The cord on the 40 amp new stove fits the 50 amp receptacle, but I don't know if the power will be too great for the new stove.

  • 4
    Appliances draw what they need, not the maximum available. – bib Sep 8 '16 at 0:30
  • To continue down that logical path, a circuit breaker doesn't limit current (in an active sense). If the stove tried to draw nominally more than 40 amps on a 40 amp breaker, it would trip. Therefore, it wouldn't be a workable scenario anyway. – isherwood Sep 8 '16 at 15:30

Like stated in the comment, appliances only draw the current they need. So simply put, you're fine. It sounds like new stove uses less power than the old one.

Edit since I feel like I should explain better... The way it works, is a 50-amp receptacle has the ability to supply 50 amps of current. It is the device that controls how much it uses. Operating normally, your stove won't use more than 40 amps of current. Chances are it will normally use less than that.


50 amp receptacles on a 40A circuit are a very special case.

You are specifically allowed to use a 50A receptacle on a circuit whose in-wall wiring and circuit breaker are sized for 40A. This is an exception to the "receptacle must match breaker" rule, because 40A receptacles do not exist.

The breaker must still match the wire. So if the breaker is 50A the wire must be 6 AWG.

  • OP mentions "40A cord fits on 50A receptacle" not the other way round. – Chetan Bhargava Sep 9 '16 at 6:44
  • 1
    Exactly. There's no such thing as a 40A receptacle, so 40A cords must use a 50A receptacle. That is allowed under the exception. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 9 '16 at 6:45

If you check the electrical code book you will see that the breaker needs to be sized to protect the appliance it is serving. So a 40 amp plug/appliance needs a 40 amp breaker. Your wiring is big enough, you just need to change your breaker to a 40 amp. As it is if something goes wrong with the appliance or cord and it draws to much power the breaker will not trip before the cord melts and starts on fire.

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    How is this different from a 0.2A clock radio plugged into a 15A outlet? (Also, can I have a cite to the section of the code that says breakers need to be sized to protect appliances? Because 210.23 doesn't say that, and 240.5 doesn't say that...) – ThreePhaseEel Sep 8 '16 at 3:42
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    AFAIK the breaker is sized to protect the wiring used in the circuit it feeds - so for example if you have a 14/2 cable you'd use a 15A breaker whereas if you have a 12/2 cable you'd use a 20A breaker. – brhans Sep 8 '16 at 15:27

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