I purchased a stove 3 years ago that blew because the stove was hooked up as 3 wire plug and the wall outlet was 4 wire. The technician to that diagnosed the problem, said because of the age of the house, 1905, the stove and wall plug should be both 3 wire. I purchased a new stove, 3 wire and need to change my wall outlet from 4 wire to 3 wire. My question is what do I do with the ground. enter image description here old plug on top new plug on bottom

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    On your existing 4 prong outlet, is the white wire going to a green screw? It looks like the white wire and bare copper should be swapped. There's no reason to use a 3 prong outlet. – JPhi1618 Jan 11 '16 at 21:14
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    COMPLETELY agree with Phil and Tester. The receptacle that exists in the house is what determines what cord you put on the range. NOT the other way around. If a technician told you you to replace that receptacle based on the age of the house as opposed to the type of cable that was run, he is a SAD excuse for a technician. That is very modern cable and the 4-wire receptacle IS appropriate. – Speedy Petey Jan 11 '16 at 22:12


You should follow the manufacturer's installation instructions, and install a 4-prong cord on the range. You should never replace a 4-prong range receptacle, with a 3-prong.

As @JPhi1618 points out, it looks like your 4-prong receptacle is wired incorrectly. The bare grounding wire should go to the green screw terminal, while the white "neutral" should go to the silver screw terminal.

Also as @JPhi1618 points out. If there's no grounding conductor in the cable feeding the receptacle, you'll have to address that issue separately.

  • Say I open up my 4-prong outlet behind the stove in my old house, and there is no ground wire. Would it then be a good idea to replace it with a 3-prong to rectify a past mistake? – JPhi1618 Jan 11 '16 at 21:25
  • I felt that clarification could be useful to someone else seeing this answer, and I had this actual issue in my first home. – JPhi1618 Jan 11 '16 at 21:39
  • @JPhi1618 I've updated my answer to address your concerns. – Tester101 Jan 11 '16 at 21:46
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    @JPhi1618, a complaint existing installation of a "3-wire" range circuit and receptacle is perfectly fine. If someone put a 4-wire receptacle on a cable with no grounding conductor then they created a violation in doing that, and putting a 10-30 3-wire receptacle back on is the proper thing to do. – Speedy Petey Jan 11 '16 at 22:08

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