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What Size Wire Do I Use To Power My Electric Stove?

July 21, 2006

Q: Our old gas stove has been giving us problems for a while now so, we are going to change it to an electric one. There is not any 220 power here. Is 10 guage wire large enough for this?

A: No it is too small. Ten AWG copper is rated for 30 amps at 75 degrees celsius. A stove typically draws 32 – 40 amps. You need a minimum #8 AWG copper or #6 AWG aluminum. Eight AWG copper is rated for 40 amps at 60 degrees celsius and #6 AWG copper is rated for 55 amps at 60 degrees celsius.

If you look on your stove, you will find a nameplate with the voltage and amperage rating. These nameplates are typically either on the inside edge of the oven or the back of the stove. Sometimes the rating will be in kW or thousand watts. If this is the case, to convert watts into amps, divide watts by volts. For example, if your stove is 8kW or 8,000 watts divide this by 240 volts and your amperage is approximately 34 amps.

I would install an 6/3 romex with ground (copper wire). When you upgrade your wiring, you are required to use 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 ground instead of the old way of 2 hots and a bare neutral. Make sure you install the 4-prong receptacle and replace your stove cord with the new 4-wire cord. When changing your stove cord from 3-wire to 4-wire, you need to remove the ground stap or wire that bonds the neutral terminal of your stove to the frame. This is a very important step with a 4-wire system or you will get shocked each time you touch your stove.


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