How to install a 220 Volt 4 wire outlet

4 Wire Outlet

The wire. If you were installing a four wire 220 outlet chances are it’s for a stove / oven. Now this could be either 40 or 50 amp. So either #6 or # 8 wire. These wires are lot harder to handle and thread through the walls and ceilings and generally cost a lot more than your normal 12 and 14 wires. So make sure you have enough to work with because  making the bends and turns you’ll end up using more to make those turns. You wont be able to bend it into a 90 degree like you would the thinner wires so the result is using more of it to go the same distance. I can’t tell you how many times I ran only inches short.

They do make a small hand tool to help make the bends for thick wires. Since I can never find when I need it I sometimes use a short 2″ pipe over the wire to help with the bending process.

The Breaker. You will be using a two pole 40 or 50 amp breaker. Just to be clear. I don’t mean two separate breakers next to each other but one complete breaker where the trip lever on it is one. So more less it looks like two breakers glued to each other. So each side of the breaker is actually getting power from the two very separate buss bars. Each one of those is 110 volts. Resulting in simple math 110 + 110 = 220 volts.

The Neutral Wire.   Sure you can run a 220 line without the neutral, but not for this type of setup. Many new appliances require the neutral wire. Most believe the neutral is the ground. However not true at all. The neutral would be used as a return path for the 110 volts needed by things like the clock in your stove, timmers and of course the computers / controllers in most newer appliances sold today. So in short your new stove uses 110 and 220 volts. 110 for the smaller stuff and 220 for the cooking elements. Or dryer whatever it is that you may be hooking up.

How to install a 220 Volt 4 wire outlet
Four wire 220 outlet from panel

See the video on how to wire 220 using 4 wire VIDEO

Please refer to my other pages on how to wire a dryer for a way better detail on how this is all done… Dryer Plug


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July 5, 2015 4:51 pm

So from the looks of it both ground and neutral are connected to the ground bar to the sides of the breaker box. Am I seeing that correctly?

October 6, 2014 10:43 pm

I had to replace my counter top cooktop which needs a 220 I have 220 # 8 blak and white wire with a ground coming into the house from a 40 amp 2 pole breaker which I think is ok but then the under counter oven heating element broke so I have fixed that and have new cooktop in problem is the cooktop is 220 and the oven is 110 it was hooked up like this already before and everything worked but my last cooktop never got very hot. Do I have to run new wires to a new… Read more »