Hi I recently noticed in a house I bought that I have a 50 amp outlet in my kitchen that is connected to my electric range stove that requires a 2 pole 40 Amp breaker. But the breaker that these are connected to is a 2 pole 20amp breaker with 12awg wire. Is this safe and/or Correct?

  • Is it fed by 12-2 or 12-3? Dec 28, 2019 at 3:51
  • it is fed by 12-3
    – Gee Wiz
    Dec 28, 2019 at 3:59
  • How hard is it to replace the wiring wholesale? Dec 28, 2019 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


It is not correct, NEC 210.21(B)(3) specifies a 50 amp receptacle on 40 amp breaker, with minimum #8 AWG wire is the correct configuration for a 40A range. (NEMA does not designate a 40A configuration.)

It is likely the breaker will protect the wire from being damaged, but the breaker will likely trip often and wear out quickly. Typically modern breakers failure mode is to become more sensitive.

I would suspect the house was originally wired for a gas range.

  • Is it odd the oven still works? And how risky is it to use it the way it is?
    – Gee Wiz
    Dec 28, 2019 at 3:59
  • And not to mention ive used it for 4 months and it hasnt tripped? Also Im 100% sure its connected to the 2 pole 20 amp breaker. I turned off the electricity, and inspected the receptacle myself to see the wire. It honestly freaks me out a bit.
    – Gee Wiz
    Dec 28, 2019 at 4:04
  • 1
    A range with two 2100 watt and two 1500 watt elements full on would be 1.5 times breaker rating. NEMA specs indicate the trip time tolerance is from 1.5 to 6 minutes, the elements would likely be cycling by then, and would extend the trip cycle. Dec 28, 2019 at 4:21
  • 3 elements on would be less than 120%, and might never trip. lh3.googleusercontent.com/… Dec 28, 2019 at 4:28
  • 1
    Conduit or NM cable?
    – JACK
    Dec 28, 2019 at 14:42

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