Oven wiring

footwedgeMay 22, 2011

For any of you who have not read my other threads, I have to replace the entrance/service panel. Currently there is a 50 amp breaker protecting the existing wall oven and separate cooktop. The electric cooktop will be replaced with a natural gas unit. The cable is SE XHHW 6 AWG AL 3 CDRS 600V E-90490. According to the GE instructions the unit has to be protected by a 20 amp circuit. The rating plate on the display at Lowes had the following: (3kw 208Y/120V 60 hz) and (4kw 120/240V 60 hz). I pulled the oven out to look at the cable on the back of the oven and it was a 4 cdrs AL and appeared to about 12 awg stranded.

I want to be able to intelligently discuss this with the electrician tomorrow. Since the panel will be replaced, I plan to have the 50 amp breaker replaced with a 20amp. I would also like to use the existing 6 awg 3 cdrs cable if a 20 amp breaker will accept a 6 awg wire. Our local code will allow a 3 to 4 cord connection. If the 20 amp breaker will not accept the 6 awg, I assume they make a 4 cdrs 12 awg cable that can be used.

Any recommendations to the avove will be appreciated.

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Ron Natalie

I assume the ratings you give are for the OVEN not the cook top. Does the gas cooktop require electric connection (most do these days)? Where is it going to get power?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:42AM
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Yes the rating is for the single/double wall oven model PT 925. Here's a link to the install instructions in particular pages 2,8 & 9:


For the range top, I disconnected the cable between the 2 existing outlets are either side of the cooktop and dropped down adding another outlet at the location required by the gas rangetop.

I need to know about the feed to the oven.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Ron Natalie

You can downsize the breaker. If the inspector will consider this still grandfathered into a three-wire hookup, that's fine.

You tapping off your small appliance branch circuit is ILLEGAL however.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:36PM
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A blind man could see that I'm not an electrician; but, I guess we'll see what the inspector says when he comes by.

I believe the very small load requirement for the ignitors is insignificant and could be and have been considered a small appliance itself in this area. I got three estimates from local electricians one of which does all the electrical for my KD and we went over every detail of the work and they all said no problem when this area was discussed. They even said it was ok to tap off this HOLY circuit to feed the uc lighting but I redesigned the layout and came off a light switch. Furthermore, evidently at the time my house was constructed the outlets next to the rangetop must not have been considered part of the small appliance circuit because they are not GFI protected and are on the same circuit as one of the dining room outlets. The only outlets that are GFI protected are adjacent to the sink on the opposite wall.

I'm not going to debate code on whether or not the aforementioned is correct; but, at some point a little common sense has to come into play. Regardless, if he tells me to feed it from somewhere else I will do it; but, I will never agree that this will degrade the Holy circuit.

I ask you to tell me how this would adversely affect the electrical system when you have a total of 4 outlets, including the questionable one, the two on either side of the rangetop and the one in the dinning room one, on a 20 amp circuit; and, I don't want to hear "BECAUSE THE CODE SAID SO"

Back to the issue at hand, if the 20 amp breaker will not accept a 6 awg wire then the 3crds AL cable will need to be replaced. What size and can it be CU or Al cable is recommended. I do know that a 20 amp circuit is wired with #12. I must say I'm having a hard time accepting a oven can be connected to a 20 amp breaker.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 8:13PM
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Ron Natalie

You can use any listed connector to pigtail a #12 or larger wire to fit into the smaller breaker.

Don't get snarky with me, I'm telling you what the code is which is the LAW. You can't randomly connect things to the receptacle circuits in the kitchen. The code is specific, NO OTHER OUTLETS.

Frankly it would be legal to leave it tapped off the old range circuit (go figure).

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 9:58PM
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Your oven is rated for 4kw according to what you stated. 4000/240v = 16.66amps.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:33PM
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So I suppose one can get a 12 awg 4 crds AL? or CU, just have not seen one.

Hey ronnatlie, you are the one that yelled ILLEGAL. Small caps would not have been so snarky and you did state how this would adversely affect the system.

So the code allows me to pigtail a #12 or larger to the 6 awg within the service panel to facilitate connection to the 20 amp breaker ?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:57PM
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Ron Natalie

Yes, you can connect the #12 to #6 as long as the OCD is only 20A.

The code is clear. The practical matter is that you run afoul of your local AHJ, your insurance company if you ever make a claim, the potential future buyer of the house. Illegal is illegal. There's no "justification" we have to make for keeping you from doing illegal work. Once some future inspector gets the whiff of one illegal connection, you can expect them to assume that some body without a clue as the legalities worked on the project and start looking deeper.

The reasoning, if you really must know, is that there are a lot of countertop appliances used in the kitchen. Coffee makers, can openers, toaster ovens, microwaves, etc... Two circuits (at least) are required to be dedicated to these. It keeps people from having to do other unsafe things to manage these appliances. It is entirely analogous to why 20A circuits are required for bathrooms.

But again, I don't have to justify the NEC to you if you are in one of the 36 states where it is the law any more than why you shouldn't be driving 100MPH down the highway.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 6:26AM
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Thanks for clarifying the service panel connection.

I'm clear on what the code states regarding the SACs, but does it limit the no. of outlets you can have? I think I remember another thread talking about this. So if it does not limit the outlets then I could put 10 if I wanted to around the countertops accessible to numerous small appliances that could be used at the same time. But what I did according to the Code by adding an outlet, which will be behind the base cabinets and only accessible if a drawer is removed, to an exiting 3 outlet SA circuit is illegal.

If the number of outlets is not limited, which situation is more dangerous?

This conversation has caused me to look at the electrical requirements for the gas rangetop and it requires 15 amp protection. I guess I will rewire and feed off the ceiling/above cabinet lighting 15 amp circuit. I hope the code allows a 15 amp outlet to be placed in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 7:53AM
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You must not be aware of this exception to the no other outlets from the small appliance circuits.

Exception No. 2: Receptacles installed to provide power
for supplemental equipment and lighting on gas-fired
ranges, ovens, or counter-mounted cooking units.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:05AM
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Hey Groundrod, please comment on the 15 amp breaker above.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 8:55AM
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What do the instructions say exactly? Does it require a 15amp receptacle, or does it say 15amp circuit maximum? These mean two different things entirely.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:24AM
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It is permissible to wire the receptacle for the gas cooktop from the small appliance circuit.

Do the specs call for a REQUIRED 15A circuit, or a minimum 15A circuit?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 11:26AM
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The specs simply state: Electrical Ratings, Voltage 120VAC, Current/Power 15 amp, Frequency 60 hz. I called the manufacturer and they said the 20 amp circuit will be ok. He was more concerned about having a positive ground.

I plan to use a 15 amp receptacle anyway.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 3:12PM
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sounds like a winner.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:58PM
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