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Thread: Over the range microwaves

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Over the range microwaves

    More of a cautionary tale than anything I suppose.

    Short version: check the DEPTH of your cabinet over the microwave very carefully and make sure the mounting holes fit on it.

    First off let me say that I'm not a huge fan of over the range microwaves; they're quite a bit more expensive, a pain to install (more on that) and frankly a fume hood would be preferred. However its what was there and given the state of the wall behind it.. its what's going back there so on to our adventure.

    The old microwave was about 10 years old and had been acting a little weak but was still working until Tuesday night when it wouldn't defrost a pound of stir fry - on high for 10 minutes. So off to the local borg we go (its about a mile away which is convenient) and pick up one of their vast selection (all having mediocre reviews). Getting it home (and having installed several of these in previous houses with no issues) I blithely start putting the mounting plate up on the wall and then go to drill the holes for the top hangers.. and ... the cabinet is about 1/4" to shallow (the edge of the hole intersects the face frame).. So pack it back up tonight and take it back. I got the poor guy helping us to climb up a platform ladder (cause we ain't allowed to do that ourselves no sir - 3' is to tall) and triple check measure the hole->back distance on a half dozen models to make sure it should fit. I'm tentatively positive that we now have one that will work - I'll check the spacing again after dinner - BEFORE mounting the back plate!!

    Funny thing is when you look up the specs online they all say how tall they are (15-16" pretty much all of them) and how wide (every single one was 30") but a lot of them don't include the depth - which is where you run into problems. Even in the online manuals the depth is kind of handwavy if you're on the edge; so you pretty much want to get ahold of the top template if you can - if you have a shallow cabinet (ours is 11" interior and 12" total).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    Thanks for that. We are undergoing a kitchen renovation, and the guy who is doing it for us (a professional, not a hobbyist) will be installing our over the range microwave and attaching it to the existing exhaust pipe. I'll just mention it to him to make sure he is aware.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
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    Can't wait to see Brent's reply. I think I helped him mount and un-mount it about 10 times before it was all finished. But he did do the right thing and vent it to the outside vs. the prior micro that vented to the kitchen. A plus was that we got a new one for very cheap and I know why...the display would not be visible if you were under about 5'5". I sometimes have to stand on my tippy-toes to see the reading. Works for me though to pay $300 vs. $7-800

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    Thanks for that. We are undergoing a kitchen renovation, and the guy who is doing it for us (a professional, not a hobbyist) will be installing our over the range microwave and attaching it to the existing exhaust pipe. I'll just mention it to him to make sure he is aware.
    There is like a 92.3% chance it will work - I was bitten by a combination of shallow cabinets and the fact the tile backsplash went all the way up so I was about 1/4" shy - the tile adds about 3/8". This also meant that I got the joy of drilling not two but four holes in the tile

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Korn View Post
    Can't wait to see Brent's reply. I think I helped him mount and un-mount it about 10 times before it was all finished. But he did do the right thing and vent it to the outside vs. the prior micro that vented to the kitchen. A plus was that we got a new one for very cheap and I know why...the display would not be visible if you were under about 5'5". I sometimes have to stand on my tippy-toes to see the reading. Works for me though to pay $300 vs. $7-800
    Heh - the only thing that looks simpler but is more painful to install is a garbage disposal - they look so deceptively simple and yet the connecting mechanism is so fiendishly difficult to get lined up right...

    Yeah this is internally vented still, not my first choice but there it is (its an internal wall so I'd have to run duct either up through the roof or up and then over the cabinets sideways so a wee it more complicated than I felt like tackling at the time). I was "this close" to putting in a vent when we did the last remodel; but then I wussed out. If I had I'd probably have gone the whole kaboodle and just put in a hood.

    For good deals on microwaves - at our last house we were at a guvmnt surplus auction and Cindy poked me in the side and said "bid on that" (I was, as usual, snoozing). "That" was a busted up looking box that said "goldstar microwave" on the side - I got it for $10. Not expecting much I went down to collect my loot and low and behold there was a brand new - with all the mounting equipment - top of the line GE over the range microwave. Our old one was heading on dead - and had the annoying (?scary?) side effect of breaking all 802.11 networks within about a 100' radius of it so I happily installed it

  5. #5
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    May 2007
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    I actually had the issue of having to search for one that was the right width. Most are 30", but my space between existing cabinets was 29 15/16". Luckily the one we got was 29 7/8". My issues came with installing the vent. I decided since it was against an exterior wall, that would be the easiest to do, wrong. I laid out the template and marked for the vent hole. about half way across I hit a stud. Luckily, dunno why, but the builder had built the house using 2x4 exterior walls, then furred out with 2x2's on top of those. I ended up notching out the 2x2 and bent up an offset box using my sheet metal brake, which did the job.

    Had the same issue with tile too, was all the way up and had to drill through them for anchors.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    Reno NV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharon Korn View Post
    Can't wait to see Brent's reply. I think I helped him mount and un-mount it about 10 times before it was all finished. But he did do the right thing and vent it to the outside vs. the prior micro that vented to the kitchen. A plus was that we got a new one for very cheap and I know why...the display would not be visible if you were under about 5'5". I sometimes have to stand on my tippy-toes to see the reading. Works for me though to pay $300 vs. $7-800
    Whats to say? I think you answered it for me!

    The people that put in the kitchen in our house before we moved it must never have used anything.

    The vent on the OTRMicro was configured to vent straight up, instead of out through the front, so pretty much if you turned it on it would exhaust up through the hole drilled int he cabinet for the electric cord, then out through the cabinet door. Not optimal. Best thing I ever did was run a vent for the dang thing to the outside. It may have been a nasty job, but well worth it.

    The other thing they did, or rather, didn't do was to knock out the dishwasher plug for the garbage disposal. First time we tried to use the dishwasher it just wouldn't drain for some reason....

    Some people just shouldn't be allowed to DIY.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    Some people just shouldn't be allowed to DIY.
    What do I have to do to get on this list!
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

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