Electric Stove Breaker Size

Chef Electra Sparks

Before we get into what the Breaker size for a circuit breaker should be, I think it would help us clear some of our misconceptions if we take some questions head-on.

Electric Stove Breaker

What is an Amp?

Amp is not an abbreviation of a rapper’s name, it is, however, the unit for measuring the current flow in an electrical circuit. If you used to ace all your science tests in 8th grade, understanding this is going to be pretty easy for you. An amp is the measure of current flowing through an electric circuit. An Amp which is short for ampere is used to calculate the amount of current that is passing through your range. Ampere is an important unit that can alter the electric stove breaker size.

Electric stove wiring requirements

Let’s get it clear, in a drop-in model the wiring is inbuilt, meaning that there is no need for you to set up an outlet and go through the rigmarole of extending a connecting wire from the main panel. Whereas, freestanding models are more complex to be set up requiring an adequate gauge wire extending from the specifically dedicated circuit in the main panel to the designated outlet. The electric stove wiring requirements depend on the kind of stove you own.

Commercial vs residential range

A typical residential range won’t draw up as much power as a commercial range would. The difference between a residential range and a commercial range is that the former is used in common households. Whereas, the latter is basically used for commercial purposes like in restaurants. A commercial range is the workhorse of the kitchen world, drawing more than twice an average household range. you can work out the electric stove wiring requirements depending on the intention of use of the range.

Circuit breaker

A circuit breaker is essentially one of the most important devices that are mandatory to be installed within the main power panel to refrain from the overflow of the current through a circuit. This can prove to be fatally dangerous for the house as well as the people inside. The overflow of the current could lead to electrocutions, short circuits which end up developing catastrophic situations. The electric stove breaker size matters too, from the regulation of power concerning small appliances to substantial plants that can power a colony of houses the circuit breaker is undeniably vital.

Circuit breaker

Paying attention to tiny details

If you are planning on installing an electric range in your house this article can prove to be very helpful for you. It will help you understand and attain the needs that you will have to fulfill. The electric stove wiring requirements, the electric stove breaker size, and the amperage rating for different ranges. There are three things that you will need to pay attention to:

  • Amperage requirement of the range: Amperage requirements alter as you look through several rangers. It is obvious that the power requirements of different electric ranges would not be identical to that of other ranges. However, it is thought that a standard range could use more or less than 50 amps. So if you were to connect a 240 V circuit to a 50 amp powered device, chances are, you have it the right way.
  • Circuit breaker size: there are several criteria to determine the size of the circuit breaker to be installed. Are you installing a new circuit or are you going on with the existing one, the type of wire that is being used, and the insulation rating on the wire? The guidelines of the NEC has updated the requirement list where the traditional insulation(60 degrees Celsius) whereas the standard American household use sheathed insulation
  • The thickness of the gauge wire: this criterion is based on the dependency of the power of the range. Remember the lower the amperage of the device, the thicker the gauge wire gets.

NEC guidelines

The NEC has its own take on determining the electric stove breaker size. Considering the amount at which the electric ranges operate I would surmise that they are pretty expensive. The reason that people are inclined towards the electric ranges is the efficiency that they offer.

The NEC guidelines have mandated the power requirements according to the rating of the range. However, there is a catch to this the calculation of the NEC guidelines is purely based on the assumption of the range being used at full throttle, which is very rare except for places like restaurants, so if the rating on your range says 10000 watts then you can build a circuit that can manage up to 8000 watts.

Disclaimer: it is always great to hire the service of an electrician if you do not know what or how these things work.

How does a circuit breaker work?

A circuit breaker works wonderfully to make sure that your kitchen is a safe environment for your loved ones. The current imbalance can be detected by some malfunctioning in the main power panel or in the circuit itself. The main task of the circuit breaker is that it trips, as soon as it detects any amount of overflow in the volume of the current. It doesn’t matter if the flow is incessant or sporadic.

Circuit breakers are intended to better regulate the directional flow of electricity. The installation of the circuit breaker is usually decided by the electrician but if you want to do this yourself we are here for you. The electric stove breaker size depends upon the size of the circuit. If you have a circuit in the main panel that has a capacity of about 50 amps, the circuit breaker is preferably chosen to handle more than the limit.

They are supposed to trip and break the circuit if the amount of current flowing through the range wire is more than then its capacity. So suppose you set up a freestanding range, and you use a 50 amp circuit with an 8 gauge wire, the capacity of the circuit breaker should be 125% more than the maximum load it can pass, it should also be 100 percent more than the regular load capacity.

Circuit breakers are supposed to function at only 80 % of their capacity. This prevents alarming situations and makes them work with a “safe load”. If you have a 20 amp circuit breaker it means that the maximum volume of the current that it can allow passing through is 20 amps without breaking and tripping.

How does a circuit breaker work?

Circuit Box vs Fuse

Circuit breakers have almost completely overshadowed the classic fuse box, you know how in the old classic movies when there was a scene of a power cut. The actor goes out with a torch to look if there has been a short circuit and finds out the diffused fuse box, well, in reality, because of the inefficiency of the fuse box to control and regulate the current flow, it has become obsolete. The upper hand that a circuit breaker has is that it does not need to be replaced after there has been a short circuit rather you can just reset it to the default and start over again.

Wire thickness

The thickness of the wire that you need to use for an electric range can vary depending on the power your beast draws. The measurement of the thickness of the wire is done in AWG. American Wire Gauge is the system through which the width and diameter are determined. Always keep in mind that the thickness of the power cable is inversely proportional to the gauge number. It means that the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire gets. Also, the higher its capability to handle and transport current.

Let us simplify this; an average electric appliance can be hooked up to standard 120 v circuits. They mostly draw up to 20 to 30 amp power. Whereas, when it comes to an electrical range, it typically draws up to 30 to 50 amps of power. For the latter, it is recommended that you use a 12 AWG or a 10 AWG wire. On the other hand, you cannot use the same gauge wire with an electric range. The reason is, ranges can draw up to 50 amps of power. This is something that is impossible for a 10-gauge wire to handle. The ideal choice for an electric range is 8 AWG or even a 6 AWG wire(depending on the preference).

Things to keep in mind while installing a circuit breaker for a range

You might know that ranges require a dedicated circuit in the main power panel and a circuit breaker too. Now, you can’t just install any circuit breaker and connect it with a cable, and connect your range to it. That is more likely to build up uncertainty as to when your range will blow up.

Things to keep in mind while installing a circuit breaker for a range

The Electric Stove Breaker Size should be the following

The first thing that needs to be done is to make sure that everything is in place. Before you begin, make sure you purchase all you need from the local store. The tools should be in accordance with guides such as this article – you can check other articles, although we prefer if you check ours ;-), that will help you through with connecting a circuit breaker.

You can also check the amperage limit given on the box of the stove to make sure of the power drawing limit of the range. If the tag says 40 amps you can calculate the size variation of the gauge wire and the breaker too. This calculation can be further extended in determining the size of the breaker that will be ideal for the range. This is pretty easy, you just need to add 125% to the original power capacity and there you will have it.

Secondly, the receptacle needs to be checked. As we mentioned in our previous article about the variation in the types of outlets(three-pronged and four-pronged). The electric wiring of the range usually determines the recommended outlet that you connect it to.

If you want to know in detail which outlet is well suited for your range. Also, for details about the NEC guidelines mandating the inclusion of a ground wire and much more, please click on the link.

Things that you need to buy from the Stores

There are mainly three things that you will need to buy in order to install an electric range basically:

  • The wire
  • The circuit breaker

Finding a hardware store that sells electrical wiring is not that hard. It is easily accessible to the public. You can find the best wires in stores like:

  • Best buy
  • Home Depot
  • Sears

All of these stores also cater through their online portals too. Some stores have expanded their turf of the business by even providing assistance or service in installation chores/procedures.


Through this article, we would like to shatter a stereotype. A stereotype is that Men are supposed to know how an electric circuit works. It is a dangerous task, one that. If not done with proper knowledge, idea, or experience it can put yourself and your family to risk. Hiring a professional is always advised rather than doing it yourself. If you want to learn and do it yourself please go through the article.

It will give you an idea of how breaker sizes and wire gauge for your range is measured. Precision is one of the primary skills necessary for completing tasks that involve playing with wires. A proper safety kit is something that you should have for yourself to work with. We have gone through some extensive research to be able to come up with such information. We hope that we shared something that was worth your time reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an amp?

An amp(ampere) is the unit of measurement for the amount of electricity flowing through a circuit.

What wire gauge is used commonly in ranges?

8 gauge wire is the most commonly used in ranges because they draw up to 50 amps of power.

What is AWG?

AWG or American Wire Gauge is the standard that is used to describe and determine the dimensions of an electric wire. (the diameter, the length, and the thickness)

How do you determine the suitable length of the wire?

The ideal length of the wire is when you have at least 2 meters of additional wire in spare. The length of the wire would obviously be depending heavily on the placement of the range and the proximity to the power panel.

Is it mandatory to install a circuit breaker?

The NEC has mandated the use and installation of circuit breakers.

About the author

Chef Electra Sparks is a culinary expert specializing in the art of electric stove cooking. With a passion for delicious and efficient meals, she shares her expertise, tips, and recipes for maximizing the potential of electric stoves.

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