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I have a new stove (gas range) that comes with a Nema 14-50 plug. This range should only be using electricity for the igniters and clock. The manual requires:

A 120 volt, 60 Hz., AC only, 15-amp fused, electrical circuit is required.

Question 1. It is my understanding a 14-50R should provide 240V at 50A. Please explain why the stove would only call out 120V.

Question 2. Before I run an 8ga drop to a 50A breaker, is there a simpler way to solve this problem using an existing 120V 15A outlet?

Edited for anyone else that runs across this: The above quote was from the Sears manual. The Kitchen Aid manual states:

This range is manufactured with the neutral terminal connected to the cabinet. Use a 3-wire, UL listed, 40- or 50-amp power supply cord (pigtail) (see the following Range Rating chart). If local codes do not permit ground through the neutral, use a 4-wire power supply cord rated at 250 volts, 40 or 50 amps and investigated for use with ranges.

Further investigation of the stove yields electrical and gas heating components. This looks like a combination gas range that will end up requiring Nema 14-50.

** A caution from Harper below, "Also it is extremely wrong and dangerous to bond neutral to chassis/cabinet. There's an exception in Code which allows it for older homes with the obsolete NEMA 10 receptacles prewired, but it should not be used with NEMA 14 connections. Neutral and ground must be kept separate everywhere, except one specific place in the main panel."

  • Still researching. I've found connectors similar to the following. What can I do to make sure this is sufficient? conntek.com/products.asp?id=960 – steve Jun 16 '18 at 15:22
  • No, that's not a Code-legal item, it's a cheater cord intended for RVs. – Harper Jun 16 '18 at 16:08
  • Can you post the model number of this mystery range? I'm wondering if what you have is not a gas-only unit, but a dual fuel range that uses gas for the burners, but electric elements for the oven, and thus needs a 40/50A 120/240V circuit – ThreePhaseEel Jun 17 '18 at 1:45
  • Kitchen Aid, KDRS505XSS01 – steve Jun 17 '18 at 17:09
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A 14-50 receptacle can be a 40A or 50A circuit (i.e. that fuse/breaker). If wired with 8 AWG cable, it can only be 40A. The reason for this exception is 40A receptacles don't exist, because this chart is big enough already!

If you have a new stove that comes factory-wired with a 14-50, then they sold you an electric stove. Edit: That's what you have. Since the red wires aren't thick enough to support an all-electric range, my guess is only the oven is electric. As you say in comments, it's the broiler.

How does that work? NEMA 14-50 supplies everything NEMA 5-15 can possibly supply. In North America we use 240V AC (on L1 and L2), but with neutral (N) tapped in the middle of the 240V, and safety grounding biased to neutral. (so each leg of 240V is only 120V from ground, making the power safer if you get bit).

  • Common NEMA 5-15 receptacles give L1 (or L2) and N, giving 120V, plus ground of course.
  • NEMA 14-50 receptacles give L1 and L2 and N, giving a smorgasboard of 120V or 240V. And ground, of course. In an RV, the 14-50 feeds a subpanel.

My guess is your appliance doesn't actually need 50A of 240V. It probably needs 15A or 20A - the manual (the real one) will tell. However, this puts you in a real pickle because 120/240V split-phase isn't found in kitchens - you'll have to wire a circuit. The default for a kitchen is a NEMA 14-50 receptacle with either a 40A or 50A (8 or 6 AWG) circuit.

If it can use a 20A circuit (NEMA 14-20) you can run that with 12 AWG wire and save a bit of coin, but no future range will be able to use that connection, because the standard for ranges is 40A or 50A (NEMA 14-50). Also, building codes may require a NEMA 14-50 to power any future owner's stove. I realize I'm spending your money, but even if I was spending my money I would pull 6/3 cable and the 14-50 receptacle, so I'm future-proof and don't have to worry about building codes. The cost difference for the cable is small compared with the work/labor needed to pull it through the walls. Not a job you want to do twice.

In this discussion we disregard the obsolete and dangerous NEMA 10, which is a throwback to the days before grounding. They don't force people with older homes to rewire, so appliance makers provide a scheme to connect new appliances to NEMA 10. This scheme is dangerous and has killed. It's also unnecessary: rules changes make it easier than ever to change a NEMA 10 to 14: either retrofit a separate ground wire; or fit a GFCI breaker and a "No Equipment Ground" sticker. Easy peasy.

Speaking of that... your photo shows a strap between neutral and ground. That strap is only used in the NEMA 10 scheme and should be removed for any wiring scheme (NEMA 14, NEMA 5) that provides a real ground wire.

Now if you just don't care about the broiler, you can attach a NEMA 5-15 cord to the black, white and ground wires and you're done. Do remove the neutral-ground strap!

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    This was a craigslist purchase and that was my hope. Would you look at this imgur image and confirm the internals match your expectations? imgur.com/a/GYjZIg1 – steve Jun 16 '18 at 16:56
  • Thanks, I found confirmation in another manufacturers instruction manual: This range is manufactured with the neutral terminal connected to the cabinet. Use a 3-wire, UL listed, 40- or 50-amp power supply cord (pigtail) (see the following Range Rating chart). If local codes do not permit ground through the neutral, use a 4-wire power supply cord rated at 250 volts, 40 or 50 amps and investigated for use with ranges. – steve Jun 16 '18 at 17:08
  • @steve you should edit that info into your question. The internals are W T H. It's not all-electric or the red wire would need to be much bigger. My guess is it's a hybrid e.g. gas stovetop and electric oven. It wires like an electric stove - it will need NEMA 14-something. Maybe not -50 but what else are you going to put where a stove goes? Building codes probably require a 14-50 so the next owner will be able to plug in his next electric range without rewiring. Grats on your Craigslist savings, you're gonna need it for the electrical work unless you DIY. – Harper Jun 16 '18 at 17:39
  • Also it is extremely wrong and dangerous to bond neutral to chassis/cabinet. There's an exception in Code which allows it for older homes with the obsolete NEMA 10 receptacles prewired, but it should not be used with NEMA 14 connections. Neutral and ground must be kept separate everywhere, except one specific place in the main panel. – Harper Jun 16 '18 at 17:44
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    By the way sorry if the Craigslist comment is a little mean, but there's an upside: Many things on Craigslist are cheap because they have a hidden gotcha the owner couldn't cope with. I can't tell you how many shop machines I pick up cheap because they're 3-phase :) In this case we know what the gotcha is and dealing with it is achievable. It's just more than the other guy wanted to do. Also if you don't care about the electric broilers, pfft, put a 5-15 on it and call it done. DO separate the neutral from the ground! – Harper Jun 16 '18 at 18:09

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