will a 40 amp breaker work for induction range?

hiltonMay 6, 2011

I just purchased an Electolux free standing induction range. The manual in Canada says 40 amp minimum. I have 40 amp breaker right now. The salesmen say get 50 amp. Will I do any damage to the range or is there any fire hazard to keeping it at 40 amps? The same induction range calls for a 50 amp breaker in the slide in model with same wattage for elements and ovens. I asked Electrolux and they just sent me links to the same pages that say 40 amp minimum.

Thanks for any advice.

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ionized_gw

The answer may be, it depends. GE is not going to try to explain all the subtle details to the average customer either. I can't tell you how often I have been down that road and come to a dead end. Some of these induction cooktops and ranges, double hobs etc., have the ability to shave power output to individual hobs because full power for all is never available. That may be true when optimal power is not available as well. That means that if you have a two-hob appliance and have the big hob going, you get full power out of it. If you turn on the second one to full power, it divides the available power between them so you get reduced power from both.

Nominal voltage for the range is 240 V. I suspect that if your electric utility is supplying full voltage (240 V or maybe a little above) and you have a short cable run from your service panel to the range you might get full performance from your range. OTOH, maybe even under the best conditions you might get better performance with 50 amp circuit. If the voltage sags a little, your range might chop power to the hobs.

I plan on installing induction cooking in my kitchen. I will want the full benefit from my high-performance cooking equipment so I will be installing the optional larger power cable if there is a choice.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 6:26PM
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kurto

The range won't have any way of knowing what type of over current device you have installed. If a 40A circuit is not enough, the breaker will open. Most of the time, you won't be using all of the "burners", so you'll probably be okay on 40A (except for Thanksgiving Dinner or a big party). Just remember, the circuit breaker is there to protect the wire, so if you need more ampacity, you'll need to increase the size of the wires as well.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 7:21PM
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weedmeister

This was discussed concerning a different range. Basically, you will not harm the range. The worst that will happen, if at all, is that the breaker will trip in the middle of cooking dinner for 12 guests.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 10:45PM
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ontariojer

What is the brand name on the front of your electrical Panel?

Seriously. Just look and post it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 1:28PM
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brickeyee

If the instructions say 40 amp minimum there is no real reason to go any higher.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 2:31PM
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hilton

Thanks for the advice
Re: Ontariojer's question about the name of the electrical panel. It has a sticker saying Federal Pioneer and by the breakers it says Federal Pioneer Stab-Lok.

I'm not too concerned about tripping a breaker sometimes. If it was too often I'd have a 50 amp breaker with new wire put in. I am more concerned that I may have a fire hazard with the 40 amp wire overheating, if that is a possibility.

It disturbs me that the Electrolux specifications state all different numbers, the free standing says 40 amp, the slide in 50 amp and the USA same model says 50 amp.

I rarely have 12 for dinner and if I did and the range couldn't handle it, well there is always take out!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:31AM
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brickeyee

One of the things that plays in circuit ratings is the fusing current of the wore internal to the unit.

You want the internal wiring to conduct the fault current long enough to trip the breaker without the wire becoming a fuse.

Variations between different pieces may reflect other loads present in some of them and not others.
Free standing may contain some lighting, or even a clock.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 4:08PM
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ionized_gw

Maybe Canadian amps are bigger than USA amps ;-)

OTOH, some induction hobs are allowed to temporarily surge past their rated continuous capacity. Maybe in the US, installed cabling to the appliances is not allowed to go over capacity for as long. I would think that would trip the breaker though. Maybe the electricians and engineers here can make a better hypothesis.

There are a couple of things you might want to know about induction cooktops and ranges. The sum power of the hobs always exceeds the total capacity of the appliance. Usually pairs of hobs share power supplies and the hobs have a higher rating than the power supplies can make.

I am looking at specifications for a "40 amp" Electrolux cooktop right now. I have no idea if it is the same as yours, but serves to illustrate. The hobs are rated at (continuous/boost) 2.4/3.4, 1.9/2.6, 2.5/3.8, and 1.5/1.9 kW.

The continuous rating adds up to 8.3 kW, but Electrolux rates the whole cooktop at 7.7 kW. Did Electrolux make a mistake? No, the controls will cut power and limit the whole thing to 7.7 kW. There is no way you make all of that. The appliance limits itself to its rated capacity.

Furthermore, the hobs are usually powered in pairs by a power supply. Two hobs will have one power supply. Three hobs will have two power supplies. Four hobs will have two power supplies and five will have three. If you know how they are paired, you can use your cooktop more effectively. If you want to be heating up that stockpot really fast at the same time your are making a roux, pick the small hob that is not linked to the biggest hob. If you don�t, the stockpot might slow down.

The next thing you might notice is that the "boost capacity" of all the hobs adds up to a whopping 11.7 kW. The boost capacity is usually a temporary power output that cannot be sustained by the equipment. If it ran at that capacity, heat would build up in something, and smoke would come out. You probably cannot "boost" with the second hob going on the same power supply.

Compare that to a resistance cooktop. The sum power of the hobs cannot exceed the rated capacity of the appliance because the hobs themselves are the only control over the power consumption, not some microprocessor.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 5:28PM
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ontariojer

With a federal panel, the 40amp breaker is more than adequate.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 11:27PM
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brickeyee

"With a federal panel, the 40amp breaker is more than adequate."

The problem with the Federal Stab-lock panels is that they may not open under over-current conditions.

A breaker failing to open is a significant safety hazard.

You should consider having the panel replaced.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:47AM
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coco4444

Salesperson told me this weekend that Electrolux has told them the free-standing induction range no longer requires 50A, 40A is fine. Of course, that's coming from the salesperson!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 1:17PM
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