Are 13 Amp Induction Hobs Any Good? – Pros, Cons & Advice
Looking for a way to get a new induction hob in your kitchen without rewiring the whole thing? Is that even possible, can you get a 13 amp induction hob?
In this post, I’ll answer if you can get a 13 amp induction hob, what is, why you might want and if it’s any good.
Let’s get into it!
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Can You Get A 13 Amp Induction Hob?
Yes, it’s possible to get a 13-amp induction hob. However, there isn’t a huge amount of choice as most induction hobs will require a larger electrical load greater than 13 amps.
Some induction hobs are specifically designed to operate on a 13-amp power supply, which is the standard current for household plug sockets in the UK.
Such hobs are suitable for households without a high-current electrical circuit and can typically be plugged into a standard socket, making them more convenient for some installations.
What Is A 13 Amp Induction Hob?
A 13 amp induction hob, sometimes referred to as a plug-and-play induction hob, is an electric induction hob that comes with a standard UK three-pin 13 amp plug attached to it (or one that can be attached to it
You can plug them directly into a normal socket and as such they may not need to be connected by a professional electrician.
Why Would You Need A 13 Amp Induction Hob?
There could be a few reasons why you might need a 13 amp induction hob; the most common is usually because you don’t have the correct wiring in place to be able to install a regular induction hob.
Most regular induction hobs require over 4KW to power them, which will be more powerful than your normal 13 amp plug socket.
Therefore you need to have a separate dedicated cable from your fuse box to the hob, which can carry a greater electrical load to power the hob.
This is why some people might want a 13 amp induction hob – installing that dedicated new cable can be very difficult and/or costly. Usually, you encounter this scenario if you are having a kitchen refurbishment and don’t want to carry out any major building work but you want to install an induction hob.
Another reason for wanting a 13 amp induction hob is if you want to be able to move the hob or install it in a campervan.
Smaller 13 amp hobs with one or two cooking zones are popular for people with campervans or who want to be able to travel with cooking equipment that can be easily plugged in and used.
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Pros And Cons Of A 13 Amp Induction Hob
Pros Of 13 Amp Induction Hobs
- Easy Installation: 13 Amp induction hobs can be plugged into standard electrical sockets, eliminating the need for professional installation services and dedicated wiring. This feature makes them a convenient and time-saving option for users who prefer hassle-free installations.
- Cost-Efficient: These induction hobs help avoid additional costs related to professional installation and any required electrical or building work. The savings accrued can be allocated to other areas like purchasing quality cookware.
You’ll also find that 13-amp induction hob models are usually at the lower end of the ranges. This means they are generally cheaper than other ‘standard’ induction hobs anyway.
- Portability: With some models, the compact and versatile design allows them to be easily transported and used in various locations, such as during camping trips or cooking demonstrations. This portability makes them a versatile cooking solution suitable for a variety of needs.
- Flexibility: They offer flexibility in placement, allowing users to set them up wherever there is a standard power outlet. This flexibility can be particularly useful in different kitchen layouts and varying cooking needs.
Cons Of 13 Amp Induction Hobs
- Limited Model Availability: The availability of 13 Amp induction hob models is limited, offering fewer options for consumers to choose from. This limited availability can make it challenging for users to find a model that precisely meets their needs and preferences.
- Reduced Features and Functions: Many 13 Amp induction hobs lack advanced features and functions, like an effective boost function, found in models with higher power requirements. (Some may have it, but it’s never that effective).
The absence of such features can impact the cooking experience and efficiency, potentially leaving users wanting more.
- Power Management: The power limitations of 13 Amp induction hobs mean using multiple zones simultaneously can lower the maximum output of each zone, necessitating careful power allocation between the zones. This limitation could hinder users who need to cook multiple dishes at full power simultaneously, affecting the overall cooking time and experience.
As an example: think of it as if you have a four-zone hob and each zone can go up to 10 power points, making a total of 40.
However, you only have 20 power points to play with because it’s a 13 amp hob (not a larger amp model). So you could have 2 zones on full power, but wouldn’t be able to use the other 2 zones, or you could have all 4 zones on, but they would only get to half power. You have to allocate your power between the zones you want to use accordingly.
- Limited Zone Availability: Most 13 Amp induction hobs offer a maximum of 4 zones, which can be restrictive for users who require more cooking zones. Those who need more zones may have to opt for alternatives with higher power requirements and might have to forgo the benefits associated with 13 Amp models.
13 Amp Induction Hob Power Management System Tool
Below, I’ve made a Power Management System interactive tool which is designed to simulate the power allocation of a 4-zone induction hob.
Due to the limitations of a 13-amp power source, using multiple zones at once can impact the maximum output of each zone. This system lets you experience those power allocations firsthand.
How it works:
- Allocate Power: Beneath the induction hob, there are four sets of buttons, each corresponding to a zone. Use the “+” and “-” buttons to adjust the power for each zone.
- Each zone can have a power level between 0 to 10.
- The total power for all zones combined cannot exceed 20.
- Monitor Power Consumption: As you adjust the power, the corresponding zone will change its colour. A lighter shade of red indicates lower power, while a bright red indicates maximum power.
- Keep an Eye on Remaining Power: Below the control buttons, you can monitor the total remaining power. Ensure that your combined zone power doesn’t surpass this limit.
Power Management System
Remaining power: 20
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Are 13 Amp Induction Hobs Any Good?
Yes, 13 amp induction hobs are a great solution and option if you fall under the particular circumstances they are designed for.
If you need to update your hob but don’t have or want to install a new larger dedicated cable from your fuse box into your kitchen, then a simple plug-and-play 13 amp induction hob is perfect.
You get all the benefits of induction cooking with an easy installation.
However, If you often find yourself using multiple hob zones simultaneously, or want a hob with some of the more power-hungry features, you might bump up against the power-management restrictions.
If this is the case, it might be worth investing in an electrician to come and wire in a new cable so you can get the induction hob you really want.
Can You Hardwire A 13 Amp Induction Hob?
Yes, you can hardwire in a 13 amp induction hob rather than plug it in with a 13amp plug.
However, this most likely won’t make any difference to the power output of the hob if it is a specific 13 amp hob with a lower 3kW max output in the first place. Having it hardwired in won’t make it any more powerful.
If you do still want to hardwire it you should seek the expertise of a qualified electrician if you wish to do this.
Can You Put A 13 Amp Plug On Any Induction Hob?
No, you should not wire a 13 amp plug on an induction hob unless it is specifically designed to have one.
A 13 amp induction hob will require less power to run and have a control that limits the max output to 3kW or under, which 13 amps can handle safely.
Most other induction hobs on the market will be over 3kW and will need to be hardwired on a dedicated circuit back to a larger amp fuse/breaker. Typically 16 or 32 amps.
How Do You Work Out The Amps Needed To Power An Induction Hob?
Working out the amps needed to power an induction hob is a quick and easy calculation.
Amps = 1000 x KW / Voltage
Example: The induction hob you want says that it’s 7.2KW.
So, 1000 x 7.2 = 7200 7200 / 230 (voltage in UK) = 31.3 Amps
Therefore, you would need a fuse that can carry 31.3 amps or more to be able to power the induction hob. The closest fuse would be a 32 amp fuse.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about 13 amp induction hobs.
I hope this post has helped to answer any questions you may have had and explain a little more about 13 amp induction hobs.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.