Converting to gas cooktop=small fortune!

nlionMay 31, 2012

I am hoping to convert from an electric 30" cooktop to a 30" gas cooktop. I am looking at Viking or perhaps Thermadore. Our first plumber's bid to run the gas line came in today at $1890, plus tax. That doesn't include permits, reinspection fees of about $500 and drywall repair and paint of $3-400. He said he'd run pipe down through our attic (our gas furnace is in the attic) and down the wall in the dining room and through there into the cabinet below the cooktop. There would be at least two 3' x 3' holes in the dining room wall. I've now got to really think hard about how much I want a gas cooktop (and I REALLY want it) to be spending over $4K altogether for it! And this is just for a nice quality 30" cooktop, certainly not a huge restaurant size setup. I have another plumber coming to bid tomorrow and I have high hopes that he'll have better news for us. I told him on the phone that we didn't want walls destroyed and he said he didn't think he'd have to do that. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. ;-)

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I left out the $200 or so for an electrician to run 110V. Presently, we only have 220V under the cooktop and a new gas one will require 110V for ignition, etc.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Definitely get another estimate - sounds like this guy is ripping you off. Where does the gas line enter your house before it goes up to the attic? You may well have a more direct route to your kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Is this a free-standing house? If so the gas line pretty much has to come in at or below ground level. At the least, figure out where all of your existing gas line is.

If you're gong to be doing much of this, there's something to be said for acquiring your own paint and drywall skills.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I would certainly get at least two other estimates. Check Angie's list in your area for reputable, licensed plumbers. A handyman can do the drywall and finish work for you, if you don't feel confident enough to tackle it.

We just converted to natural gas and although I had to pay the gas company a pretty hefty sum to install the pipeline to my house, my general contractor included the inside gas line hookup from the basement to the first floor for the cooktop in his overall contracted price and believe me it is a small, and pretty insignificant % of the total I paid him for the large renovation we just completed.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:26PM
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almost $2k seems really high but not knowing the size or layout of your house, no way to tell if this is a rip off. When we ran the gas for our old house, it was $800 for about a 50ft run in the crawlspace. He had to work around a few tight spots as well since it was a very shallow crawlspace at that house. One thing for you to check is to make sure that the supply line from the meter to the furnace can carry enough volume for both the furnace and the range. A competent plumber should be able to advise you on that. I would suggest at least a 1-1.5" line from the meter to where the branch happens and feed at least .75" to the furnace and the same to the range but a lot of it depends on the length of run. Neither the Viking nor Thermador are super high powered so you can probably get away with a smaller feed overall.

Definitely get a couple of quotes and see how they come out but if you "feel" like he's ripping you off, you are probably right.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Yes, it's a free-standing two story house...the house is 3800 sq. feet. We're on a slab, so there's no basement. The gas comes in over outside the garage and plumber #1 said there is 1.5" pipe coming into the house from the meter. He also said it goes through the garage ceiling up to the attic. For whatever it's worth, added up the BTU's on the Viking cooktop and it comes to 52,200. I so appreciate everybody's input...this is a learning process for us! :-)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Look into induction, It will boil water faster, simmer till you get bored, instant response to changes in temp settings, cleanup--toss away the paper towels you covered it with when you cooked on it, and You already have the 220 volts for it.

Some, (Miele & I believe some Bosch units), even have real timers, set the timer for how long you want something to cook and then it turns off---can You do that with gas,
(or for that matter) any of the things I listed above?

Yes you could cover the gas cooktop with paper towels when you cook, but unfortunately, You can only do that
"One Time per house" (LOL)!!!!!

Check out the posts here on induction!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 10:48PM
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I agree with Gary, think about induction. I had my heart set on a 36" Bluestar cooktop but when I looked at what was involved with venting from 90000 BTU, I starting looking at induction. There is less heat loss, cleanup is easier and it is as fast as gas. At least that's what we've been told.

We just found a 36" induction cooktop which should be here in about a week. We are keeping our fingers crossed this works out as we hoped.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Ikea has a 30" induction cooktop for less than $1k with a 5 year warranty. Pop that in and give it a try. A gas heat source adds a high percentage of the btus, up to 70% to the room, so ventilation/makeup air is more of a concern than you are used to.

Running the black pipe for a supply line extension is low tech. Renting a pipe threader and cutting the pipe to length are no learnung curve skills. Simple how-to instructions, a measuring tape and soapy water are required. In many cases the pipe run lies on top of attic trusses over to the top plate for the wall behind the cooktop. Drill a hole through the middle of that. Elbows and straight pieces are threaded together with a tee and shutoff valve- it's easier than water line.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 2:37AM
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In getting another bid, contact HVAC as they may be less than plumbers. I have used HVAC for running a gas line for pool heater in prior house and running gas line for recent conversion from electric to gas cooking in current home. My total bill from the HVAC guy was $500 to run the gasline (although it was just 15' in an unfinished basement) and run the ventilation duct up through the roof in a two-story home.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 8:44AM
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One more vote for induction! We got an induction range in December and love it. Even my husband who was set on gas. It is just as responsive as gas and the heat transfer is much more efficient. And no gas line is needed.

Dodge59 is right, we often cook with paper towels under the pan. Saves a lot of cleaning when we fry!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:03AM
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So, after reading your comments, I've been seriously looking at induction. I'm looking at cookware sets too. I'm so torn and I know this has been an ongoing debate on this message board. I find myself thinking, "Will induction stand the test of time?" Gas is tried and true. I don't want to find myself owning a Beta-max VCR, if you know what I mean. I called our builder, Toll Brothers, yesterday to ask them about the location of our gas lines. When I told her I had an electric cooktop, the woman there said, "Oh yes, everyone screams for gas."

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:37AM
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I'd say I'm now leaning 55% towards induction and 45% towards gas. Maybe Plumber #2's bid today will sway me one way or the other. :-) Thanks so much for all the helps so much!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 10:42AM
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We just finished doing exactly what you wanted to do. We live in a high cost area (SF Bay Area), and our gas line was run through the ceiling. The cost for the run was about $1100, but it was part of a larger remodel that included increasing electrical outlets and new sheetrock. We just started using our new six burner Dacor rangetop this week and completely love it. We love the adjustability, control and instant response of the gas.

We've tried/used induction cooktops during a few dozen cooking demos and classes; and even bought a single burner induction cooktop to use in our temporary garage kitchen during the remodel.

Many people like induction cooktops; our KD tried to talk us into one. We just don't. We like gas so much better and are very happy with our choice. That said, we plan to keep our plug-in single burner induction cooktop to use for those applications where electric works better (rice).

If you're thinking of an induction cooktop, I strongly recommend you try one for a few weeks and see what you think. They're easily and affordably obtainable through Amazon, and I attached a link to the one we bought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Induction Cooktop

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:34AM
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Unless you have plans for a lot of canning every season, or the gas cooktop is an interim step before going to a gas range later, induction deserves a good look before making a decision.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Here is another vote for induction... I to wanted to convert from electric to gas , but the more i looked into induction , it just made more sense ...While induction is relatively new in the US , although I should say relatively unknown, as the technology has been around a very long time... Ask anyone from Hawaii.... Its also been used in European countries for years .... My advice is to try and demo , check out all the u tube demos also .... And its a good excuse to buy some new cookware with the money you saved on a plumber ....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:23PM
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You can pick up a countertop unit to try out for between $100 - $150 depending.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 2:37PM
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Update: Plumber #2 bid $1,200 and he agreed it's a big job with quite a lot of drywall repair when he's finished. Evidently we have some complicated roof lines and house structure. He said there's a small possibility that when the house was built, they could have "buried" a gas stub behind the cabinets, but we don't know. He went up in the attic and can't see if the line branches off toward the kitchen.
At this point, induction is beginning looking really good. And I could use a nice new set of LeCreuset... ;-)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 4:00PM
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We've's going to be induction, likely Miele, Thermadore, or perhaps Gaggenau. We just couldn't justify all the destruction involved with running gas lines, especially when induction seems to be an outstanding alternative. Thanks so much for all of your thoughts, advice, input.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 12:14PM
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For you experts:
Is there any reason the poster can't just use 2 of the 3 leads of the 220 volt outlet to get his 110 vac for the ignitor?

and yes.. this guy is hacking you badly.

If you have your own ideas where or how you want the gas
lines to look draw them up. For me as an engineer I personally would respect the person who did 'some of my work for me' and give them a better deal if i could. Just for their moxy.

Also there many be other routes that use less material.
He could be wanting to use up material he already has.
There's no limit to how some contractor / installers will
hack at you to get your cash.

Good luck and keep shopping. The economy is
so bad that there's no reason you can't get
good service for fair to great prices.

TIP: Consider other work that can sweeten the pot
for your installer / self owned business owner. If he
knows you'll call him for more work he can afford to
cut you better deals and may do it just cause he likes
the effort you're making to help him to help you.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:56AM
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You do realize this thread is 6 months old, right?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:31PM
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