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The new stove requires at least 40 amps, our breaker is 40 amp. The outlet says 30 amps on it, and the holes are shaped a little different then the plug, but the plug still fits into the outlet and the stove comes on.

A man looked at it and told us it was a universal plug. Do they make those? Sears said it was a dryer outlet and they would not plug it in. Our last stove we had brand new. It lasted 3 years and it was plugged in there, then it went poof and stopped working. I don't want this to happen again, so I wondered if it was the 30 amp outlet.

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40A breakers need to have the full circuit wired appropriately. Make sure the cable to the outlet is sized to handle 40A, the outlet should be changed to a 40A to reflect that. And no, unless the poof was because one of the contacts in the socket failed under load (burning, melted plastic, scorched prongs on plug), the socket wasn't why the stove died. –  Fiasco Labs Jun 15 at 18:08
    
There was melting in the stove, where the plug was connected to the stove. Melted right at the contact points?? –  Dana Smith Jun 16 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

Using the 30 A receptacle is a dangerous idea. The internals of the receptacle are designed for a maximum of 30 A, and putting 40 A through it could cause a fire. The receptacle needs to be replaced with a 50 A model (since they don't make 40 A receptacles).

It's fine to have a 40 A breaker feeding a 50 A receptacle. You need to also match the wire size to the breaker rating. A 40 A circuit requires at minimum 8 AWG copper wire, or perhaps thicker for longer runs. 6 AWG might be a good idea. Since you are replacing the receptacle, you should make sure that there is a dedicated safety ground (so four wires are run from the circuit breaker to the receptacle.

Also, I doubt that the old oven died because of the wrong receptacle (assuming that the receptacle is undamaged). However, I have heard of equipment being damaged when not properly grounded (My mom's gas range died prematurely after the installers failed to connect the ground). Double-check the voltages by measuring all 6 pairs of voltages using a voltmeter (Should be 240 between lines (L-L), 120 from L-G and L-N, and 0 from N-G).

Use caution when working with electricity. Don't forget to turn off the breaker (and verify that power is disconnected) before disassembling anything.

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If you have a 40 amp breaker, then you need wire and an outlet to match. Should be an easy swap once the power is off!

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