How to wire a range for 3-wire and 4-wire cords

By - Summary:

Wiring an Electric Range or Stove Circuit and Cord: 3-Wire and 4-Wire Cord Connections for an Electric Range or Freestanding Stove, Connecting the Ground Wire, Installing a New Circuit for an Electric Range.

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Guide to Wiring an Electric Range Circuit and Cord

Electrical Question: I wired my 3 wire 40amp electric range and the electric burners turn on, but the control panel does not.

  • Stove Stopped Working
    • This stove worked inside the house, but it doesn’t work out in the garage.
  • Installed New Range Circuit
    • I installed a new circuit to the electrical panel, used 6 gauge wire, the same as the other stove and installed a 40amp breaker.
  • Testing the Circuit Wiring
    • I test the wiring and it’s hot, but I still have issue at the range.
  • 3-Wire Range Cord
    • The 3-wire cord is all grey, middle cord is assumed to be the neutral. I’m I missing something?
    • There is no ground wire.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Alfredo.

Application: Wiring an Electric Range or Stove
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the available access to the range cord electrical connection box.
Precaution: Identify the range circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the range cord wiring.

3-Wire and 4-Wire Cord Connections for an Electric Range or Freestanding Stove

  • Connecting the Ground Wire
    • It is essential to appropriately bond the ground wire in both 3-wire and 4-wire configurations for an electric range.
  • Locating the Ground Terminal
    • Consult the installation manual that came with your range for the specific instructions and location of the grounding terminal.
  • Control Panel Display
    • The control panel of the newer 4-wire stoves and ranges require both a separate neutral wire and a ground wire.

    • If you are installing a new circuit for an electric range it is always best to install a 4-wire circuit.

Wiring a Kitchen Range

  • Wiring a Kitchen Range Power Cord

    • Fully Described Electric Range Installation with a typical 220 Volt electric power cord wiring system. You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric range. Lets look at how the electric range is wired and what to do if your cord does not match the plug.

Kitchen Oven Wiring

  • Wiring Options for a Kitchen Oven

    • Fully Described Kitchen Electric Oven Installation with a typical 220 Volt electric circuit. You may find yourself with either a 3-wire or 4-wire electric oven. Lets look at how the electric oven is wired and the possible solutions if your circuit does not seem to the same.

More  about 220 Volt Wiring Diagram

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

11 Responses to “How to wire a range for 3-wire and 4-wire cords”
  1. Nancy says:

    Can a 3 prong electric range wire be connected to 30 amp circuit breaker?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Nancy,
      An electric range requires a dedicated circuit that is based upon the nameplate specifications as stated on the range. For example: an electric range that is 8,000 watts (8kW) or more but is less than 12,000 watts (12kW) must have a dedicated 40 amp circuit. Your installing electrician may refer to the National Electrical Code NEC article 210.19(a)(3) for complete information. The ability to use a 3wire or 4wire cord will be fully described in the installation manual for your specific electric range. You may also see more information about wiring 3wire and 4wire range cords by following the links as provided above in this main article.
      Thanks for sharing your electric range question with us,

  2. Angela says:

    HI, I live in an old house. Other oven was hardwired into 240 wire. I now have a newer oven that has a 4 prong plug. I need to convert the 3 wire 240 to a 4 wire receptacle. How do I do this?

  3. rene vosburg says:

    I bought a Jenn Air range with a Corning ware top. The plugs on the back have been cut off. What kind of plugs do I get? The top has red, black, white, ground wires. The oven has green, red, white, black wires. Can I plug into any wall socket?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Rene,
      You cannot plug the Jenn Air range into a standard receptacle because your description leads me to believe this range may require a dedicated 240 volt circuit, however to know for sure you should get the model number off of the unit and consult Jenn-Air for the installation manual which will provide the electrical circuit requirements for your specific unit.

  4. James says:

    Just wired a new oven/range combo, I keep hearing about new code after 1996 requiring 4 wires, but Whirlpool doesn’t seem to be following that. Not only do they only have a three wire hookup, but the cords they sell for all their oven/ranges are 3 wire.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Yes James, you are correct, however there are still units such as yours which are standard 240 volts and do not require a neutral at all. In this case turn off the circuit, then replace the receptacle with the 3-wire receptacle, and it would be best to have the circuit breaker changed to a 40 amp if needed.

  5. Steve says:

    I need to convert from hardwire to a 4 prong recepticle for a new plug-in stove top. The hardwires are red, black, green and yellow. Where do the wires hook into the 4 prong plug? In the back of the plug, there are three screws together (one offset) and one screw higher up off to the side. Pretty sure the red and black wires go into either side of the three screw set. I think the neutral wire also goes in the three screw set (offset) and the ground is by itself up off to the side. No obvious markings on the plug, color coded nor with a wiring diagram. Just not sure.

  6. Don says:

    I am wiring a counter top stove that has a red,black and green wire out the side(green wire is attached to the base) and trying to wire to a 4 wire plug with red,black,white and a ground wire. Not sure how to do. Thanks

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Don,
      How to Wire a Counter Top Stove
      When the counter top stove does not require a separate neutral wire and the power sources has a neutral wire then the neutral wire is simply capped off with a wire nut connector or electrical tape, all other connections remain typical.


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