After a new electric range was installed the circuit breaker started to
pop every now and then when everything was turned on (oven+all
burners). This indicated to me that the range was drawing a load that
was right at the upper limit of the 50 amp circuit breaker rating.
Checked the data plate on the range which reads 240V. & 54.2 amps. So,
when the range is at peak load it apparently can draw 4.2 amps over
the breaker capacity. The wiring is Aluminum 6 guage (6 Al on the
sheath),. Can I safely go to the next size breaker (60 amp) to
accomodate the additional 4-5 amps???
The wire inside your walls must be large enough to support a bigger
breaker before you should think about putting in a bigger breaker. So look
at your wiring or have an electrician look at your wiring.
Probably NOT, but it depends on the temperature rating of the insulation on
the conductors; this should also be indicated on the cable sheath -- if it is
not indicated, assume it's 60 degrees C.
With a 90-degree rating, yes, you can go up to 60 amps.
If the rating is 75 degrees, you're limited to the 50 amps you're already at.
And if it's only 60 degrees, you shouldn't have even a 50 amp breaker -- it's
limited to 40 amps by Code.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
This is incorrect, if not a fire hazard. The temperature ratings of
the lugs on the breaker and the range must be rated for 90 degrees C.
I can assure you that they are NOT. The 90 degree C rating is used for
derating conductors, such as for ambient temperature or more than three
conductors in a conduit, etc. If one uses 90 degree C wire at the full
rating, then one must also use 90 degree C lugs for terminating. Good
luck finding a residential breaker rated for 90 degrees C.
This will be true only if the terminals of the breaker and the range
are rated for 75 degrees C. Some residential breakers are rated for 75
degrees C, some are _not_.
IIRC, a #4 copper THHN is rated for 70 amps at 60 degrees C. If using
Romex, since Romex cannot be used over the 60 degree C rating, that
would work with a 60 amp breaker with 60 or 75 degree C terminals.
Bottom line, the OP needs to install a new circuit.
Personally a bit surprised that it trips breaker, never having it
happen with a number of different stoves over a number of years.
I think ours is wired with #8 AWG copper at least 35 feet from circuit
breaker. Wiring has been in place for some 35 years.
Ours stoves have always been regular North American domestic 30 inch
often with two smaller and two larger burners on top.
But unless you turn everything on from cold simultaneously it would
seem unlikely you would draw maximum current anyway?
After while one burner or another my be turning off and or the oven
thermostat would switch off/on the oven cooking element etc.
However when one first turns on the oven, in some models, the upper and
lower heating elements both come on for a while; presumably to speed up
the initial heat-up of the oven. Once up to an initial temperature the
oven cooks using the bottom element only under control of the oven heat
control thermostat a set by the user!
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