In recent times we have had many inquiries regarding the correct height for over-head kitchen cupboards in relation to gas cooktops & stove burners. While there is no rule as to how high an over-head cupboard can be, there are rules and regulations when it comes to over-head cupboards which sit over your gas burners. Back in 2014 Australian Standards introduced a revised Standard for Gas Installations, and this also clarified the requirements of Rangehoods and Overhead cupboards (combustible materials)
In the HIA information sheet sent out here is what was drawn from the New Standard for Gas Saftey:
“Victoria has now adopted a new Australian Standard for gas installations AS/NZS 5601 – 2013 that replaces the previous AS 5601 – 2004 that was revised and redesignated. This follows the passing of the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Amendment Regulations 2014 which introduced the new Standard in Victoria on 31 March 2014.
The new Standard comes in two parts, Part 1 covers general gas installations and Part 2 relates to LP gas installations in caravans and boats for non-propulsive purposes.
The notable changes in relation to the general gas installations Standard relates to domestic gas cooking appliances, specifically rangehood clearances and splashbacks adjacent to gas cooking appliances.
Previously under AS 5601 – 2004 a rangehood was required to have a minimum a clearance as recommended by the manufacturer but not less than 600mm from the highest part of the hob of the cooktop or stove. Under the new Standard this measurement must be taken from the highest part of the gas burner; the manufactures recommendations also still apply. If an exhaust fan is used instead of a rangehood, which is not common, the clearance is required to be 750mm from the highest part of the gas burner. Again the manufacturer’s installation specifications apply but this is the minimum clearance to be achieved.
It is also important to note that any other downward facing combustible material less than 600mm above the highest part of the gas burner must also be protected for the full width and depth of the cooking surface area. This may be the case where an overhead cupboard encroaches over the cooktop or stove area where the rangehood is narrower than the cooktop or stove. At no time can this clearance be less than 450mm from any surface.
Under the previous Standard if a gas burner was less than 200mm from a combustible surface the surface had to be protected. This could be achieved by several methods including using 5mm minimum thick ceramic tiles over any substrate or a glass or metal splashback with a ‘fireboard’ substrate that had been tested to satisfy the requirements of that Standard.
The new Standard now only requires splashbacks with either standard cement sheet or gypsum plasterboard substrates to protect combustible surfaces, with some conditions. This removes the need to use a specific fireboard material.
The requirements for splashbacks less than 200mm from the edge of any gas burner can now be satisfied by the following:
• Ceramic tiles minimum 5mm thick over either 10mm minimum thick gypsum based plasterboard or 6mm minimum thick fibre cement sheet
• Toughened safety glass (glass splashbacks) minimum 5mm thick over either 10mm minimum thick gypsum based plasterboard or 6mm minimum thick fibre cement sheet
• Sheet metal minimum 0.4mm thick over either 12mm minimum thick cement sheet or a combination of 6mm minimum thick fibre cement sheet and 10mm minimum thick gypsum based plasterboard
This protection must extend the full width or depth of the cooktop or cooking surface, which does not include control knobs, to a minimum height of 150mm above the periphery of the nearest burner.
Safety glass for glass splashbacks should comply with the relevant Australian Standard AS/NZS 2208 ‘safety glazing materials in buildings’ and the glass marked ‘safety glass’ to ensure that it’s fit for purpose
Note: The appliance manufacturers installation specifications override these minimum requirements if the manufacturer requires greater clearance or greater protection of combustible surfaces