40 amp or 50 amp for induction range

cjzimmerJanuary 28, 2011

The specs for the GE and the Electrolux both say 40 amp is fine, but I've seen various posts here over the last couple of years where people are talking about install a 50 amp line for their induction units (mostly cooktops but I think there were a few ranges as well). My house is 12 years old but when I cook I will frequently have the oven and 3 burners going at one time. Will my current 40 amp line be fine or will I be tripping the circuit breaker a lot and need to plan to put in a 50amp? I'm trying to make sure I have all the loose ends tied up before buying but I haven't figured out why people are installing 50 amp lines, so any additional info you can share is appreciated.


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We have 40 amp with our Meile and have never tripped the breaker..The specs were for a 40 amp and that is what we installed.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 9:15AM
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At a minimum, the electrical circuit should supply the ampacity specified by the manufacturer. Also, this circuit should be allocated only to the appliance, although some taps are permitted (see the code). My 36 inch Kenmore induction cooktop requires use of a 50A circuit. Other designs may be specified to require only a 40A circuit.

A cooktop that requires a 50A circuit may never pull 50A. However, if it can pull more than 40A, then the next larger breaker size and corresponding circuit ampacity is required and is the reason for the 50A requirement.

The conductors used for a 50A feed depend on a myriad of conditions related to temperature and crowding if run with other conductors in raceways. However, typically one would use no. 6 AWG copper conductors.

Wiring for the future is not a bad idea, even if the cooktop to be installed only needs 40A. However, the breaker used should be that which the manufacturer requires, even if the installed cable can supply a higher current.

The code calls for a disconnecting means within sight of the appliance, but modern cooking appliance design provides for only hard wired connections, so a wall plug is not available for this purpose. If a breaker or high current switch is too aesthetically outrageous to even contemplate on your new kitchen wall, then a lock out switch or breaker scheme somewhere else should pass. Ask first, avoid panic later.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:21AM
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ditto what kaseki said:
a breaker at 40A because the device asks for 40A, and
a wire that can carry 50A, so that any other cooktop in the future
could use that wire (and a breaker can be swapped, in the future, if needed).

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:54AM
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My house is already wired for the 40 amp for the coil unit I have (it's a freestanding range not just a cooktop). The two units I'm considering are also freestanding so my hope was to pull out the old unit and plug in the new and be done with it without involving an electrician. So if I understood you replies correctly(I'm not exactly literate on the topic of electricity but I'm trying), I should be good to go. However, if I was already rewiring then I should upgrade the line but keep the 40 amp breaker because who knows what future needs I may have. Did I get it right?

Thanks for all your help

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 4:38PM
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Look at the specifications for the unit which you will be installing. If it says 40 amps, that is all you need in the way of wire and breaker capacity.

Most 30" induction cooktops are spec'd at 40 amps. Many 36" ones require 50 amps. Not sure about the ranges, so you should check the appliance in which you are interested.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 5:33PM
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I see in another thread that you are considering the Electrolux freestanding range. For some reason, their spec sheet calls for a minimum of 40A, even though you can exceed that by quite a bit if the broiler is on when you are using all the burners. They call for 50A on their very similar slide in range. In my opinion, 50A would be the better choice, even for the freestanding. In your already wired case, I GUESS that you could try the 40A and see whether you ever pop a breaker in practice. If you never have more than a couple of burners going on high at the same time as you are baking/broiling, it may be okay. Otherwise, beef up the wiring later.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:03PM
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Looking at the GE, it will need 50 amps. I know the website says 40, but the power sizing implies 50.

[take the total watt rating and divide by the voltage. It will either be 10700/208 = 51 or 14200/240 = 59.]

IIRC, when I checked the Elux freestanding it was the same.

Just because you have a 40a breaker now does not mean that the wiring may not support 50a. It could have been done that way on purpose. (50a-sized wire with a 40a breaker) But you would need an electrician to look at it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:19PM
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When analyzing induction, keep in mind that normally all hobs cannot run at their full rated power at the same time; often pairs of hobs operate from the same power supply, and it has a maximum continuous output that is less than the sum of the maximum of each hob. Hence, in particular for my Electrolux/Kenmore, the paired hobs cannot both be in P mode, and even that mode is limited to about 10 minutes for only one hob. The manufacturer's specified current requirement will account for all this.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 12:40PM
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hi... i hope this is related and not a hijack. i'm considering an induction range and trying to sort this out too.

how does one figure out whether the circuit is already rated 40A? my house was built in 1989.

also, what (in general terms) will the electrician have to do in order to make the circuit 50A? thanks.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:13AM
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Well, ironcook, the electrician would check the existing cable ampacity based on the conductor size, and if insufficient for your needs, replace it with a new cable. This may be a simple task, or a heroic task, depending on how your house is configured.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 12:21AM
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thanks, kas...

so a service call is required just to find out what the current rating is; it's not just labeled or something like that? :(

simple vs. heroic task: is this related to outlet proximity to circuit breaker box, or something even more complicated?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 1:27AM
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ironcook, go to the wiring forum and post a question in a new thread. That's what to do.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 1:45AM
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Go look at your breaker box for the circuit for the stove. The rating for the breaker should be stamped on it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 5:13AM
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Look on the wire (if you can see it) It will have a rating stamp. If it is #8 than it's ok for 40amp, but you need #6 for 50 amp. You can always have heavier wire than needed, so if you have #6 wire with a 40amp breaker, you are fine and can swap the breaker for a 50 amp with no problems.

We put in #6 wire so that we'd be good to go if we ever ended up with appliances that needed 50amps. Our current cooktop and wall ovens both require 40 - but who knows what we may want 10 years down the road.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 5:45AM
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Kaseki, am I reading you right, that code requires a means - located in the kitchen - to cut off electricity to the range?

Is there an analogous requirement for an in-kitchen means to shut off gas to a gas range?

Are either or both of these things good ideas, even if not required?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 7:41AM
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I ended up talking to the electrician after all. (He teaches my daughter's Sunday school class so it wasn't hard to do). He said my house already has the wire for the 50 amp and so it would be a matter of switching the breaker. Total cost would be about $75. However, in his opinion he didn't think I would need to do that. He says he's dealt with quite a few that have called for 50 but have never had problems on a 40amp breaker but he was willing to come and switch it if I wanted (I would do this just in case).

However, with further inspection of the install sheets, the wall outlet is not in the correct position. It would need to be shifted to the right 4-6 inches. I'm hoping that the wires have enough extra length to stretch that much farther unless outlet placement is really not a big issue.

I've been debating between the GE induction and the elctrolux induction (both freestanding) but now am also considering the ELectrolux slide-in (since I like the burner configuration than on the freestanding version)

Does anyone know if the outlet issue is really a big deal with either of the elctrolux inductions units (freestanding or slide-in)?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 8:39AM
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@weedmeister and macybaby: thanks for answering.

Stephanie, i'm in the same place you are, choosing an induction range and trying to sort out if i can just plug it in. so this thread is very helpful. hope it didn't bother you that i asked some questions (lurkers may have the same ones). thanks.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 3:56PM
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John: no on the electrical cutoff next to the stove. Yes to gas cutoff next to the stove.

Outlet placement is important in that if it is in the wrong place you will not be able to push the stove back against the wall.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 4:46PM
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My heroic vs. simple reference was directed toward replacing cable that might not be easily accessible. For example, wiring that is buried in a slab floor. If the conduit is sized so that its 40A conductors fit but the 50A don't (at least with allowable fill factor) then replacement may be difficult or unallowed. Or, cable run through crawl spaces that are practically inaccessible followed by flooring installation. Or, cable that has to be run through attics filled with annoying insulation.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 6:49PM
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Disconnecting means applicable to ranges and cooktops is addressed in the 2008 NEC paragraphs 422.31(B) -- 422.35. In short, for permanently connected over 300 VA appliances, if the switch or breaker is not within sight of the appliance, then a lock-out system on the out-of-sight breaker is required, and this lock-out system has to be permanently installed.

This is not required (422.34) if the appliance has a switch that disconnects all ungrounded conductors. The finger sensing "power" switch on the surface of my induction cooktop would not qualify as meeting the intent of this rule.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 7:11PM
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thanks very much, kas.

Stephanie... in the kitchens forum, sharkbyte recently posted a finished kitchen with the electrolux slide-in induction range. i linked to it below if you'd like to ask about it there. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: sharkbyte's kitchen with electrolux slide-in induction range

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 11:07PM
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cjzimmer -I was in the same boat when I bought my 30" Kenmore induction slide-in. I had two electricians look at my breaker box and I have 6 gauge wiring so I could swap it out for a 50A breaker.

I haven't done it yet and have never blown a fuse.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 9:08AM
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To piggyback on this question, I am about to run a 50 amp circuit for a new Jenn Air induction cooktop. I asked my electrician father in law what wire I should get since I would be physically running the wire, while he would be making the terminations at the box and the outlet. He said #6 wire but that I might need an insulated ground. So would I need insulated ground? Could someone link to the exact wire I should buy?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:20PM
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