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According the the following link, a minimum of 4800W is drawn from an electric stove when all burners are turned on: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5179441_many-watts-electric-stove-use_.html. I'm just wondering how a stove achieves this? Are they not limited to approximately 1800W like other power outlets are?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Surely, not. You have to pull thicker wires for it, it just doesn't go in the socket power outlet. \$\endgroup\$ – Marko Buršič May 16 '16 at 22:18
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In the USA, electric stoves are supplied by a 240VAC, 40 or 50 amp circuit.

That provides theoretical 9600 or 12,000 watt power, but due to "continuous load" restrictions, 80% of that, so 7680 or 9600 watts, respectively.

They don't make a receptacle for 40A, so they cut a special exception to use 50A receptacles, though they use a 40A circuit breaker if the wire is 40A. You can count on the receptacle being NEMA 14-50, or in older homes NEMA 10-50. These provide neutral, though the latter does not provide ground, which can create an electrocution hazard if there's a problem with the neutral. Neutral is provided because US appliances often have bits which need 120V rather than 240V, notably the oven lamp.

Electric clothes dryers are provisioned with 240V 30A service, 7200W nominal, using a NEMA 14-30 or 10-30. These are the only 240V heavy appliances where unngrounded service (NEMA 10) is commonly allowed

Practices in other nations in the NEMA sphere of influence may vary.

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In the US, an electric stove is typically powered from 220-240 V (two hot phases) rather than 120 V, and wired with 10 AWG wire or even 6 AWG, allowing something like 30 A or 50 A.

This would allow the stove to draw at least 6600 W.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Electric clothes dryers are similar, and any large motor driven appliances (not common in homes). Some high power devices draw 240, like Amateur Radio power amplifiers. Some large air conditioners... Built-in A/C and electric "furnace" heat... More possibilities. This is why the US system of split phase is superior: you can have 120 and 240 for the cost of one extra piece of wire. \$\endgroup\$ – user56384 May 16 '16 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nocomprende, Well, one extra wire and generally needing thicker wire on all the single-pole circuits for the same power loads. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon May 16 '16 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Trading a small cost for safety is good engineering practice. \$\endgroup\$ – user56384 May 16 '16 at 21:58
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Some electrical appliances draw large amounts like stove (cook-top), oven, water-heater, clothes-dryer, heater/furnace, etc. In 120V territories, these high-current appliances are provided with special 240V, high-current branch circuits. And furthermore these branch circuits are typically dedicated to the single appliance, and the power is not shared with other loads.

A 20 Amp, 240V circuit will supply 4800 Watts. And 20A is probably the smallest size breaker and wire-size for a high-load branch circuit. It is not unusual to find 30A or even 50A breakers and corresponding wire sizes.

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