I am replacing old electric cook top and the old unit had three wire red balck and white which were connected to corresponing red black white in BX cable. The new unit has red black and a bare copper wire. Should the bare copper wire be connected to the white wire?

  • Is this in North America?
    – wallyk
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


No. The bare copper wire is the grounding conductor, and it should be connected to the circuits grounding conductor.

If there is no grounded "neutral" conductor coming from the cooktop, you should cap the white wire off. The grounded "neutral" conductor is only used for 120 Volt or 120/240 Volt circuits, and is not required for straight 240 Volt circuits like your cooktop requires.

Read and understand the manufacturer's installation instructions, before you proceed further.

  • Thanks. That is what I thought. Connect red to red black to black cap white wire from BX cable and keep bare copper wire in junction box. The manufactures installation instructions daid bare copper wire could be connected to white if code permitted but that didn't make sense.
    – KevinG
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 20:06
  • @KevinG: The reason for that line in the instructions is that the white wire is grounded, so if you need to ground the safety ground to something, you can use the white wire. This is a bad idea for many reasons; see the answers to diy.stackexchange.com/questions/49875/… for some thoughts on why this is a dangerous practice. Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 23:29

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