Installing Electric Oven

Hello,
I am doing some work on my kitchen and have questions related to adding an outlet for a new electric stove.
Curently have and getting rid of: Cooktop - 30 amp circuit Double Oven - 50 amp circuit
Want to install an electric oven which based on stove documention requires a 40 amp circuit.
Questions: 1. Can I use the 50 amp circuit and simply replace the breaker at the box with a 40 amp breaker?
2. I have done simple electrical work on 120 (replacing outlets, lights, etc), but have not done any work with 240. I think I should be able to handle installing the outlet for the oven, the 240 just puts me off a little. The cable for the 50 amp has black, red, white and then a bare metal piece that I am guessing is a ground wire. It was attached to a screw in the junction box that the old double oven fed from. I am used to the ground wire being copper, this one is a silver color and appears to be aluminum if I had to guess. Will the installation of the oulet for the stove be as straighforward as a normal 20 amp outlet?
Thanks for any advice, Paul
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Yes. Having a wire larger than needed is OK.

Think of it as two 120's. Not a big deal, really.

Yes, just hook the wires to the appropriate terminals.
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For my GE oven, a 40 amp circuit is the MINIMUM RECOMMENDED dedicated circuit size. Is there really a need to replace the 50 with a 40?
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Usually not. The wire is sized large enough, so unless the new oven says 40A breaker only, you're okay with a 50A breaker. Houses can have anywhere from 40A to 60A stove circuits by code.
The OP said the new unit is a "stove" at one point and "oven" at another. Which is it?
Wallmount ovens are usually hardwire, no receptacle needed. New stove installations must have receptacles, and almost always must be 4 wire.
Pay attention to the oven's installation instructions about 4 wire versus 3. The unit probably has a removable ground bonding strap inside the oven's wiring box. With a 4 wire connection, you must remove it - the strap is only for 3 wire connections.
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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Chris,
It is an electric stive, sorry for confusion.
Thanks for the help, Paul
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Probably. The only problem you might have is that the lugs on the new oven might not be large enough to accommodate the wires on the existing circuit.

You guess correctly. The black, red, white, and bare wires are hot, hot, neutral, and ground, respectively.

Might be tinned copper, too.

Pretty much. The only real difference is that 240V circuits, and 240V devices, have two hot conductors instead of one. Connect hot to hot, neutral to neutral, and ground to ground, and you'll be fine.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Ok,
Just to clarify a few more things. I have bx cable with the two hot wires (red and black) and the neutral. The wires appear to be 6- gauge. There is also a thin wire (bonding wire?).
Questions:
1. In all the books I have looked at the grounding wire is the same gauge as the other wires. The bonding wire is very thin. Is the bonding wire, the grounding wire?
2. Do I need a 3 or 4 wire range outlet? I guess another way of asking if I use the bonding wire to connect to the grounder connection on the 4 wire outlet or if I should use the 3 wire outlet.
3. One book I read said "Though some codes allow a 40-amp circuit for a 50-amp range, many electricians prefer a 50-amp circuit so that the ranage will be protected when all the burners are on at the same time". So does this mean I should keep the circuit at 50 amp instead of changing the breaker to 40 like the oven document said? The document did have an asterict next to this which pointed to a section that said "Note: Check local codes for required breaker size."
Thanks for the help. Paul
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