Installing Over-the-Range Microwave

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-01-05, 11:01 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 87
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Installing Over-the-Range Microwave

I want to install an over-the-range microwave in my kitchen. The instructions indicate I should have a 15 amp circuit dedicated to the microwave. My house is a 2 story on a slab. The kitchen is on the opposite side of the house from the breaker box. Running a line to the kitchen just for the microwave would be relatively difficult and take a considerable amount of time. There is already a line above the range where I took down the old hood. The existing line runs on a 20 amp circuit, but is the same line the fridge runs on. Is it ok to use this existing 20 amp line? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
William
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-01-05, 11:19 AM
scott e.'s Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 412
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
you could try it, but if it blows the circuit and you don't notice, all of the food in the fridge could spoil.
 
  #3  
Old 01-01-05, 01:15 PM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Most of the time this will probably work without a problem, but when the fridge. is in defrost mode and you use the microwave, the breaker will probably trip. I had the same situation in a previouse house with a counter top microwave that was plugged into the same circuit as the fridge. Every once in a while, the fridge. would be in defrost mode at dinner time and we would have to move the microwave to a different counter. You won't have this option.

Doug M.
 
  #4  
Old 01-01-05, 01:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 87
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Doug and Scott. Actually, I realized I have an additional 20 amp line running down the wall just 16 inches to the right of where I need to install the microwave. There is nothing big pulling on that line, so it should work well. Thanks again for the input and have a Happy New Year!

William
 
  #5  
Old 01-05-05, 06:21 PM
VAHomeOwner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I've got the same situation.

Anybody know how I can determine what types of lines I have? I have an appliance line running to the kitchen that the fridge is on. The sticker on the fridge says "max draw 6.5 amps" and I figure a 1000W micro would draw 9.1 amps. This would put me in unsafe territory if I only have 15 Amp lines, but probably ok if the lines are 20 amp lines (am I on track here?).

I have a silly can opener plugged in to that line and the toaster. Assuming I'm not running the toaster at the same time I'm defrosting a turkey, would I be pretty safe here? Running a new circuit would be tough (finished basement etc). The house was built in 1988 if that helps.

How often is the fridge at "max draw"?

Thanks
 
  #6  
Old 01-05-05, 06:38 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Start by looking at the circuit breaker.
 
  #7  
Old 01-05-05, 06:43 PM
VAHomeOwner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I checked that. Looked like originial equipment and wasn't easily labled as 15 Amp Lines or 20 Amp lines. There was some labeling that said 22,000 amperes; could that indicate a 20 Amp line? Any pointers on what to look for?

Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 01-05-05, 06:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The circuit breaker should have either a 15 or a 20 on it.

For a house built in 1988 you should be able to read the breakers with no problem.

If you absolutely can't tell from the breaker then you will have to examine the wiring. This is easily done at the breaker panel if you can tell which wire connects to the breaker. If you can see the wires outside the panel and if you feel comfortable removing the panel cover (do not do this if you don't feel comfortable doing so, as exposed voltages are present inside), you can then read the writing on the cables.

Another option is to examine the wires at the receptacle in question. However, this requires you to have something to compare them against, as you probably can't see any exposed sheathing at a receptacle.
 
  #9  
Old 01-05-05, 07:25 PM
VAHomeOwner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks (as I bang my head against the wall!). When I originally looked I focused in on the small print on the breaker and the paper on the panel door.

It had the number on the tip of the breaker.

The circuit I want to use is a 20 Amp circuit.

So.. Am I correct that a 1000W micro will draw just over 9 Amps? Will that be safe to run with the fridge on the circuit that states "max draw 6.5 Amps"?

Any foreseeable problems if the light, fan and micro are on full force while the fridge compresser is running on that same circuit? (If I use my toaster, I may blow the breaker; that is fine... I just don't want the fridge freaking out).

Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 01-05-05, 08:01 PM
VAHomeOwner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Also, I have a 950 Watt toaster plugged into that circuit. I guess that guarantees I will flip the switch if the toaster and micro are on (and the fridge is drawing more than 1 Amp). But since I've used the toaster on that circuit and never had a problem, I don't see how a 950 or 1000 W microwave can cause a problem there.

Can any wise person confirm this?

(Yes, I know code says to have the microwave on a separate circuit, but that isn't practicle here)

Thanks again
 
  #11  
Old 01-05-05, 10:43 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Breakers don't trip immediately on an overload. Depending on how overloaded it is, it may take a number of minutes. Just as an example, toasting two pieces of bread may not trip the breaker, but toasting four pieces in a short period of time might do it.
 
  #12  
Old 01-06-05, 11:04 AM
VAHomeOwner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I just checked at Best Buy. The Micrwaves there (even though they were rated as 1000Watt microwaves) all had stickers saying they drew 13 Amps. So I guess this puts me a bit to close for comfort with chaining them on the same 20 Amp line as my 6.5 Amp fridge. Or -- at 19.5Amps, would I be fine here as long as I never used the toaster?
 
  #13  
Old 01-06-05, 12:31 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
As your numbers indicate, a "1000-watt" microwave does not use 1000-watts of power. The value "1000 watts" is the output power. The input power is higher. Consult the sticker inside the microwave compartment to find the input power requirements.
 
  #14  
Old 01-06-05, 02:51 PM
VAHomeOwner
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The stickers were all either 13A or did not list an amapge. I recall many being in the 1.5kW range (which I guess would equate to 13A).

So -- assuming this is correct and what I get, with the fridge on a peak draw of 6.5A and the Micro input at 13A, will I have many problems if these are the only two items on a 20A circuit?

Thanks
 
  #15  
Old 01-06-05, 03:09 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wink

Id say its not what the fridge draws on run. ts what amps it needs to start is the top draw of it.

ED
 
  #16  
Old 01-06-05, 03:17 PM
dougm's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Either startup draw or draw during defrost when the defrost heaters are running. My fridge. pulls around 14 amps when defrosting. No matter, the fridge will not draw that much current for a long period.

Putting the microwave on this circuit presents no danger so it wouldn't hurt to try it for a while and see what happens. At worst, you may decide you want to add a dedicated circuit for the microwave which won't be any harder later than it is now.

Doug M.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: