Converting junction box to outlet receptacle

larRE714June 8, 2014


First time homeowner with a (hopefully simple) question.

We bought a house that had an electric cooktop. Not a fan of electric cooktops, we replaced it with a gas cooktop and would like somehow convert the junction box (that the electric cooktop was wired to) to a regular outlet receptacle (so that I can plug in a regular 3-prong plug). The junction box sits underneath the cooktop, in an island.

Before I removed the cooktop, I snapped a photo of how everything is wired up.

Here's how the wiring was connected (house on left, cooktop on right)

blue --> red
white --> green
black --> black

A few questions...
1. Is it legal (i.e., up to code) to convert the box to an outlet receptacle?
2. Is this something that I can do? or do I need to hire someone to do it? I consider myself pretty handy around the house.
3. How do I do it? Which color wire corresponds to what? I've been searching online and a majority of the information I found mention white, black and green, not white, blue and black that I have at my house.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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Ron Natalie

You've got a number of problems here.

First off, if my eyes serve me right, those are 10g wires and a 13 cu in handy box. That's overfilling the box.

However if you rip out the whip to the cooktop, and put in a single device yoke, you'd still overfill the box.

Your electric cooktop installation is also making use of a grandfathered provision in the code that allows the grounded conductor to be used as the frame ground for the cooktop. You can't get away with that for a regular receptacle.

You'd need to replace that box with a larger one that would be legal (you need 14 cu in at least).

The next issue is you need a ground (you can not use the neutral). I can't see what is feeding that box. If it is armored cable or conduit that can legally serve as a ground, you are OK. If it is some form of other cable, you can either strip or recolor the white green on both ends (and terminate the white on the ground on the other end).

You need to put an appropriate sized breaker in for the receptacle you're using (15 or 20A most likely). It probably has a 30 now.

You should ask an electrician to come visit. THere's too much stuff I can't see with the little picture you show. It might be doable, it might not.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Thank you for your reply. I'll have an electrician come out and save me the trouble. From your post, that's an easier option.

Any idea on how much something like this should cost? I'm Orange County, Ca. area.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:40PM
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