Panel has a 50 amp two pole (ie fed by two adjacent circuits) single throw breaker feeding a four wire three pole NEMA 14-50 receptacle for an oven. Just have pictures of all of this, have not had a chance to pull anything apart to verify how it's wired.

Question: can a three pole receptacle be correctly wired off of a two pole breaker? My assumption is that this is a single phase 240v oven based on the breakers, but the plug is confusing me.

  • The breakers are only in the hot conductors of which there are only two. So a 2-pole breaker works for any of the three common 240 V receptacles in use in the US: (1) 4-wire hot1-hot2-neutral-gnd (2) 3-wire hot1-hot2-gnd (3) discontinued, grandfathered 3-wire hot1-hot2-neutral Nov 7, 2018 at 1:46

3 Answers 3


All good - the neutral doesn't terminate on the breaker, just the two hots, X and Y in the diagram below.

NEMA 14-50


As you may know, the oval is equipment safety ground, leaving 3 conductors.

One of the three conductors is the neutral, which is defined as a conductor that is rigged to be near ground. As such, it's not particuarly dangerous. As such, it doesn't get a circuit breaker.

"Neutrals and grounds don't have breakers" comes up in certain electrical misconfigurations, particuarly when an appliance improperly connects neutral and ground. Ranges and dryers with 3-prong plugs do connect neutral and ground, and it's important to remove that connection when changing its suppply to 4-wire


the middles are green and white common , ground , the 2 outer are red and black . hot wires, the red and black connect to each of the two hots from the pole at the breaker switch or oven wont get hot same as electric dryer if not connected to each of the hot wires from pole

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. This looks interesting, but it's hard to know what you mean. Sentences and formatting go a long way. Nov 17, 2018 at 13:55

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