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I am planning to buy a electric cooktop of 2 burners. Right now I have a connection of 20 amp breaker with 12/2 wire.

I am confused if both burner are opened at the same time. below are details and link.

  • Amperage: 12.5 A
  • Element #1 Wattage: 1800,750
  • Element #2 Wattage: 1200

product more details: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Magic-Chef-12-in-Radiant-Electric-Ceramic-Glass-Cooktop-in-Black-with-2-Elements-Including-Dual-Radiant-Element-MCSCTE12BG1/312733817?

Thanks

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    This is a 240 volt stove, so will need two hots plus ground at least(dual 20 amp breaker), probably a neutral also(so a 12/3 cable). 20 amp breaker will be enough for both elements. Do not know if it needs neutral also, since that will require 12/3. Might require a dedicated circuit(nothing else on it).
    – crip659
    May 19 at 22:35
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    Don't take the marketing claims and try to turn it into fake nameplate data. Just look at the real nameplate. What does it say? May 20 at 2:08
  • Aside - is it a regional thing to call them burners, perhaps after gas cookers? I'd call them elements personally.
    – Criggie
    May 21 at 2:46

1 Answer 1

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You may want to either talk to the manufacturer or go look at an actual unit in Home Depot.

  • The specs of 12.5A, 1800/750 + 1200 only make sense if this is a 240V unit. 1800 (largest of burner 1) + 1200 = 3000W, divided by 240V = 12.5A. So that would point to a 15A or 20A 240V circuit.
  • The Home Depot page says Please note cooktop is 240-Volt = 240V
  • The downloadable specifications document says 120V. It also says 1000W and 1600W elements. A 1600W element could work with a 20A 120V circuit, but not at the same time as a 1000W element, and a larger circuit is almost always 240V.
  • The downloadable installation guide includes:
    • Page 6: 240V/3000W, 120V/2600W
    • Page 7: MSCTE12BG1 (240V), MSCTE12BG2 (120V) - It looks like the Home Depot page is for the BG1 model. (And why they wouldn't make BG1 = 120 and BG2 = 240 is beyond me...)
    • Page 9: Use 8 gauge copper wire - That is typical for a 40A circuit.
    • Page 10: A 3-wire or 4-wire, single phase, 120/240 volt, 60-Hz., AC only electrical supply is required on a separate,40-amp circuit fused on both sides of the line. That repeats the 40A and seemingly requires 120/240 whether this is a 120V (obviously should only need 120 = 2 wires + ground) or 240V (should only need 240 = 2 wires + ground). My hunch is they boilerplate copied this from all of their larger cooktops/ovens/etc. where 40A 120/240 (120 for lights/clock/timer - none of that here; 240 for heating) is the normal requirement.
    • Page 12: 8 gauge copper wire
    • Pages 13 and 14: Typical 3/4 wire 120V/240V wiring diagrams

What I suspect is really going on:

  • MSCTE12BG2 is 120V, 20A, and if you use both burners at the same time then you will have limited performance. Do not get this one.
  • MSCTE12BG1 is 240V, 20A. That is the one Home Depot appears to be selling. Only needs a 2-wire + ground connection, 12 AWG wire or larger, which you have. However, you will need to switch from a single 20A breaker to a proper double-breaker to get 240V. Then mark the ends of the white wire in your cable with black or red tape to indicate it is being used (legitimately) as a second hot wire.
  • All the references to 120V/240V, 8 gauge copper wire, 3-wire/4-wire connections are boilerplate copied from other manuals.

The real proof is in the underside picture on Home Depot:

Magic Chef

It shows black/red/green coming out of the metal whip, and it says 240V.

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    Gotta love it when manufacturers sell products that take "120/240V" but in reality, at 120V they just work poorly. I have a hair dryer like that.
    – jay613
    May 20 at 0:03
  • Yeah, you'll need the actual nameplate kW rating to determine the correct circuit sizing for the unit, something most cooktop/oven/range manufacturers can't be arsed to publish :/ May 20 at 0:07
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    That happened with the 4-engine A330 and 2-engine A340. Somebody at Airbus said "wait a minute, let's switch those" lol. May 20 at 2:10
  • Thanks@manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact . So 12/2 romex won't work ?
    – PowerTech
    May 20 at 2:30
  • Everything credible I have seen indicates this is a maximum 3,000W appliance on a 240V circuit = 12.5A. 12.5A x 1.25 = 15.625A (because of continuous operation rating), which means 240V 20A breaker and 12 AWG (or larger) wire. In other words, 12/2 Romex will work just fine, but you need to change it from "black to single breaker, white to neutral bar" to "black and white-remarked-as-black-or-red to double breaker". May 20 at 2:36

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