Monday, March 2, 2009

Subject: 3 prong range receptacle

Name: Marty Gilliard

Question: We replaced our electric cook top with a free standing electric range. Installed a 50 amp breaker with 6-3 wire, black, red, white and bare ground. The white and bare ground are connected to the neutral/ground bar in the main panel box. Can I use a 3 wire cord and 3 prong receptacle or do I have to go by the new NEC code that all ranges have a 4 prong cord and receptacle. The house was built in 1973. Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer: Hi Marty,The current standard is 4 wires. That is what you should do. It will work with 3 wires. You could also take the air bags out of your new car. The car will work. It just wont be as safe. It is the same thing for your range. The fourth wire, the ground, acts as a safety device. It keeps the metal body of the range from getting electrified. Did you ever have an old appliance that would give you a little shock if you touched it the wrong way. The fourth ground wire will keep that from happening.

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