Stove Receptacles


Old 03-07-04, 09:00 PM
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Stove Receptacles

What’s the difference between 3-wire and 4-wire female stove receptacles? Is one better than the other? And finally, can I use the same type of wire (i.e., 6 gauge, three insulated conductors plus ground) for connecting both types? Thanks—Marc
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Old 03-07-04, 09:12 PM
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3-wire uses one wire for both neutral and ground.
4-wire has separate wires for neutral and ground.
4-wire is better (i.e., safer), which is why it is required on all new installations (since 1996).
3-wire is still allowed in certain situations by a grandfathering clause in the NEC that recognizes that it's impractical to rewire every house built prior to 1996. 3-wire was introduced (for stoves and dryers) during WWII to save materials for the war. I guess that by 1996 they figured the war was over.

If you run a new cable with three insulated conductors plus a ground, then you must attach it to a 4-hole receptacle. If the current stove has a 3-prong cord and plug, then you also must convert it to a 4-prong cord and plug, separating the neutral wire from the chassis at the stove.

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