Stove power cord after connecting. Appliance Installation:

Connecting A Range Power Cord

In This Article:

The access panel is removed, a strain relief is installed and the heavy power cord threaded through the cord opening. Electrical connections are made after the neutral bonding strap is removed.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate) Time Taken: About 15 Minutes

By , Editor

Some people are surprised to learn that a new electric range does not come with a power cord. Until recently there were two different plug styles: 3-prong and 4-prong. It didn't make sense for appliance manufacturers to include a power cord if they don't know what style you'll need.

Back of electric stove. After we hauled the appliance into the house, we parked it on the kitchen floor to work on it.

This is the back side of the range after the box was removed.


Near the bottom there was a cover panel held in place by one screw. I removed the screw with a ¼" nut-driver. Removing cover panel for electrical connections on stove or range.


Stove or range electrical connections. Behind the cover panel there was a row of three electrical connector screws, plus a green ground screw.

The middle connection is neutral, the left and right connections are hot. This arrangement is common on 240-volt appliances.

Like many appliances, this stove has a metal enclosure for the electrical connections. This is like a built-in "junction box".


I bought a 4-wire range cord at Home Depot for about $10. 4-wire stove or range power cord.


Strain relief used on appliance power cord to prevent cord from being pulled out. This is called a "strain relief". The purpose of this device is to grab onto the outer jacket of the cord to prevent the individual wires from being pulled loose if somebody should yank on the power cord.


With one screw left out, I placed the strain relief into the hole for the power cord. Installing strain relief in appliance.


Installing power cord on new stove. I threaded the 4-wire power cord up into the connection "box".

Note that the red and black wires are "hot" wires. There is 240 volts of electrical potential between the two hot wires, and 120 volts between either hot wire and the white neutral wire. Green is ground.


Only For 4-Wire Cords:

Following the instructions on the back of the stove, I removed this copper bonding strip that connects the neutral line to the ground screw.

Removing bonding strap on electric appliance.


What's Up With This?

In all houses the neutral wire and the ground wires are connected together... but ONLY at the main panel. (There's a long explanation behind this rule which you can read in our article about sub-panel installation.)

As recently as 8 or 10 years ago houses were being built with a 3-prong range receptacle, while mobile homes were required to have a 4-prong receptacle. The 4-prong receptacle has a separate prong for the ground wire, the 3-prong receptacle either didn't use the ground, or the ground was tied together with the neutral... I'm not entirely sure.

With the 1996 National Electrical Code revision they stopped allowing this loophole in an otherwise sensible wiring system. Now all ranges (and electric dryers) must be wired with a 4-prong outlet.


Removing copper connector strap between neutral and ground, electric range. Actually, it was kinda difficult to remove this bonding strip. I had to remove a screw above the neutral connector screw and fidget with this piece of metal.


After I connected one of the hot wires (to hold it in place), I connected the ground wire to the grounding screw.

The ground wire had to be bent to fit into place, because it needed to be shorter than the other wires.

Coonecting ground wre on electric appliance.


Stove or range electrical connections to power cord. Then I connected the neutral (white) wire and the other hot wire (black)

These connector screws need to be tightened firmly.


I installed the other screw in the strain relief, and tightened it until the cable was held securely but not crushed. Securing power cord strain relief on stove.


I installed the cover panel. Installing the junction box cover panel.


Power cord after installation. The completed cord installation.

Note the recessed area at the bottom of the back of the stove. This recess provides a place for the range cord to lay when the stove is pushed tight against the wall.


We plugged the range into the outlet.

Oops... a problem. The outlet should have been installed so the cord will go sideways, not upward.


So I unscrewed the mud ring that held the outlet and rotated the whole assembly a quarter-turn, then re-installed the mud ring.

Of course, I turned off the breaker first.


I plugged in the range. I took quite a push to get the plug into the receptacle.


When I plugged in the range, the cord went sideways and fit into the recess at the back of the stove.


Once the stove was pushed back against the wall, we turned on the breaker and tested the stove.


Built-In Ovens, Cooktops, and Ranges:

These units cannot use a plug and receptacle. They must be hard-wired using flexible conduit between the J-box and appliance. The J-box needs to be accessible, such as in an adjacent cabinet or behind a drawer. 



More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Nut Driver, ¼"
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Pliers

Materials Used:

  • Range Cord, 4-Wire
  • Strain Relief
Related Articles:


Recommended Reading:
  • Wiring A House by Rex Cauldwell, published by Taunton Press


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Written November 17, 2006