6-2 versus 6-3 for range


Old 04-04-16, 02:28 PM
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6-2 versus 6-3 for range

I recently had my home completely rewired top to bottom. New everything except for the kitchen because I'm remodeling it and decided I would take care of the wiring myself. My old range wire was 10-2 with ground I don't have a fancy stove it's probably 10 years old it's a a 3P 3W cord unit. I was told code called for 6 Gage wire but I wasn't aware of the fact that code wants 6-3. So I went out and bought 6-2 as I have to have the electrical inspected and although the 10-2 passed before I figured it wouldn't in my new rough in because I had to move it for the remodel. So my dilemma is why can I not use 6-2? My range plug in is 50amp and the breaker in the box is 30amp, the original cord on my stove is 3 wire 3 prong if I switch to 6-3 I have to either buy a new stove which I can not do or change out the cord the plug in and the breaker right?
Old 04-04-16, 02:42 PM
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Current code requires 4 wires to a range. Two hots, one neutral, one ground. Because you are installing a new circuit you are required to follow the latest code. Sorry, but you need to run 6/3. You do not need to buy a new stove, just replace the cord with a 4 wire cord and 4 wire receptacle.

As a slightly cheaper option you could use 8/3 and install a 40 amp breaker.
Old 04-04-16, 02:45 PM
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Most everything about your existing installation is wrong. Three-wire configurations (11-50R) used to be allowed 20+ years ago, but 10-2 was never legal for a freestanding range.

The standard configuration for a freestanding electric range is a double-pole 40A breaker, #8-3/g NM-B "Romex" cable, a 14-50R four-prong receptacle. The range should have a 14-50P cord set installed with the bonding jumper or strap disconnected in the appliance's wiring compartment (per mfr instructions).

Fancy ranges or built-in cooktops/ovens will have different specifications. Use #6-3/g and a 50A breaker if you want the capability to use high-end ranges or induction units.
Old 04-05-16, 10:03 AM
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There are two reasons why you need 6-3:

1. Older stoves did not have any 120 V utilization, so the neutral was unnecessary. But modern stoves usually use 120 V for the clock and the light bulb. The code used to allow connecting a new stove with both 120 V and 240 V loads to the existing outlet, using the third prong as the combined neutral/ground. This is no longer allowed.

2. When you move away, the new owner of the house expects a range outlet that fits his stove.

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