installing a new range outlet

apheresisDecember 14, 2009

I am installing a 50A-125/250V Non-Grounding range outlet in my kitchen. I have been intimidated by it because of the size of the wires. (and I don't want to burn my house down!) I was confused by the wires because they seemed to be smaller wires in a big sleeve, but tonight I took the caps off to see why there was a white, green and bare wire in one white sleeve only to find that the copper wires were just little garbage pieces stuck in the caps! The job seems simpler now, just shove the white one in the neutral slot and the black and red into the other two and screw them in, but I just want to be sure.

Here is a link to a photo showing the capped wires, the little pieces of copper wire, and the uncapped wires.

Am I right about the installation? The circuit breaker for this outlet is two switches that each say 50 on them, connected as one. Does this sound ok? I don't need those little wire bits do I?


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I think you are doing ok on identification of the wires, but there are some troubling things about the setup.

Are the wires in a protective sheath or conduit? I don't see either in the picture.

If sheathed, is there a cable clamp where it enters the box?

Is the wire aluminum or tinned copper? Looking at the clipped ends I think they are Al, which requires special care in termination. The purple wire nuts are also a clue. I haven't used them but recall discussion of special protective grease and purple wire nuts for aluminum. Some receptacles may not be rated for aluminum.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 12:19AM
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I don't see any clamps, but is this conduit? The caps are blue in person does that make a difference? I believe the wires are aluminum, the color is consistent throughout... The outlet package says it may be used with copper, copper-clad, or aluminum.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 1:06AM
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That looks like the hind end of a clamp, but you need to see the other side.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 8:41AM
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Generally conduit is only used where local codes require it; Chicago and its suburbs are a prime example. If you are in one of those areas, it should be pretty obvious looking at your service panel as conduit should be the only thing coming out of it. If it is metal conduit, that's a good thing because the body of the conduit functions as the equipment ground. So you can hook up your new range with the proper 4-wire circuit.

Not so sure what those bits of wire are but it sure looks like someone hooked up something incorrectly. Using 12 or 14 ga. wire on a 50 amp circuit is very dangerous. It's also a clue to shoddy workmanship and other potentially dangerous problems so it might not be a bad idea to get a licensed electrician to give things the once over.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 10:48AM
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