I took out an old oven and replaced it with a new gas one so now I have a spare 220 line that I don’t need anymore. It backs up to the garage and I’m Wondering if there is anything useful I could use it for other than just capping it off and putting it in an access panel for the future.

  • This is really too broad a question for our Q&A format. – Daniel Griscom Mar 30 '18 at 20:38

It depends. If it's a 4-wire connection (hot-hot-neutral-ground) you are good to go.

If is a 3-wire connection (hot-hot-neutral and no equipment safety ground), you have two choices (or not):

  • If the neutral wire is a bare wire, you can permanently recharacterize it as a ground wire, and use the two "hots" to drive a 240V-only load (but not a 120/240 load like a dryer). You move the ground wire from the neutral bar to the ground bar. (in a main panel they may be the same bar). This option is not available if the neutral is white or gray.
  • You can convert it to a 4-wire connection by retrofitting a ground wire. Fortunately the ground wire need only be #10 and can follow any viable route back to the panel, any other #10 ground or conduit, or the grounding electrode system.

With that matter taken care of, you can redirect/retask it to another purpose so long as all splices are made in junction boxes which are accessible.

If it is already a 4-wire connection, or if you are making it a 4-wire connection, leave things in a state where you can convert it back to service for an electric range. Some jurisdictions require you provision this service, and easy convertibility meets the requirement.

  • Actually, you could just re-identify the neutral as an equipment ground and use it for an electrical vehicle charger or welder plug. There is no need to retrofit it unless you need a neutral in your circuit. – ArchonOSX Mar 30 '18 at 16:08
  • @ArchonOSX Good point, that also allowed me to brighten up the language. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 30 '18 at 19:28
  • Better but why can't you just re-identify the conductor with green tape? – ArchonOSX Mar 30 '18 at 19:33
  • @ArchonOSX There's an answer to that question. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 30 '18 at 19:34
  • My reading of that says you can't use a green wire as a neutral but it doesn't say the reverse. – ArchonOSX Mar 30 '18 at 19:46

A spare 40 amp that is acceptable from the garage can be used for all kinds of things , welders, compressors or an electric vehicle charger to name a few items. I might also suggest that it be left in place, not often but a couple of times I have been asked to install electric ovens where Gas was in use and have found that the home originally had electric wiring (some folks don't like gas if you sell the home. years ago it was easy to find convection ovens that were electric but not until more recently were gas conveaction ovens available (being the second reason).


The NEC requires us to install a range circuit and include it in our calculations even if a gas unit is installed. Based on that, I would recommend you terminate it and leave it right where it incase someone wants to install an electric range at a later date.

Hope this helps.

  • Thank you! Didn’t know that part of the code. Interestingly enough the oven was the only part of the house that wasn’t gas originally. Everything else including the dryer is gas but not the oven. So we had one installed off the main line in the attic because my wife had to have gas! – Ryan Mar 29 '18 at 21:45
  • Maybe you could cite the code article that requires a range circuit. I have never seen the article in the Code that compels a range circuit whether you need it or not. – ArchonOSX Mar 30 '18 at 16:05
  • @ArchonOSX - Note that I said that we need to include it in our calculations which is covered in Article 220 and even though it does not state that you must furnish feeders to specific equipment, you could say that installing the circuits would be a matter of interpretation.Then I would direct you to Article 90.4 which will tell you that interpretation is left up to the AHJ. When I have asked this question to the AHJ's their general reply was "If we didn't want the circuits installed why would we have you do the calculations?" – Retired Master Electrician Mar 30 '18 at 17:46
  • You have it backwards. You don't need to do the calculation unless you are including it. – ArchonOSX Mar 30 '18 at 19:21

I had what I presumed was a 220 plug installed in an out-room on the house I bought (was labeled "kiln" on the main box). Not long after, we had to replace the A/C and they put a new condenser on that side and I told them to use that 220 line (we eventually removed the wall). Saved them some time and me some money.


Import an electric kettle from Europe and put a 220V plug on it. Then you can marvel at this great invention that we've been using here since the middle of the 20th century.

Business Insider link

  • 1
    You'd need to change the socket to something appropriate like NEMA 6-20, since kitchen workspace receptacle circuits must be 20A and be GFCI (RCD). The only way to get a 240V GFCI is a GFCI breaker ($80). But I like it. I shall have this in my next house. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 30 '18 at 5:07
  • Why have a kettle - get an Induction Cooktop or Range and that makes boiling water a snap. Now if you simply want hot water to say make your tea with stick the thing in the microwave and nuke it for about a minute or so, a little more if you want it so hot you can't drink it, than you can steep your tea .. works wonders and you can do it one or two cups at a time just as easily.. – Ken Mar 30 '18 at 9:47

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.