Learning, Wiring,

What Size Wire For a Stove? (Gauge for AMPS Guide)

By the end of this article, you should be able to choose the right size wire for your stove.

Choosing the right wire type for your stove can make the difference between an electric fire or a burnt-out piece of equipment you may have spent hundreds of dollars on. As an electrician, I have seen a lot of issues with stove wiring done wrong leading to massive repair bills later on so I have created this article to make sure you do it right.

In general, 10 Gauge AWG is recommended for currents up to 30 amps, 8 Gauge AWG for currents 40 to 50 amps, and 6 Gauge AWG for currents greater than 50 amps.

We’ll go into more detail below.

Getting Started

What size wire should I use for an electric stove? The size of the circuit breaker determines the gauge wire. Using the American Wire Gauge (AWG), which sees a drop in gauge number as wire diameter rises, one may measure the size of an electrical cable.

Once you’ve discovered the appropriate circuit breaker size, selecting the proper size wiring for installing your electric oven is straightforward. The chart below describes the gauge wire to use based on the size of your breaker:

oven wire sizes table

#6-gauge wire is commonly used since most electric stove amps need a 50 amp circuit breaker. Most stoves require a 6/3-gauge cable, which contains four wires: a neutral wire, a primary hot wire, a secondary hot wire, and a ground wire.

Suppose you have a smaller or older electric stove amp with a 30 or 40-amp breaker: use #10-gauge or #8-gauge copper wire. Larger 60-ampere stoves sometimes use #4-gauge aluminum AWG. However, some are wired with #6-gauge copper wire AWG.

An Outlet for Cooking Appliance

After determining the circuit breaker and electrical wire gauge required for installing an electric stove, the final component is the wall outlet. Stoves are incredibly powerful home appliances, so most models cannot be plugged into a conventional wall socket. Electric stoves need a 240-volt electrical outlet.

If you intend to build an outlet and plug in a particular device, you must first select the right sort of outlet. All 240-volt receptacles must have four slots because they must have circuit grounding. As a result, a plug rated at 40 or 50 amps will not fit into a NEMA 14-30 30-amp outlet.

Most electric stoves use a regular 240-volt electrical outlet, but make sure it has four prongs. Some older units may utilize 3-prong outlets, but any new installation should always use a 4-prong wall receptacle.

How Much Power Supply Does the Stove Use?

The amount of electricity used by an electric stove is determined by its size and attributes. First, look at the instructions on the back of the stove, near the power connections or wires, to see how much current it needs. The current rating and designation of the circuit breaker must match.

A four-burner kitchen range with an oven typically consumes 30 to 50 amps of power. On the other hand, a big commercial appliance with features such as a convection oven or quick-heat burners will require 50 to 60 amps to perform correctly.

The maximum power usage of an electric stove ranges from 7 to 14 kilowatts, making it costly and energy-intensive to operate. Furthermore, if you disregard the oven breaker, it will trip every time you turn on the stove. In other words, this should neither be too small nor too large.

Even if the breaker is set to prevent it, an electrical surge in the stove might create a fire if it overheats and shuts off.

Is it Safe to Use a Stove With 10-3 Wire?

For a stove, 10/3 wire is the best choice. The new stove could have 240 volts. Depending on the insulation and fuse protection, you can use 10/3 wire. 

What Happens if you Don’t Use a Proper Sized Breaker for Stove?

Choosing the proper electrical circuit breaker size is a significant concern for many unskilled people who conduct electrical repairs in their houses. So, what happens if you utilize the incorrect breaker size for an electric stove?

Let us examine the implications.

Low Amp Breaker

If you use an electric stove and install a circuit breaker with a lesser capacity than your appliance, the breaker will frequently break. This problem can occur if you utilize a 30 amp breaker on an electric range stove that requires a 50 amp 240-volt circuit.

While it isn’t usually a safety problem, your breaker regularly breaking might be pretty inconvenient and prevent you from using your stove.

High Amp Breaker

Using a larger amp breaker might result in serious difficulties. You risk starting an electrical fire if your electric range demands 50 amps and you wire everything correctly, only to add a 60 amp breaker. (1)

Overcurrent protection is integrated into the majority of contemporary electric stoves. If you add a 60 amp breaker and wire everything according to the higher current, it should not be a problem if your stove is 50 amps. Your appliance’s overcurrent safeguard will reduce the current to safe limits. (2)

What is the Wire Gauge Required for a 50-amp Circuit?

The suitable wire gauge to utilize in combination with a 50-amp circuit, according to the American Wire Gauge standard, is a 6-gauge wire. The 6-gauge copper conductor wire is rated at 55 amps, making it ideal for this circuit. A narrower wire gauge can render your electrical system non-compliant and constitute a serious safety concern.

What Type of Electrical Cable Do You Use in Your Oven?

It would help if you connected a cable with many conductors. Some of the most common kinds use a neutral wire (blue), a live wire (brown), and an exposed wire (which transfers stray energy). Blue neutral wires are commonly applied. Two-core and ground cable, sometimes known as “twin cable,” is a common term.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) fire – https://www.insider.com/types-of-fires-and-how-to-put-them-out-2018-12
(2) electric stoves – https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-electric-and-gas-ranges/

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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