Right receptacle for installing new electric range?

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  #1  
Old 07-21-14, 06:54 AM
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Lightbulb Right receptacle for installing new electric range?

Hi: I do a bunch of DIY work at home, but you will be able to tell that I know little about electrical work. I have to install (by myself or with the help of an electrician) a new electric range that uses a 40 amp, 3 pronged cord. The old range is at least 25 years old and still works except for the bottom bake element. The manual for the new stove says I need a 3 wire receptacle (NEMA type 10-50R), 250 volt minimum, 40 amp. All I could find (on amazon) were a Leviton 5050 50 Amp, NEMA 20-50R, 125/2150 volt receptacle or a Leviton 800-05206-000 Receptacle 50 Amp, 125/250V, NEMA 20-50R. Would either of these work, and would one be better than the other? You could look up these model numbers on amazon if you are really dedicated to helping. I will not be able to respond, though, for about 12 hours. I got estimates from some electricians, and they all wanted about $350 to $450, which is too much for me now. I really thank you for any advice you can share!!
 
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Old 07-21-14, 08:17 AM
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a new electric range that uses a 40 amp, 3 pronged cord.
Best practice is to change to 4-wire to meet current code. If you do not have two hots, a neutral, and a ground at the range location best practice is to replace the existing cable. 3-wire can be used if grandfathered but if there is no wiring there then the new service must be 4-wire.
 
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Old 07-21-14, 09:16 AM
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I have to install a new electric range that uses a 40 amp, 3 pronged cord.
New electric ranges don't come with a power cord, how did you happen to get a 3 wire cord? Was it to match an existing receptacle? Ray is right, the best thing to do would be to install a new 4 wire circuit and use the correct 4 wire receptacle like this one.

Robot Check
 
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Old 07-22-14, 01:44 AM
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Reply to both answers.

Thanks for your help! I talked to various electricians on the phone. A master licensed electrician came over to give me an estimate for work & supplies. He said I needed a 4 wire cord. That is NYC code. (Price estimate $450). An "estimator" for an electric company said that since my old range still works and is hardwired, all that needed to be done was to change the wiring---no need to buy a power cord or receptacle (price estimate $350). A handyman stopped by and said all I needed was a 3 wire cord and receptacle. (price estimate $150 + cost of cord and receptacle).
BTW, the time to do the work from folks ranged from 1 hour to 6 hours (billed by the hour). I am unemployed and have to consider the installation charges---but not at the risk of a fire.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 06:43 AM
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If this is an apartment you rent and NYC the work must be done by the landlord not you. The electrician gave you code, the same thing we told you. If you can't afford to do it keep the old stove till you can.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 06:48 AM
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An "estimator" for an electric company said that since my old range still works and is hardwired, all that needed to be done was to change the wiring---no need to buy a power cord or receptacle
If it is a freestanding range, it should not be hardwired. A plug and receptacle provides a means of disconnect. I thought you said the new range came with a 3 wire cord.

I have to install (by myself or with the help of an electrician) a new electric range that uses a 40 amp, 3 pronged cord.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 02:44 AM
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Reply to both answers.

I am sorry that my language was ambiguous. The confusion is probably between "came" and "uses." I never said the range came with a 40 amp cord, but I will accept responsibility for the misunderstanding. Ranges don't come with any cord, as Joe correctly points out.

The user's manual says the range can use a 3 wire, 40 or 50 amp cord or it can use a 4 wire, 40 amp cord. Those are the words listed in the manual.

Well enough about wording and miswording. My main issue was that the master electrician said he would use a 4 wire cord---NYC code. The handyman said "No, all we need is a 3 wire cord." Hence, my big confusion.

Joe, thank you so much for telling my new freestanding range should not be hardwired. BTW, the reason I am stuck with paying for this work is that this is a coop that a cousin sold me for a very low price.

Again, thanks to both of you.
 
  #8  
Old 07-23-14, 03:30 AM
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3 wire vs 4 wire for range

If you are not too sick of me, I have one last question. If you don't want to answer, I will post a new question for others to answer. My old range was at least 25 years old. I was told that at that time, almost all ranges used 3 wires, not 4.

So if an electrician wants to remove the 3 wire system & install a 4 wire system for the new range, is that a lot more complicated than removing the old 3 wire system and installing another 3 wire system for the new range?

Sorry for these questions. Now you know why I stick to DYI carpentry, retiling, some plumbing, etc.

Thanks A LOT!
 
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Old 07-23-14, 04:29 AM
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I was told that at that time, almost all ranges used 3 wires, not 4.
That is correct and I previously replied:
3-wire can be used if grandfathered
And that is true almost anywhere but NYC has some of the strictest wiring codes anywhere and in the end all codes are local.
The handyman said "No, all we need is a 3 wire cord.
But in NYC an unlicensed person can't do wiring. You could be in trouble wit both the condo board and NYC for having him do the work. Worse it exposes you to civil and criminal liability if there is a fire even it not related to what he did. The insurance company will look for ant excuse not to pay and if anyone such as a fire fighter is injured then criminal charges might be brought. I'm not an attorney maybe I'm not fully correct but you need to check with one before having any unlicensed work done.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 07:23 AM
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My main issue was that the master electrician said he would use a 4 wire cord---NYC code.

The handyman said "No, all we need is a 3 wire cord
Think about your statement for a few minutes. The master electrician likely works for a licensed contractor, knows his trade and also knows NYC code requirements. The handyman likely isn't licensed, but knows how to make things work. Which is the best advice to follow here? Sure, the range will work with a 3 wire cord, but the NYC code requires a 4 wire cord for additional safety.

Now, is the circuit a 3 wire or 4 wire circuit? IF the circuit has only 3 wires, I'd suggest going back to the master electrician and asking him if it would be grandfathered. You could also call the NYC building authority to ask the question, but I suspect the answer would be to call a licensed electrical contractor. NYC has never had a reputation for helping or promoting DIY work within the skilled trades.
 
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Old 07-23-14, 08:53 AM
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My main issue was that the master electrician said he would use a 4 wire cord---NYC code.

The handyman said "No, all we need is a 3 wire cord
Why would you hire a "handyman" to do the work of an "electrician"? Its in my opinion that most "handymen" should stick to cleaning gutters and the like.

And as pointed out, being in NYC, there is also a legal ramification for hiring an unlicensed trunk-slammer to do your electrical work. There is also a safety concern that is raised by hiring one that suggests a code violation as his repair.
 
  #12  
Old 07-24-14, 12:19 AM
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Reply to last 3 answers

To Ray and Joe: Thanks very much for your help & for offering advice for free. Thanks for helping me consider the legal and financial consequences of hiring someone who is unlicensed.

To Pete: Yes, OF COURSE, I would prefer to hire the master electrician and go with the 4 wire code. If you read my original question, the problem is that I am unemployed right now. I just can't afford $450 for that electrician.
I will try to find licensed electricians who are cheaper. I have been living with cooking from a toaster-oven and a $20 portable electric burner for a few months. It has not been so bad. So maybe I will keep this up until I can get back to work or find a licensed electrician who charges less.
 
  #13  
Old 07-24-14, 12:39 AM
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Now, is the circuit a 3 wire or 4 wire circuit?

Joe: That's a problem. Since the old range was built about 25 years ago, it probably uses 3 wires, but I don't know for sure. I am not an electrical whiz. That is why I keep my DIY work to retiling, carpentry, some plumbing, etc. but I don't mess around with electrical work.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 01:24 AM
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What is wrong with the existing range? Your most reasonable option may be to fix it for now. Replacing a burner element or oven element or even a control isn't that hard.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 07:11 AM
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Now, is the circuit a 3 wire or 4 wire circuit?
How old is the house? Here's what I would do. I would carefully remove the panel cover and trace the range circuit back to the panel and see if there are 3 wires or 4 wires in that circuit. If the circuit is NM cable (aka romex) you should find 1 black wire, 1 red wire, 1 white wire and possibly a bare ground wire, if there is a 4th wire. If this circuit is in conduit, you should find 3 insulated wires, one would be white. If you have continuous hard metal conduit the conduit would act as the 4th wire and be your ground.

Since the old range was hardwired, you could also be sure the circuit breaker is turned off and look at the length of cable coming from the wall for any markings on it designating the size and number of conductors in the cable.

If you could do this and report back what you find, someone here can assist you to possibly install your range receptacle yourself.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 07:49 AM
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Forgot NYC is conduit. If you have conduit you could add a wire if needed but there is still that pesky NYC code to bite you in the asterisk if you do it yourself.
 
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Old 07-24-14, 08:09 AM
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If you have conduit you could add a wire if needed but there is still that pesky NYC code to bite you in the asterisk if you do it yourself.
I thought about that too, Ray. If this circuit is in conduit, the OP would have an argument that he isn't doing any wiring and just installing a receptacle by using the 3 conductors and pipe ground to install a 4 wire receptacle. That argument may not hold up, but like I said, that's what I would do if I were in his situation.
 
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Old 07-25-14, 11:44 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks for all your suggestions. As I said, I keep my DIY work to carpentry, retiling, etc. and don't want to mess around with electrical wiring---codes or no codes. The only problem with my old range is the bottom bake element got badly damaged. I won't go into the details. It is a 25+ year old Westinghouse. I guess they don't make them like that anymore. I could not even find the serial no. anymore. I searched all over the internet and could not find an element that matched.

I was in a Home Depot a few days ago. They told me there is a master electrician who works there who could tell me everything I need to know about which cord and receptacle is needed for NYC codes. Eventually I will find a licensed electrician who maybe charges less.

I guess that is it for now. Thanks again for all your help. Over and out.
Phil
 
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Old 07-26-14, 06:25 PM
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the NEC section 250.140 permitts you to use a 3 wire outlet and cord for an existing circuit. be sure the ground,the green screw, and the white are bonded on the range
 
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Old 07-26-14, 06:34 PM
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Johnsc, welcome to the forums. If you will read the whole thread you will see the O/P is in New York City. Replies here are based on their more strict than NEC requirements.
 
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Old 07-27-14, 02:49 AM
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Thanks for your suggestion John.
 
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Old 10-06-14, 01:08 AM
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Long Overdue THANK YOU!!!

To Ray, Joe and John:
Remember me and my predicament way back in July? I should have replied MUCH sooner. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all your help. Thanks to your advice and technical know-how, I finally found a licensed electrician to install my new range for a relatively low price. He charged $250 whereas the master electrician I liked so much wanted $450. So you guys saved me $200. Wading my way thru CraigsList was a NIGHTMARE that took me 2-3 weeks. I got bozos who made appts. to give me an estimate. Then they did not show up and never had the courtesy to call me to tell me they were not coming. The list of problems with these guys goes on and on. Even the licensed electrician I finally hired tried to screw me, but thanks to your advice I would not let him. Like some other bozo, at first he wanted to take the old hard wiring and just attach it to the new range. Then he showed up with a 3 wire plug instead of a 4 wire plug. But thanks to your help, I finally got him to follow NYC code and install a 4 wire plug. In the end, he actually did a really good job. Sorry for not writing sooner, but again THANKS so much. I only hope you can read this since I waited so long to write. Phil
 
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Old 10-06-14, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for letting us know how it worked out.
 
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