Replacing current old 3 prong range outlet?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-06-17, 04:08 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Replacing current old 3 prong range outlet?

Aside from hiring an electrician...cuz I know that would be everyone's first reply!

The current 3 prong (which I have just been informed by my husband ) is making popping noises when he uses it and is super old and needs to go. I am unsure of the best route to go for replacing it. The wiring inside looks ok:

(Name:  20170106_141937.jpg
Views: 2791
Size:  41.0 KBs)

so I don't know if we should just replace it with another 3 prong plug (not even sure at the moment if we can even buy another 3 prong), or if it's better update to the 4 prong. And if we upgrade to the 4 prong, can I just add a ground wire down to the breaker which is directly below the receptacle so it's a short straight shot and shouldn't be too difficult (compared to the rest of the house wiring!) or if we really need to pull out the existing 8/2 and replace it with new 8/3? Yeah I know if I'm going to be running a ground down anyway it would probably make more sense to replace but I'm trying to keep this as simple as I can for now and the 8 gauge wiring is really hard to work with compared to the 12 and 14! Please forgive if this is a stupid question but does the ground wire have to be 8 gauge as well? Cuz wow what a pain!

(We also have both stove cord plugs as our stove came with the 4 so we had to switch to the 3 and switching back to the 4 isn't a big deal as far as that part goes.) Thank you!!!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-06-17, 04:24 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Basically you have solved your own problem. You know the "safest" way is to incorporate the grounding system meant to be used by your stove. So if it is possible, run new 8/3, install a 4 prong receptacle and reinstall the 4 prong plug on the range. The 8/3 ground will be defined in the cable, so just buy 8/3 cable and install it.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-17, 04:41 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 53,172
Received 375 Votes on 352 Posts
Is that 8-3 NM cable with no ground ?

If you do switch to 4 prong..... you'll need a 4w 50A range cord which is the power cord and the male cap.
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-17, 06:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ugh I knew it...nothing in this old house is easy to fix or replace! What a pain. Every time we attempt to "just do one thing", we run into something else that needs to be done or fixed first which always leads to something else which usually then leads to something else...

Would it be bad to just replace it with another 3 prong? I'm being a little more cautious because it's a double oven range...but so not looking forward to dealing with that thick wiring if I don't have to right now!

"The Money Pit" movie is just not so funny anymore.
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-17, 07:18 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,944
Received 30 Votes on 26 Posts
What is the current wiring method?

Popping sounds makes it sound like a loose connection.
 
  #6  
Old 01-06-17, 08:24 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,451
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Would it be bad to just replace it with another 3 prong?
Everyone agrees 4-wire is safer and up to code.
I can only say that pretty much every cooking appliance is shipped from the factory in 3-wire configuration, that's what's expected.

There are specific instructions for wiring 3 or 4 wire.
Any delivery company or appliance installer would connect this oven to the existing wiring.

The installers only connect a cord properly, a receptacle needs to be in place.
 
  #7  
Old 01-07-17, 05:06 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
The white wire in your set up seems to have been compromised at some point. The stranding is less than the red and black. If the stranding was broken it could not have been making a complete connection. The only thing the white wire is used for is a return path for electronics like the clock and possibly the control panel.

I am not advocating it, but you could just replace the receptacle and be grandfathered in on the 3 wire set up....possibly. Sometimes altering a circuit requires upgrading by local authorities, and I am not sure if replacing a receptacle would qualify. BUT, make sure you are using complete wire stranding and tighten the clamps fully.
 
  #8  
Old 01-07-17, 05:18 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,474
Received 24 Votes on 23 Posts
PCBoss said it loose connection. Was the plug loose when you unplugged it? Plug should be a tight connection, Sometimes need a hard push to plug in. If plug was loose or very easy to unplug it need to be replaced. Replace with the same 3 wire plug. It plug ends are black on the wire replace it also. To be at current code you would have to replace the cable to breaker box.
 
  #9  
Old 01-07-17, 07:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It was tight...hard to plug in and unplug. The whole receptacle was firmly attached and really hard to take out. The wires were really tight under the screws too. I'm thinking we need to bite the bullet and just replace the wiring and upgrade to 4 prong to be safest. I know with our house being so old (built in 1947) we are grandfathered in and have a little more flexibility around codes, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Get it done once the right way and never have to deal with it again. I'm just not looking forward to the work...especially as our whole house needs to be rewired and the breaker needs replacing too. I'm trying to take it stages, do the most important stuff first, spread out the work, take my time to learn and do things right. Having health issues kinda knocks me off my feet for awhile so things get done super slowly, but at least they get done right. It's just kind of annoying to have to live with half the house unpowered and holes all over the place in the mean time! haha

Is that 8-3 NM cable with no ground ?
Looks like it? Here's the labeling on the current wiring: 8 AWG TYPE THHN OR THWN OR MYW E53446K GASOLINE AND OIL RESISTANT II 600V (how can it be OR this OR that...isn't it just what it is? Or is it just stating multiple uses?)

I don't trust anything in this house...our main breaker was wired like a subpanel and there are pigtails galore in ungrounded triplex receptacles all over the place. It's crazy and I can't believe our home inspection didn't turn up anything other than "one ungrounded outlet in the hallway is wired to a grounded receptacle and needs to either be grounded or switched back to an ungrounded outlet" and then there was some random comment about a ground being wired into the neutral bar and needs to be moved. I'm thinking the inspector really had no clue about wiring as even I was able to discover more just by learning a little about wiring on my own and taking a good look around the house.

The funny thing is that I really thought my husband understood how to wire things when he was switching out lights (he has a thing about lighting and fixtures), but when I go back and look at what he did, I start to think our house really is going to burn down one of these days. (He also got a minor zap when he was working with one of them with the breaker supposedly off.) He got mad when I disconnected half the wiring and said I shouldn't have done it until we were ready to hook new stuff back up...as if ignoring the problem or not knowing about it made it not a hazard (he refused to come look when I discovered scorch marks inside one of the walls either.) We'll deal with extension cords and a few less electric conveniences as long as I know the house isn't ready to explode!

(Yes, he is now listening to me now and I'm keeping him away from wiring anything without supervision...haha)
 
  #10  
Old 01-08-17, 05:12 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I'm thinking the inspector really had no clue
In many instances, inspectors are recommended by the real estate broker. If you hire them based on that recommendation, they are there to facilitate the sale, not perform a good inspection. After all, if a client walks away from a home sale due to inspection discoveries, the broker loses money, and they will tend not to use that inspector again.

He got mad when I disconnected half the wiring
Yeah, most of our "how do I rewire this ceiling fan" type questions come from people who remove the fan, fail to take pictures of the wiring, and wait a week forgetting where the wires go, so without choosing sides, OK, I will, he was right. BUT, finding the problem like you did should have prompted attention at that time and replacement of fixtures, etc.
 
  #11  
Old 01-08-17, 05:17 AM
pugsl's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,474
Received 24 Votes on 23 Posts
I don't think any of us who work with house wiring have not zapped something. Just hope and try to be more careful.
 
  #12  
Old 01-11-17, 08:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Definitely good call on replacing...
Name:  20170110_175014.jpg
Views: 1867
Size:  50.5 KB

Then I see this nonsense inside the wall
Name:  20170111_154747.jpg
Views: 1796
Size:  35.4 KB

Yippee, get to figure out where that goes now...

Got the wiring through and it really was shockingly (haha play on words...didn't actually get zapped) easy. Now I'm working on roughing in the wiring for the G/D and D/W.

Few questions...I had a horrible time getting out the existing 40 amp breaker to replace it with the 50 amp and it broke (not a big deal since I was planning on replacing it anyway) but there is now a piece on the breaker panel that is missing...almost like a little round black plug. I should have gotten a pic but I forgot to so I'll add it later but if anyone has any idea what I'm talking about in the meantime and can tell me the significance of it that would be awesome!

The 8/3 wiring is way too long so I need to cut it down but am wondering how much extra on each end is suggested to leave? It's 10-11 ft long and really only needed about half that. Or should I wind it up and leave the extra inside the wall at one end for future use?

Stuck the wires inside the back and tightened the screws down but was wondering if the ground wire should be wound around the screw instead of tightened under the screw since it's thinner to make it more secure?

Last question...my wire trimmers only went to 10 gauge so I was having a hard time getting the tips unsheathed without scratching the copper wire underneath. How important is it that the copper isn't scratched, nicked or bent? This is mostly an OCD question as there is only one small spot that looks scratched but at the very least it's good to know for the future!

Thanks guys!!!!
 
  #13  
Old 01-11-17, 08:41 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,944
Received 30 Votes on 26 Posts
I would cut the cable down to what you actually need. No need for several foot extra to be coiled up.

The wire should be fine under the screw. No need to wrap.

There should not be any deep nicks in the copper from stripping.

A picture of the part would be helpful .
 
  #14  
Old 01-20-17, 01:25 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Name:  panell.jpg
Views: 1834
Size:  50.9 KBThis is what I mean...there's like a round little black 'plug' looking thing under the other breakers on the bar (arrow) that is missing underneath where the stove breaker was (circled). Is this an important piece? When it comes to electrical...I'm not taking any chances!

I've got everything else hooked up and ready to go now, just need to find out about that one little piece and then we'll have a nice new safe stove outlet and I can stop worrying that hubby is going to burn the house down while he cooks! (Well, at least from the wiring standpoint! )
 
  #15  
Old 01-20-17, 01:58 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Whatever you do.....don't touch that bar, nor anything associated with it. Those nibs appear to be guide pins for when the buss was installed at the factory. The top one is actually a rivet while the bottom one is a guide. What indicates to you that there is something wrong with it? Can you install your breaker?
 
  #16  
Old 01-20-17, 08:26 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
Chandler is correct, the black plastic is only a line-up pin and the copper rivet holds the bus bar in place. Nothing to worry about there.

However, it appears that the 100 ampere circuit breaker is being used as a "back-fed" main breaker. If so, it requires a "hold-down device" to keep it from being pulled from the bus bars. I don't see such a device but it MAY be just out of the picture to the right.
 
  #17  
Old 01-21-17, 04:17 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 20
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yeah the service panel for some bizarre reason was wired like a sub panel. I am positive that isn't the only problem...hence the close inspection of ALL the wiring in the house.

The only reason I was wondering about the pin is because it appeared to be the only spot that didn't have one. (Other than possibly the breaker that the main feeder wires are attached to which I won't touch! (I did turn the power off completely before taking this picture and removing the breakers etc).

I am working a little bit at a time but we are eventually going to replace and update the whole service panel. I don't like that it's wired like a sub panel for one, and for another we are just out of space and there are piggy backs that shouldn't be there as well as what one of my engineer friends referred to as 'cheating' with single slots being converted into double with double 20 amp breakers. (I'm sure there are more technical terms but my head is failing me as to what they are at the moment!)

We are taking our time and making sure to do things right and planning things out but with the popping noises, the stove definitely became a more urgent priority. And now our fridge is having issues and falling apart so yippee...more money out the door. Our eventual goal is to have all brand new wiring throughout the house attached to new breakers attached to a new much bigger service panel. At one point I had considered putting a sub panel on the main level to make running the wiring on that floor easier, but it just seems that it makes the most and is most cost effective to just upgrade the main service panel and ensure it's hooked up correctly by having PUD come out and install it for us when we are ready. I won't touch anything coming out of the weather head!

Thank you for all of your advice...I appreciate it more than you know! Just out of curiosity for those of you with a lot more experience... any hints, tips or tricks or words of wisdom that may help save headaches, frustrations or walls as we work all this out? ;-)
 
  #18  
Old 01-21-17, 04:28 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
Could you please post a few more pictures of the panel from a step or two back so I can see the entire "guts" and also a picture of the label inside the panel door?

What PUD serves you? I have Snohomish County PUD (Public Utility District for those who don't know) and I know for a fact they do NOT do installations beyond the service drop (overhead) or serviced lateral (underground). Some pictures of your service drop and meter might also be helpful.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: