City-Data Forum What kind of wire is this? (heater, appliance, kitchen, insulation)
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09-29-2010, 05:16 PM
 1,492 posts, read 7,236,217 times Reputation: 1437

Last year renovated kitchen and had 2 - 220 outlets from the range and double wall oven not being used. I purchased a new range and put it on the "10/3 with ground 600 volts" wire. And the oven worked, and the burners worked...but when on at same time...the breaker tripped.

So I put the range on the "6/3 with ground 600 volts" wire and all has been well.

The wire says, "10/3" or "6/3" so I'm citing the writing on the wire itself.

I want to put in a baseboard heater and according to the specs it says:

240 Volts, 1000 Watts, 3413 BTU/HR, 4.1 Amps

and another model that says
120V/1250 Watts, 10.4 amps

The 10/3 wire is suitable for which one? The 4.1 Amps or the 10.4 Amps?

09-29-2010, 05:31 PM
 Location: Eastern Washington 15,299 posts, read 48,895,667 times Reputation: 14629
10/3 means 3 conductors, each 10 AWG ("Gauge") wire. Assuming copper wire, AWG 10 has an "ampacity" of 30 amps. Your range drew more than whatever the breaker tripped at, one does not usually use 10 gauge wire for a range. The recepticle on the 10-gauge is wrong if you could plug a range directly into it, fortunately the breaker was at least close to right. It should have a 30 amp breaker or less.

Likewise 6/3 is 3 conductors, 6 gauge, ampacity is 55 amps.

If you put the correct recepticle on the 10/3 circuit, the 1000W heater is fine on that.

Because these are 220 V circuits, the 10.4A 120V heater should not be put on them, it's a regular wall socket type heater that goes on a regular 15A wall socket. The 120V heater should not plug into any correct 220V socket.

A trip to any decent hardware or electrical supply will give you a chance to look at the 15 and 20 A 120V recepticles, and the various amperage of 220V recepticles that are out there.

I think you should at least put a 30 A style or smaller recepticle on the 10/3 circuit, replacing the range type, probably 50A recepticle that someone put on it. I'm not an expert on NEC, but very likely the 50A style recepticle on the 10 gauge wire is not to code. So long as the breaker is 30A or less it's not technically dangerous, but it's probably against code, and it's gauche anyway.

09-29-2010, 06:54 PM
 1,492 posts, read 7,236,217 times Reputation: 1437
Thanks so much for the insight. My post should have said "wires"...not outlets. I removed the outlets when I removed the old appliances.

So when I put in the range, I had to put in an outlet. I put it on the 10/3 but it wasn't sufficient so I moved the outlet to the 6/3.

So the 6/3 is being used. The only other wire I have is the 10/3 that is a 220, on a double 15amp breaker.

I hope someone can help...when my oven stopped working and came to this forum...was simply told the wires should be switched as the larger number is less than a smaller number- can't recall exactly what was said. But I switched it and it's been over a year and working great, thanks to city-data.

But now I just need to know if a 10 can handle "240 Volts, 1000 Watts, 3413 BTU/HR, 4.1 Amps".

Last edited by VegasGrace; 09-29-2010 at 07:33 PM..

09-29-2010, 07:18 PM
 Location: West Michigan 12,083 posts, read 35,822,207 times Reputation: 16935
Quote:
 Originally Posted by VegasGrace But the 10/3 is all I have left. The breaker switches (2 together) are 15 amps each, for 60 total.
Doesn't work that way. A double pole 30 amp breaker is NOT a 60 amp breaker, it is a 30 Amp that handles both sides of a 240 volt circuit. Meaning the circuit will trip around 30 amps. Honestly, it sounds like you really have no clue about electricity and electrical wiring, I would suggest hiring an Electrician so they can hook everything up properly and make sure you have the right sized breaker for the heater. You don't want to have a problem and have something happen because the breaker was sized for the wire and not in accordance to the manufactures recommendation on the heater unit.

09-29-2010, 07:57 PM
 Location: sowf jawja 1,940 posts, read 8,594,692 times Reputation: 1051
Quote:
 Originally Posted by M3 Mitch Assuming copper wire, AWG 10 has an "ampacity" of 30 amps. . . . . . . Likewise 6/3 is 3 conductors, 6 gauge, ampacity is 55 amps. . . . . .
That's quite a blanket statement. Are you sure of those numbers?

I know what you're trying to relay to the OP, I'm just poking at you. Unless you don't know what I'm talking about.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by VegasGrace But the 10/3 is all I have left. The breaker switches (2 together) are 15 amps each, for 60 total.
To expand on what Bydand has said, ampere ratings on a two-pole circuit are measured as symmetrical amps.

The current will always be equal on each line. alternating current reverses direction 60 times per second (on a 60hz system); each line is the return path for the other.

Its the same on a single-pole circuit. The current on the neutral should be equal to that on the 'hot', unless there is a leak somewhere. You don't get shocked on the neutral because its grounded, but there is still current on this line. If you place yourself between the neutral and its return point, you become the return path, and you will get your ass fried.

I'd call an electrician out. I'm a DIY kind of person also as long as I'm sure about what I'm doing, but I restrict myself from DIY questions in my own occupation. Sorry I can't be of any further assistance.

09-29-2010, 08:29 PM
 Location: Knoxville 4,562 posts, read 22,632,345 times Reputation: 5603
I have never seen an electric oven/range that was rated for a 10 amp circuit.

There should be something about the size of the circuit needed for the range. It is likely 40 or 50 amps.

09-29-2010, 08:56 PM
 Location: Eastern Washington 15,299 posts, read 48,895,667 times Reputation: 14629
Quote:
 Originally Posted by VegasGrace Thanks so much for the insight. My post should have said "wires"...not outlets. I removed the outlets when I removed the old appliances. So when I put in the range, I had to put in an outlet. I put it on the 10/3 but it wasn't sufficient so I moved the outlet to the 6/3. So the 6/3 is being used. The only other wire I have is the 10/3 that is a 220, on a double 15amp breaker. I hope someone can help...when my oven stopped working and came to this forum...was simply told the wires should be switched as the larger number is less than a smaller number- can't recall exactly what was said. But I switched it and it's been over a year and working great, thanks to city-data. But now I just need to know if a 10 can handle "240 Volts, 1000 Watts, 3413 BTU/HR, 4.1 Amps".
The point is (and Southgeorgia is right, I am simplifying and generalizing) the 10 gauge wire is good for up to 30 amps, so it will handle 4.1A easily.

I have suggested a book on here and can't seem to remember the title, but it's a small paperback frequently sold in the wiring device section of hardware and discount stores, the edition I have has a green cover. Maybe someone will post up the title. You ought to get your hands on that at least, given that you connected a range to 10-gauge wire, without being harsh you are not quite ready to sit your journeyman electrician's test yet. I probably could not pass that test either, but I do understand wire sizes and most importantly as Clint says "a man's gotta know his limitations". I know when to get help.

09-29-2010, 09:50 PM
 Location: sowf jawja 1,940 posts, read 8,594,692 times Reputation: 1051
Quote:
 Originally Posted by M3 Mitch I have suggested a book on here and can't seem to remember the title, but it's a small paperback frequently sold in the wiring device section of hardware and discount stores, the edition I have has a green cover. Maybe someone will post up the title.

Can't think of one with a green cover, but the quick reference of choice for many people is the Uglys book. All of mine had a yellow cover w/ a red ohm's law diagram.

As for connecting the range to the #10ga wire; In their defense, to an untrained person it could very well seem logical considering the size of the wiring @ the terminal block in the range.

Its a small diameter wire (maybe 12ga?), but with high temp insulation. Its PTFE or something similar.

Conductors in cooktop and wall over whips are usually larger, around 10ga.

09-30-2010, 04:56 AM
 1,492 posts, read 7,236,217 times Reputation: 1437

When you remove a range from an outlet.... it's not silly to think you can put a new one on there. But in my case, the 220s were doubled so a wall oven over here and then the cooktop over there. So it was simple to see that the new range should have been where the wall oven was and not the cooktop - the gage was not sufficient.

But my range is not on a 10, it's on a 6. Will definitely try to find an electrician to come out but have been unsuccessful. But will buy the book just to broaden my knowledge base, or try.

09-30-2010, 08:02 AM
 Location: West Michigan 12,083 posts, read 35,822,207 times Reputation: 16935
Quote:
 Originally Posted by southgeorgia Can't think of one with a green cover, but the quick reference of choice for many people is the Uglys book. All of mine had a yellow cover w/ a red ohm's law diagram.
Agreed 100%, Ugly's is the best for a pocket reference (they also have a Residential Wiring book).

Quote:
 As for connecting the range to the #10ga wire; In their defense, to an untrained person it could very well seem logical considering the size of the wiring @ the terminal block in the range. Its a small diameter wire (maybe 12ga?), but with high temp insulation. Its PTFE or something similar. Conductors in cooktop and wall over whips are usually larger, around 10ga.
So true, I've seen this same thing several times over the years. Somebody changes out a kitchen and hooks up the old cooktop feed to a new range and then can't figure out why it keeps tripping the breaker. Easy mistake to make when you are not positive about which one you need.
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