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If you have an electric range that has the option of either a 3-wire or a 4-wire 240V line are there any advantages or disadvantages on what to choose?

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2013-02-28 12:08:24
2013-02-28 12:08:24

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

If you had to ask this question here you need to learn more about your local wiring code re all the items you must use for a new household AC power range circuit.

Serious home fires can result from incorrectly installed new circuits.

So that the new installation is safe and legal - and complies with the terms of your home insurance policy - you must use the correct type and size of cable, the correct type of circuit breaker and the correct type of wall outlet.

From the local wiring code, a licensed electrician will know which size of wire to use because the answer depends both on the current to be carried (amps) and on the length of the run from the breakers on the main supply panel to the place where the outlet for the kitchen range is to be fixed.

Another answer

Most housing codes now require the use of 4 wire. If you are replacing a range more than 5 years old it probably has the 3 wire line. Replacing it with the 3 wire line is fine as the new housing codes only apply to new construction.

If you are going from a 3 wire to a 4 wire you will have to change the outlet in the wall. The main difference between the two is whether the ground wire is connected using the plug/receptacle (4 wire) or the ground is separately connected to the unit (3 wire).


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.




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