01 of 07
Electric Range Cords and Wiring
An electric range is a freestanding unit with an oven and a cooktop. Most ranges are fed by a 40-amp or 50-amp circuit and connect to a wall outlet (receptacle) with a 3-prong or 4-prong cord, depending on the type of receptacle. The new cord you are installing must match the amperage rating of the range and the circuit, and it must fit the existing outlet.
The installation steps for 3-prong and 4-prong cords are similar but include some key differences. Ranges wired for 3-prong cords may have only three wiring terminals for the cord: one neutral and two "hot" connections. If there is a ground screw, it should be electrically connected to the neutral terminal with a metal strap or wire. This connection grounds the body of the appliance through the neutral cord wire.
Ranges wired for 4-prong cords have four terminals: one neutral, two hots, and a ground. The ground connects to the separate ground wire in the cord. If the range has a strap or wire between the ground screw and the neutral terminal, you must remove the strap or wire to separate the ground from the neutral. If the range is new it should be wired for a 4-prong cord; this follows a National Electrical Code requirement that was initiated in 1996.
Note: Consult your owner's manual or the range manufacturer for specific wiring requirements.
Warning: Never plug a loose cord into a range receptacle to see if it fits. This energizes the cord with 240 volts and can deliver a potentially deadly shock if the cord ends contact you or touch together.
Tools & Materials You May Need:
Continue to 2 of 7 below.
- Phillips screwdriver or nut driver
- 40- or 50-amp, UL-listed electric range cord
- Strain-relief clamp sized for a range cord
- Adjustable pliers (optional)
02 of 07
Step 1: Remove the Wire Connection Cover Plate
Locate the removable metal cover plate or shroud on the back panel of the range. This covers the cavity that houses the wiring terminal block of the range. There may be a hole about 1" in diameter in or near the cover; this is for the cord to pass through. Remove the screws or bolts securing the cover, using a screwdriver or nut driver, and remove the cover from the range.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Step 2: Alter the Ground Connection, if Necessary
Note the wiring configuration on the terminal block. There are three terminals in a line: the center terminal is the neutral and usually has a white wire; the left terminal is hot and may have a red or black wire; the right terminal also is hot and may have a black or red wire. There may or may not be a ground screw near the terminal block—if present, this will be driven into the metal case of the appliance.
If necessary, alter the ground-to-neutral connection as needed, depending on the type of cord you are installing:
- If there is no connecting strap or wire on the ground screw, the range is ready for the 4-prong cord. No alteration is necessary.
- If there is a ground screw and it is connected to the neutral (center) terminal with a metal strap or short wire, remove the strap or wire from the ground screw and the neutral terminal. Keep the strap or wire in a safe place in case you need to convert back to a 3-prong cord in the future. Or, you may be able to fold the strap in half so that both of its holes fit onto the neutral terminal.
- If there is no ground screw, no alteration is necessary.
- If there is a ground screw and it is connected to the neutral (center) terminal with a metal strap or short wire, leave the strap or wire in place. No alteration is necessary.
- If there is a ground screw and it is not connected to the neutral terminal, follow the manufacturer's wiring diagram to make the proper ground-to-neutral connection.
Note: The next two slides are specific to 4-prong cords and 3-prong cords, respectively.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
04 of 07
Step 3 for 4-Prong Cords
For a 4-Prong Cord
Continue to 5 of 7 below.
- Insert the end of the 4-prong cord through the hole in the back panel of the range.
- Loosen or remove the screw on the center neutral terminal and attach the white cord wire to the terminal, tightening it down under the screw terminal.
- Attach the black cord wire to the hot terminal with the black wire.
- Attach the red cord wire to the terminal with the red wire.
- Attach the green cord wire to the ground screw on the range body. Tighten all of the screws firmly.
05 of 07
Step 3 for 3-Prong Cords
For a 3-Prong Cord
Continue to 6 of 7 below.
- Insert the end of the 3-prong cord through the hole in the back panel of the range and position the cord, so it is flat (horizontal).
- Loosen or remove the screw on the neutral (center) terminal and attach the center cord wire to the terminal, using the screw.
- Attach the left cord wire to the left hot terminal, and attach the right cord wire to the right hot terminal. The hot terminals and cord wires are interchangeable.
- Tighten all of the screws firmly.
06 of 07
Step 4: Install the Strain-Relief Clamp
Install a strain-relief clamp to secure the cord to the back of the range. Its purpose is to grip the cord so that the wire connections can't come loose accidentally. This is typically a two-piece clamp that requires assembly.
Continue to 7 of 7 below.
- Remove the screws holding the clamp halves together.
- Insert the tab of the top half into the cord hole and fit the center of the clamp piece over the top of the cord. Repeat with the bottom half on the underside of the cord.
- Reinstall the screws and tighten the clamp snugly onto the cord. You may want to squeeze the two halves together gently with pliers while installing the screws. Do not overtighten the clamp, which can damage the cord insulation and possibly expose a wire.
07 of 07
Step 5: Reinstall the Cover Plate
- Reinstall the cover plate or shroud over the wiring cavity to complete the installation.
- Make sure all controls on the range are OFF. Plug the cord into the range outlet, and test the range functions to confirm proper operation.