job typically. Not that I'm keen on apprentices spending too much time doing it, it borders on "cheap labour" rather than proper training beyond a reasonable limit, but there's plenty of electricians who spent months chasing into walls during their apprenticeship. It's a crap task, really it is....

    Another option is an electric oven rated at no more than 2.4kW that just plugs in plus use gas for the cooktop. In theory that's a bit of a no-no, since the oven could trip the RCD, but suffice to say that in 6 years of having such an arrangement the RCD hasn't tripped once due to the oven (and yes I've tested the RCD). A bit risky, theoretically not ideal, but it's not illegal to just plug the oven in if it's 10A or less.

    As for cook tops, well I quite happily paid the gas fitter $450 in order to have a gas cooktop whereas I could have gone electric with my own free labour and using the existing wiring anyway. But gas sure beats electricity for cook tops, at least it does unless you're going for induction.

  18. #18
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    Re wiring in stud walls etc. I don't make the rules, I just follow them (but I do generally know why they are there). At this stage enter the "Douglas Bader" quote... "rules are made for the guidance of wise men, and the obedience of fools" (or something like that!)

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    Another thought... how big is the cable running to the A/C. Ask your electrician if it is big enough to be a sub-main to supply a new sub-board in the kitchen which can then supply the oven and A/C etc. It may well be that maximum demand calculations will let you use the existing A/C circuit for this purpose. A bit "left field" but it might just work.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tundra View Post
    Is this the right conduit to use? (2.5mmˆ2 TPS for a 15A socket, right?)
    DETA 16x10mm Trunking I/N 4330858 | Bunnings Warehouse
    I'll get some and see how it looks. Doing the trunking myself would make sense. Thanks.
    You will find that the cover on the DETA cable duct (trunking) - now sold by both Bunnings and Masters - is difficult to remove and replace, except by sliding on or off from one end, which is rather impractical for something across more than 50% of a wall!
    That which Bunnings used to sell, is dearer but is STILL sold by electrical wholesalers, and has a cover which can be stripped off and replaced quite easily.

    After buying some of the DETA stuff (for another purpose) I threw it away and bought the better cable duct from a wholesaler - as I should have done in the first place.

  21. #21
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    There's a reason why sparkies (and plumbers etc) generally buy their stuff from a wholesaler and not from retail hardware stores. Price and having an account is one reason, quality is another.

    From a business perspective, it's a false economy to save a few % on material costs if it takes longer to install or isn't reliable etc.

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