Questions about installing a gas cooktop

Hi Everyone

We are changing the electric cooktop over to a gas unit. Finally got around to picking it up, etc.

For the installation, I will of course get the gas company out here. However, it also requires a 110v cord and plug for the igniters. Of course, there is service inside the cabinet for the current electric unit, but that is 220v. I am trying to decide whether I should bring in a new outlet and remove/shut down the old 220v circuit, or if I should use the existing 220v box, wiring, etc. and convert it to 110v. (I am not an electrician, but I am a reasonably capable DIYer and have added circuits, pulled wires, etc many times in the past). Obviously the current 220v circuit has more wires than the 110v would use. However, given its location and the unfinished basemet, pulling those out and replacing them with 12-2 would be easy to do.

On the other hand, I would then have an appliance rated for a max draw of 5A on its own circuit, which seems silly.

Any thoughts? Also, does anyone know what code might say about this? I am in NH if that matters.



Looks like I forgot to put in a thread title! Should have been “Questions about installing a gas cooktop”

Oops! I sent a report to the mod by clicking the red triangle next to the post number. They should be able to fix it. You can report your own posts, if you ever need to.

Title added.

Does the oven really draw 5A? It’s just running the electronics igniters and the oven light.

It should be perfectly fine to re-use the box, though I would run new wiring to the box. There should be no problem tapping off of an existing circuit, if it’s closer than the breaker box. Do you have a vent hood above the stove? That might be a convenient power source.

OTOH, putting in a new box for the 110v outlet will give you flexibility in the future to put in an electric stove, and would save you the trouble of disconnecting the 220v line.

You can re-purpose the existing wire - you’ll need to take the existing wire off the two-pole/50 amp breaker and pick one of the two “hot” wires to connect to a single-pole breaker. Secure (eg: tape it up so it can’t become live) the unused former hot wire. Depending on the brand of breaker, you might not be able to connect the large wire. If the breaker is not labeled to accept the wire (it’s probably either #6 or #8) you’re stuck. You can not splice the wire with a #12 pigtail inside the breaker box - junctions and splices are generally forbidden inside breaker boxes.

If you are able to put the wire onto a new breaker, the next step will be at the stove - pigtail from the #8 or 6 wire to #12 so you can connect it to the new receptacle.

If you can pull a new line, it may be easier to do that and just ignore the 240 volt circuit and shut it off at the breaker box.

Our house came with a gas stove.

The kitchen, however, was obviously designed for a regular 220 v stove, there is some kind of round adapter plugged into the 220v receptacle behind our stove and said stove is then connected to that adapter.

An electrician should be able to supply such an adapter.

THanks for the ideas.

Repurposing the original 220v and keeping the wiring would be ideal, since it is much less work than running a new circuit. I did not know it was kosher to tape off the extra hot line and leave it. If that is acceptable practice, then great.

As for pulling a fresh run from the nearest outlet, that is certainly something I considered, and probably the easiest if I can not repurpose the existing wiring. I am just trying to keep it as simple as possible, and I’ve looked at it enough to know that it won’t be fun getting to the nearest outlet. Since this is a cooktop only (not a whole stove), all the work is inside a cabinet. Nothing there I haven’t dealt with before, but not my idea of a good time either. Such is the burden of a cheapskate who can’t stand paying people for things.

As to the idea of a 220->110 adapter, I was unaware of such a device, and I will have to look into that. That would be incredibly simple. Currently the range top that is there is hard wired, so if that adapter is a plug-type arangement I might have to install a 220v receptacle in the existing box, but that is easy enough.

As to the question about the draw, I doubt very much that this thing will ever draw 5A, but that is the claim in the literature. Probably a huge safety margin in there. As I mentioned above, this is just a cooktop, so there aren’t even any lights. Just four igniters.

Thanks for the ideas

Why go to the trouble of changing to a single-pole breaker? Just use the existing breaker and one of the two hot wires (and the neutral wire), and cap the other hot wire at the outlet box.

Or custom-build your own adapter cord: a 220 plug on one end, and a 110 outlet on the other end. Just plug into existing 220 outlet. No behind-the-wall rewiring needed.

As you’re in NH, let me ask the obvious question. Natural gas (from the street) or propane?

If propane, you’ll need the adapter kit as well. The energy density of the propane is different from that of natural gas, so different nozzles are needed in the oven & burners. I had to replace the “stock NG” ones in both my clothes dryer, and my stove.

Also, any time the stove is moved (pulled out from the wall), code says that the connector tube must be replaced. (Personally, I think that’s BS, but it’s what it is.)

And, one last thing about propane, if you’ve not used it before. The “smell” added to propane is NOT the same mercaptin smell added to regular “from the street” natural gas. Propane leaks smell like rotten meat… thankfully mine happened during the summer, when all the windows were open, or I’d likely not be posting this message today. We kept looking for a dead animal (and not finding one), and ran our large propane tank dry, as it leaked into the kitchen. The folks from the gas company found and repaired the leak, pressure tested my system, and we’re back in business.

Now you’re cooking with gas.

Not yet I’m not!

And if Energy North doesn’t call backto schedule installation, I may not be.

It’s bottled LP, and the unit came with the convertor kit. Just like my dryer did. The previous owner had electric everything, and warned me about the bill. I asked why he didn’t switch some things to gas (as I have done), and he looked at me like I had asked him why he didn’t travel to the moon for the free electricity they have there.

I need to have the gas co. come run a line from the tank to the range, so everything will be new anyway.

Good luck on finding a 50-amp 120 volt receptacle to make this code-compliant.

You have to match up breaker and receptacle ratings, otherwise the receptacle is improperly protected. More to the point, the cooktop’s power cord will be unprotected - if there’s a fault in the unit, how long will its 18 or 16 gage cord be able to sustain 50+ amps while the 50 amp breaker warms up and begins to think about tripping?

Just realized - depending on how old the OP’s house is, there may be only three wires in that 240-volt circuit - two hots and a neutral, in which case, there won’t be an extra wire. The “extra” hot will need to be marked green at both ends and used for the ground.

This is quite right.

To meet code, you would have to find a 120V receptacle that is rated for 50A – and I don’t think they make such things. And it’d be really hard to connect that big stove wire to it. And you absolutely could NOT connect that wire to a smaller wire (#12 or #14) which you then connect to a receptacle – that’s just asking for a house fire.

And it really is quite likely that you have a 3-wire stove circuit, so you couldn’t do any of this at all.

You could replace the double-pole stove breaker with a single-pole 20A one, and use both the hot wires of the existing stove wire for a 120V circuit. But that’s wasteful – you are underusing that wire, and leaving the expensive double-pole breaker unused somewhere.

Your best option by far is what your first suggested: run a new #12 cable and add a 120V receptacle, connected to a new single-pole breaker. Leave the existing stove wiring alone, just capped in the box. Or maybe wire it to a stove receptacle.

Then you have the kitchen all set for both electric or gas stoves, which adds value when you sell the house. Plus you have another receptacle in the kitchen – and nobody ever complains about too many outlets in the kitchen – quite the contrary.

P.S. When you run that extra circuit, connect it to 2 receptacles – one down low behind the stove for the stove, and another one up higher above the countertop, as an extra kitchen outlet.

No, that would be me. :slight_smile:

IANAE. I have done some DIY electrical work, but simpler than what is discussed here. Based on reading the OP (especially the question about what the applicable code is) and then the answers, I would suggest this is something not to be fucked with. I have no doubt that you will be able to get this to work but doing it safely and to code is another question…Just my $0.02.