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Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3724
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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I bought a new wirlpool stove top to replace an old one and

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I bought a new wirlpool stove top to replace an old one and forgot to write down the wire color/connections before I removed the old one. There are 3 wires from the breaker: Black, black, and red. The old stove top had 4 wires: white, black, red, and green. The new stove has only three: red, black and bare. Did Sears sell me something I need to return or is there a way to hook the new one up? The instruction diagram assumes there is a white wire from the breaker. name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!


1) A stovetop is 240 volts AC and only requires 2 hots from the breaker and a ground.


2) If there is no clock or timer on the stovetop, a white neutral wire is not required, only the 2 hots feeding from a double pole breaker is required.


3) Most likely, the diagram is showing the connection used as 2 wire Romex cable with the black and the white both terminating on the double pole breaker.


4) For your connection, terminate 1 black and 1 red from your breaker to the same colors on the stove. You should have either a bare copper or a green wire from your electrical panel. The stove top bare will splice to either the green or a bare copper ground wire.




Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.


Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:




Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Kevin: from my breaker I have 3 wires: Red, Black, and Black. No green or bare wire (that would make things easy).

1) Having 3 wires from your breaker is impossible unless you have 3-phase service and a triple pole breaker. All 240 VAC stovetops in the US are 2 wire and a double pole breaker using single phase service. If you have a double pole breaker and one side of the breaker has 2 wires, that is a double tap and is a code violation. Let me know what you have.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

K: I went to Ace and purchached a non-contact voltage tester. Unfortunatly, all the wires from the junction box are so close, the beeper goes off for all of them. One black wire seems stronger. I'm Just going to call an electrician. Have a good day.

James..... a non-contact tester will not accurately test the wires. You need a 2-prong AC voltage tester or an AC voltmeter to accurately test the hot wires.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK: Both the black wires read 120 V and the red wire reads 0 V.

1) OK, then the 2 blacks need to be connected to the breaker. This will provide you with 240 volts to the stove.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So: Breaker black to stove black, breaker black to stove red, and breaker red to stove bare. Correct?

1) No, a double pole breaker only has 2 hots and not 3. Only 1 hot wire to each screw terminal. Trace the red wire and make sure it is not connected anywhere inside the panel. Install 1 black on one side of the breaker and the red on the other side. If you don't have a bare copper from the panel, make sure the 2nd black is disconnected from the breaker. Use the 2nd black as the ground wire terminating on an equipment ground bar in the panel. This way, you will have color for color on the stove, with the exception of the 2nd black. The 2nd black will be used as a ground. Use some green tape on the 2nd black to identify it as a ground wire.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The red wire tested 0 volts while both black wires tested 120 volts. Does this not make a case for the red wire being "ground"? There is probably another junction box behind the oven. Getting to that requires removal of oven which is more than I'm willing to do right now.

1) No problem, was just trying to make it easier for you to match color for color on the stove. As long as the 2 blacks each measure 120 volts to neutral or to ground, then connect the 2 blacks to the double pole breaker. Make sure the red is not connected to a breaker in the panel and connect it to the bare copper ground wire. Put some green tape on the red wire to re-identify this as a ground wire. Connect the red to an equipment grounding bar inside the panel.


2) The red should never be ground. Only greens or bare copper are ground. Whoever originally wired using 2 blacks and 1 red was incorrect since a ground wire is missing. Since you do not have any other choice, then use the red as ground, but make sure to re-label it with green tape.

Kevin and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

James..... thank you for the positive rating.........much appreciated!


If you have any other questions, just let me know.


Take care and have a great weekend............Thanks..............Kevin!