Best Answer

For USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz supply service.

Your old range didn't require a neutral but your new one does... So, if you are upgrading your range, you must upgrade the wiring to it.

Such an old-fashioned range circuit really needs to be upgraded all the way from the breaker box: a pair of new breakers to a common-tie two pole breaker, a new length of correctly-sized cable (with red and black hots, white neutral and bare ground) and a new 4-wire outlet.

If you're not sure about the latest wiring codes or regulations that apply to where your home is, it is best to ask a professional Licensed Electrician for advice or to do the job for you.


Nooo... it's the Ground the old range may not have been connected-to. There's always a neutral line, but for a very long time you weren't required to ground ranges in site-built dwellings. (You had to ground the range in a mobile home. I have no idea why there was a disparity.) [Update: It was because they more more likely to have damp or wet walls and floors - a real health hazard.]

Basically, you need either new range circuit wiring and 4-prong outlet (the preferred method -- installing a 4-prong outlet will bring your house up to code in that one part of its electrical system) or a new 3-prong cord.

If you decide to keep the old range circuit wiring and 3-prong outlet you must change the cord on the new appliance from 4-prong to 3-prong. Then you must connect the frame of the new range either to the existing separate ground wire, if there is one - it is either green-sheathed or bare copper - or, if there is no existing separate ground wire, you must ensure that the frame of the new range is connected to the neutral line by using an internal frame-to-neutral tie strap.

BUT first of all - before you do that - you must consult your local Electrical Safety Inspection Authority - or a local licensed electrician - to find out if it is still legal to use a 3-prong cord with no separate grounding conductor where you live.

If you needed to ask this question here the best advice anyone should give you is to call in an experienced electrician to ensure this work is done correctly either way. It's not very expensive and it will help ensure that your own life - and that of any members of your family, visitors or future home owners - will stay safe.


It may be worth noting that, in some very old homes, a 220-240 volt range circuit may have no neutral wire, just two "hot" wires. They might even have just a big 2-prong plug and socket and a completely separate ground wire directly connected to the frame of the range.

A lot of those range circuits were updated - many years ago - to the many 3-prong plugs and sockets you still see today, which have now been superceded by the present 4-prong plug and socket outlet which is specified in the NEC. (The National Electrical Code).

The two 120 volt hots might be colored either "red and black", "black and black", or "red and red". The ground wire might be just bare copper or be covered with green insulation. That kind of circuit cannot safely supply a modern range which needs 240 volts for the heating elements and 120 volts for the clock/programmer and a 120 volt socket if there is one on it.

Cable sets for dryers and ranges - or for that matter any three wire cable sets - all have bare copper ground wires in them. For proper fault protection, this bare copper ground wire is sized in relationship to the current-carrying wires.


(LIFE SAFETY WARNING! [disclaimer]

Electricity is dangerous!

You can be injured or killed!

Improper installations can cause fire, injury and death!

Should you be doing this yourself?)



This is one of the most commonly asked questions in FAQ forums about electricity and wiring.

It must be understood that new appliances will be designed to meet the newest standards.

It is not reasonable to expect someone to rewire their home because they need a new dryer or range! [stove]

According to the NEC [National Electrical Code], in many places in the US it is now required to isolate the neutral conductor from the appliance frame or chassis.

It used to be allowable to use the neutral as a means of grounding by incorporating a link between the neutral and the chassis.

The problem with this is that, should the neutral become "open" at some point, the chassis or frame then becomes energized!

The answer to this safety issue was to require a separate grounding conductor in the cable feeding the appliance.

The old 3-prong method can still be used in certain localities (states/towns) so, unless you are already qualified yourself (in which case you would not be asking this question here!) you must consult your local Electrical Safety Inspection Authority - or a local licensed electrician - to find out if it is still legal to use a 3-prong cord with no separate grounding conductor where you live.


For more information see the answers to the Related Questions shown below.


As always, if you are in doubt about what to do, the best advice anyone should give you is to call a licensed electrician to advise what work is needed.

Before you do any work yourself,

on electrical circuits, equipment or appliances,

always use a test meter to ensure the circuit is, in fact, de-energized.




User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2011-07-12 08:32:10
This answer is:
User Avatar
Study guides
See all Study Guides
Create a Study Guide

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: How do you hook up a new range with a four-prong cable if the range you are replacing only has a three-prong cable?
Write your answer...
Related questions

Can I buy a cable to extend the range of my wireless mouse's transmitter?

There is not a cable that can extend the range of a wireless mouse.

Where can someone purchase cable chains?

One can purchase a cable chain at a mechanical store or at a vehicle store. There are also shops online, which sell cable chains, such as 'Cavotec', there are a range of Nylon cable chains at a different price range.

What would be a range of a monthly cable bill using rogers cable?

it will be a whole lot of money!! =)

What size of cable is needed for 3.5KW shower?

The size of a cable needed for 3.5KW shower can range from 4.0mm.

Replacing brake pads in a 2006 range rover sport HSE?


What are the range of sizes of nonmetallic sheath cable?

It ranges in sizes from 14-2 to 6-3, then you get to a different classification: service cable, which I believe is not considered nm cable.

Where is the kick-down cable in the 1991 range rover?

well its Between the Gear and the Throttle there you can find the Kick-Down Cable

What device is used to extend the range of an ethernet cable?

a repeater

Where is the park neutral sensor on Lincoln LS 2000?

It has a "transmission range sensor" which also functions as a neutral safety swich; it is located on transmission where the gear selector cable attaches (cable attaches to range sensor).

Eliminating invasive plants and replacing them with native plants is one aspect of?

range improvement

What is the approximate price range of a general cable package?

It looks as if the approximate price range of a general cable package would be anywhere from 1,500 dollars all the way to 15,000 dollars or more, depending on the type of package.

After replacing the battery on a range rover the air suspension wont work?

probably is a blown fuse.

Are there any energy rebates when you replace an old range hood?

AJ Madison gives energy rebates on replacing yoru range. You can visit them at

Which is better Wireless Internet or the Internet with a cable?

Internet by cable is ofcause faster than Wireless but wireless is easier to connect to and you can do so anywhere around the routers range without a cable connected

How do I clean the range on a stove?

Basically you'll first want to remove the range. Then use inflammable cleaning solution to remove the built up grime before replacing it.

What factors dictate the transmission range of 802.11x?

cable, and the rounter --Like Man-- 802.11 is wireless so the cable has nothing to do with the transmission range. Some factors that do dictate the transmission range are the placement of the wireless device giving a signal and also the distance of the wireless device to your device.

What are the prices on replacement windows?

You replacement windows will cost from around $8000 to $20,000 depending on the window's material type, quality and the quantity you are replacing. If you are replacing all your windows, the cost will be somewhere in this range.

What companies specialize in producing cable concealers?

Some companies that specialize in producing cable concealers include Phillps and D-Line. A 4 foot indoor cable concealer runs in the range of $29.00 US Dollars.

Where can I find rates for a variety of cable T.V. providers?

It would be simple to try xfinity. It has multiple cable companies and their price range and the packages that they offer. It is the easiest way to search and compare the prices and rates of cable companies.

How much does a laptop power supply cable cost?

The price of a laptop power supply cable can vary depending on the brand and year. Some Dell power units start in the $15.00 to $20.00 range where others for Acer and Toshiba can be slightly more expensive in the $30.00 to $40.00 range. Cable Wholesale and Cables To Go have the best prices on new and refurbished cords.

How can you extend PS3 wireless range?

Simple answer is... You can't unless you use ethernet cable scousegitt

How much does it cost to replace the engine in a Chrysler Sebring?

The cost to replace the engine in your Chrysler Sebring will range between $2000 and $6000. Replacing with a used engine will be the cheapest and replacing with a brand-new engine will cost the most.

Where can one purchase a Toslink cable?

A Toslink Cable can be purchased through Staples, both in their physical stores and online. Amazon and Ebay also offer a wide range of Toslink Cables.

Is rg6 coax cable the best to use for satellite tv in home?

For Dish Network, we use RG6 coax cable to allow a higher frequency range for the satellite signal from the dish to your receiver. Any coax cable not rated at RG6 could affect the signal.

1999 mercury villager trans range sensor located?

Front of the transmission, the thing the shift cable attaches to.