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Old 03-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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3 prong range?


I have basic electrical knowledge....this is an attempt at a more complicated DIY....

I have a condo built in 1964. It had a slide-in range (original to the unit), that is being replced with a new Frigidaire range (convection, stainless...high end range).

The old range had a metal box that held the power cords. They come out of the wall wrapped together, in a rubber tube.

Three wires: 2 black (I assume hot) and one bare copper braided wire (very thick...not the typical thin ground Im used to).

I bought a three prong outlet from Home Depot, and connected the two black wire to the outer terminals (hot) and the braided copper wire to the neutral (center) terminal. I then had a ground (small copper wire, green) that connected that neutral terminal to the ground screw on the box.

The range is being delivered nect week...but I wanted to find out if I did this correctly or not? Thanks for the help

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Old 03-10-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
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3 prong range?


Actually the old unit is a drop-in....I believe it was hard wired....

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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I bought a three prong outlet from Home Depot, and connected the two black wire to the outer terminals (hot) and the braided copper wire to the neutral (center) terminal. I then had a ground (small copper wire, green) that connected that neutral terminal to the ground screw on the box.
This is all wrong. If your new range is 120/240 volt you are going to have to run new cable from the breaker panel to the range location. The existing wiring you have is 240 volt only and you cannot connect the bare equipment ground to the neutral of the receptacle....very unwise.

Do you know the model number of your new range? If not can you go to the Frigidaire website and locate it for us? This will allow us to more accurately describe what you will need for the new range.

In any event what you have done is absolutely not acceptable.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:28 PM   #4
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In any event what you have done is absolutely not acceptable
Code allows it.




New range circuits must be 4 wire. 2 hots, neutral and ground.

Old range circuits were 3 wire. 2 hots and a ground.

Your 3 wire recep has 2 hots and a ground.

You can connect a new range to an existing 3 wire circuit. The neutral and ground will be tied together via a factoty jumper in the range terminal box.


Quote:
I then had a ground (small copper wire, green) that connected that neutral terminal to the ground screw on the box.
Typically you would ground the box with the ground wire in the cable instead of landing two wires under the receptical ground terminal. You are accomplishing the same thing but are risking a poor connection under the ground terminal because of the 2 different wires.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-10-2008 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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Typically you would ground the box with the ground wire in the cable instead of landing two wires under the receptical ground terminal. You are accomplishing the same thing but are risking a poor connection under the ground terminal because of the 2 different wires.

I could remove that green ground in the 3-prong black box and just wire the neutral and ground together in the range...(best buy will do that when they deliver the range anyway when the hook the three-prong cord to the range)...

So I am okay hooking that bare braided copper wire in as the neutral? I thought this was correct, and that my wiring was grandfathered in as it is from 1964....
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:38 PM   #6
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Old range circuits were 3 wire. 2 hots and a ground.
Sorry, but this is 100% wrong.
Older 120/240v range and dryer circuits were two hots and a NEUTRAL.
The old code allowed the omission of the ground wire and allowed the ground of the appliance to be bonded to the neutral, NOT the other way around.


The ONLY way this would be legal is if the existing circuit was an SE cable, which is sounds like it might be from the OP's description. THIS was a legal alternative since the bare braided conductor in SE cable IS a neutral, not a ground.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Sorry, but this is 100% wrong.
The ONLY way this would be legal is if the existing circuit was an SE cable, which is sounds like it might be from the OP's description. THIS was a legal alternative since the bare braided conductor in SE cable IS a neutral, not a ground.

The braided copper wire is within the same rubber like tube as the 2 hot wires...I guess that is a SE Cable?
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:10 PM   #8
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I could remove that green ground in the 3-prong black box and just wire the neutral and ground together in the range
Your metal box still must be "grounded". Wrap the bare wire around the ground screw or make an opening in the twisted bare wire (about 2" into the box) to put the ground screw thru.

I'd tell you to use a washer with your ground screw to allow the ground to be secured better to the box but Petey will likely chime in about the dangers of improper use of fender washers.

Your SE is legal and fine whether you call the bare wire the neutral or the ground.



Quote:
The old code allowed the omission of the ground wire and allowed the ground of the appliance to be bonded to the neutral, NOT the other way around.

Correct. I always assumed it was the other way around. I thought older ranges were straight 240 and newer ones were 120/240.

I learnt sumpthin today.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-10-2008 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
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3 prong range?


Hey, at least I tried being nice.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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Aren't you forgetting to ask all the if 'questions'.....? Braid does not make the cable se type. It also does not mean the cable originates at the service equipment, it is very likely in a condo it originates in a sub-panel.

I based my answer on my belief that his cable is not a compliant cable for reuse as existing for a 3 wire connection. He has a copper braid this would be real unusual as an SE type cable in 1964 from my experience. However I will concede if this cable is a copper ser cable he can reuse as a 3 wire connection. I still recommend a 4 wire connection.... much safer when dealing with appliances that have that much exposed metal surface.

I would like to have recieved a bit more information before I agreed to a blanket 3 wire connection is just fine and code allows it.

Last edited by Stubbie; 03-10-2008 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:31 PM   #11
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One last thing I fail to see how we can say he can reuse this cable even if it is SE. From his description he is changing from a hardwired cooktop to a free standing range. Not usually the same amperage requirements or ocpd.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Aren't you forgetting to ask all the if 'questions'.....? Braid does not make the cable se type. It also does not mean the cable originates at the service equipment, it is very likely in a condo it originates in a sub-panel.
Well I'll give you that. Good point.

I will say, most range circuit I see from the late 40's through the 60's are of the SE type. This was extremely popular around here. Hell, we occasionally used them right up until the code changed to be honest.

The sub-panel point is well taken, as well as the fact that a 4-wire circuit is definitely safer.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:36 PM   #13
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3 prong range?


He is going from range to range Stubbie

Quote:
I have a condo built in 1964. It had a slide-in range (original to the unit), that is being replced with a new Frigidaire range
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
From his description he is changing from a hardwired cooktop to a free standing range. Not usually the same amperage requirements or ocpd.
He does say "slide in range" to a freestanding, so one can only assume both are full ranges. He also does say "high end" about the new one, so it would not hurt to check the specs of the new unit to be sure.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:38 PM   #15
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