1970 range hardwired replacement question

Old 03-03-04, 01:17 PM
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Question 1970 range hardwired replacement question

I am in the process of finishing the kitchen remodeling that I started last year. I have refinished all the cabinets replaced the D/W, counter tops and sink along with installing a new vinyl floor. The refrig we bought new when we moved in 3 years ago but the stand alone range is very dated. The range is hardwired of course 220. I do not know if it is 3 or 4 wire. My first question is how can I tell what I have? I know the wiring should have markings on it but after 30 years of grease grim and dirt I cannot find any. Probably the only way to tell is to climb my big butt up over the counter and behind the range and take the cover off {of couse with the power off}. Second question: we will be replacing it this summer {need to save more green backs}. Is hardwiring still within code when updating the appliance? 3rd question: If I only have 3 wire cabling, will the new unit be able to be connected to the existing wire? I have no way to get back to the breaker box without tearing out walls {and I really don't want to do that}. And lastly can I change the current wiring to a surface mount recepticle box without having to reconfigure it and buy a new recepticle and appliance wire again in the summer? I have worked with 220 before putting in wall A/C units so I know the risks, safety measures and precautions. When we were pricing new units, delivery only comes with plug in installations and if it is not the case they drop and run.

Thanks in advance for your responses and help.


Last edited by Money Pitt; 03-04-04 at 09:17 AM.
Old 03-03-04, 02:00 PM
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The only way to know for sure what your wiring is is to look at the wiring itself. And I am referring to the wiring from the panel, to the receptacle, which sounds like it means to the range.

You can do this from either end (the panel or the range). Knowing what the range is not enough. This range may be four wire, but connected to a three wire circuit.
Old 03-03-04, 05:49 PM
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but , if the range is 15 yrs or older it's probably on a 3 wire circuit.Most likely using #6 aluminum SEU cable with a 50amp breaker.The NEC changed the code for this type of installation in 1999 ,all new appliances like clothesdryers,electric ovens,etc must be 4 wire.
Old 03-03-04, 09:43 PM
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That must be some incredible accumulation of grease and grime if it prevents you from counting whether there are three or four wires sticking out of the cable.

Although the code changed in 1996 to require 4-wire on new installations, it still allows connection of new ranges to pre-1996 3-wire hookups. All ranges come with two sets of instructions, one for 3-wire and one for 4-wire hookups. The instructions always tell you the 4-wire way first, and then mention the 3-wire as an alternative "if local code permits." Almost all local code does in fact permit this.

Check the size of the breaker. If it's a 40-amp breaker, then don't go buy a new range that requires a 50-amp breaker.

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