Why use 4 wires for electric range?

Clotilde Ferry asked a question: Why use 4 wires for electric range?
Asked By: Clotilde Ferry
Date created: Wed, Jun 23, 2021 4:07 PM

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The NEC now requires that the neutral wire and the ground wire be separate. These regulations have led to the manufacturing of four-pronged appliances. The reverse can also happen when trying to connect an older dryer or range into a new outlet: its three-prong conductor cord won’t fit the conductor hook-up.

An electrician most likely will want you to install a 4 wire circuit and modify the range to use a 4 wire plug. Also, if this is a new circuit where a range has not been installed before, then a 4 wire circuit should be installed. you can use the same breaker and exchange the 3 wire plug for a 4 wire plug. You will have to get new wire however.

The purpose of the 4-wire cord and plug configuration The equipment grounding conductor (the 4th wire) now serves as the conductor that is attached to the metal frame and housing of the range. The 4th wire’s purpose is to return any fault current that’s on the metal in the case of a short to ground situation.

It is important to note: Without that strap, assuming you are plugging a 4-wire appliance into a 3-wire receptacle, you will be without an equipment ground on the appliance. Meaning if an ungrounded (hot) conductor comes loose or is chaffed (the wire’s insulation) inside the appliance and touches exposed bare metal inside the appliance, it will energize all bare metal without ever tripping a breaker.

An electric range can be wired to work with either a 3-wire or 4-wire circuit. All new installations require the 4-wire circuit which has a separate insulated neutral wire and the separate ground wire along with the 2-hot wires.

Hooking up an electric range. Either a 3 wire plug or a 4 wire plug. An easy job that you can do yourself.

While circuit size may vary, what can’t vary is the power cord and receptacle type: Since 1996, the National Electrical Code (NEC) has required 4-conductor circuits for electric ranges, ovens, and cooktops. This means the receptacle has four slots to accept a 4-prong cord plug.

The reason this change was mandated by the National Electrical Code is that the 4-wire setup is inherently safer and better able to prevent electrical shock, which in the case of a 220/240-volt circuit can be fatal. With a 3-wire setup, two of the prongs (the flat ones) are “hot,” each feeding 110/120 volts to total 220/240 volts to the dryer.

Because you are considering a stove it is best to select the stove that you want and consult the installation manual for the specific electrical circuit requirements, however if you decide to install a conventional range circuit then the typical circuit for an electric range is a 50 amp 240 volt 4-wire. More about Wiring a Kitchen Range Circuit. Wiring a Range Wiring a Kitchen Range Power Cord Fully Described Electric Range Installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring ...

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