Replacing an existing unit
I had never installed a gas cooktop.
But, I do have professional service technician experience, can read instructions, and have a collection of tools and proper PPE, and know how to connect gas lines. None of that seemed to make it any easier. I was hoping for an easy replacement, but this one involved cutting tile countertop and all that super-easy stuff.
This is the cooktop we’re replacing. Most cooktops sit atop a cutout in the countertop. Most often there will be templates or dimensions in the instruction manual so you can ensure the cooktop will fit. A few mounting screws, gas, electric, and we’ll be cooking in no time. Four-days-and-a-gas-leak-later, it was installed. But, seriously, take your time, plan it out, read all installation instructions, have the proper tools, and get a premium leak detection product.
Alright. Unplugged. Gas off. Disconnected gas hoses. Removed any mounting hardware. Lifted the old cooktop right out. Easy enough so far. There’s a separate pop-up downdraft behind it, but that will pose no issue with the new cooktop. The width was fine.
The issue for this install was the opening in the front needed to be about 3/8″ deeper. Not only did that mean cutting into the tile countertop, but also reducing the integrity of the tile and cabinet by making an already narrow strip of tile and cabinet an even narrower one…and then putting a cooktop on top of it.
If anyone asks me for gift ideas, I always say tools. This is why. I happened to have a Compact Circular Saw with a brand new tile blade. I popped on the guide attachment and cut a 3/8″ straight line into the countertop. That was the most stressful cut I think I’ve ever made as a handyman. Then, I used a reciprocating saw and a multitool to gently remove the fragments. This was an intricate and time-consuming process.
I attached the adhesive gasket/seal to the countertop around the cooktop opening. Most cooktops include this type of seal to prevent crumbs or spills from getting underneath the lip of the cooktop. Once the 3/8″ was cleared, the cooktop seated perfectly. Make sure you read all installation materials for the proper mounting hardware and process for your cooktop and your cabinet.
After everything is reconnected, test it, test it, test it, test it, test it, and after that, test it again.
The first time, I used the included packet of leak detector. I didn’t catch this leak in between the cooktop and regulator. It was at the top right corner of the picture above. Kind of an awkward spot, in the corner. The second time, however, I was armed with a premium bubble-detector solution with a big dobber, making it very easy to coat the connections. Not only that, but the solution BUBBLES and stays put to indicate a leak is present.
I was afraid of over-tightening the regulator, and that’s exactly where the leak was. I may also have loosened it here while I was connecting the gas line to the regulator below. I could’ve inadvertently turned the regulator while tightening the gas line. So, I turned off the gas and re-tightened all connections. After turning the gas back on, using my premium bubble-solution and drenched dobber, I check all connections again. I turn on the stove to test each burner. And then I go back below and check it all again.
Not bad for a first-time install.
Have you seen some of our other videos on keeping your oven clean?