How to Wire a 120/240-Volt Outlet for an Electric Range

Installing a new electric range or oven in your home can be an exciting project, but also a potentially dangerous one if wiring is not done correctly. Ranges and ovens require a dedicated 240-volt circuit which provides enough power for the heating elements and allow the appliance to operate safely and efficiently.

Wiring a 240-volt outlet for an electric range is not necessarily beginner DIY project, but with proper preparation, tools, and adherence to electrical codes, it can be accomplished. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide detailed steps for installing the right 240-volt receptacle and running the appropriate electrical wires to power your new electric range or oven.

Things You’ll Need

Before getting started, make sure you have all of the necessary materials and tools on hand:

  • 240-volt range receptacle
  • 10/2 NM cable (10 gauge, 2 conductor cable with ground)
  • Wire stripper
  • Voltage tester
  • Flathead screwdrivers
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Drill with various sized bits
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Multimeter
  • Junction box
  • Conduit and fittings
  • Appropriate breaker for the circuit (40 amp or 50 amp)

Make sure to consult your range/oven manufacturer specs to determine the right size circuit and breaker for your particular appliance.

Step 1: Turn Off Power at Main Electrical Panel

The first step is to turn off the main power at the main circuit breaker panel. Locate the main breaker and switch it to the “off” position. Double check with a non-contact voltage tester to make sure that power is no longer flowing to any of the circuit wires.

It’s critical to make sure the power is OFF before proceeding, for your own safety.

Step 2: Determine Installation Location

Decide on where your new 240-volt outlet will be centered on the wall in relation to where the range or oven will be located. The outlet should be installed in an easily accessible location while also keeping the receptacle box and wiring connections covered by the appliance once installed.

Leave room to access the outlet for future repairs and allow cord slack without strain. Check your appliance manual for the recommended receptacle location.

Make sure your installation location does not have plumbing or heating ductwork inside the wall cavity that could obstruct running the wiring.

Step 3: Cut Hole for Outlet Box

Once you determine the installation location, use a stud finder to locate the wall studs. Mark the center of the outlet on the wall, directly between two studs.

Use a drywall saw to cut a hole approximately 4 inches wide by 2.5 inches high. The hole should be large enough to fit the receptacle box. Cut the hole neatly between the marked stud center lines.

Step 4: Install Electrical Box

With the hole cut out, you can now install the appropriate electrical box (also called a junction box) for the 240 volt receptacle. Plastic boxes are common for interior wall outlets. Anchor the box securely with screws to an adjacent wall stud.

The box should sit flush with the wall surface once mounted. Electrical code requires junction boxes to be anchored and fully accessible.

Junction box

Junction box properly mounted to wall stud.

Step 5: Feed Wires into Box

Now you’re ready to run the supply wires from the main electrical panel to the outlet box.

Use 10/2 NM cable, with three insulated wires – 10 gauge hot wires, 10 gauge neutral wire, and 10 gauge ground wire. This thick 10 gauge cable is required for safely running a 240-volt, 40-50 amp circuit.

Before feeding the wires, make sure you have cut the proper access hole near the main panel to run the wires through the top or bottom plate.

Fish the NM cable through the access hole and conduit from the panel to the receptacle box location. Pull the wire until you have about 8 inches of excess wire to work with in the box.

Step 6: Connect Supply Wires

With the cable pulled into the outlet box, use a wire stripper to carefully remove about 1/2 inch of the insulation from each wire.

If there are fabric fillers in the NM cable, remove these as well. The exposed copper wires will be connected to the outlet and ground wires using wire nuts.

Connect the two hot wires from the supply cable to the Brass lugs on the outlet using wire nuts. The white insulated Neutral wire should be connected to the Silver lug. Finally, connect the ground wire to the Green screw on the outlet.

Ensure tight and secure connections by wrapping clockwise around the screw terminal. Double check no bare wire is exposed. Follow the outlet manufacturer wiring diagram.

Wired 240-volt outlet

Properly wired 240-volt range receptacle.

Step 7: Mount the New Outlet

With all wires securely connected, you can now mount the new 240-volt range receptacle into the electrical box. Push any excess wiring back into the box. Use the receptacle screws to anchor the outlet flush and square to the lip of the electrical box.

Ensure the grounding tab faces down and the outlet is oriented vertically. With receptacle mounted, you can begin to close up the walls.

Step 8: Install Drywall Patch

To nicely finish the outlet installation, you will want to install a drywall patch to close up the access hole. Measure and cut a piece of drywall to fit the hole dimensions. Secure the drywall patch with drywall screws. Apply joint compound over the seams and screw holes. Cover all sides for a seamless appearance.

Once the joint compound dries fully, sand the patch smooth and flush with wall surface. Finish by priming and painting the repaired area to match the rest of the wall.

Step 9: Label the New 240-Volt Circuit

For safety and code requirements, properly label the new 240-volt circuit at both the receptacle and main panel. Use circuit breaker labels or permanent marker to identify the circuit at the breaker supplying the outlet.

Write “240 Volts” on the outlet cover plate. This identifies the specialty high-voltage outlet for future homeowners and repair work.

Step 10: Turn Power Back On and Test Outlet

You’re finally ready to turn the main power back on at the service panel. Flip the main breaker back to “ON” and turn on the dedicated breaker powering the new 240-volt range circuit.

With power running, do a final test of the outlet for proper voltage. Plug a multimeter into the outlet and verify 240 volts. If not, double check all connections made in the panel and receptacle box.

If the outlet tests correctly, you can plug in and use your new electric range or oven!

FAQs about Wiring a 240-Volt Outlet for an Electric Range

Some commonly asked questions that come up when wiring a 240-volt appliance outlet:

Why do electric ranges need 240 volts?

Electric ranges and ovens require 240-volt circuits to power heating elements that reach high temperatures for cooking and baking. The double-pole 240-volt circuit provides extra power compared to a typical 120-volt outlet.

How much does it cost to install a 240-volt outlet?

The costs for parts and professional electrician labor will be $200-$500 in most cases. DIY installation can save significantly on labor costs. The main expenses are the 10/2 NM cable, breaker, and receptacle.

What size breaker is needed for a 240-volt stove outlet?

A minimum 40-amp breaker is required, but a 50-amp breaker is recommended and gives more power flexibility. Always follow your appliance specs for required amperage.

Should I get a 3 prong or 4 prong outlet?

4-prong outlets provide an additional ground wire connection and are now standard for ranges and ovens. Only use 3-prong if appliance is older and designed for it.

Can I use the same neutral for 120 volt and 240 volt circuits?

No, 240-volt appliance circuits must have a dedicated neutral wire. The neutral wire ampacity must match that of the hot wires.

Can I run NM cable inside conduit for the outlet?

Yes, running the NM cable through conduit provides extra protection. Use conduit when cables are exposed or running through unfinished areas.

Does the receptacle box for a range need to be grounded?

Yes, bonding the receptacle box to ground is an important safety requirement of the electrical code. Make sure boxes are properly grounded.


Installing the proper receptacle to supply power to your new electric range or oven is an important home improvement project. Pay close attention to the circuit requirements specified by the appliance manufacturer and follow electrical code guidelines for safety. With adequate circuit amperage, GFCI protection, and the right receptacle, you can ensure efficient cooking and baking for years to come. Consult a professional electrician if you are unsure of any wiring steps outlined here when working with high-voltage 240-volt circuits. Take your time, be diligent about safety, and you can tackle this electrical project DIY!