How to convert a 3-wire to a 4-wire electric range

convert 3 wire range cord to 4 wire range cord - electrician new jersey new jersey — If you are replacing an older electric range manufactured before 1999, it probably has a 3-wire cord fitted with a 3-prong plug. Newer ranges, however, may have a 4-wire cord with a 4-prong plug or more likely, no cord at all. The reason this change was mandated by the National Electrical Code is that the 4-wire setup is inherently safer and better able to prevent electrical shock (see previous e-mail on 3-wire versus 4-wire dryer cords.)

This means that if you have an older home and need to replace your electric range, the new plug wont fit your existing receptacle. This leaves you with two choices. You can either replace the receptacle with one that accepts a 4-prong plug, which may require the services of a licensed electrician, who will need to run new 4-wire cable from the receptacle to the main circuit box, or change the cord to a 3-wire setup. Its OK to change the cord to a 3-wire setup because the new Code applies only to new construction. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do yourself. Here is how you go about doing it.

Step #1 Select the proper cord. Make sure you are using an electric range cord and not a dryer cord. They look totally different so if the new plug fits in the current receptacle, its the right one.

Step #2 Locate the mounting hole. If your new range came with a 4-wire cord attached, this is easy. Just look for the small -inch hole at the back of the range that the existing cord fits through. If the new range came with no cord at all, look for a removable cover plate with a small -inch hole beside it.

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Step #3 Measure the distance from the receptacle. Use a tape measure to determine the approximate distance from the small -inch hole to the receptacle. The new cord should be long enough to reach but you dont want extra loops of wire behind the range.

Step #4 Remove the cover plate. Use the nut driver from your ratchet set that fits the cover plate mounting screw to remove it. Pull the cover plate off the range to expose the wiring connections. Be sure to examine how the cover plate attaches so that you'll know how to reattach it later.

Step #5 Remove the wiring terminal nuts. Youll need to use a different nut driver that fits the wiring terminal nuts to remove them. Take care not to drop the nuts inside of the back of the unit. One way to avoid this is to place a small piece of electrical tape inside the nut driver hole. That way, when the nut touches the tape, it will stick to the tape and not fall out. If your new range came with a 4-wire cord, remove the individual wires as you remove the terminal nuts to which they are attached. Loosen the green screw that connects the ground wire to the range chassis. Now pull the old cord through the small -inch hole and discard it.

Step #6 Connect the new power cord. Insert the new cord into the hole provided in the back of the range. The two outside terminal bolts are the hot connections and the center terminal bolt is the neutral/ground connection. Take the second white wire that was connected to the center terminal, combine it with the ground wire that is held in place by the green screw that you just loosened and retighten the green screw. Now place each wire terminal from the 3-wire cord on the appropriate bolt (red and black on the outside bolts, white on the center) and replace the nuts. Caution: tighten them fairly snug but not too tight or they can break off.

Step #7 Install the cord clamp. In order to secure the power cord, you'll need to install a cord clamp. These come in one and two-piece configurations. Normally, the cord will come with a two-piece clamp that requires assembly. To put it together, you will need a pair of pliers and a Phillips screw driver. Insert half of the clamp below the cord and half above the cord. Squeeze the clamp together with the pliers and insert the two screws. Tighten the screws with the screwdriver until it secures the cord.

Step #8 Replace the strain relief cord connector. Slide the half of the clamp with the smaller holes into the connection hole under the cord wire. The clamp is bent at a 90-degree angle, so you'll have to twist it into place with the holes facing up. Now install the larger-holed clamp half in the same manner. Squeeze the two halves together with pliers and insert the two screws into the holes. Tighten the two screws equally until snug.

Step #9 Replace the cover plate. Insert the tab on one end of the cover plate and line up the hole on the other. Insert the mounting screw into the hole and tighten it with the nut driver you used to remove it.

Step #9 Plug the range into the existing receptacle. Turn it on to make sure it works. If it does, you have successfully rewired it.

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