Stove Outlet - 3 Wire vs 4 Wire 240V


Old 01-08-11, 08:33 PM
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Stove Outlet - 3 Wire vs 4 Wire 240V

I finally pulled out the stove of the house that I bought about a year ago, and saw that the receptacle was damaged from some sort of external force including a crack. The stove has been working fine but I figured I'd sleep better if I replaced the receptacle.

So I set about doing that as my saturday afternoon project, intending to replace it with the exact same kind of receptacle (4-hole). The wire running into it is romex 6/3, three stranded conductors (red, white, black) plus a bare ground that looks to be narrower, maybe #10 or #12.

My unease, and question, comes from the fact that the instructions for the receptacle, and the markings on the receptacle itself, and everything I'm seeing online, specify hooking up a GREEN ground wire to the top hole - My ground wire is bare, not green.

Was the old outlet improperly installed, with the bare ground wire used rather than a green? Should the original installer have used a 3-hole receptacle instead? Would a 3-hole receptacle be any safer than what's there now, given that the ground would then be tied to the neutral? And, for my own curiosity, if the current setup IS unsafe, what causes it to be unsafe?

This project was supposed to put me at ease, now I'm even more worked up. Installing a 3-hole outlet would be a hassle not just because I'd have to repeat the project, but I'd also have to replace the range cord with a 3-wire. But if the current setup is somehow improper or unsafe I'd certainly be willing.

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Old 01-08-11, 08:42 PM
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You are fine connecting the bare conductor where it is labeled Green. Your old setup was not unsafe.
Old 01-08-11, 08:46 PM
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Wow, thanks for the quick response! I had been expecting to lose sleep tonight :-)
Old 01-08-11, 09:03 PM
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Your installation with red, black, white and bare meets all current codes and is safe as long as the bare equipment ground does not touch any of the insulated wire terminals.
As long as the bare equipment ground is ONLY connected to the neutral in the Service (main) panel this is also correct and to current codes.

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