I just had a new range installed in the kitchen. The cord's prongs do not quite go in all the way. There's not a lot of space, maybe 1/8th to 1/4th inch. Is there any risk to the prongs not going completely into the socket? Thanks.


Theoretically, yes, a risk exists -- if you drop a knife or baking tray into that area, for example.

And frankly, if the plug won't go all the way in I'm worried about whether something else is goung on that might be a greater risk.

It won't kill you tomorrow. I'd still suggest getting it fixed.


If it's a surface receptacle it will look like the image under the cover. It is entirely possible to cut the hot conductors too long so that they wind up under the receptacle prongs. If that is the case it will create the exact problem you are describing. If the receptacle installation is new I'd simply ask the installer to come back and trim the wire back a bit to alleviate the problem.

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Push harder. There's no reason it won't go.

I had a similar situation once, and when the range was slid into position the bottom bracket of the chassis slid into the gap and made contact with a hot prong. Imagine my surprise when I grabbed the oven door later and got a nice 60hz zing. I was so shocked (to turn a phrase) that I did it again to make sure I wasn't imagining it.

So, yeah. That happened to me. Find out what the problem is and fix it.

  • 3
    I'm curious how that didn't trip the breaker? Even on a 3 wire plug without a dedicated ground, neutral should be bonded to the chassis ground inside the range to prevent exactly this kind of problem -- to prevent the stove chassis from being energized. – Johnny Jan 23 '16 at 1:26
  • It's an old house so it's possible whatever alerts might go off with newer equipment would not with the older breaker. – Orrymain Jan 24 '16 at 0:40

Is it dangerous? Yes. One day you might reach behind the range for some reason and accidentally touch two prongs. A range is normally 220 to 240 volts -- you'd get a nasty shock. Probably not enough to do serious damage, but I wouldn't want to try it to find out, and if someone had a weak heart, it could be literally fatal.

I've had plenty of times that I've dropped something behind cabinets and went feeling for it, so the idea that months or years from now you might forget all about this and go reaching back there is not implausible. I'd be particularly worried about a pet or a small child. Not only would they have no idea that this plug is dangerous, but they're smaller and more vulnerable.

It won't hurt you if you don't touch it (with your hands or an object), so it's not a cause for panic -- I'm not saying you should evacuate the house and call 911 to send a hazmat team. But yeah, I would definitely get this fixed.

Before spending a bunch of money, if you're comfortable with doing simple electrical work, step 1 would be: (a) Turn off the electricity to the range from the fuse box. (b) Try to simply push it in further. If it goes in, hooray. If not, and you're comfortable doing it, you can remove the plug, unscrew the fixture, and see why it won't go in. Likely something is blocking it. If you have not done your own electrical work before, a 220 line is not where you want to start. Call an electrician.

  • I appreciate the reply. I had a microwave installed before the range and when that guy was looking for a hotspot, he actually removed the entire socket to see what else was there. Then he put it back in. The person who did the range install later that day commented that it felt loose to him a little. He never could get the plug in all the way. We got it in closer, to where it is now. I'm wondering if the new plug might be a bit smaller than the original, which did go in all the way, or if when the microwave installer caused some kind of alteration when he was doing his thing. – Orrymain Jan 24 '16 at 0:39
  • Hard to say without seeing it, probably without taking it apart. Maybe there's a twisted wire in the receptacle blocking the plug, or some other obstruction -- a piece of wallboard got stuck in there or whatever. Maybe the plug or the receptacle has a slight manufacturing defect. Etc. – Jay Jan 24 '16 at 5:09

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