How to Wire an Electric Range to a Circuit Breaker Panel

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Whether you plug in an electric range or hardwire it directly to the panel, you need much larger wire than for any other appliance. The range uses more electricity than other appliances, and the wire must be thick so it doesn't overheat. The power that the range uses is supplied by a 220-volt circuit, and the breakers to which you connect it usually must be rated for 50 amps. There are two hot wires in a 220-volt circuit, and they are controlled by separate breakers that are coupled to trip together in the event of a circuit malfunction.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Cable clamp
  • 8/3 electrical cable
  • Electrical box
  • NEMA 14-50R receptacle
  • Wire strippers
  • 50-amp 2-gang breaker
  • Turn off the main breaker on the electrical panel and unscrew the cover. Feed one end of a length of 8/3 electrical cable through one of the existing knock-out holes, or knock out a new one with a screwdriver. Screw a cable clamp onto the hole if there isn't one already, pass the wire through the clamp and pull out enough slack to make connections. Secure the clamp by tightening the screws with a screwdriver.

  • Install an electrical box in the wall behind the stove, approximately a foot from the floor. Run the cable from the panel to the box and pull it through the back. Pull out about 8 inches so you can connect the wires to a NEMA 14-50R receptacle.

  • Strip an inch of insulation from the insulated wires in the cable with a wire stripper. Loosen the receptacle terminals with a screwdriver. Connect the black and red wires to the two brass terminals, the white wire to the silver terminal and the bare or green ground wire to the green terminal. Tighten the terminal screws and screw the receptacle to the electrical box. Plug in the stove and push it into position.

  • Strip an inch from the ends of the insulated wires in the panel. Feed the white wire into an available space on the silver bus and tighten the lug securely with a screwdriver. Connect the ground wire to the ground bus in the same way.

  • Feed the black wire into the bottom of one of the two breakers in a coupled pair of 50-amp breakers and tighten the lug screw with a screwdriver. Feed the red wire into the bottom of the other breaker and tighten the screw. Snap the breaker into an available slot on the front of the breaker large enough to accommodate both of them.

  • Turn off both breakers, then turn on the main breaker on the panel. Turn the breakers back on and verify that they stay on. If they trip, turn off the main panel breaker again and check your connections.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can by-pass the receptacle by hardwiring the stove directly to the panel, but you must provide an accessible disconnect if the panel is more than 50 feet away or is out of view.
  • The red and black wires can be connected to either of the brass terminals on the receptacle and to either of the circuit breakers.
  • It is dangerous to work in the panel even when the main breaker is off because the hot bus is still energized. Use insulated tools, wear rubber shoes and keep your hands and tools away from the brass bus bar and any exposed black or red wires.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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