Built In (Integrated) Appliances
Built in Products look great ! However in order to avoid disappointment we ask you have made the following checks and considerations when selecting your appliance or choice.
Most built in appliances are designed to fit snugly inside a kitchen unit or worktop. They quite often do not have finished side panels like freestanding appliances and are usually designed to be seen from the front only. It is crucial that the correct dimensions have been double checked to ensure the appliance will fit. Please pay particular notice to any possible gaps as extra filler strips (not part of the appliance) may be needed to give an expectable finish. Pipework and electrical sockets are also a common un-considered obstruction that cause problems with installations.
Always refer to your most recent building regulations when carrying out Installation work. Always ensure the appliance is suitable for the position and purpose you require. Optimum always recommends using a qualified person to carry out any installation work and can not be held responsible for any such problems once delivery has taken place. In order to give some further help and guidance please refer to the notes below for specific Built In appliances. These notes are in no way exhaustive but a selection of points we think you should know and hope will help you.
Washing machines and Washer dryers – Most new appliances are fully integrated. This means that the complete appliance has to be covered with a furniture door up to the worktop (to be sourced from your kitchen supplier). The appliance will come with hinges and a template to aid fitting. If replacing an old appliance be aware that It used to be popular to fit semi- integrated appliances. These had a fascia that extruded to be flush with the furniture door and was visible to the drawer line. In these instances the furniture door was only drawer height. If replacing a semi-integrated appliance for a fully integrated model you will need to consider the gap that might appear as the fascia will now be some distance back from before. You can consider attaching a drawer front to take the wooden door to full height or even replacing the door completely if you can still source one.
In both cases consider the route of any hoses and be aware of any obstructions like water/gas pipes and electrical sockets. We have found some newer appliances to be deeper than older models. New appliance can come supplied with leak proof or aqua-hoses. These hoses can have larger ends that might need a larger feed hole.
Dishwashers – Once you have established the width you require (45cm or 60cm) there is generally the choice if two types, semi integrated or fully integrated. The difference is that on semi integrated dishwashers the appliance has a fascia that protrudes flush with your furniture door and aligns with your drawer line using supplied filler strips. Fully integrated dishwashers need a wooden door to worktop height and the controls are on the inside top edge of the appliance (you select a programme with the door open and the close it to start).
Consideration needs to be given when replacing an old appliance as to the existing fit and availability of additional kitchen furniture.
In both cases consider the route of any hoses and be aware of any obstructions like water/gas pipes and electrical sockets. We have found some newer appliances to be deeper than older models.
Ovens & Microwaves – Most built In electric ovens will require a separate electrical supply. We recommend that you consult with your electrician if you are unsure of its suitability. Gas appliances must be installed by a 'Gas Safe' Registered engineer and again we recommend you liaise with such a person as to the appliances suitability and fit.
If installing an oven underneath a hob please refer to the hob instructions as to any ventilation requirements (especially for Induction or electronic controlled hobs).
Many BUILT UNDER DOUBLE ovens are designed to be fitted between two existing kitchen units and need 60cm of width. Support runners are usually supplied. Please consider this if you are replacing a single built under oven as this may be fitted inside a purpose made housing with only 56cm width. This could mean some work if you want to fit a double oven in its place.
Hobs – Like ovens, most electric hobs usually need a separate electrical supply. We strongly recommend you consult your electrician if you are unsure of its suitability. Gas appliances must be installed by a 'Gas Safe' Registered engineer and again we recommend you liaise with such a person as to the appliances suitability and fit.
When measuring cut out dimensions please ensure you refer to the correct cut out measurements and not the overall hob dimensions. This can be an expensive mistake – always double check your measurements. Some modern Induction and / or electronically controlled hobs require ventilation gaps. Please refer to manufacturer’s information as to any requirements.
Modern Induction hobs and even some electronic standard ceramic hobs need ferrous metal based pans to operate. These can be sandwiched in stainless steel or similar but none the less they will need to sense ferrous metal to operate. Please be aware that you may need to invest in some new cookware. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PACEMAKER AND IMPLANTED INSULIN PUMP USERS: These appliances comply with safety and electromagnetic compatibility standards. However, people with pacemakers or insulin pumps must refrain from using Induction hobs. It is impossible to ensure that all of these devices available on the market comply with current electromagnetic compatibility standards and that interference which may prevent the device from working correctly will not occur.
Refrigeration – The most common cause of premature failure with built in refrigeration is poor ventilation. A refrigerator or freezer moves heat from one place to another (cabinet to condenser on its outside) and it is vital that this heat is allowed to escape in order for the process to work efficiently. If a system runs too hot then not only will the pump wear but the unit will not be able to chill the cabinet sufficiently and all sorts or 'knock on' effects can occur.
Most built under integrated units (because they are usually covered completely by kitchen worktop) will normally incorporate there own purpose made forced ventilation system and provided they are installed correctly need no further action.
Other built in appliances will normally rely on convection and being fitted inside the correct cabinet. This usually consists of an air path from a vent in the kick plate up an open back and out the top of the tower unit. Air can then circulate freely and remove heat from the refrigeration process. Be sure not to store your bits and pieces on the top of any such unit and cover the air gap! Always be sure that the cabinet is suitable for a built in refrigerator or freezer.
Be aware of door sizes and that your furniture doors will fit without obstruction especially for fridge freezers. If replacing an older appliance this needs careful consideration as an overall cabinet dimension can have a varying number of different door sizes. These may be different from your old one.
For practical reasons most doors can be reversed. This is not always the case but the manufacturer’s information should confirm whether or not it is possible. Ensure your opening will not be restricted or jam on another appliance or unit.
Cooker Hoods – There are many different designs of cooker hood. In every case you need to ensure that you adhere to your hob manufacturer’s minimum height requirement. This is especially important for a gas hob. Ensure you have a suitable supporting wall or fixing that can take the weight of your chosen hood. We recommend you have it installed professionally.
If you are unable to vent your hood to the outside some models can be re-circulated through a charcoal filter. This is not always the case and if it is, its possible the charcoal filter(s) may be an optional extra. If you are venting your hood to the outside you will need to arrange the ducting not supplied with your hood. Most manufacturers will supply ducting kits through their own spare parts department once you are aware of your requirements.
If installing a cooker hood your need to be aware of building regulations and the effect on other working appliances. A cooker hood will depressurise the room and this could have an adverse effect on flue effectiveness in the same or adjoining room(s). Please seek advice from a suitably qualified engineer.
Before you complete your purchase please ensure you have read our supporting notes and understand that Optimum can not be held liable or responsible for any problems due to installation or fitting.