How to Install Wire for an Electric Stove

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While most household appliances run on 120 volts of electricity, heavy-duty appliances like electric ovens and dryers require special circuits carrying 240 volts. For the most part, adding a 240-volt circuit is no different than running a normal branch circuit, except when adding the circuit breaker to the service panel. Also, unlike basic circuits, heavy-duty circuits have different power receptacles, depending on the amperage of the circuit. Therefore, it is important to choose the proper receptacle based on the stove you are installing.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife or keyhole saw
  • 8-gauge 3-wire NM cable
  • Electrician’s Fish tape (optional)
  • Fasteners
  • Receptacle
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Service panel electrical connector
  • Double-pole breaker
  • Check the circuit breaker box to make sure you have the space to add a 240-volt circuit. Heavy-duty circuits use double-pole breakers that are twice as wide as a single-pole breaker; double-pole breakers require two vertically adjacent slots in the box. If you do not have enough space, an electrician will have to add a subpanel to your breaker box.

  • Make the appropriate cuts to install the stove's power receptacle. Depending on the design of the stove, you will need a floor- or wall-mounted receptacle. Floor-mounted receptacles do not require receptacle boxes and are simply affixed to the floor. Wall-mounted receptacles do require boxes that are attached to a wall stud.

  • Run the electrical cable from the service panel to the location of the stove. It is important to plan the circuit to run as straight and direct as possible, as copper cable is expensive and can be difficult to thread between floors. In most cases, the service panel is located in the basement and the stove will be on the first floor, so the cable can run along the floor joists and up through the floor.

  • Turn off the power to the service panel by flipping the main breaker, located at the top of the box. Remove the cover of the panel by loosening the screws around the edges or in the corners.

  • Remove one of the round knockouts on the top or side of the service panel using a hammer and screwdriver. The cable will enter the service panel through the knockout.

  • Install the electrical connector in the knockout hole with the locknut on the inside and the screw assembly on the outside of the box.

  • Run the cable through the connector with enough length to route the cable around the edge of the box to avoid the electrical bus bars. Remove some of the outer sheathing from the cable and strip enough insulation from the four wires to make the connections.

  • Connect the white wire to a neutral bus bar screw terminal (look for the terminals where other white wires are connected). If there is a green ground bus bar, connect the ground wire to that bar. If not, connect the ground wire to the neutral bus bar.

  • Insert the red and black wires into the rear of the double-pole breaker and snap the breaker in place on the hot bus bar. You will only need gentle pressure to snap the breaker into place. Replace the service panel cover.

  • Make the connections on the receptacle, connecting the red and black wires to the brass terminals, the white wire to the silver terminal, and the ground wire to the green ground terminal. Mount the receptacle to the floor or attach it to the receptacle box.

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References

  • "Wiring"; Creative Homeowner; 2009
  • Photo Credit kitchen oven image by PaulPaladin from Fotolia.com
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