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Old 02-21-2011, 09:14 PM   #1
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


Bought a new GE double oven. The amp rating for it says it is 30amps.

The house was built (1982) with a 50 amp breaker on the oven and I have been told I should put in a 30amp breaker instead to match the oven rating. I've seen plenty on raisng the breaker rating if the unit draws more than the breaker but haven't seen much on lowering the breaker.

My wire is 10AWG for black and red and 12AWG for the white.

Is it recommended to change the 50amp to a 30 amp.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


Current code requires a 4-wire feed meaning a black, a red, a white, and a green. The oven should have a 4-wire cord or cable. And yes you should have a 30A breaker. All wire should be 10ga. What you have now is grossly undersized wire for the amperage of your breaker and the possibly for the case of your oven to become energized.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:05 AM   #3
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


we are grandfathered in with the 3 wire supply. No it will not cause the oven frame to become hot. It is not inherently unsafe, maybe not as safe as a 4 wire supply.


Now If indeed you have 10ga wiring it should NEVER have been put on any breaker bigger then 30a.(a smaller breaker is ok). It is not uncommon for the neutral to be undersized. (not a great thing but ok)

SO since it asks for a 30a breaker lets give it one.

Do you feel comfortable working in a hot electrical panel? If not call a professional.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:54 AM   #4
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


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I've seen plenty on raisng the breaker rating if the unit draws more than the breaker but haven't seen much on lowering the breaker.
Anyone who gives advice like this without knowing every detail is a plain FOOL!
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:46 AM   #5
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


Check manufacturers directions!!!! But definitely 4 wire cable sized for the breaker.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:36 AM   #6
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


It looks like I should go to a 30 amp breaker regardless due to wire size. A 50amp may not have been a good choice to start with.

There is a green wire also so it is four wires, sorry I forgot to put that in the original post.

Thank you all for you input on this.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:14 AM   #7
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


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My wire is 10AWG for black and red and 12AWG for the white.
Just curious; are you saying the existing wiring that fed the old range was #10 and it was connected to a 50 amp breaker?
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:25 AM   #8
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


Yes, the wiring to the old range is #10 and it is connected to a 50amp breaker. I'm not sure if that's the way the house was originally wired but the oven was an original Hotpoint oven.

I have just removed the 50amp breaker and will go get a replacement 30amp this afternoon.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:31 AM   #9
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


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I have just removed the 50amp breaker and will go get a replacement 30amp this afternoon.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:58 AM   #10
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


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I have just removed the 50amp breaker and will go get a replacement 30amp this afternoon.
You brought a smile to my face!!

It is okay to oversize the wires used to supply appliances.
NEVER overfuse!
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


Thanks everyone. The breaker is changed with a Square D 30amp . Not too hard. The wires connected to the breaker are very thick stranded wires. They must get down sized somewhere else.

Moving on to the next task.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:50 PM   #12
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


Are you sure that your new oven is only a 30 amp? Every other "Double Oven" I have seen or installed called for a 50 or higher. I just wanted to be sure, maybe with these new efficient appliances they are lowering the ampere ratings.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #13
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


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Thanks everyone. The breaker is changed with a Square D 30amp . Not too hard. The wires connected to the breaker are very thick stranded wires. They must get down sized somewhere else....
Chances are, you had a combination circuit for both a cooktop and an oven.

The Code allows for a single circuit, such as 50 Amp to feed both appliances, even if each appliance only requires a 30 Amp circuit. In fact, the tap rules allow for a 20 Amp appliance to be fed off of a 50 Amp circuit, without having to change the breaker.

I'd be willing to bet you have a splice box somewhere near that oven where the #6 ("very thick stranded wires" as you stated) changes over to the #10 conductors. Look under the floor in the basement/crawl space, or even hidden in your kitchen cabinet.

Now IF you no longer have an electric cooktop present, then changing the breaker to 30 Amps is no big deal.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #14
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


20,30 and 40 amp double ovens are very common ... 50's are a little rare unless you go buying Viking ovens or the like.

I have to side with Kbsparky that you have 6 awg stranded to a junction box and tap wiring from there for the appliance (s). This was pretty common before the manufacturers started requiring individual branch circuits.

Also I'm not sure if 4 wires will be needed as there are far more double ovens that are 240 volts only than 120/240 volts.

I'm thinking you probably will just need 2 hots and ground and will cap the neutral.

Do you have the model # of your GE oven ?
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:49 PM   #15
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Need to match breaker size to oven amps?


The oven is a GE Profile PK956SRSS. It calls for a 30amp breaker. I also called them to double check.

I did find that the cook top is on its own 40 amp breaker. The old oven was a 1981 Hotpoint oven and microwave combination. Maybe they needed more back then. I've also checked everything I could think of and have not found any other items on the same breaker.
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