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


By Dave Rongey - 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.


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.

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

Wiring a Kitchen Range
wiringt-a-range-cord

Kitchen Oven Wiring
oven

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19 Responses to “How to wire a range for 3-wire and 4-wire cords”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Donna,
    Ground wires are typically attached to the metal junction box enclosure which is attached and bonded to the appliance.
    PLEASE NOTE: The ground wire is required for all appliances, however the purpose of the ground wire is not to intended as a current carrying conductor, and should not have any effect on the operation of the top fan as you have described. Therefore the electrical circuit and the wiring connections for the Jenn-air cooktop should be carefully examined to make sure they are correct as required for your specific cooktop. Be aware that if the connections are not correct this could become a potential shock hazard and safety issue. It would be best to have the circuit and wiring connections inspected by a licensed electrician.
    Be Safe,
    Dave

  2. Donna Reynolds says:

    I have a 35 year old Jenn-air cooktop (model 89353) that has black, white, red and ground wires. Somehow the ground has come loose from wherever it was attached and now the stove top and fan won’t work. Can you please tell me where to attach the ground wire? I don’t have a manual because I guess the original homeowners took it.

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Bill, Great Questions!
    When installing a new range that has a separate neutral wire a 3-wire cable with ground (4-wires total) circuit cable is required. As you have discovered, your new range has 120volt accessories that require a neutral, and the ground wire is not considered a current carrying conductor, therefore a separate insulated neutral wire is required.
    Thanks for the great question, enjoy your new range,
    Dave

  4. Bill says:

    I will be installing new 240V electric range with 3 wire cord and jumper between ground and neutral in order to connect to my old 3 wire outlet. Note, although cable is SEU XHHW, the ground wire is bare but covered with the 2 black wires inside outer sheath. And, appears range does use 120V for accessories. 2 questions: back at the panel box, should I change ground wire connection from ground to neutral since it now acts as a neutral ? And is it either better or safer to rip out old cable and run new 4 wire?

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Chris,
    You may have overlooked the resources provided for you in this main article, however if you notice there are full instructions about wiring a stove with a 4wire connection. Please review for your application.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  6. Chris Bullock says:

    I’m replacing my old stove. The original wiring consists of just black, white ,and ground wires. My new stove has terminals for black, white,red ,and ground. Can this be done?

  7. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi M Boone,
    The bare wire of the incoming circuit cable is the ground wire. Check the installation manual that came with the new range for the required electrical circuit specifications voltage and amperage. Then you will need to identify the existing circuit at the panel to see what the amperage rating is and compare that to the required amperage of the new range. If the circuit breaker amperage is lower than that of the new range then a new dedicated circuit will be required.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  8. M Boone says:

    I’m replacing my old 1985 Kenmore range with a new full size Kenmore range. My new Kenmore range allows 3 or 4 wire connection.

    Currently my drop in range is hardwired using a junction box. The junction box has four wires running out; red, black, white, and a bare copper. Going inside the junction box from the panel are two live wires red & black. Then tied all together is a white wire, a not insulated or bare copper wire, and one bundled large/thick aluminum wire. Could the bare copper wire at all be live? Or does this existing wiring suggest that I do not have a ground wire but all three wires consisting of white, copper and aluminum represent the neutral, and I have no ground? If so, would this wiring from the junction box match up to a three wire/prong 50 amp outlet? Thus, should I plan to remove the junction box and install a new receptacle/outlet? Or, is it code or legal to hard wire the new full size range directly from the junction box just like my drop was? If so, then how do I attach to the stove terminal block? Would it be red & black live to the right and left. Then white to neutral,and where to with the bare copper wire? To the grounding strap? I asked if I could hard wire the new replacement range just as the drop in was because the aluminum bundled wire inside the junction box is fairly thick. I do wonder if it will attach easily to inside a new 3 prong outlet/receptacle together along with the bare copper and white wire? If this existing wiring as described would match up to a 3 wire outlet and it’s not legal to re- hard wire, but to meet code suppose I’ve already installed a 3 prong outlet and imagined it as existing outlet to prevent having to run a new wire for a 4 wire outlet from the panel box as my house is on a slap that has not too easy an access to the back wall of the stove area. If I’m correct in my thinking would all three wires running out of the junction box; bare copper, white, and aluminum be attached as the neutral at the 3 prong outlet? While the red and black be attached as live at the left and right sides of the 3 prong outlet suggesting my existing junction box wiring as described match up to an existing 3 prong outlet? Perhaps I’m totally wrong in my thinking as above and you state it’s a 4 prong/wire receptacle/outlet match coming out of the junction box? If so, what goes where wiring wise out of the junction box to match up to a 4 wire outlet? Sorry for such a long description and so many questions. I’m hoping with your help I’ll figure this project out. Thanks in advance for your help.

  9. 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,
    Dave

  10. Nancy says:

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

  11. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Angela,
    If your new electric oven has a 4 prong plug and the installation manual states that a 4-wire circuit with a neutral wire is required then the cord cannot be converted to a three wire cord.
    More about Wiring a Kitchen Oven:
    Wiring for an Electric Oven
    Dave

  12. 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?

  13. 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.
    Dave

  14. 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?

  15. 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.
    Dave

  16. 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.

    http://www.homedepot.com/buy/whirlpool-4-ft-3-wire-40-amp-range-cord-pt220.html#.UGTyV41lSAo

  17. 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.

  18. 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.
    Dave

  19. 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