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Maybe this isn't really DIY, but I would like to know a little bit more about it so that I can do some of my own comparing and make sure I am making the right decision finally. Here is a photo of my future flat, but with the current tenant's oven & stovetop:

enter image description here

I found a combo that I liked, mostly because it was an induction stovetop. But upon showing the picture to the guy at the store, he said that the model would not be compatible, because of a difference in the electric wiring. I don't remember exactly what model it was (I didn't bother writing it down since it was apparently incompatible), but he explained it to me that, effectively, the oven in the apartment has 4 knobs on the oven which control the stovetop, and the model I was looking at only had two knobs (for the oven itself), and then the controls for the cooktop were on the cooktop itself. He said it was possible to install the model I was looking at, but it would be significantly more expensive because they would have to re-do a lot of the electrics.

He also told me that there are indeed induction models with the "4 knobs on the oven" setup, but that they are also significantly more expensive.

What I would really like to know however is the technical terms behind this so that I can do my own research and shop around a bit. What are the actual technical terms for these "4 knob on the oven" vs "2 knob on the oven and controls on the stovetop" setups?

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Since this is in Germany, I would assume the following (this is a very common situation):

  • Behind the current oven+hob combo, there is a box on the wall with five wires and three-phase service ("Herdanschlussdose"). Currently, the oven part is connected to this box, and the hob is connected to the oven (which containts the buttons to control the hob). In the panel ("Verteilerkasten"), there will be a dedicated 3-way fuse for this box.
  • It is likely that your new separate ovenn only needs one of the phases and the induction hob can use the other two, but you need to check the manuals. You can do that directly at the Herdanschlussdose, or you can buy "power splitters" (such as this one: https://www.reichelt.de/kuechenanschlussbox-herdanschlusskabel-2-2-2-m-heit-500580-p277242.html) which already have a separate outlet for the oven.
  • If you need to ask, it is certainly better to have an electrician do the work -- ovens and hobs are the most powerful electric devices in your typical home, and mistakes can kill you, burn down the house or destroy your devices. I'm not sure about the law, but it is possible that you are not even allowed to do such work.
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    I've always been told to have a licensed electrician install a new oven (by the landlord). I assume this is for insurance reasons.
    – Tim
    Aug 9 '21 at 11:54
  • Indeed, I had the same issue, I have an electric oven and a separate gas stovetop, both have standard "Schuko" plugs for single-phase connection. Aug 9 '21 at 12:50
  • Thanks for the very detailed response. I'm not planning on doing any of the electrical work by any means. I was just looking to buy the components to have them delivered & installed ASAP after I move in. I guess maybe for this case however I should move in first and have the electrician look at it before taking the decision.
    – wfgeo
    Aug 9 '21 at 14:32
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    @Tim: in Germany, this is actually a legal requirement for the landlord since they are legally held responsible. Aug 9 '21 at 16:12
  • Not really relevant, but (in homes that have them) electric showers are pretty much always more powerful than electric ovens!
    – Tim
    Aug 9 '21 at 20:11
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Well, on the one hand that is (to me) an odd setup (since the counter continues in front of the cooktop, the cooktop is drop-in, but dropped in on top of the oven and apparently connected to it, an arrangement that's more commonly seen in a slide in or freestanding "range" as we call an oven/cooktop combined in one appliance locally. Probably not your local terms...) So it's a weird hybrid I've never seen, but I don't make any claims to have seen every cooking appliance combination the world has to offer, at all.

Anyway, what the "guy at the store" is assuming to be true appears to be that a single circuit is feeding this combined oven/stovetop, and a truly separate stovetop and oven would use two circuits.

However, you (and the guy at the store) don't actually know what's back there until you can examine the wiring in person. "Appliance store guy" is making a reasonable guess based on combined appliance.

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    Thanks for the info, this setup is pretty common here (Germany)
    – wfgeo
    Aug 8 '21 at 19:04
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    What makes you think the stove top is connected to the oven, other than the position of both? This layout is common in the UK as well, and indeed before we switched the stove top to gas this was the exact layout in our new house. Controls for glass topped electric stoves are often touch-based on the unit top itself to one side or the other, so the apparently lack of controls isn't necessarily an indicator either.
    – Moo
    Aug 9 '21 at 3:46
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    Like @Moo I've got something similar in the UK: drop-in gas hob over electric oven at the moment, but in the last place I fitted a drop-in halogen hob over an electric oven, on one 45A circuit. I've seen similar many times in France, and I believe in Germany though that was a long time ago
    – Chris H
    Aug 9 '21 at 9:07
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    @Moo The question states: "the oven has 4 knobs that control the stovetop" which is a pretty good indicator of that being connected.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 9 '21 at 16:06
  • @Ecnerwal the question states that the salesperson says that…. The salesperson is probably talking out of their arse.
    – Moo
    Aug 9 '21 at 19:43
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Contact the management of the building and ask them what kind of electric service is present for the cooktop and oven.

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  • I will take a SWAG and say the salesman was doing you a favor trying to save you some money. It looks like you have a single oven, cooktop unit that has one power feed. From your description it sounds like you are installing two separate units that need seperate sources of power (I do not know your code requirements there). Is it possible to run a power feed back to your breaker panel? When you ask the questions ask to see the install instructions. You did not post model numbers so we cannot help with that.
    – Gil
    Aug 8 '21 at 21:17

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