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  1. #1
    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    I found a 50 amp breaker supplying the electric range in a 1990 condo unit. I estimated the wire gauge to be #8 copper. I called for a repair by an electrician and was told that the electrician changed the breaker to a 40, which is what we normally see there. Good.
    A couple of months later, I got to inspect another unit in the same building. Found the same issue in that panel, a 50 amp where we want to see a 40. Now I wonder if all the units were wired this way.
    If so, does anyone know any way that this is acceptable?

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    John

    The data plate on the range would be the definitive answer. But 40 is common.

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    John,

    Were the ranges supplied of the "induction" type? Free-standing or slide-in? Which manufacturer?

    If so, there is some play there (internal power supply controls, boost) vs. pure "resistance" type electric ranges (similar but not identical to AC condensors). Many require 40A minimum not max, some require 50A minimum, but the total kW rating is internally limited in continuous mode.
    Example electrolux, and some differences for similar appearing models some listed for canada, some for US, some listed for both, some not; GE also.
    Also, 208 or 240V? I recall you mentioned condo building.


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    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    HG, the ranges are standard 30" free-standing appliances with typical stovetop elements. They are both Camco units, similar to WCI or Frigidaire, and probably original to the building, 1995 or so.

    I did notice both 50 amp breakers had cleaner lettering than the others, hinting that they may have been replacements.

    Power is 120/208 (3 phase) in all likelihood*.
    *Power is underground, and the meter vault was locked up, as usual. I am not licensed to do work in an electrical panel, and probing with a DMM is in all likelihood deemed to be 'work'. I don't go there. No access to appliance receptacles for voltage measurements, as usual. Could I measure voltage at the oven element? I've never tried that. Sounds like a half-baked way to do it.

    I suspect the building maintenance person may have been performed some electrical repairs. Maybe there was a bad batch of 40 amp Commander breakers in the original build.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 12-09-2011 at 04:02 PM. Reason: added new info
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  5. #5
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    HG, the ranges are standard 30" free-standing appliances with typical stovetop elements. They are both Camco units, similar to WCI or Frigidaire, and probably original to the building, 1995 or so.

    I did notice both 50 amp breakers had cleaner lettering than the others, hinting that they may have been replacements.

    Power is 120/208 (3 phase) in all likelihood*.
    *Power is underground, and the meter vault was locked up, as usual. I am not licensed to do work in an electrical panel, and probing with a DMM is in all likelihood deemed to be 'work'. I don't go there. No access to appliance receptacles for voltage measurements, as usual. Could I measure voltage at the oven element? I've never tried that. Sounds like a half-baked way to do it.

    I suspect the building maintenance person may have been performed some electrical repairs. Maybe there was a bad batch of 40 amp Commander breakers in the original build.

    If 75C terminations (that is most likely) #8 thwn or thhn copper is good for 50 amps when run in conduit as individual conductors.


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    Jim Port's Avatar
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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    In addition to Rogers comments, you will not find a 40 amp cord or receptacle for a stove. They are all 50 amp.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Jim ... Are you sure about not finding any "40 Amp Cords" ? Raymond provides some pretty good links ?


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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    In ranges such as in John's photo I turn on all the elements (cooktop and oven) simultaneously and leave them on for 2-3 minutes. More often than not, the 40 amp breakers will trip off.

    Eric Barker, ACI
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    Jim Port's Avatar
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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Schenck View Post
    Jim ... Are you sure about not finding any "40 Amp Cords" ? Raymond provides some pretty good links ?
    Yes I am. Notice in this chart there is no 40 amp receptacle shown.

    Nema Plug and Receptacle configurations

    And we all know that the info available from the big box stores is correct too. Heck the person that put the link together most likely had no electrical knowlwdge.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit must have a rating of not less than that of the branch circuit.

    The reason is that the branch circuit overcurrent device needs to trip off before the receptacle rating is exceeded and the receptacle burns up due to overcurrent through the receptacle.

    Thus you are allowed to have a 50 amp receptacle on a 40 amp branch circuit with a 40 amp breaker, and you are also allowed to have a 50 amp receptacle on a 30 amp branch circuit with a 30 amp breaker, but you are not allowed to have a 30 amp receptacle on a 50 amp branch circuit with a 50 amp breaker.

    "you are also allowed to have a 50 amp receptacle on a 30 amp branch circuit with a 30 amp breaker" Of course, though, you will not be able to use an appliance which draws 50 amps on that circuit as the 30 amp breaker will trip (unless, of course, it is an FPE ).

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    If 75C terminations (that is most likely) #8 thwn or thhn copper is good for 50 amps when run in conduit as individual conductors.
    "If 75C terminations (that is most likely)"

    In newer construction, yes, but not in older homes.

    Roger (or Jim, Bill, Rollie, etc.), I am drawing a mental blank on trying to remember when the 75C terminations transitioned in, do you remember?

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    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    If 75C terminations (that is most likely) #8 thwn or thhn copper is good for 50 amps when run in conduit as individual conductors.
    Thanks, Roger. Sorry for the shortage of info. This looks like NMD to me. I don't think it is run in conduit.

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    If that is 8/3 NM cable then it needs to be sized in the 60 degree C column of table 310.16, which would mean 40A overcurrent protection, & it's OK for a 50A receptacle on a 40A circuit, since there are no 40A ones.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Thanks, Roger. Sorry for the shortage of info. This looks like NMD to me. I don't think it is run in conduit.
    Nope it's not in conduit and I also didn't focus when I saw the 1990 dating. Jerry is likely correct that it would be 40 amps anyway.. I'm not up on the Canadian amperage rules. I'm assuming that nmd is the equivalent to our nmb in the USA. I'm not sure they require it to be 60C ampacity though I would suspect they would have nmd rated 40 amps if #8 copper.

    Your load centers are sure different than ours ...

    Jerry

    I'll check I'm not sure when 75C started. I likely have it in a stored file ..if I can find it ..it is going to be like finding a needle in my haystack unless I identified the file as such.....

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 12-11-2011 at 09:11 PM.

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    There have been and continue to be significant distinctions and differences between requirements and certifications for products and methods between those in Canada and the US.

    One can merely review the "requirements for equipment installations in ordinary locations" for both the U.S. and Canada as well as compare the distinctions and differences between ELBZ7 (Canada) and ELBZ paying special attention to those requirements for Power Supply Cord Kits and Power Supply Cords for both Ranges, etc. and Dryers to devine WHY same otherwise identical are often limited to lower amperage applications in Canada than in the U.S.

    Although there have been of late significant advances (mostly changes in the certification standards and code language on the U.S. side) in the harmonization between the U.S. and Canada - the standards and certification requirements remain distinctly different overall.

    However the OP has in a subsequent post that the system , interviening componants, and connection method thereto was not identified, (drawer not removed?) so at this point discussions surrounding branch vs. feeder, power cord kit and receptacle vs. power cord, are far-fetched. OP has also further indicated polyphase power (hmmm...) so the balance is moot.

    Example, in the US we might allow 2-trade size reductions in both the N and G for such pwer cord kits or power cords Ranges & Dryers, this was and is not allowed for Canada, minimum sizes for same are expressed.

    Perhaps some day, some of the posters here will realize Canada and its provinces are not goverened by U.S. standards, nor utilize NFPA 70, the "National" (as in the United States) Electrical Code, nor the same standards, certifications, etc. (which are not voluntary, as they are in the U.S.) for electrical equipment, componants, devices, etc.


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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Thanks, all. HG, a free standing kitchen range in Canada is 'always' connected cord and plug, so that it can be replaced at the whim of the consumer.
    I post these situations to stimulate discussion, as we usually learn something from them.
    FTR, I called for repairs in both cases and the tenants were advised to raise the subject with the tenants association.

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    Default Re: 50 amp breaker on a range circuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Thanks, all. HG, a free standing kitchen range in Canada is 'always' connected cord and plug, so that it can be replaced at the whim of the consumer.
    JK, despite the prepared state the product may be required to be equipped with at time of sale; the certifications and standards, I do believe remain that same may be connected via power cord and not power cord kit-to-receptacle; from the terminal block to fused or unfused disconnect (following restrictions, instructions, certifications & CEC). If something has substantially changed in the last few months, regards your 'always' statement for all of Canada (i.e. not a local or provincial requirement); I would appreciate your reference to the change in the CSA standards, or part I or II; so that I might further investigate and update myself upon same.


    I post these situations to stimulate discussion, as we usually learn something from them.
    FTR, I called for repairs in both cases and the tenants were advised to raise the subject with the tenants association.
    One thing to remember is that 'free standing' is inclusive, and in some ways misunderstood, as in practical and safe operation, for a tilt down door or drawer equipped device should be anchored (anti-tip provisions) for safety, and "slide in" installations as opposed to drop-in, are still floor-supported; and installations adjacent to cabinetry, fixed partions, etc. have restrictions, some of which are generic to the equipment classification/type, and some which are specific to the specific equipment and its certification.

    Another is that the requirements, standards, etc. are distinctively different in the two contries as a whole, as there are distinctions and differences between provinces, states, and localities. And the distinctively different authority regarding the power supplier in areas Canada vs. US (rare municpal or government owned utilities in US per capita vs. Canada).

    Finally there are distinctions with differences in type of occupancy classification and the type of power supplied, and the vintage of the original installation(s) and dates of modification.


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