Wiring an Induction Stove

*WARNING* I am not an electrician and while I have tried to be safe and provide reasonably safe methods of wiring my stove, you shouldn’t just take my word for it.  Talk to someone who is knowledgeable and if you don’t believe you can do this job or any other one safely, hire an expert!

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Some helpful links on home electricity and 220V in particular that helped me:

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/alternating-current/chpt-1/what-is-alternating-current-ac/

https://www.quora.com/How-did-the-US-arrive-at-110-volts-and-much-of-Europe-220-volts

http://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/circuit_breaker_wiring_diagrams.html

When we moved into our new home, we wanted to replace the countertops and backsplash with something lighter in color and put in a gas range instead of the electric one that was already there.

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Not really feeling the green. On the other hand, we did own a house, so is it really that big of a deal?

After visiting some appliance stores we changed our minds and got an induction stove since we wouldn’t need to run a gas line and the performance seemed very similar to a gas stove.  And it was just cool.  We found a GE Cafe stove that fit in the same space and purchased it from Appliance Connection.

As a side note: although I don’t regret getting this stove, I cannot stress how long and frustrating it was to actually get the stove.  It took over a month to receive despite their shipping policy stating that it would take 7-14 business days.  I had multiple emails with both the shipping company and Appliance Connection, and a rescheduled delivery that just didn’t show up at all.  We saved $30 but it took 10x longer to get the stove over purchasing it from a local supplier and I will not be making the same mistake again!

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The induction cooktop the day it finally arrived

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The Taj Mahal granite is definitely lighter and the subway tile backsplash is something simpler too

While the granite installers were nice enough to label all the connections coming out of the wall when they removed the old stove, I didn’t think to look how it was wired to see how the conduit was run.

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I don’t know how the previous stove was wired, but the granite installers at least wrote what color wire each of these was connected to

The next step is to shut off the power at the electrical panel and make sure there is no juice running to the wires.  I usually use a non-contact voltage tester right before just in case I made a mistake at the circuit breaker.  I’ve avoided getting electrocuted so far and plan to keep it that way.

So I did some research and decided to add a 1 1/2″ deep 4″ by 4″ metal junction box over the previous round box and pulled the wires through the back.  It had predrilled holes that lined up with the round box in the wall and gave me enough room to mount the conduit and all the connections.

I knocked one hole out of the side of the box, screwed a 90° squeeze connector onto the conduit, and screwed it into the box.

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Junction box installed and connections all wired

Since the wires coming from the junction box and the stove were all aluminum I did some reading up and found out that I couldn’t just wire nut them together and call it a day since there is an increased risk of electrical fire when not using copper wiring.  Only some connectors are rated for aluminum and I found some splicer/reducers that should work when installed properly.  The only other thing needed was Noalox Compound to prevent the aluminum from oxidizing since oxidized aluminum has a higher electrical resistance and thus heat buildup (or something like that).

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Splicer and Noalox Compound

GE Cafe Induction Wiring Directions

Wiring directions that came with the stove

So after cleaning the wire with a stainless steel brush, covering it with Noalox, and tightening the splicer down to the listed torque (50 in-lb), each connection was covered with rubber splicing tape and then a generous coating of vinyl electrical tape.  The rubber splicing tape has a higher heat rating than vinyl (Scotch 2242 linerless rubber splicing tape has an operating temperature of 90° C and an overload temperature of 130° C, whereas Scotch Super 33+ vinyl tape goes up to 105° C) but the vinyl tape is there to provide extra protection and some more electrical insulation according to 3M (also UV protection, but obviously not when it’s buried under a countertop).  The previous link mentions adding four layers of each tape, but I ended up doing two of each since it barely fit in the junction box as is.  So far, I haven’t seen any problems with doing less layers and nothing (so far) heats up when the stove is turned on.

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Cover plate screwed on

The other part was installing the foam tape around the edges of the stove so it had a cushion between it and the countertop and dropping it inplace.

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Ready for some tape. Not seen is the towel underneath to protect from scratches

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Going on…

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And going all the way to the edges

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Finally in place!

The one major mistake I made was putting it on my own.  As I picked it up and flipped it over I hit it against the vent hood and chipped the back left corner.  After looking around, I found the chip on the ground and cleaned it and the affected area with rubbing alcohol before putting a drop of superglue and placing the chip back down.  Thankfully, because the chip came off in one piece and it is from the back corner, it’s hardly noticeable unless you know to look for it. There is a slight lip around the chip, but again, you have to be very close to know it’s there.

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Barely visible repair

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A little more obvious with the flash

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In and looking good!

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Closeup of the surface

 

Posted in Home Projects

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