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DIY Sarah
Need a 220V outlet for a stove

I am renovating the basement in my home into a studio apartment. I decided to include a small, 20" wide stove as part of the kitchenette. I need to add a 220V outlet for the stove. I have avoided hiring a contractor for any of the work up to this point, and I can vouch for the sweat-part of the term "sweat equity". Would it be completely stupid-dangerous if I added a junction box on the same 220V line that serves the dryer? This would allow me to place an outlet at the dryer, and run another line (approximately 20-feet to the stove for an outlet? Without any real knowledge in this field, I would guess that neither of those appliances would be running at the same time? If they did, then the worst case scenario would be that the breaker would pop? Is this a solid line of thinking, or will I burn down my 1920's home if I proceed?

Thank you for any help you can offer that doesn't involve hiring someone!

MLB Construction
Re: Need a 220V outlet for a stove

hate to burst your bubble but this is not a solid line of thinking. what you want to do with the outlet will not be to code and god forbid something should happen insurance might not cover it if you did the work instead of a licensed electrician. i've been zapped by a regular 15 and 20 amp circuit more times than i can count but if i got zapped by a 30 or 50 amp circuit i might not be able to count anymore. i would strongly strongly recommend that you hire an electrician for an hour or so to do this.

side note.....i don't know where you live but in mass, it's illegal to put an apartment in a basement without a permit. if you're planning on renting this space out and anything happens, EVERYTHING is on you should anything happen. i'm assuming there will be a bedroom down there too, are there two means of egress with an escape window in the bedroom? i know people do things like this all the time and i never hear about it.....but i do hear many stories about when things go wrong in these situations with an illegal apartment......remember...better safe than sorry.

Re: Need a 220V outlet for a stove

Having two outlets on a single 220 volt line is a bad idea, but I have seen it work in cases where you can be sure both loads are not on at the same time. However, it won't work for your situation.

Stoves and dryers both use 220 volts, but the current wiring requirements are different than most older houses. In the past you could use a 3 wire 220 volt outlet and line cord for a dryer, but a new stove will require a 4 wire 220 outlet and cord. I don't believe you have to retrofit an existing installation (e.g., for your dryer), but since you are installing a new outlet it will have to meet current code.

A stove may also require a higher amp rating circuit than a dryer circuit. Many stoves require a 40 amp (common) or 50 amp (not as common) breaker, but your dryer may only use a 30 amp breaker.

Bottom line - you will need to run new 4 conductor wire and breaker, and install the proper 4 conductor outlet for the new stove.


Re: Need a 220V outlet for a stove

Doubling up on the dryer circuit isn't the place to save money. The additional materials to go all the way back to the panel and do it right will probably be in the ballpark of $100 or less.

You could save some money by running the cable yourself and having an electrician do the final hookup. Of course, the cable will need to be installed according to the rules of the National Electrical Code. It's not that difficult; the principle is that it must be run in a way that protects it from damage. If you want to learn more about electrical wiring, I recommend Wiring Simplified by Richter, Schwan, and Hartwell.

Re: Need a 220V outlet for a stove

All good advice. They don't call them "dedicated circuits" for nothing.

Re: Need a 220V outlet for a stove

You must run a new circuit, most electric dryers require only a 240 volt 20 amp circuit 3 wire, ranges usually a 50 amp circuit 4 wire.


Re: Need a 220V outlet for a stove

...most electric dryers require only a 240 volt 20 amp circuit 3 wire...

This is no longer correct. Dryers have always required a 120/240V (dual-voltage) circuit. The interior drum light and sometimes the controls and motor operate on 120V while the element operates on 240V. In the past it was permissible to derive the neutral from the ground wire, but in all new construction it's required to install a 4-wire circuit. And it should be 30A, not 20A.

Ranges as well used to be wired with 3-wire circuits where the neutral and ground were bonded where the cord enters the range, but that too is no longer permissible. You are correct though that a 50A circuit is required for the range.

Bonding the neutral to the frame of an appliance is not a good idea. In the event that the shared ground/neutral wire leading to the appliance is interrupted or broken, electricity can still flow through the 120V components of the appliance, making the frame of the appliance electrified. A person can receive a shock in such a situation, which could result in electrocution. A circuit breaker will not protect against this type of fault.

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