Breaker size for electric cooktop stove

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CheesecakeLover

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Hello we had a 30 amp (4 burner) electric stove that broke. It was serviced by a 10 AWG line.

We replaced it with a 5 burner stove which requires 40 amps, so I pulled a 8 AWG line and changed the breaker in the panel from 30A to 40A.

Now, the wife says the new 5 burner stove is too crowded and she can’t fit her big pots and pans on there at the same time.

She wants a new 4 burner instead. That’s 30 amps. Question: Can I leave the 40A breaker in place, or do I need to put the 30A breaker back in? I’m gonna leave the 8 AWG line in place.
 

WorthFlorida

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Yes you can but its OK to leave the 40 amp breaker in place. The breaker protects the wire, not the appliance. 40 amp/8 AWG is the max the wire can safely handle. The stove is built and protected according to its listing # under (usually) Underwriters Laboratory, or Canada (CSA) standards. You'll usually see both listed if the appliance is sold in both countries. You can run table lamp with a 13 watt LED bulb and still be safe and compliant on the 40 amp circuit.

When any appliance has a recommended breaker specification it is the minimum sized required to prevent "false" tripping. Generally keep the maximum load on the circuit at no more than 80% of the rated amperage of the breaker. Therefore, a 40 amp circuit should have a normal current flow of not more than 32 amps. 30 amp at 24 amp. Check the maximum current the stove will draw printed on electrical rating plate.
 
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wwhitney

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Yes you can but its OK to leave the 40 amp breaker in place. The breaker protects the wire, not the appliance.
I agree with the above, but if the appliance manual says "30A maximum breaker" then you have to downsize the breaker. If it just says "30A" it's a bit ambiguous, but I think most would say downsize it. If it says "30A minimum" then the 40A is fine.

Generally keep the maximum load on the circuit at no more than 80% of the rated amperage of the breaker.
That applies to a continuous load, or to a single cord and plug connected load on a general purpose circuit. It doesn't apply to an appliance on a dedicated circuit. If an oven had a rating of 7000W for the heating element, fan, and controls, it would be fine on a 30A circuit, and the manual would call out a 30A circuit.

Cheers, Wayne
 

CheesecakeLover

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Thank you both, Good information. I will probably change the breaker from 40 to 30, but at a later date. I don’t want to shut down the power to the whole house right now if it’s not necessary.
 
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