Wiring for hood and microwave

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  #1  
Old 11-14-10, 10:46 AM
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Question Wiring for hood and microwave

Hi,

I just removed an old range hood, leaving behind just the power lead from the wall as seen here:



I want to place a countertop microwave oven in the cabinet above, and of course replace the range hood with a new model. My question is how I can tap into this power lead for the microwave in the cabinet above? Since the microwave has a standard wall plug -- is there some way to run a second branch off this power lead, and somehow connect it to the plug from the microwave?

Of course I need to keep a direct lead like this for the new hood, as well.

Thanks for any ideas...
 
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  #2  
Old 11-14-10, 11:19 AM
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First, determine if the wiring comes from the attic or basement. If the cable goes up inside the wall, easiest thing to do is punch a hole in the cabinet for an 'old work' box to install your new receptacle in, and pull the existing cable up to it. Then run a new cable from that new box back down to the hood. If the wiring comes from below, you will have to snake a new cable up to the new box, and use the hood as a junction. That may be a code issue (I don't think you can use an appliance junction for permanent wiring) but I'm not 100% sure. If you were to ever remove the hood and install a micro/combo unit, you would have to install an actual junction box there instead and leave it accessible (but judging by the size of that cabinet, that won't be an option because there wouldn't be enough clearance between the stovetop and micro/hood - that cabinet would have to be replaced with a shorter one anyway if you want that option).
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-10, 11:23 AM
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1. This looks like Romex NM-B coming through the back wall. More than likely you won't have room for a receptacle in the cabinet. You could cut out the back of the cabinet and attempt to install a remodeler box and recessed clock receptacle. You may also be able to cut a hole above the cabinet, pull the existing cable up there and mount an outlet on the wall above. This will all depend on where the existing cable is coming from, and how close to the present emergence it is stapled in place.

2. Make sure your cabinet is rated for the weight of the microwave. Also make provisions for proper air circulation and venting of steam. If not properly dispersed, over time the condensed steam could weaken the cabinet.

3. Depending on the height of operators, consider the health hazards of taking heavy items and liquids out of the microwave. It's one thing when they're eye level.

4. You may wish to check current codes regarding whether the microwave and hood would require separate circuits. This can vary by jurisdiction.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgMeMatey View Post
3. Depending on the height of operators, consider the health hazards of taking heavy items and liquids out of the microwave. It's one thing when they're eye level.
Judging by the scale of that photo vs. the teakettle handle at the bottom, that's a very low cabinet. The microwave may very well be at eye level inside there.

Originally Posted by ArgMeMatey View Post
4. You may wish to check current codes regarding whether the microwave and hood would require separate circuits. This can vary by jurisdiction.
There is no requirement for a wire-in hood to be dedicated, only plug in hoods and micro/hood combos. New construction requires a receptacle in the cabinet over the stove on a dedicated circuit for that purpose. But OP is replacing a HW hood with a HW hood, and putting a countertop microwave in the cabinet.
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 11-14-10 at 11:59 AM.
  #5  
Old 11-14-10, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for the advice!

The cabinet is just an inch or so above eye level, which will be fine for using the microwave. In fact, this microwave was previously in a cabinet above the fridge which noticeably higher, so in fact this location will be an improvement!

Indeed, the romex is going up behind the hole, so it should be possible to access the wire through a hole cut in the back of the cabinet.

Maybe this is a naive question, but is there a reason I can't install a surface mount outlet inside the cabinet? Then I would only need to drill a hole big enough to fish through the romex. Assume that there is enough space in the cabinet to accommodate with the microwave in place (it is a compact unit).

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-14-10, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thebordella View Post
Thanks for the advice!

The cabinet is just an inch or so above eye level, which will be fine for using the microwave. In fact, this microwave was previously in a cabinet above the fridge which noticeably higher, so in fact this location will be an improvement!

Indeed, the romex is going up behind the hole, so it should be possible to access the wire through a hole cut in the back of the cabinet.

Maybe this is a naive question, but is there a reason I can't install a surface mount outlet inside the cabinet? Then I would only need to drill a hole big enough to fish through the romex. Assume that there is enough space in the cabinet to accommodate with the microwave in place (it is a compact unit).

Thanks!
No issue at all using surface mount (handy box). That's what I did. It's just a matter of aesthetics. BUT, the Romex can not be exposed/unprotected. So the easiest way would be to drill a hole large enough for the clamp to fit though and use the back holes of the box. That way it stays inside the wall and protected, and you have no code issues.

The only issue I see you running into is the Romex will be stapled at least right where it comes through the wall, and possibly higher. You may need a box-sized hole to reach in and yank staples out in order to pull the wire up.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 01:34 PM
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If you need to pull a staple be sure to cut the power. Very easy to damage the insulation. In fact I would not try to pry the staple up though it is tempting. Instead I'd concentrate on chiseling the wood around the staple leg with an old screw driver. Expose the leg enough to get hold of it with needle nose pliers and pull it part way out then cut the leg with diagonal cutters and with pliers bend out of the way.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 01:38 PM
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The current cable is probably on the lighting circuit. Adding the microwave to that circuit will most likely cause the breaker to trip due to overload.

I also think are lacking the proper clearance above the stove for the microwave.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 02:42 PM
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The current cable is indeed on the kitchen lighting circuit. The kitchen lights are 4x22w CFL bulbs, the microwave is 1KW. And of course there would be the replacement vent hood -- not sure of the typical draw for an average unit. Would this be a problem for the circuit?
 

Last edited by thebordella; 11-14-10 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 11-14-10, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
The current cable is probably on the lighting circuit. Adding the microwave to that circuit will most likely cause the breaker to trip due to overload.

I also think are lacking the proper clearance above the stove for the microwave.
It's a countertop microwave going inside the cabinet, not an OTR micro/hood..

If it's a 1000w unit, its nominal draw is probably around 1200w (10A), look at the nameplate (usually on the inside edge of the door or door frame) to see the actual input amps. 88w for lighting is nothing (0.73A), and most vent hoods (unless it's a high power unit) draw about 2A or less including the light (cut that in half if you use CFL). Assuming 15A, you SHOULD be ok if there is nothing else on that circuit. With everything on, you're just under 13A (max continuous load on a 15A circuit is 12A). If it's a 20A circuit, then you're definitely safe.
 
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Old 11-14-10, 03:53 PM
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Thanks for the information -- it sounds like the draw would come within limits. Is there an easy way for me to tell whether the circuit is 15A or 20A?
 
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Old 11-14-10, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thebordella View Post
Thanks for the information -- it sounds like the draw would come within limits. Is there an easy way for me to tell whether the circuit is 15A or 20A?
Yes. First look at the breaker. Is it 15 or 20. Next look at a piece of the cable. Is it #14 or is it #12. Basic rule is 15a breaker is a 15a circuit. 20a breaker it is a 20 amp circuit.

Note: All wires must be #12 or larger on a 20a circuit. If any #14 wires it is a 15a circuit and if the breaker isn't 15a it must be changed to 15a.
 
  #13  
Old 11-14-10, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
There is no requirement for a wire-in hood to be dedicated, only plug in hoods and micro/hood combos.
Yes, in jurisdictions that adopt the NEC by reference without exceptions and additions. But for example in my jurisdiction, a separate circuit was required for all range hoods, small, large, or combo, until 2009. That circuit could be shared only with a grinder. This is hopefully the exception, but the OP did not list a location so the default disclaimer applies.
 
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