Converting Hardwired Range Hood To Plug In (9-Step Wiring Guide)

If you have a range hood that was ready to be hard-wired, but you want to plug it in instead, keep reading and we will teach you how!

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How to wire a range hood to a plug!
  • National Electrical Code (NEC) Rules for Range Hoods
  • How to determine amps using wattage 
  • And more!
converting hardwired range hood to plug in

Many range hoods come ready to be hard-wired in, but they don't have to be.  It is an easy task to install a three-prong plug on the end of the wire requiring minimal hand tools. 

One thing to remember when working on a project like this is, if at any point you become uncomfortable doing the work, be sure to call in a local electrician to come help finish the job. 

Keep reading to learn the 9 steps on converting to a range hood with plug!

Is It Permitted To Convert Hard Wired Range Hood To Plug-In?

It is acceptable to hard wire your range hood or use a cord and plug connection. 

According to the 2017 NEC, if you are going to use a range hood power cord to power your range hood, you are not to have a cord length of longer than 4 feet. A 3-prong grounding plug must be used. 

Supplies And Tools Needed To Install Range Hood With Plug

  • Voltage Meter - Used to verify power 
  • Screwdriver - Used to make wire terminations
  • Wire Strippers - Used to strip the insulation off the individual wires
  • Utility Knife - Used to remove the outer jacket 
  • Amp Meter - Used to do an amp check on a circuit
  • Three Prong Plug - Used to plug in the range hood 

How To Wire A Range Hood To A Plug (9-Step Guide)

  1. Determine the Amp Draw of Range Hood
  2. Verify the Circuit
  3. Load Check the Circuit
  4. Strip the Cord End
  5. Strip the Ends of the Wires
  6. Take the Plug Apart
  7. Install Plug on the Wire
  8. Secure Plug to the Wire
  9. Test the Range Hood

Step 1 - Determine the Amp Draw of Range Hood

Determine the amp draw of the range hood to make sure you will not be overloading the circuit you are adding it to.  

Most range hoods draw between 5-7 amps according to the company ProLine, but your range hood will be labeled with the wattage it uses. Take the wattage and divide it by the voltage of the power it is hooking to get the amperage. 

Wattage/Voltage = Amperage

Read Also >> What Are The Building Codes For Range Hood Vents?

Step 2 - Verify the Circuit

Verify the circuit that will be used.  

Using a voltage meter, you can verify the circuit by turning the breaker off and taking a voltage reading; there should be zero volts.  If there is still power, the wrong breaker is shut off. 

Step 3 - Load Check the Circuit

Load check the circuit the range hood will be powered off of. 

Using an amp meter, take an amp reading off the wire right at the breaker.  The breaker will need to be on while taking this reading. 

15-amp breakers are only supposed to be loaded to 12 amps and a 20-amp breaker should have no more than 16 amps.

Don't overload your breaker or you will run into problems with the breaker tripping. 

If you are not comfortable working in the breaker panel, have a local electrician come and give you a hand!

For more information on load testing, read this helpful guide from Homelectrical.com.

Read Also >> How To Install Under Cabinet Range Hoods?

 converting hardwired range hood to plug in

Step 4 - Strip the Cord End 

Strip the outer insulation off the cord end using a utility knife.  

Carefully, strip off roughly one inch of the outer jacket, exposing the individual wires. 

Step 5 - Strip the Ends of the Wires

Strip the insulation off the ends of each individual wire.

Using wire strippers, strip off about a half inch of insulation from the end of each wire.

Step 6 - Take the Plug Apart

Take the plug apart and unfasten the screws.

Using a screwdriver, loosen the 3 screws on the face of the plug so that you can separate the plug from the body.  

Loosen the screws of the clamp so you can easily slide the body over the wire.

Read Also >> What Are The Steps To Install An Island Vent Hood?

Step 7 - Install Plug on the Wire

Connect the plug by first sliding the body of the plug over the wire. 

Loosen the screws where the wires will terminate on the plug.

The black wire will terminate on the brass-colored screw.  The white wire will terminate on the silver screw, and the bare copper or green wire will terminate on the green screw.  

Using the screwdriver, tighten down the screws securely and make sure there are no small strands of wire sticking out from the termination. 

Step 8 - Secure Plug to the Wire

Secure the plug to the wire and fasten the screws. 

When all the wire connections are made, slide the body up over the plug.  Line up the screws so the plug slides into the body all the way.  Attach the plug to the body by tightening the screws down. 

Tighten down the clamp evenly over the wire. The cord should not be able to slide back and forth under the clamp.  

The individual wires should not be exposed outside of the body of the plug.  If they are, the wire inside the body will need to be shortened.

Read Also >> How To Install Range Hood Vents Through The Ceiling?

Step 9 - Test the Range Hood

Test the range hood with a 3-prong plug by plugging it in. 

Verify everything is working properly, and you are all done! 

Frequently Asked Questions For Converting Hardwired Range Hoods

Can I Wire A Range Hood To An Outlet?

If you have a cord and plug, you are able to just plug in your range hood. If you want to go from a range hood with electrical plugs to hardwired, that is also permitted.

Are Range Hoods Hardwired or Plug In?

Range hoods are capable of being either hardwired or plugged in.

When Can A Range Hood Be Cord and Plug Connected?

A range hood can be cord and plug-connected as long as the cord is less than 4 feet long. 

What Wiring Is Needed For Range Hood?

Wiring a range hood requires 14/2 wire if it is on a 15-amp breaker, and 12/2 wire if it is on a 20-amp breaker. Here is a nice guide from HomeEfficiencyGuide.com on range hood wire sizes for more information.

Read Also >> How To Install A Bath Fan And Light On A Single Switch?

Final Thoughts On Range Hood Wiring Conversions

As long as the cord is sized properly and is less than 4 feet long, there is no problem using a cord and plug connection for your range hood.  

Make sure that you will not be overloading the circuit you are going to plug the range hood into to prevent the breaker from tripping frequently. 

When in doubt, call in a local electrician to make sure the job gets done right and safely.  

Electrical safety needs to ALWAYS be your top priority!

I hope you enjoyed this Home Inspector Secrets guide!

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