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Old 04-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


Replacing my gas range with an electric. The wire is there but no outlet. The range is a three prong and coming out of the wall I have a white, black and bare. The outlet I have says the middle wire should be white. But on the range, I'm pretty sure the middle wire on the cord is the ground. Should I put the bare wire in the middle terminal on the outlet even though it is marked white? If so, does it matter which side the black and white is on?

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Old 04-13-2008, 07:09 AM   #2
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


You CANNOT use that range circuit! In fact, that circuit was never legal, even back in the days of "3-wire" range circuits. The bare ground in that NM cable CANNOT be used to carry current. The middle connection in your range is a NEUTRAL, NOT a ground.

You need a new "4-wire" circuit run to this range. Typically 6/3NM or 8/3NM is run.
You also need the appropriate 4-wire wall receptacle and cord set for the range.

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Old 04-13-2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


In earlier times a three wire range circuit was the norm. If you have three wires coming out of the wall you are not required to change over to the four wire system.
The white and black are the hot wires. (240 Volt) The bare wire is the ECG (ground). Check in your service panel and see if both the black and white land on a double pole breaker. The breaker must be sized for the wire size. Like speedy said either 6/3 or 8/3 NM. The bare must land on the ground bus bar (terminal strip).
You must use a 3 prong outlet that matches your 3 prong plug. You are right, the middle wire in the cord is the ground.

If you were doing a renovation you would be required to change to four wire. But if you have the three wire and no major renovations are in progress you may connect a three wire range circuit.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:22 PM   #4
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
In earlier times a three wire range circuit was the norm. If you have three wires coming out of the wall you are not required to change over to the four wire system.
I knew this would happen, that someone would say that this existing "240v" circuit was fine.
THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!! A household range is a 120/240v appliance, NOT 240v.
How is it supposedly seasoned electricians still don't get this????

True, older "3-wire" 120/240v circuits were acceptable, IF they had a NEUTRAL!
The ONLY acceptable cables were ones with THREE INSULATED wires, OR Type SE cable. That's IT.
A solid bare wire IS NOT and WAS NEVER allowed to carry current or act as a neutral.

The cable in question to me sounds like NM cable:
Quote:
coming out of the wall I have a white, black and bare.
These older circuits were allowed to omit the ground, the neutral served a dual purpose as both the neutral and the ground.

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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
You are right, the middle wire in the cord is the ground.
NO, he is not right. The center wire is a NEUTRAL.

YOU CANNOT use this cable/circuit.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


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The wire is there but no outlet.

More importantly, what size is the wire?



Some people would suggest that the bare conductor in NM is the same as the bare conductor in SE.
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:03 PM   #6
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


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Some people would suggest that the bare conductor in NM is the same as the bare conductor in SE.
They could suggest it but they would be completely wrong.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:03 AM   #7
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


Speedy,
I was waiting for your response. I questioned your statement regarding the three wire hook up. I have never heard of or seen a 120/240 range. For purposes of this thread I checked the older range in my basement. It's nameplate say's 240. The diagram on the back of the range shows the terminations. 240 volt 3 wire. It actually has the ground identified as so. No mention of neutral. Of course the new ranges require the neutral for the electronics.

I am not doubting anything you said and would hope you would explain this to me in detail. I have been using three wire hook ups for a long time and if I have been screwing up each time I went to a range and found 6/2 and connected it, I have many call backs ahead on my dime. I hope I can find all these people, its been 30 plus years.
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:32 AM   #8
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


Sorry JV, but you have been wrong. Petey is correct. Prior to 1996, you were allowed to connect ranges and dryers with three insulated conductors (no separate ground) or SE type cable, provided the circuit originated at the main service panel. NM type cable with only two insulated conductors and a bare ground has never been allowed.

Range and dryer circuits originating in subpanels, or ranges and dryers installed in manufactured homes, required a 4 wire circuit even prior to 1996.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:08 AM   #9
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


My first experience was in the early 70's. I just started doing electrical work and the 3 wire SE was a typical install. I asumed that ranges were straight 240 with a ground but when I did a service call for a buddy I found out different.

His burners worked on LOW but not high. He had a faulted conductor (due to his half asses repair when he cut the SE installing ductwork). His range was 120/240 so I would guess that most of them are. It did take the NEC a long time to change the requirements but I'd say it was a very good change.

I've never looked at a dryer motor to see if they are 120v but I assume the lights/controls are.


Quote:
They could suggest it but they would be completely wrong.
They would be wrong by NEC standards. Completely is too absolute.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:33 AM   #10
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


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I've never looked at a dryer motor to see if they are 120v but I assume the lights/controls are.
Most dryers sold in the US have 120v motors and controls. Only the heating element uses the 240V.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:38 AM   #11
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


I remember as a kid (circa 1960) we had a dryer that would shock the piss out of you and it was right next to a doorway that we used every day.

My Dad's solution was to tell us not to touch it
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:30 PM   #12
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They would be wrong by NEC standards. Completely is too absolute.
Actually, with regard to your statement, completely fits pretty well.
The ground of NM cable was NEVER intended or designed to carry current.
I'm not sure how much clearer this can be.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Some people would suggest that the bare conductor in NM is the same as the bare conductor in SE.
OK, I hate to drag things over from another thread, but this struck me as ironic.

You say with regard to a range, the bare wire in NM cable is the same as the bare in SE cable, in that it can carry current.

How is that ANY different than any other situation where the bare in NM carries circuit current?
You are obviously against that. You said it yourself:
Quote:
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I am not an alarmist but using the ground to carry current can kill someone in many different ways....maybe decades from now.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:44 PM   #14
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


It is two different issues.

As far as range/dryer circuits...........

In my opinion, the rule requiring a 4 wire circuit for ranges and dryers is one of the best changes in the NEC to come along. I never thought it was a good idea to allow the 3 wire system.

The code does allow the 3 wire system (bare neutral/ground) if it is SE.

In MY opinion, although against code, an existing 3 wire NM circuit is as safe as an existing SE circuit.



Now......

Using the ground as a conductor in a lighting/recep circuit is loaded with potential problem because of all the places it goes. Range/dryer issues will at least be limited to the appliance itself.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:02 PM   #15
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3 Prong Range Hook up question


Not to disrupt your argument, but.... I believe the reason SE cable was allowed for ranges in the first place was not because there was anything special about the neutral. I believe it was allowed for convenience sake because electricians already had the cable on their trucks and didn't have to carry another size cable just for the range, years ago.

So the argument about the "special" SE neutral vs. the NM neutral I believe is a mute point.

At least that's my belief

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