New electric kitchen range wiring question


Old 03-22-06, 09:42 AM
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Question New electric kitchen range wiring question

I am replacing my old electric range with a new model. I recently pulled the old model out from the wall to find that it is directly wired to my breaker panel via NM cable (meaning it is not plugged into an outlet of any kind). The NM cable (not sure of the guage) is 3-wire--white, black and copper ground--and is attached directly to the back of the stove.

My main concern is whether or not this is safe.

Beyond that, if it is safe/normal, will I be able to attach the new range to this same wire?

Any input would be much appreciated
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Old 03-22-06, 10:09 AM
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Your installation is pretty common, however it is _probably_ a code violation. The installation is _similar_ to a type of installation that used to be permitted, and if the installation was correct at the time, you could continue to use it as a 'grandfathered' installation. However even that previously permitted installation was determined to be unsafe enough that it is not allowed for new installations.

The issue is the bare copper wire. This bare copper wire is only permitted to be used as the 'equipment grounding conductor', and is not permitted to be used to carry current in normal operation. The equipment grounding conductor is the bare or green covered wire that is used to make sure that the frame of the range is not electrified.

Most ranges require _three_ current carrying conductors, as well as the equipment grounding conductor. This permits the range to use 120V or 240V as needed. You do not have this available.

In versions of the code prior to 1996, the _insulated_ neutral conductor was permitted to serve double duty as the grounding conductor. (Note, the 'bare' neutral conductors in type SE cable were also permitted, however this cable has a much stronger over-all coating than standard NM cable.) This probably gave people the idea that they could use the bare ground wire as a neutral conductor.

If your new range requires both 120V and 240V (most do), then you will need to replace the entire NM cable section. If your new range only requires 240V (rare, but possible), then you are fine with the NM cable.

Finally, depending upon how the cable is routed and local requirements, you may need mechanical protection that is not currently provided.

Old 03-22-06, 10:44 AM
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Thanks very much for the input and advice. Your reply iis very helpful. I'm going to leave this one up to a pro and have a current code outlet installed

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