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I realize there are lots of similar questions, and I've read most of them. Thanks in advance for advice on this particular flavor.

In my home I have a (broken) dual fuel range. It's installed on a 30 amp circuit with a 30 amp breaker and NEMA 14-30 plug. Picture of the wall outlet

I'm trying to buy a new dual fuel range. I looked at a model which on its website says it requires a 30 amp connection. To confirm it would work on the kitchen circuit I have, I did the following:

  • I read the manufacturer's installation instructions. They say "A cord kit rated at 120 / 240 volt 30 amp minimum is required. A 50 amp range cord is not recommended"

  • I emailed the manufacturer directly. The response was unhelpful, it quoted the instructions back at me ("You will see that the Volts/Hertz/Amps are: 208/240Volts / 60 Hz / 30 Amps")

  • Our salesman at the local-not-bigbox appliance store talked to the regional rep for the manufacturer, who confirmed we could use the new range on a 30 amp circuit.

So far so good, right? Unfortunately, the local-not-bigbox appliance store has an installation team who won't install the range because they say I have a "dryer" outlet, and they will only install a range with a "range" cord and plug. The salesman has told me I can either change the outlet at the wall to match the "range" plug, or buy the range and have someone else install it.

I have a couple questions:

  • Is the installation team right? Is there a difference between the dryer and range receptacles that's more than "30 amp" vs. "50 amp"? In other words, do I have to use a "range cord" on a range no matter what the circuit rating is (and related - does that mean my house was built not to code)?

  • What's the right answer on installing a new range from a safety point of view? Is it to use a 30 amp cord with "dryer" plug? Is it to change the wall outlet? Or should I give up and buy a gas range?

  • Who is the right professional to ask for help? So far I've called a couple local installers who have all told me I should call an electrician to change the wall receptacle. Is it time to call an electrician or time to find a more understanding installer?

Thanks for any help.

  • Seriously? If you have read the instructions and checked your wiring and are sure you are correct, I would call the appliance store and tell them to take their range back. Right now they are getting the best side of the deal: made the sale but don't have to support it, while you get the worst part: no money, no support and no way to cook. – Harper Dec 17 '18 at 21:00
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Your house has the correct receptacle for a 30A circuit

A NEMA 14-30 is absolutely the correct receptacle for a 30A, split-phase (120/240V) circuit -- no other receptacle is suitable here. As a result, the cord you want is a "dryer" cord -- this is a 10/4 SRD cord with spade lugs on one end and a NEMA 14-30P on the other.

Ask a plumber, not an appliance installer

Assuming your range has the correct cord fitted to it already, I would get a plumber out to handle the rest of the appliance installation if you aren't comfortable making the gas hookup yourself, instead of arguing with dim-bulb appliance install techs who don't understand what's going on here. Once the gas is all good to go, then you can simply plug it into the wall, slide it in, and enjoy your new range!

  • Thank you for the advice on talking with a plumber. You're correct that I'm not comfortable handling the gas hookup and that sounds like a good option. – CA Home Owner Dec 16 '18 at 18:28
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The appliance installers are not electricians. They are refusing to install only because it's not what they're used to, and they don't know why it's different. They gave you bad instructions: You cannot install a 50A range socket on this circuit. It is illegal to do that because socket sizes must match the circuit/breaker size. Even if the wiring in the walls really was 8 or 6 AWG, the breaker is 30A so the socket must be as well.

Given that the manufacturer's instructions say to use a 30A cord, and plug into the socket, that is the Word From On High. If it specifically calls out "do not use a 40/50A range cord", that too is gospel. It is mandatory to obey the instructions and labeling of an appliance.

The NEMA 14 type connector is definitely the right thing. Don't let them talk you into installing the old 3-prong NEMA 10.

  • Totally Agree. A 30 amp out let is only good for 30 amp, where 40/50 can be used in other cases. It would depend on the feed if it was safe or grandfathered to use the new range with the existing wiring. – Ed Beal Dec 16 '18 at 14:32
  • Thank you for the advice. I confirmed the wall receptacle is a NEMA 14-30, and the breaker is 30 amps. Thanks for the advice on not changing the outlet. – CA Home Owner Dec 16 '18 at 18:20
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I understand your confusion and also agree with ever ones answers to date, but I want to try an clear up the some of the confusion.

Electricians are not really trained to recognize "dryer" and "range" circuits. In brief they are trained to calculate circuits for dryers at 5000W and ranges at 8000W in normal construction of a dwelling. This is done to allow a homeowner or future homeowner to use any standard dryer or range in the dwelling. The confusion comes newer manufactured dual ranges which have different demands from the original wiring. That's a long way of saying that the NEC has not caught up to new types of ranges. With this bit of information let's address your questions.

First there is a difference between a dryer and a range circuit and receptacle configuration.

Second the right answer to installing your new range is to match the receptacle to the configuration of the range cord as instructed by the manufacturer (this is to keep the range in warranty). Then you will have to change out the breaker in the panel from a 50A breaker to a 30A breaker (you can always have a larger conductor than required but not a smaller one). Minimum conductor size on a 30A breaker is a #10. You will not be violating any codes.

If an installer in your area doesn't believe he qualified to do this type of work I would call in an electrical contractor to perform the work since they are licensed to do any kind of electrical in your dwelling.

I hope this help clear up a few things and good luck.

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The new range will work just fine on either a range configuration or a dryer configuration.You do need a minimum of a 30-Amp breaker with #10 wire to deliver safely 30-Amps. You should use the new 4-wire configuration. Good Luck.

  • Don’t you mean minimum #10 cable and maximum 30A breaker? – Craig Dec 16 '18 at 13:21
  • To quote a famous movie: Oh! have it your way! – Paul Logan Dec 17 '18 at 5:59
  • Hahaha. I think...? ;-) – Craig Dec 17 '18 at 6:26

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