Gas cooktop design safety question
A friend of mine asked me to design and build a removable cover for their gas range cooktop. They want a wood top that could be used for food preparation, then removed for cooking. They have a very small kitchen and want more work space.
My question: Is this safe? Allowed by code and/or safety standards? Seems like an opportunity for a fire; putting combustable construction over gas burner that “should” be off.
Any advice, or pointing me in the right direction for help, much appreciated.
At the very least, you shouldn't do this on a unit with a standing pilot. And the cover should be designed to make the conrols inaccessible, without the possibilty that one could be bumped "on" while installing the cover.
But still a bit questionable.
It's simple enough:
Build your prep board with stand offs and a layer of alluminumn sheet on the bottom side to spread heat. I would second the notion that it block the controls while in place.
My only concern would be weight, as you are looking at a 30"x24" block of wood at the minimum. I would think 1/2" ply would be the best material to start with.
Better figure how they will store it or they will be upset by it every time they take it off.
There is no code prohibition against it, and people routinely set items of plastic and wood on their gas cooktops--and they sometimes scorch or burn those items when the burner they thought was cooled or the adjacent burner is hot enough.
How about a board that slides into the cabinet or swing up board that replaces the cabinet doors? There is also a hardware for swing up shelf that can carry heavy appliances.
There's nothing illegal about burning down your own house do to stupidity or poor judgement. If they did burn down their house with a removeable counter top because it was accidentally left on and one of them dies, not only would you feel terrible, but in their grief, or the grief of their relatives despite whatever level of friendship you have you might be socked with a lawsuit claiming you should have known it wasn't safe. I don't know how much of your personal assets you'd be willing to risk over some thing like this, but I wouldn't risk it for an overgrown cutting board.
It has come time for me to make a yes/no decision on this gas cooktop cover/cutting board. The risk outweighs the benefit. From other sources I learned that venting of gas appliances is essential, covering any gas appliance can trap gas and of course would be explosive. I have blown the lid off a propane grill this way (singed my hair off, what is left of it). And the risk of putting the cover on a hot of still burning burner. And they have a small precocious child...
I'm going to have to say no to this project.
Appreciate the advice from everybody.