Author Topic: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood  (Read 7636 times)

sunnyca

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Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:34:16 AM »
The "fan/vent" buttons on my over the range microwave broke recently, and my home warranty is offering the following options:

1. Replace the microwave with a different make/model that matches the dimensions of my old microwave; or
2. Cash payout option of $380 to purchase/install a microwave on my own

I've never been a huge fan of the microwave, and would prefer to buy and install a range hood in that space instead.  Has anyone done the install on the range hood?  I'm not much of a DIY-er and not sure how difficult/expensive it would be to make the switch.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Russ

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 08:07:54 AM »
you'll probably get better answers if you post in this active thread on basically the exact same topic:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/do-it-yourself-forum!/how-hard-is-it-to-install-an-otr-microwave

horsepoor

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 08:13:32 AM »
It's really easy to put in a basic range hood as long as you have some regular tools (drill, pliers, wire strippers).  Take the money and run.

TomTX

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 08:51:07 AM »
Cash. Always cash, whether you do it, or hire it out.

When our water heater failed, I took cash and did it myself (with a much better/more efficient water heater, well within budget)

When our central AC failed, we let them arrange the replacement, as I wasn't going to DIY - holy crap. Took WEEKS. In July. In Texas. And the guy who set up the new one didn't even top it off with refrigerant or insulate anything. It was just CUT/YANK/SOLDER/RUN - yep, he vented the old CFCs to atmosphere instead of capturing. Old expensive CFCs too. Sure, the new unit came with the right HCFCs, but you to actually VERIFY once it is running for ~15 minutes.

Oh, and they never pulled a permit from the city until I had complained for MONTHS. I think the tipping point was when the home warranty company wanted us to renew in October, and my answer always was "When you get those incompetents to finish the last job and pull a permit on the AC installation from July, we can talk about it"

I should have taken the check, and hired someone competent.

Daleth

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 09:05:49 AM »
The "fan/vent" buttons on my over the range microwave broke recently, and my home warranty is offering the following options:

1. Replace the microwave with a different make/model that matches the dimensions of my old microwave; or
2. Cash payout option of $380 to purchase/install a microwave on my own

I've never been a huge fan of the microwave, and would prefer to buy and install a range hood in that space instead.  Has anyone done the install on the range hood?  I'm not much of a DIY-er and not sure how difficult/expensive it would be to make the switch.

Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Range hood all the way. Make sure you get one that vents to the outdoors--the recirculating ones are more cosmetic than anything else. IOW they don't actually work.

TomTX

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 09:08:09 AM »

Range hood all the way. Make sure you get one that vents to the outdoors--the recirculating ones are more cosmetic than anything else. IOW they don't actually work.

Mine actually catches a fair amount of grease, particularly when I use a paper towel "prefilter" held in place by the fan - very helpful when cooking bacon.

Greg

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2014, 09:18:40 AM »
Go for #2, it sounds like you would rather have a decent fan and hood.  You can get a nice one for a lot less than one with the microwave and it'll be easier to install.

The only trick will probably be that the range hood will not have the plug-in pigtail that the microwave has.  You can add one easily enough with a replacement appliance cord and a strain relief.  You might have to drill a different hole for the cord to go into the upper cabinet.

That and taking down the old microwave, they're awkward and can be heavy so a helper might be wise.

sunnyca

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2014, 05:15:57 PM »
Thanks for the great advice everyone! 

I'll go for option #2 and see if one of the neighbors can help me do the remove/install.  I'm short so I would need someone with height to help anyway. :)

geekette

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 08:00:05 PM »

Range hood all the way. Make sure you get one that vents to the outdoors--the recirculating ones are more cosmetic than anything else. IOW they don't actually work.

Mine actually catches a fair amount of grease, particularly when I use a paper towel "prefilter" held in place by the fan - very helpful when cooking bacon.
Not that you asked, but I switched to baking bacon, and it's so much easier (and cleaner), IMHO. 

phred

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2014, 07:32:58 AM »
There are two types of stove hoods (as already mentioned).  The easiest to install isn't vented anywhere.  It's basically just a recirculating fan with a mesh filter to trap some spattering grease (and does provide a light to see by at the stove).  The second type actually removes "bad" air from the kitchen.  This means cutting a hole in the wall or ceiling -- some hoods are rear exhaust, some top exhaust; some rear exhaust can take an elbow to change direction to vertical -- the size of the ductwork.  The biggest problem with these vented types is that most exhaust into the attic.  This brings moisture, and even grease, into the attic which you certainly don't want.  Properly installed, you'd need to cut a hole in the roof or exterior wall and terminate the duct run with an endcap.
  Over the range microwaves are quite heavy.  Place a sheet of plywood (padded by towels underneath it) over your stovetop so the dropped microwave doesn't do too much damage

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2014, 08:40:42 AM »
I grew up in a house where the stove was under the window, and the microwave was on its own shelf elsewhere in the kitchen.  As an adult, I've lived in two homes with a microwave over the stove.  If it were me, I'd stick the microwave somewhere else in the kitchen and go with a good hood and light.  The light is a huge deal--our range is hard to see, because the OTR microwave has a *terrible* light.

sleepyguy

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2014, 12:26:42 PM »
Either or they are fairly easy to install if all the vents/electrical are easily accessible.  Have a helper onsite though... although I generally have done it by myself with ledgers... it's much easier with 2 people.

sunnyca

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 12:52:11 PM »
Thanks guys!

I *think* mine already vents to the roof- I live in a condo, and at least that's what my neighbors have told me.  The cabinet above the microwave already has a pipe, but I can't really tell if it vents to the roof or the attic.

geekete- I'm sure baking bacon in the oven would def. be cleaner, but I recently bought my first cast iron skillet, and I'm experiencing an unreasonable amount of joy in watching the bacon (and steak, and pork chops...) sizzle in the cast iron pan. :)

TomTX

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Re: Advice on over the range microwave or range hood
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2014, 06:51:24 PM »

Range hood all the way. Make sure you get one that vents to the outdoors--the recirculating ones are more cosmetic than anything else. IOW they don't actually work.

Mine actually catches a fair amount of grease, particularly when I use a paper towel "prefilter" held in place by the fan - very helpful when cooking bacon.
Not that you asked, but I switched to baking bacon, and it's so much easier (and cleaner), IMHO.

I've tried it, and found the flavor lacking.