I keep looking for a situation like mine on this website and other websites, but I was unable to find one.

A 3 wire oven (two insulated hots and 1 bare twisted wire) is connected in an old main panel where the neutral and ground bus bars were bonded. A new main panel was setup elsewhere, thus, the old main panel with the oven was converted to a subpanel and the neutral and ground bus bars were separated.

FOR NOW, should the bare twisted wire be on the isolated neutral bus bar or on the grounded bus bar? The oven is plugged into a 3 prong outlet.

I understand that an updated oven now has 4 wires: 2 hot, 1 neutral, 1 ground. I can add in an insulated neutral wire and change the outlet at a later date when the oven is updated.

  • Can you post a photo of the inside of the oven receptacle's box? Nov 24, 2016 at 21:38
  • 2
    You can retrofit a ground... You can't retrofit a neutral. Allow the bare wire in the old cable to continue being your neutral as ThreePhaseEel recommends... and retrofit a ground wire also. (the reason is neutrals must be in the same cable... but as of NEC 2014, ground wires can follow any viable path back to the same sub-panel. You don't want to leave it NEMA 10; it's dangerous. Nov 25, 2016 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


For now, your bare wire's a neutral

Your oven branch circuit appears to have been run using a type SE cable -- this was common practice in the 50's as heavy gauge NM was not available at that time. As the NEMA 10 is an ungrounded outlet with 2 hots and 1 neutral, the bare wire in your type SE cable lands to the subpanel's neutral bar.

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