Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Electric stove source Image
You have just bought a new electric cooking equipment, probably a stove and wondering which electric range size to use. I am here to give you a comprehensive guide.
Homes and commercial places depend on electric ranges for meal preparation. They are super reliable and efficient.
Trouble comes when you want to install a new electric range or upgrade the existing one. You have to be more careful with the wire size to use.
Electric ranges have special wiring needs and they can operate efficiently only when matched with the best wires.
Other than performance, the right wire size will guarantee the safety of the electric cooking range.
So, which is the best wire size for my electric range? What should I look at when selecting the right wire size? Keep reading as we discuss more about electric range wire size.
Wire size for the electric range
The most important factor to consider when choosing the wire size for electric range is the size of the circuit.
Here, circuits are rated according to the amps of current that passes through them. The most notable circuit sizes are 30 amps, 40 amps, and 50 amps.
For the 30 amp circuit, you will need #10 gauge wire. This circuit is normally ideal for the wall oven
For the size 40-amp circuit, you will need #8-gauge wire. This circuit is designed to support a full size stove
For the 50-amp circuit, you will need #6-gauge wire. The circuit is perfect for the convection oven.
These wire sizes are capable of handling their respective electric current although there is still some allowance on the sizes. Also, the size of wire may still vary depending on other factors, among them is the length of the wire.
Know the size of the electric range
Image source HomeDepot
Electric ranges come in different sizes. Before you decide on the wire size, you should know the size of your electric range.
Standard electric ranges come in two sizes. These are the 30-inch electric range and 36-inch electric range.
These two range sizes are perfectly designed to fit onto most cabinet cutouts that are 24 inches deep, 34 inches wide and 36 inches tall.
Keep in mind that in these sizes of electric ranges, we have excluded the control panels.
How does the size of the electric range affect the wire size to use?
Well, most 30-inch electric ranges are powered by 30-amp circuits. On the wire sizes that we have listed above, you will need a #10-gauge wire for this range.
On the other hand, most 36-inch electric ranges are powered by circuits rated between 40 amps to 50 amps. Here you will need wire sizes between 6 AWG to 8 AWG.
After all, the size of an electric range that you use has a direct impact on the amount of power that it draws.
The correct choice of wire size will determine how the range will perform.
So, what’s the size of my electric range?
If you are experienced in such devices and appliances, you will be able to tell the size just by looking at it.
You can also refer to the manufacturer’s manual about the size of the cooking range that you are using.
If you are upgrading from a 30-inch electric range to a 36-inch range, you will also have to upgrade your wire sizes to meet the new power needs.
Power of the circuit: 120 volts and 240volts
Other than the amps, we can also rate the circuit based on its voltage. Here we have to consider whether it is a 120V or 240V. This will have a direct impact on the size of the wire that you should use on your electric range.
While most electric ranges need to be run on 240V circuits, most homes are powered by 120V circuits. To balance the equation, you will have to follow the local codes for running electric appliances safely and efficiently.
Most homeowners use the National Electric Code requirements when connecting electric ranges to electric circuits. The code requires that the electric ranges to run on their own dedicated circuits.
A dedicated circuit will ensure that the electric range uses full power from the circuit.
Local building codes
This is another key factor that you should consider when choosing wire size for your electric range.
The size of wire that you choose should meet the requirements of the local area.
The rules are set to safeguard the local buildings from fire incidences due to using the wrong wire sizes. It is required that all the wiring procedures should comply with those codes.
Most building codes require homeowners to use large wire sizes. They do so by setting minimum sizes that you can use.
Using a wire size that is smaller than what the local area has defined will attract penalties and fines.
Take your time to familiarize yourself with such codes so as not to end up in the wrong side of the law.
A better alternative will be to engage with local professional electricians. They have vast experience in this area and will give you accurate advice.
How to wire electric range: Step-by-step
Now that you know the right wire size for your electric range, the next step involves wiring the electric stove to the circuit.
It entails connecting the range to its dedicated circuit which you will again connect to the electrical panel.
How do I do so?
Here are the steps that you should follow when wiring an electric stove:
- Start by shutting off the power supply to the circuit. You will do so at the buildings electrical panel.
- Assuming that you know the specifications of the electric range, you can now determine the appropriate wire size that you should use for wiring. Of course, you have to consider all the factors we have discussed in this guide when choosing the wire size. You should also consider the distance that the wire will cover as it will determine the size.
- Once you have the wires in place, you can install the circuit using the electric stove circuit diagram. The installation process entails running the wires from the electrical panel to the stove.
- The last step entails testing the circuit. But before doing so, ensure that the electrical range is connected to its circuit breakerin the panelboard.
Keep in mind that you can always seek professional help in case you get stuck at any stage of the wiring process. Contact a professional electrician to do the wiring for you.
How do I know the power requirements of my electric range?
To know the power requirements and the subsequent circuit amperage of your electric range, you will have to check out its specifications.
Usually, electric stoves are ratted in wattage. So, yours may be rated 6000 watts.
The next parameter that you should consider is the voltage of the circuit. It can be 240 volts or 120 volts.
To find out the current flowing through the circuit, you will divide the power by the voltage. It will be around 40 amps.
From the current, you will be able to choose the wire size that you will use for the electric range circuit.
Some electric ranges have high power ratings and hence draw more current through the circuit. This means that you will use larger wires in such circuits.
Which circuit breaker should I use on my electric range?
Even as you focus on the electric range wire size, you should also pay attention to the circuit breakers that you will use in that circuit.
This is vital because the breaker will play a critical role in protecting the stove in case of current overload or a short circuit.
So, which circuit breaker size should I use on my electric stove?
Just like in the case of the wires, the circuit breaker size should match the power of the electric range.
A 50-amp circuit breaker will be a perfect fit for a standard-size electric range.
However, this may vary depending on the size of the stove that you use. 30 amps and 40 amps circuit breakers are other common circuit breaker options that can work.
It is advisable to consult professional electricians for the best circuit breakers that will work with your electric stove.
We have discussed all the essentials that you should know about electric range wire size.
Armed with this information you should make the right choice of the wire that will serve your electric stove safely and efficiently.
Other than the size, you should also pay attention to the quality of the wire that you use on the electric range.
You may have the right size but if it is of low quality, you may end up with negative results. The wire may overheat or hamper the smooth performance of the stove.
When it comes to buying quality wires or any other electronic components for the electric stove, ensure that you get them from reputable manufacturers and suppliers.
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