Gas shut off valve placement

ayerg73September 1, 2011

This may be a silly question...but when it comes to safety, I'd rather ask a silly question than blow up! That being said...

I'm in the planning stages of my kitchen. I've picked out my range, an all gas Bertazzoni. I've never had a gas range before, so this is all new info for me.

My cabinet guy came over last night with some samples and told me that we might have to reconfigure the cabinets because my GC told him that the gas shut off valve has to be readily accessible and needs to be next to the stove.

I have never seen a kitchen with a shut off valve visible and I'm totally confused.

I did a little googling and what I glean from my research is that the valve has to be accessible, but behind the stove is fine if the stove can be pulled out easily.

Am I missing something here?

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This is a code issue, so rules will vary by location--just because something is okay in Miami doesn't mean it is okay in Seattle.

My in-laws, in Oakland, CA, had to deal with this. Their shut-off valve is behind a cabinet door next to the range, but not buried at the back of the cabinet--you open the door, and it is right there.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 4:36PM
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Our shut off valve is not in a cabinet, but sits behind our stove. Take a look at the manual for your stove and see what the specs are. Ours has an opening in the back, kind of where the bottom drawer is on the front, and so there's a lot of extra space back there. The gas shut off just sort of sits in that gap. But cawaps is absolutely correct about it being a code issue and you should check with your local code enforcement dept. I'm in north-central FL, if that helps.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 5:13PM
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Chances are good you are not going to be able to slide out a +300lb stove to reach that valve in a hurry. Accessible means that you can reach it, not that you have to see it. But as stated, it is the local inspector you need to worry about.

I've seen folks put them in the cabinet, behind a drawer, or even cut a hole in the side of the cabinet so the valve could be reached if it were behind the stove.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 5:54PM
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Thanks - we are in KY if anybody has any insight into our codes...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 6:42PM
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It also depends on your city inspector...funnily enough we are also in Oakland, CA but our inspector was fine with having the shutoff behind the range since we have a freestanding range that can be pulled out readily. (He considered that accessible, but did note that it wouldn't be considered accessible if moving the range was difficult for a single person to do...ours is a vintage stove so it's pretty easy, if annoying, to pull out.) Our cabinetmaker suggested putting it behind a drawer in an adjacent cabinet---he builds slightly shorter drawers for that purpose in cities that require it---but in the end we didn't need to. (You could also put it in a cabinet.) California code is pretty vague and just says it must be "accessible," though---other states/cities may have much more specific requirements.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:32PM
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It seems that it is pretty common to put it in a cabinet next to the range. When that cabinet has drawers, it might be behind a drawer with the drawer shortened to allow space for it. There is usually a a couple of inches of dead space behind the drawers so the drawer doesn't have to be shortened by much and it doesn't have to be shortened all the way across - the back of the drawer box could just step in to allow space where the valve needs it.

A drawer (or a couple of drawers to allow shoulder room) can be taken out pretty quickly - probably more quickly than the range can be pulled out.

If the valve can be behind the range right next to the cabinet wall, an opening in the cabinet wall could allow access without pulling out the range and without needing to notch a drawer.

There was one person who had a valve with a flat face and a hole that operates with a key (like is often used in the floor to turn on and off gas for a fireplace) mounted in the face frame of a cabinet below her rangetop. I wonder if it would be acceptable to mount a valve like that on the wall so that it is operated from the other side of the wall.

Our gas rangetop is in our island. We have a 12" deep cabinet behind the cabinet with the rangetop so we routed the gas pipe through that and put the valve there. It is out of the way not in our prime storage area but easy to reach.

Once you are prepared with ideas, you should talk to your GC directly. If he is any good, he should know what the local code and inspectors are likely to accept. You can bounce some ideas around.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Mine currently is visible, but then I actually have two.

I have the mandated one that is behind the stove. My code requires it to no more than certain distance from inlet connection on the stove. Unfortunately that puts it behind the stove. And the stove is a 450 lb, 48" behemoth. I argued with my code guy and he wouldn't budge. So that's why the mandated one is (stuck) behind the stove.

But I also insisted on a second, farther upstream, one that is actually in another room. That's the one I turn off when needed. That one is a large quarter-turn lever one, not the dinky little one the inspector demanded, and got.

In my new kitchen, I will still have the same issue, but "my" shutoff will actually be mounted on the side of the adjacent cab in a niche specially made for it. It will be visible, but not in an eye catching place. I'm pretty sure the code guy will insist on "his" shut-off being behind the stove, again, and I'll oblige, again.

Everybody will be happy.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 7:45PM
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Our pro Rangetop was just installed yesterday. We had to have 2 shut offs due to accessibility issues--one went on the wall under the rangetop behind the drawers that are under the rangetop (probably similar in placement to where they would put it for a range). The 2nd shutoff went into a cabinet (in the island) directly across from the rangetop. I was told the one under the range was code, period, but as it wasn't "easily accessible" the 2nd one had to be installed. Both are concealed from view unless you pull the drawer out or open the cabinet. We're located in central NC, so code could be different in your area, but what they required made sense to me. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 8:53AM
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I'm in Canada and mine is in my basement where the gas line branches off of the main one. Since you're in KY, I assume you have a basement. Can't it go in your utility room where it will always be easily accessible. In the event that the gas to my stove needs to be shut off in a hurry due to my stove being on fire or something, I think I would rather run to the basement than try and get into a cabinet next to something that could burn me. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:40AM
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Code in most places requires a master shutoff valve usually near the gas meter. If your range catches fire, you want to run out of the house and call 911 - not try to shut off the gas. The issue of accessibility is so the gas company/repairmen can turn off the gas when working on the range.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:57AM
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Ours is near the range, in the lower cabinet left of range. Bottom pull-out is a tad shallow in order to accommodate.

Here is a link that might be useful: my kitchen

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:02PM
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"Chances are good you are not going to be able to slide out a +300lb stove to reach that valve in a hurry. "

The valve at the appliance is not an emergency valve, it is a maintenance valve.

The emergency valve is the one outside at the gas meter.

No one is going to stay in a house with a gas leak or fire to turn off gas connections.

Go out to the meter and shut it ALL off.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Ours was in the basement directly below the stove...
We changed to induction this year and moved the old stove to the basement in case we lose power. When Irene hit us last week we lost power for a day . Didn't we feel smart...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:17PM
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Yeah, I guess I wasn't thinking when I made my post.

If there's an issue with gas, get out.

My shutoff (for maintenance) is in my basement. It is for all of my gas appliances.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:53PM
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