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bfarber 12-05-2008 12:58 PM

OTR Microwave installation
We're remodeling the kitchen and in the process my wife is demanding an OTR microwave to save counter space (despite the fact that everything I've read online about them says the saved counter space isn't worth it...)

Two questions I have

1) It comes with a grounded outlet plug, as you can imagine. Now, we have wires in place that were used to connect the previous vent, but I'm under the assumption that I'm not going to be able to use those. They've got wire nuts on them presently, and are still pulled out of the wall until we get to this point.

Am I correct in assuming I won't be able to use this line at all? If so, anything I should do with the wires (beyond wire nuts) before pushing the wires back into the wall when the microwave goes up? Additionally, we have a gas range and are thinking of just plugging the microwave unit into the outlet the gas range uses. I know it's recommended to have a dedicated circuit for the microwave - but since we have a gas range, do you think I'd have any problems if the microwave shared this circuit?

2) The vent for the hood was something like 3 1/2" x 14" (I'm not at home so I can't confirm exact measurements), while the microwave vent appears to be about 4" x 16". It's a rear vertical vent. Do I need to cut out a larger vent in the wall, and install a new cap outside, or can I do something else with the exhaust vent on the microwave (such as put duct-tape over the edges to make the actual exhaust area smaller) for ventilation?

Cabinets, flooring, and so forth were a breeze...but electrical work and ventilation are two areas I'm no expert in.

Thanks in advance for any advice. My father in law happens to know a lot about both of these things, but we seem to have some trouble enlisting his help getting some of these last few things we need to do finished up unfortunately.

bradnailer 12-08-2008 10:42 AM

Many of the over the range microwaves don't require venting. They filter the air and vent back into the room. However, if you already have the microwave and it requires external venting, I would suggest you repipe the vent to match the microwave.

With the existing electrical, you can purchase an "old work" outlet box, cut a hole in the wall and install an outlet in the cabinet with the existing wire. By all means, before you do anything, make sure you have the power to this wire cut off at the breaker. If you don't have a multimeter, get one. It's one of the best home improvement investments you can make.

bfarber 12-08-2008 12:46 PM

Well, according to the feedback I've read on OTR microwaves, the internal venting really sucks. This microwave can vent 3 ways - through the rear, internal (need to buy a charcoal filter for it to do this), and upwards. We have a vent in the rear, so was just going to use this.

As it turns out, however, it's not lined up properly with the microwave following the kitchen remodel, so we actually need to cut a hole in the back of the house and install a new damper, and close up the old one first.

My father in law is good with this sort of thing, so we're just enlisting his help next weekend. Thanks for the reply though. :D

Chemist1961 12-22-2008 07:55 PM

OTR Micro
If you're still at it run a fresh dedicated circuit. It is new construction code in some areas. Microwaves use a lot more power than range hoods which are general tied in to other kitchen circuits. Won`t hurt to do the same for your fridge and DW if you have the panel space.You will find it difficult to fish the cord down to the gas range anayway as most cords run up off the top of the Microwave. Best to mark the location and cut out the cabinet from above or below with a hole saw. My old OTR went haywire and melted the receptacle. I checked all screw connections before I replaced the receptacle and they were tight but the plug which was secure and the recepatacle had both overheated and begun to melt.

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