How to Wire a Cooktop
Wiring a cooktop can be easy, because for the most part, the hard work has been done for you. Generally, it's simply a matter of disconnecting one and replacing with another. But with electricity, it's not always that easy. Don't forget to read the instructions with the new cooktop before attempting to wire it. A little knowledge of how electricity works and a touch of common sense will go a long way.
Do your homework on both the old unit and the new unit before doing anything else. Check out what the voltage requirements are for both. If your new cooktop is 240 volts, and it is replacing a 120-volt model, chances are this wiring is out of your league.
Cut the power to the cooktop at the fuse box. Turn it on to ensure that it is not receiving any juice. Double-check to confirm there is no power to the unit, because a 240-volt shock is something that nobody wants to receive.
Disconnect the electrical cable at the point where the house wiring meets the cooktop wiring. This usually involves working under the counter. Note how the wiring is configured before disconnecting. Most of the time, the house wiring is smaller in diameter than the cooktop wiring, so don't let that concern you.
Remove the old cooktop and set the new one into place. Snake the wiring through the opening where you removed the old wiring. Connect the wiring according to the colors (these are color-coded), and the ground (usually a "raw" copper wire). Make sure all the wires are not touching, and are insulated from each other.
Put everything back in place, and then turn the fuse on. If a fuse blows, or the circuit breaker kicks off, you know you've done something wrong. Go back and check your work.
Things You Will Need
- Pliers (regular and needle-nose)
- Electrical tape
- If the thought of playing around with wiring makes you queasy, call in a pro.
- Knee pads help when spending a lot of time working under cabinets.
- A hands-free, flexible flashlight is a good tool to have for this.
- Keep children, pets, and busybodies out of the area when you're working with electricity.
- Don't let any wires touch each other, and this goes for the ground as well.