When it comes to electricity usage, an electric stove is a powerhouse. Consequently, you can't just plug them into the standard 110 volt outlets that are most common in the United States – most stoves require a special 220 volt outlet instead. If you are building or remodeling a kitchen, read on for a rundown on how to install one of these special outlets. However, remember that installing an outlet or performing other electrical work is not for amateurs. If you have any doubt about your own experience or qualifications, ask an electrician for help instead of embarking on a tricky and potentially dangerous operation.
All the Voltage You Need
A 220 volt outlet allows the stove to draw more power so it can quickly generate and maintain heat. The same heavy duty outlets are also used for big-ticket appliances like electric dryers and water heaters, occasionally with minor modifications.
The first step in installing an outlet, as with all electric work, is to shut down the power at the source. Open up your circuit box and switch the main disconnect to OFF, turning off the electricity to your entire home. You should double check that you've cut the power by trying some lights or devices to eliminate any risk of electrocuting yourself once you start dealing with wiring.
Breakers, Cables and Outlets
Next, you need to install a switch in the circuit box to control your new outlet. Look for two open slots in a row to ensure room to install a double-wide circuit breaker switch, then install it following the manufacturer’s instructions. You'll need to install a connector into the side of the circuit box as well so that you can connect the electrical cable inside the box. If you feel unsure at this or any other point and need help, just ask. An electrician will be able to make sure that your installation is done safely and effectively.
Next, run the cable through the wall to the area where you want to locate the outlet. You may need to drill holes in the home’s frame to allow the cable to reach the kitchen without interfering with other wiring or utility systems. When everything is lined up, strip away the insulation at the end of the cable and connect it to your new outlet. Screw the outlet into the wall and you're almost ready to go.
Ready to Start Cooking
Finally, you need to run the cable through the connecter that you installed in the circuit box, and then wire it into the circuit breaker. Don't forget to hook up the grounding terminal as well. When you're confident that everything is wired correctly, turn the new outlet's breaker to the off position and switch the main power to the house back on. Turn on the new breaker and test the outlet with a voltmeter to ensure that it's receiving the proper amount of power. Only then are you ready to start cooking.
Note that the exact process of wiring the outlet and the breaker involve quite a bit of detail, so you must carefully read all instructions that come with your outlet kit. If at any point you run into trouble or don't feel comfortable, ask an electrician to come lend a helping hand.