Can I use a 16AWG x 3 for a 30 foot run to a 220v 20amp breaker?
Details: This is what the installation manual for my wifes new habatchi
grill requires. The manual says "This appliance must be hardwired. The
mains connecting cable must be at least correspond to the type SJTO
3x16 AWG 105*C" The guys at Lowes and all the old timers say that you
can't use 16 gage wire on a 220 breaker. I say this is a new appliance
and isnt it possible that someone has designed a way that you can, why
would the book call for it?
The tech data states Total connected load: 1500 W, AC 208/220-240 V /
Now I know the formula for amps is I = W / V. 1500W / 208 = 7.2 amps.
The specs for a 16x3 AWG 105*C is rated at 13 amps 250 volts.
So, why is everyone here telling me that this won't work?
Please help....I don't want to burn this grill up, my wife will kill
Is the product UL-listed? If so, the listing will include
the required conductor makeup which, presumably, is what
the manual is specifying.
You're right; that cordset will easily carry the current
and it is rated at more than the maximum line voltage.
Portable cords are covered in the NEC and #16 cordset
conductors are "considered" to be protected by a 20Amp breaker.
(I don't understand what they meant by "hard-wired".
That might cloud it.)
Thanks for replying. I really don't want to fight it. I just want to
protect the appliance. I wasn't sure if using 12 gage wire was going to
let the wire or breaker fail if there was a problem. I figured the 16
gage wire would go and I would much rather replace $30 worth of wire
instead of a $2000 appliancet.
I just want to make sure the appliance is proteted.
The breaker isn't there to protect the appliance, only the wiring in
house...... For instance, a lamp may draw one amp, and is on a
receptacle with a 15 amp breaker...... If the LAMP itself goes bad,
it just goes "poof", but the house stays intact unless the failure
a short in excess of 15 amps, at which point the breaker will protect
As stated before, however, if you are bound and determined to
use a 20 amp breaker, use 12-2 + G wire, and you will be fine.
The appliance cord will burst into flames long before the house
Personally, I would use a plug and receptacle and forget about the
"hardwired" disclaimer..... Using a 20 amp breaker and 12-2+G to the
receptacle, and #16-2+G type SJ (this is extension cord wire) to the
hibachi. That way you can unplug the appliance and store it if you
just like every other appliance that I have ever seen other than
full stoves and ovens......
If an appliance is to be protected then it must have its own internal fuse
or circuit breaker. If not it will rely on the house circuit breaker to
prevent a house fire only. Check the wiring diagram to see if your unit has
the additional protection.
As far as the house wiring the bigger the better. If you are in a situation
where you would have to replace $30 of wire you could also just as easily be
replacing your entire house as well. You may also find that your insurance
will not cover you. Wire - even 16 ga does not "go" without a tremendous
amount of heat/smoke and damage.
Appliance protects itself. The fuse/circuit breaker is there to protect
the wiring only. And in fact the wiring of the house. If its
hard-wired, then it becomes part of the wiring of the house. Either
way, the CB is for the house wiring. The grill can piggy-back on this
protection if it sizes its wiring to match.
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
Any wiring on a 20A breaker must be 12 ga or larger regardless of what will
be connected to it.
A 15A breaker can use 14 ga wires but I don't think you will find a 15A 220V
breaker readily on the shelf.
You won't find house wiring smaller than 14 ga. and you can't use bulk
appliance or lamp cord for permanent wiring for anything.
I would use 12/3 romex from the breaker to your new electrical box then 12/3
armored cable from the new box to your grill.
Thanks guys, I understand. I will go with 12/3 romex instead since I
can't readily find a 15 amp 220 breaker, only 20 amp. I misunderstood
and was thinking of it backwards, that the breaker would protect the
Only one more question, I am going to hard wire it in since it is
getting mounted in the countertop and is going to be a permenante
fixture. The unit came assembled with a 16/3, 2 foot long pigtail for
connection. I assume that I will just connect the 16/3 to the 12/3 at
the junction box? Is that correct? Should I expect any problems with
Thanks again for all ya'lls help, I really appreciate it.
No, that is perfectly acceptable.
In case anyone posts a "20A circuits must use 12 gauge wire" in the
context of that 16 gauge piece that comes out of the unit, the code that
dictates short sections that are factory-assemled to approved appliances
has different sets of rules concerning the ampacity of various gauges of
It the branch circuit it is connected to is protected by a 20 A breaker,
it must use 12 gauge cable, but connecting the short section from the unit
that is only 16 gauge is perfectly fine.
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
What you propose is fine. It's covered under the tap rule. DO NOT run
romex straight to the unit. Romex is only rated for 90C and the unit
needs 105C wire (as it came from the factory). Use the j-box and the
pigtail, as you said.
Your quote from the manual didn't say anything about breakers or fuses,
so I believe it was making a correct statement engineering wise,
PROVIDING there was a breaker or fuse of appropriate size at the start
of the run to protect that No. 16 wire from overload. And, that device
would have to be rated at less than 15 amps, which is not a very
Methinks that manual may contain a literal translation of text
originally intended for units sold elsewhere in the world, without
regard for US codes.
I'm not sure that US codes would allow No. 16 wire to be used for a 220
volt circuit "hard wired" in a home. One of the code mavins here can
likely tell us.
You are correct Jeff, I believe it originated in Germany. the company
is Gaggenau and the link to the grill is:
Interesting. I particularly liked that "Vacation Lock" feature.
Their website says:
After running for four hours, the appliance automatically switches
itself off if it receives no operator commands during this time.
Can't recall seeing anything like that on a domestic appliance other
than the electric blanket on our bed, which shuts itself off about 12
hours after it's been turned on and requires pushing a button on one of
the controllers to restart it.
Methinks the he's misquoting the manual or it's not written very well.
Since it mentions North American wire designations, the manual is targetted
for North America, and it wouldn't get UL or CSA approval if it specified
Sxxx cable for an inwall permanent installation. Sxxx cable is _not_ to
be used in permanent wiring.
The manual is spec'ing an _extension_ cord to be used between the hibachi
and a 240V outlet.
[Tho, I'd personally prefer to use SOW 14/3, 16ga is a little skimpy for
this ampacity in my personal opinion for a heating device at this ampacity,
and SO/SOW is heavier duty insulation]
For a permanent in-wall installation, he should be using 12/3 NMD-90 (solid
core). Even better: it's cheaper than Sxxx. If the wiring is going to be
exposed on wall surfaces, he has to consider conduit.
If he's been confused this way by the manual, I think he needs to read
a good book on electrical wiring, or hire an electrician - especially
if it's not a straight-forward in-wall installation.
He's going to need to double check whether the thing is four wire or three
wire. If it's only three (pure 240V circuit), he can use 12/2 NMD
(or 12/2 Sx) - the wire designation usually doesn't count the ground.
US wiring designation tend to say something like 12/2 w/g to make it
clear that the ground is _extra_. In canada, we don't need to say w/g,
because house wire always comes with ground.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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