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Discuss Anxiety about DIY 220V outlet I installed 14 years ago in the American Professional Electrical Advice Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

mrdumb

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I live in ranch style home, basement and main floor.
14 years ago when I was young dumb new home owner strapped for cash I installed my own 220 outlet for the oven. I used overkill wire size (cant recall size but its more than I needed) and a 40 amp breaker.
The wire comes out the fuse box, goes along the ibeam support of the main house under the main floor into an unfinished room, then up the box the heater flume box** into the attic. Once in the attic I draped it across the beams across the attic then inside the wall to the outlet. The attic has the loose insulation cotton stuff, the wire just sits on top of the insulation and the wooden beams. It is visible. I didnt want to cut 20+ holes in all the beams to route the wire through it.


**Im not sure what this is called, its the area that the main stove pipe for the header/water heater go up to vent the gases out to the roof.

We've used the carp out of the stove over the years so I think the install is sound but Ive been worried about the long term heat degradation to the wire. Im also worried about the overall length of the wire, its way longer than it needs to be due to the way I snaked it around the house.

Is it wise to have the wire inside the heater's flume box, it spans about 10 feet high going through the main floor closet wall up to the attic. The wire is probably 8 inches from the stovepipe and I didnt try to block the heat with anything. Also is there a max length of the wire?
 

pc1966

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Some aspects of your questions will need one of our USA members such as @Megawatt to answer, as the majority of the electricians on here are UK-based.

If you used over-sized wire it will probably run cool and last indefinitely (or until some rodent gets its teeth in, or some fool drives a nail in). You can inspect it in the attic and/or at the panel and end socket to see if the insulation shows any sign of overheating or going brittle. If not, probably fine. With high current loads it is often the terminals that are not quite tight and lead to over heating, so worth paying attention to the ends and any switch or joints.

Yes, there are length-limits on a cable to avoid excess voltage drop, but again if you have over-sized on current carrying capacity ("ampacity" I think is the USA term) this it is probably OK. The UK regulations are for no more than 5% drop at max load, I don't know what the USA equivalent is, but if you know the load, length, and cable size it is easy to compute and check. However, if you are not seeing any problems with the oven's operation (no major dimming of light when it goes on to heat) then it is probably fine.

As always, if you are in doubt or worried then get a professional electrician in to check!
 

Megawatt

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is my post not worthy of attention for some reason, I meant well.
is my post not worthy of attention for some reason, I meant well.
my friend the biggest problem I read was the wire is the stove pipe and you stated that you have 8 inches between your wire and stove pipe which could be damaged by the heat. If I were you I would stuff insulation any where the pipes and the flume are to keep any heat from dissipating to the wire. Maybe you could have picked a better route for your wire but as you stated that it’s been installed for 14 years with no problems. By the way it should be # 8 wire for a 40 amp breaker
 

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