Sounds like a 220 volt stove. If you have a volt meter, checking the red to the black wire should show 220 volts AC. Checking the Black to the White should show 110 volts and the red to the white should show 110 volts.
The 4th wire in the stove is probably green which is a ground for safety. If you can track down your wiring back to your electrical panel, you will probably find that the white wire from the kitchen is connected to the ground bar. All the white wires and the bare wires in your electrical panel are connected to the same buss.
So, if this were all true and it were my house, I would change the the outlet in the house to a 4 prong recepticle. If you can't run a 4th wire for the ground, then on the house side of the recepticle I would put a short jumper wire from the white wire's screw to the ground screw. So what this does is allow voltage from the stove to return to ground along either the white or the green wire to the recepticle. Then by having the ground connected to the white, voltage is allowed to return to the electrical panel. Without having the green pin on the recepticle jumpered to the white wire there is a possible shock hazard because stray voltage on any metal panels that make up the portion of the stove that you touch can't return to ground and passes through whoever touches it and the kitchen sink at the same time.
Since electricity can be deadly, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a second opinion.
You can't, you need an electrician to find out which wire is which.
Through wires, cables, and transformers, all the way from the generating station to the outlet in the wall of your house.
On what? IS this an outlet or a switch?
It's possible that the outlet is on a switch, and either one half of the outlet is switched or the whole thing. The extra two pair of wires probably feed the NEXT outlet.
Answer for USA, Canada and countries running a 60 Hz power supply service. In order to plug your 3 wire stove into a 4 wire outlet, the easiest way to do so is to change the cord on the stove. This does not require cutting power to the outlet or anything like that. Anyone who is going to be changing the power cable on any device knows that you need to unplug the cord first, eliminating the need to cut power to the outlet. The difference between a 3 prong and 4 prong outlet is the ground wire. Both provide 240v power by supplying 2 120v wires (red and black). There is also a white wire, which will be your neutral wire. The green wire is your ground, and should be bolted to the body of the stove. (Most appliances have a location for attaching the ground wire). When connecting your wires, there should be 3 wire locations. You should connect one of the two hot wires (red or black), then your white wire in the middle, and then your other hot. The green will be your ground.
Possibly old wiring corroding. Could be caused by loose connections. May have to run new wires. Consult a licensed electrician.
If the current (amps) supplied to the appliance(s) plugged into an outlet exceed the rated current-carrying capacity of that outlet, you can have problems. Examples are bad contacts from the sockets in the outlet to the prongs of the plug, causing excessive heat, and the circuit wires which supply the outlet get hot, also causing excessive heat. That extra heat can reach high enough temperatures to start a home fire.
It is an outlet that has one hot wire, such as a household receptacle, or two hot wires, such as a dryer outlet (in the US). If the outlet has three hot wires, it would be called a 3-phase or polyphase outlet. These would normally be found only in an industrial setting.
The wires going to a GFCI outlet are no different than a standard outlet. I assume you are wiring the fan switch to the same wires and not actually to the outlet itself (this would mean you are plugging the switch into the outlet and that wouldn't make any sense).
Just firmly connect the wires under the screws and that will couple them. Each outlet has two hot and two neutral screws; just connect the wires appropriately and make certain that the outlet is properly grounded.
A 120 volt duplex outlet is the main type of outlet for residential outlet system. The wires are typically white and black, and there should only be two of them.
Black, white, and copper.