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I have an induction cooktop that calls for a 50 amp circuit and a double wall oven that calls for 40 amp circuit. Both call for 4 conductors. Contractor ran a 4-conductor 6 AWG SOOW wire rated for 90 degrees C/194 degrees F. Is this wire ok/safe to use generally instead of NM-B? Code wise? Contractor already ran the wire so I'd rather not make him re-run something else if I don't have to. He said he was having a hard time finding wire in general. Thanks for any help!

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    What are you trying to connect? SOOW is cordage - normally from wall to device. But I suspect you are trying to get from breaker to wall junction box or breaker to device. What kind of distance? Is it possible to run conduit? What jurisdiction (because that may determine whether you can use aluminum wire or not)? Jan 13, 2022 at 22:57
  • I edited the post a little. Wires will be connecting a 40 amp DP breaker and a 50 amp DP breaker from the house panel to junction boxes in the kitchen for the appliances. The 50 Amp induction cooktop run is around 6 feet and the 40 amp double over run is around 32 feet.
    – aquaNoob
    Jan 13, 2022 at 23:18
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    Gotta upvote manassehkatz cordage as a wiring method, this short of a branch circuit needs the right wiring method.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 14, 2022 at 1:38

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As far as I know (checked various sources but remember reading it previously somewhere on DIY SE), you can't use SOOW inside walls. Which is much the same as "you can't use NM (Romex) as cordage. They perform different functions, with different strengths/weaknesses.

If you can't get proper NM (8 AWG or larger for the 40A, 6 AWG or larger for the 50A) then your alternative is to use wires instead of cables, using THHN wire 8 AWG for the 40A, 6 AWG for the 50A. Actually, you may be able to use smaller THHN - depends on temperature ratings of the receptacles. The catch is that you need to run the wires through conduit. That could be metal, in which case you save on a ground wire, or it could be PVC or "smurf tube". There are all kinds of rules about how you run conduit, but if you have reasonable access into the walls/ceiling, or if you have a crawlspace or unfinished area below the kitchen then it is a good solution for a cable shortage.

Depending on the jurisdiction, you may be able to run aluminum cable and/or wire (again, has to be the right type) instead of copper. That requires using the right size (typically one size larger than the comparable copper) and the right kind of connectors (breakers are usually not a problem, but receptacles often are). That can save a lot of money. But beware, some jurisdictions do not allow aluminum wire for branch circuit connections.

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  • Thank you, I'm reading now that SOOW can't be in walls. I think I found some NM-B 6/3 6awg at home depot. It's $529 and money is not an object for me right now, I want this done right. Thanks for the help.
    – aquaNoob
    Jan 13, 2022 at 23:49
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    Yeah I want it tomorrow and they only had the 125' in stock so I'm just going to eat the cost. Might see if I can sell the rest on eBay or something lol. The floors are open so I want it done right before they are closed. Looking over my manuals for both it says the oven needs 4 wires and the cooktop requires 3 wires (including grounds), I hope it's ok to just cap off the white neutral wire both at the junction box and at the panel rendering that wire unusable and not live.
    – aquaNoob
    Jan 14, 2022 at 5:25
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    Absolutely fine to cap the unused neutral. End result is you'll have cable capable of 50 A 120/240 to both appliances. Which is a very good thing to have. Use the 40A breaker where you're supposed to, but you may want to mark somewhere that you have 6 AWG cable that could be used for 50 A if ever needed. Jan 14, 2022 at 5:40
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    @aquaNoob Holy smoke, don't buy a whole spool! Let your fingers do the walking and call around to local lumberyards and Ace Hardware. Somebody will sell it by the foot, and you'll be able to buy the length you need way cheaper than $529. Just last week someone wanted 10' of 12/3 and Home Depot wanted $45 for a 15' roll. My local "Tiffany's boutique" hardware store (who is laughably expensive as a rule) cheerfully sold 10' cut to length for $23. I didn't call my favorite rough-n-tumble lumberyard, but if they were $15 it would not have surprised me one bit. Jan 14, 2022 at 8:47
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica I wish that was an option at the time! I needed the wire Thursday night after everywhere but home depot and lowes were closed so I could confront the contractor Friday morning and make him re-do it then and there before we closed up the floor. Providing the wire was the best way to just get it done before i left for the day to go to work.. But I will see of I can sell the rest, I'm sure someone will need it.
    – aquaNoob
    Jan 15, 2022 at 14:10

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