20 amp breaker + 8/3 electrical wire + 110v outlet?

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Old 09-04-13, 10:46 AM
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20 amp breaker + 8/3 electrical wire + 110v outlet?

Weird question. Is it possible to use have a 20 amp breaker at an electrical panel connected to an 8/3 gauge electrical wire that is hooked up to a 110v outlet?

The scenario is this. I am doing a kitchen renovation. There was an old electric stove/oven that was powered by a 50 amp breaker connected to a 8/3 electrical wire that was hooked up to a 220v outlet. We are changing out the electric stove for a gas stove, so I only need a 20 amp breaker and a 110v outlet to the new stove for powering the stove lights and ignition for the gas stove.

Soooooo, I'd like to save the long run of 8/3 wire which is already ran through the attic, and just change to a 20 amp breaker at the panel and a 110v outlet behind the new gas stove. What do you think? Is this ok to do?
 
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Old 09-04-13, 11:17 AM
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Is it possible to use have a 20 amp breaker at an electrical panel connected to an 8/3 gauge electrical wire that is hooked up to a 110v outlet?
No because residential voltage is 120 volts. Any wie size #12 or larger can be used on a 20 amp breaker. The main problem is #8 may not fit the terminals even on a side wired or back wired receptacle.In that case you have to pigtail to smaller wire. The second one which may make it a no go is that there is either no white wire for neutral and/or no green or bare wires for ground. Some older 3 wire setups for stove can be very "funky" and not have all the correct colored wires and in this case you can not redesignate wires smaller than #6. Aluminum would be the third yellow flag

Don't you have a counter top receptacle near the stove you can use. A lot simpler.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 11:36 AM
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I agree with Ray. Just tap off the 20 amp countertop circuit.
 
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Old 09-04-13, 09:43 PM
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I really, really want to make this work. The reason is because the nearest outlet that I would normally branch off of for electricity is not in the best location for doing electrical work. Also, all the drywall is up so I'd rather not have to do any drywall patching later on, but I have to admit. One of the primary reasons for not wanting to pull electricity off the nearest outlet is that I know it has been wired weirdly through the attic. And I honestly don't want to go up there if I have another option to do this. We have had about 40 days so far in 100+ degree heat here in Texas. It feels like twice as hot in the attic!

So, without further adieu here is my easiest solution. There is already an 8/2 line there. I accidentally wrote that it was 8/3 in the title and initial post. It is actually an 8/2 wire. I just checked. There is a black, white (neutral), and copper (ground) wire. If I had to I could pigtail some smaller wires to the current ones. And the 8/2 wire is the standard Romex kind, it is not aluminum. So, yes? Or no? Is this still possible, 20 amp breaker + 8/2 wire + 110v outlet?
 
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Old 09-04-13, 09:51 PM
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Yes it is possible. The current breaker should have a white wire and a black wire. The white wire will be moved to the neutral bar. The black will go to the new 20 amp single pole breaker. The bare will remain as connected. The receptacle will be 120 volts not 110. It should be GFCI.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 07:24 AM
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Putting a GFCI outlet behind the stove is going to be impossible to get to in the event that I need to reset it. Could I just get a new 20 amp breaker at the panel, and have the breaker GFCI protected?
 
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Old 09-05-13, 08:31 AM
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Putting a GFCI outlet behind the stove is going to be impossible to get to in the event that I need to reset it. Could I just get a new 20 amp breaker at the panel, and have the breaker GFCI protected?
Sure, you could buy a 20 amp GFCI breaker. Another option would be to use a regular 20A 1P breaker and run the circuit through a GFCI receptacle at the panel to provide the GFCI protection behind the range.

BTW, the 8-2 W/G NM cable was never a legal installtion for the former electric stove.
 
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Old 09-05-13, 09:31 PM
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What is illegal about the way the wire was formerly run? There used to be an electric stove there, and my understanding is that the old 8/2 Romex with ground wire was what was appropriate.

And does NEC require that stove outlets be GFCI protected. I really don't see the point in that. The stove is nowhere near water.
 
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Old 09-06-13, 01:53 AM
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It needed to be 6-3. Stove wiring is 120/240. 8-2 is good only for 240 at 40 amps.. So the wire was too small for the breaker and there weren't enough wires. No it did not need to be GFCI,
 
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Old 09-06-13, 05:25 AM
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What is illegal about the way the wire was formerly run? There used to be an electric stove there, and my understanding is that the old 8/2 Romex with ground wire was what was appropriate.

And does NEC require that stove outlets be GFCI protected. I really don't see the point in that. The stove is nowhere near water.
Yep, ray hit it. An electric range/stove circuit is 120/240 volt and you don't have a neutral in 8-2 W/G NM cable for the 120 volts. The way it was wired you were probably using the bare ground wire as a current carrying neutral which never has been allowed. And, like ray also said, the 8-2 W/G NM cable was only good for 40 amps.

A 120/240 volt stove/range circuit does not need to be GFCI protected, but if you convert the circuit to 120 volts, it will need to be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 09-06-13, 09:17 AM
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OMG! I'm an idiot, or blind. I just rechecked the old line and it actually isn't an 8-2 electrical wire. It is an 8-3 wire, just as I had initially wrote in the title of my post. Sorry for the confusion.

I guess then, would the way it was wired... With an 8/3, how is that illegal? I also understand that some commercial electric ranges use a 6/3 wire, but if I am not mistaken don't most home electric ranges use an 8/3 wire?
 
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Old 09-06-13, 09:21 AM
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They use 8-3 but the breaker can not exceed 40a. You said a 50 amp breaker. It can still be used as you planned. Just cap the red on both ends.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 03:38 AM
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ray2047, oh geez. You are right. An 8-3 wire would use a max of a 40 amp breaker, while a 6-3 wire would use a 50 amp breaker. It was o so incredibly hot up in that attic I may have written down the wrong info about the wires and breaker. I think I am going to possibly convert this larger capacity outlet to a standard outlet.

In general, what is the biggest electrical wire (ex 6-3, 8-3,10-3) that can be used in a standard outlet? I'm wondering if even a 6-3 wire can be used in a standard outlet, and if so, how can the wires even fit into a standard sized electrical box?
 
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Old 09-07-13, 05:25 AM
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Probably #10 is the largest and then only with receptacles that are back wired or side wired. You will need to use pigtails. You probably already have a 4X4 box. You will probably need to use a single gang mud ring on it or a receptacle plate with three holes for device screws if you use a 4x4 box.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 07:28 AM
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Obviously you'll have to pigtail smaller wires to the #8 conductors you already have. I don't think I'd even try to use anything larger than #12 pigtails.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 09:16 AM
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Ok thanks guys. This has been very helpful.

Assuming I have an 8-3 elec cable, or even a 6-3 elec cable, and I pigtail some 12-2 elec cable and connectors on there... And then I use a 4x4 box for adequate space for the wires... Do you think I might then be able to use standard side-wired receptacles? I don't like the back-wired ones, just personal preference.

Also, in the event that I, god forbid, have a 6-3 cable I want to use in a standard outlet, do you think it would fit in a 4x4 box?
 
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Old 09-07-13, 09:23 AM
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You should be able to install a single gang plaster ring on the 1900 box.

A standard 4x4x1 1/2 deep box only has capacity for 4 #6s or 21 cubic inches. A 2 1/2" deep box has 30.3 cubic inches. The plaster ring will add some capacity.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 09:24 AM
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I don't like the back-wired ones, just personal preference.
Yes, but are you confusing backstabbed with back wired?

Also, in the event that I, god forbid, have a 6-3 cable I want to use in a standard outlet, do you think it would fit in a 4x4 box?
Yes, if it is deep enough.
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