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Old 01-29-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


Hi everyone

I'm looking at installing an OTR microwave, and since there's no electrical there I would like to be able to just plug it into the electrical outlet that's built into the top of our range. The range has a dedicated 220V 40A circuit, and an electrical sheet I found for the stove says that it uses 2600-3250 watts. A microwave is 1000. So I want to use about 4250, and I have: 220V * 40A = 8800, * 80% = 7000W. So I should be fine right? Or do I have to divide that in half because it's a double breaker? Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


OK, this spec sheet is a little ambiguous, so I may have misread it. If I have it correct now, the oven elements use 2600, while baking uses 3250, so if both were in use it would be 5850. Add 1000W for the microwave, and though it's getting close I should still be fine, ya?
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:16 PM   #3
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


I think you need to study your manual a bit more. do you have a range top? If so, how many positions and what is the rating of each element. Then, what is the rating of the oven element. what is the rating of the broil element.

range top elements range from somewhere around 900 watts up to nearly 4000 watts and that is per element. It doesn't sound like you have included any top elements in your calculations.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


Microwaves tend to be run for short periods of time, so I think you could be safe to do that. The oven most likely has a fuse on that plug, so if by chance it did overload beyond it's capacity, the fuse should go. Check the manual to confirm that it does not cap the wattage lower then 1800 (typical 15 amp circuit).

If by chance the oven and microwave are on together and do happen to use too much power, then the breaker will do it's job, and trip. Whether or not this is inconvenient depends on your cooking habits. If you are defrosting a turkey while baking a cake and making a spaghetti sauce and hot dogs all at the same time, then you might run into problems.

A dedicated outlet is better though. Since this is behind the oven a few small holes in the wall may not be a big deal, so I would just fish a new wire for the microwave and install a dedicated outlet. You might even be able to remove the oven plug to give you a hole to work in so you can drill in the bottom plate to run the wire.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:30 PM   #5
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


Bottom line is you need to run a new circuit for the micro. Please do not even think about plugging it into a receptacle on the range.

Doing all that math is all well and good, but it still does not allow you to do this.

HOW old is the range that it has a receptacle on it???
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys. This is a somewhat elderly stove, probably 15 years old, and I only have this one sheet to use as reference. It says nothing about stovetop elements, I was hoping that when it says oven elements it means stovetop, since it lists separate voltages for baking, broiling, and oven elements. How else would it bake besides with the oven element?

It does show the outlet on a 15A fuse, along with a couple other accessories like the lamp and timer.

Petey, can you elaborate? If the math works out, what other reason makes you so adamant this is a bad idea? Btw, most of the new ranges being sold at our local appliance store still have receptacles on top. We were actually just there and I'd say about 75% do, except for the ones with controls at the front, none of those do.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:50 PM   #7
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


Speedy is right you need a dedicated circuit for the microwave.

Forget about the rating of the entire stove, stoves with outlets on them were designed so your cook can plug a hand mixer in to mix the mashed potatoes while on the burner and are probably rated for about 5-amps! Regardless of what the total wattage of the stove is, it's not the stove circuit you will overload it is the outlets rating!

Not to mention you will have a cord hanging over the burners!

Over the stove MW's have the cord coming out of the top to plug into an outlet in the cabinet above. How are you going to get the cord from up there to down below without pinching it between the MW and the wall or running it through the wall and out?

All are bad ideas, run a new circuit and install a new outlet in the upper cabinet and live to cook another day!
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:01 PM   #8
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sparks1up gave the perfect answer. Also the fact that there are rules governing appliances that are fixed in place and how much of a circuit they can draw.

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Originally Posted by jpenns View Post
Btw, most of the new ranges being sold at our local appliance store still have receptacles on top. We were actually just there and I'd say about 75% do, except for the ones with controls at the front, none of those do.
I don't know where you live, but I have been installing cords on new ranges for over 20 years, and I can't remember the last one I saw with a convenience receptacle on it. HOW do they get around the fact that that receptacle needs to be GFI protected???
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:13 PM   #9
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


My stove is fairly new (maybe 5 years max?) and has receptacles on it. I've never actually had the need to use them though, there are wall receptacles on both sides of the stove that are more convenient to use.

And yeah, I'd use that as a very last resort for a microwave. Best to have a dedicated circuit.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:40 PM   #10
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HOW do they get around the fact that that receptacle needs to be GFI protected???
Easy, that receptacle serves the stovetop, not the countertop.

Note to all: This message is meant to display how some wordsmiths would attempt to circumvent the code requirements and is not to be taken seriously.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:41 PM   #11
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Red Squirrel and I are both from Canada, maybe there are different regulations here? I don't know, but they're very common here. Sparks, the outlet is rated 15A, but there are also other things on that circuit and I can't figure out what it draws so unless I can determine that I guess you have a point. The outlet is right on top of the control panel so the cord wouldn't be close to burners, but I would have to leave extra room behind the MW for the cord to hang down. So... ok thanks guys, I'll try to figure out getting a dedicated circuit back there. Location is quite inconvenient but that's what happens in old houses. Thanks again.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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Red Squirrel and I are both from Canada, maybe there are different regulations here?
Well THAT would have been nice to know from the start.


Putting your location in your profile should be mandatory before someone is allowed to post!
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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pshaw, ok I put it in my info for future reference, thanks for the advice, crankypants and all
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:28 AM   #14
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plugging OTR microwave into the range


If the Microwave is new follow the installation directions, outlet in the cabinet above the micro dedicated circuit. If the micro is older go on line and request the installation instructions same as above. The plug coming down the wall is unsightly and dangerous in the stove environment. Just do it the right way that makes sense and you'll be glad you did. I see so many microwaves come on and all the lights dim because they weren't installed properly and just "PLUGGED IN".
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