Convert oven hooked up now with 3 wire to 4, Wht wire short

scottwood2October 1, 2012

My wall oven is wired for 4 wire hookup. The house has a 3 wire system so when the oven was hooked up the white wire was cut shorter and connected to the bare copper wire.

OK, now I am thinking of replacing this alum 3 wire in the house and running new 4 conductor cable. This is better, I know but now what do I do with the short white wire? Can I just use a wire nut and extend it, just connect it to the new wire directly or cut back the steel conduit and make the wires all the same lenght again?


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First, unless there is something wrong with the existing cable for the wall oven, I wouldn't bother replacing it. Yes, 4 wire is marginally safer than 3 wire, but not enough to bother with replacing it (in my mind).

If you do decide to replace it, you'll need to describe more about where the white wire was "cut shorter". If this is inside the junction box, then yes, you can create a pigtail to extend the white oven wire.

If by "steel conduit" you really mean metallic sheathed cable, and if you have slack in that cable, then you could certainly shorten that cable to make all of the wires the same length again.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 6:27PM
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Ron Natalie

All good electricians have a wire stretcher in the bottom of their toolbox for such situations.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 8:26AM
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Murphy's Corollary #12: Wires cut to fit, don't.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:19PM
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Thx for the replies. Yes the area I am talking about is in the junction box. I have read a lot about this and yes I agree that cutting the wire shorter was a mistake. I just copied what was done with the old oven. It is done now so this is what I have to work with.

I talked to my electrical inspector for the city today and he said the wiring is fine the way it is. New 4 conductor is better and code for new construction but 3 conductor is fine and the wire being alum is fine as well.

I talked to 2 electricians at work and they said they would replace it so this is where this all started. So now I am thinking of just keeping the current setup with a crimp connector just like it has been for the past 55 years.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:37PM
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