Hard Wire Ranges
I had an interesting thought today at work...(Lowes Electrical Specialist). While I was stocking outlets, I looked at the back to see the back stab holes and was thinking about how they work... pressure from a sping type contact... then i looked at the front and thought about how it was similar... and that got me thinking. To me, it makes sense to plug things in on a 120V 15/20A circuit... but what about a range? Why use a plug and receptacle which will eventually fail and create a high resistance situation. Why are they not hard wired? I know every now and then you have to move a range, so maybe use a flexible cord... It's just a thought, anyone agree or disagree? (This idea assumes that they make a UL listed way to do this)
Afterword: I know how much you guys have come to hate home center employees because they pretend to know code. Please don't show it in this topic, since I'm more working around an Idea rather than telling people to do this. I also have a little backgroung because I'm an EE student (although i know not the same as an electrician)
Posted By: Gregtaylor
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 03:51 AM
Well, the thing is, if a range is a free standing type it is considered a portable appliance and it must be disconnectable to allow it to be moved. A cooktop or oven that is built in to a cabinet can be hard wired without a local disconnecting means as long as the circuit feeding it can be locked off. One exception to this in some jurisdictions is a dishwasher, which is a fixed appliance but may be allowed to be cord and plug connected.
Ok Mr shizzle my nizzle, here's the deal. Assuming the connection between the cord and receptacle will eventually fail is where your thinking is flawed. There are gazzilions of this very setup in use right now both on ranges and dryers. The world is not burning down. I do mainly remodel work so I come accross these all the time.I can't think of one instance in my 17 years in the trade that I have had to replace a failed one. The only instance where there has ever been a problem is with a loose connection on the wire terminal. So what I am sying is this is a perfectly fine installation.
PS. You have two strikes against you, home center employee, and electrical engineer. One more strike (like inspector) and you are outa here!
Posted By: iwire
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 01:22 PM
To me it is just one of many design decisions that we make out of habit.
There is nothing I know of to prevent hardwiring any range other than "we always do it that way".
It would not surprise me if Chicago codes required using FMC from the wall to the range.
If you do hardwire it you will have to consider what the disconnecting means will be. You would probably have to make sure the breaker feeding it is capable of being locked in the open position.
That said why rock the boat?
I agree with Scott 100% in 20 + years doing this I have not seen properly installed range outlets have problems.
By the way even with your 2 strikes
you are welcome here.
Hope you can take some ribbing.
Posted By: harold endean
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 01:28 PM
The one thing I saw why receptacles failed is because they were used so often. The more you plug and unplug, the less tension is going to be on the blades of the plug. Once the tension starts to loosen in the receptacle the higher the resitance. The higher the res. the more heat which makes the metal lose even more tension, and so on until the receptacle, and plug fails. By the way I am an AHJ, I was also a licensed EC in NJ, do I have to leave?
Posted By: Electric Ian
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 03:01 PM
Oh no, you're all set. The rule is, as I understand it, only inspectors who are electrical engineers and work in a home center have to leave
Posted By: renosteinke
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 05:08 PM
Now if we could get Mr. Nizzle to tell hopeful DIY'ers that there is a waiting period for linesmans' pliers!https://www.electrical-contractor.net/ubb/icons/icon6.gif https://www.electrical-contractor.net/ubb/icons/icon6.gif
Posted By: LK
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 05:15 PM
Welcome, to the snake pit, we are here to exchange ideas, and information, so stop by and join in.
We had 4 EE's work with us over the years, they worked summers, and weekends, They did everything from pulling cable, trenching, and building control panels, we had them reference the code on every task, they were a real asset to us, they often keep in contact, and one thing they say, that stands out is, the work we did with you, really helped.
All four are working in the electrical, and communications fields, one is working as a senior scientist.
Hang in there, it's a great field.
Posted By: Megawatt
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/29/05 11:47 PM
Nizzle, I agree with the others. A properly installed receptacle & cord will preform without incident for years.
The last trouble call I went on involving a pigtail was caused by an Employee of the Big Blue Box.
Seems that when they delivered the appliance, they couldn't figure out the connector supplied with the cord, so they just left it off.
8 months later, the vibrations of the cord cut through the insulation, shorted out, & scared the Homeowners silly.
I went to our local Store, & told them what had happened, & now they keep a box of 1" romex connectors on the delivery trucks.
Good Luck to You.
Posted By: e57
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 12:23 AM
I too will also agree that failure rates of 30A and 50A cords and recepticals are low. The big differances being repeatitive use, and contact area on the whipes of the receptical being much larger and under much more tension.
I wouldn't worry so much about 30's and 50's.
Worry about the 15's and 20's is substantiated as use and abuse is more predominant, with minimal contact area.
Posted By: russ m
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 01:59 AM
Even in Chicago, they let you cord and plug connect the range or dryer.
I have seen some direct connected. Usually because the contractor screwed up the rough, and put the outlet too high on the wall to get the range all the way back.
Posted By: BigJohn
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 02:36 AM
Apparently I'm in my own little world on this one: I see range receptacles fail all the time. A combination of old receptacle, too short a cord, and tenants who find it necessary to move their range much more than necessary puts tension on the cord and plug which causes the receptacle to break.
For some reason in the poor sections of Richmond (where I'm lucky enough to work) this a constant problem. When they design housing projects I think they might just be better off using long hardwired whips that go straight into a box.
But maybe I shouldn't complain because these are four-wire ranges and it gives me a chance to remove the bonding-jumper and install the cord connector, both of which are always respectively present and missing.
Now that I think about it, u guys are right about little chance of losing tension... I didn't stop and think that it is constant plugging/unplugging.
Also, if it is any consulation about the home center thing, I've been written up twice because I REFUSED to sell to customers who told me they weren't worried about doing things to code and want to "just get it working." One thing that blows my mind is we're not allowed (by corporate HQ) to sell code books, because of liability... some things just blow my mind.
Posted By: Larry Fine
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 04:02 AM
"Richmond (where I'm lucky enough to work)"
Richmond, VA??? Me, too! Competitors or friends? I prefer the latter.
Posted By: BigJohn
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 05:27 AM
Competitors or friends? I prefer the latter.
Then you're in luck, because it's definitely not the former. For the moment I do maintenance work, but I'm trying to get the heck out of this and back into electrical. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll be a competitor soon.
[This message has been edited by BigJohn (edited 05-30-2005).]
Posted By: pauluk
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 11:14 AM
You might be interested to learn that over here in England hard-wiring is the norm for ranges, and our "code" specified that there must be an isolating switch located nearby.
The one thing I find bad about the setup though is that the usual connection method just employs a length of our equivalent of Romex to connect from the wall to the range.
For a free-standing, movable range, I feel it is unsuitable, although there have been discussions about this on U.K. forums and opinion seems to be divided.
Posted By: Larry Fine
Re: Hard Wire Ranges - 05/30/05 05:41 PM
John, give me a call some time. Contact info 1n profile.