Best way to install outlet in cabinet above microwave

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  #1  
Old 12-23-15, 03:21 PM
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Best way to install outlet in cabinet above microwave

So after removing an Over-the-Stove microwave that broke I found out the outlet was never installed correctly and was just floating in the wall behind.



I want to do things correctly and put the outlet in cabinet above and noted that it looks like there is enough wire to reach without doing any additional wiring.



What would be the best way to cut through the back of the cabinet and drywall with the least chance of damaging the surrounding cabinet backing? The backing looks to be about a 1/8-1/4 inch thick.

I have a drywall/utility knife but don't know if it would pierce the backing.
 
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Old 12-23-15, 03:34 PM
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I'd use construction adhesive to glue a piece of 3/8" plywood over that ugly opening at the top of the cabinet and then use a surface mount box (Wiremod type) for the receptacle.

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  #3  
Old 12-23-15, 03:38 PM
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Oscillating tool with saw blade. I picked one up at Walmart for $18 with the needed blade (and scraper and sanding pads). Very handy tool to have around!

I'm assuming the new microwave is smaller - which is why you see it now?
 
  #4  
Old 12-23-15, 03:47 PM
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Receptacle

How much clearance will you have from the back of the microwave to the back of the cabinet? I think the receptacle goes in the cabinet above with a bored hole to allow the cord to pass through.
 
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Old 12-23-15, 03:59 PM
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Thanks for all the information guys!

Just to for clarification, I want to put the outlet in the cabinet seen at the very top of my pictures. It sounds like a surface mount outlet will be by far the easiest solution for this
 
  #6  
Old 12-23-15, 04:13 PM
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Yea, make it easy on yourself and just mount a surface box. All you need is a hole in the back of the cabinet large enough for the romex clamp to fit in.

You will need a drill and a hole saw though to install the microwave. The cord will now need to pass up through the cabinet bottom. This is the correct way to install.
 
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Old 12-23-15, 05:30 PM
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You can use any type of surface mount box in the upper cabinet. You could also use a recessed box in the upper cabinet. That would require a saw to cut the cabinet back out. It's not a problem as you know where the studs is in the wall.
 
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Old 12-28-15, 07:01 PM
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If I use a plastic wiremold box, do I still have to use a clamp?
 
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Old 12-28-15, 08:11 PM
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do I still have to use a clamp?
Yes. Get one that has knockouts in the back plate. You can use a push-in connector if you want to.

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Old 12-28-15, 08:12 PM
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I install many microwave hoods. I always install a metal handy-box in the upper cabinet, or recessed old work box (2nd choice).
If surface mounting a handy-box, allowing room at the back of the box for the clamp to be recessed into cabinet back is no problem.
Let us know if you need specific instructions.
 
  #11  
Old 12-28-15, 08:51 PM
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So here's a picture of the wiremold box along with the metal handy box. Unfortunately, as you can see the wiremold didn't have a punch out to fit any kind of clamp, which is why I wanted to make sure.



So making as for making sure there's enough room for the clamp.... the back of the cabinet inch 3/4 inch thick, so would using a hole saw to cut away the cabinet and then drilling a hole into the drywall be the best way of doing it?
 
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Old 12-28-15, 09:52 PM
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I suggest the handy box.
Use either the hole saw or a spade bit to bore your hole through the back of cabinet, 1-1/4".
If you use the push in strain relief Ray posted, you can get by with a 3/4" hole (no screws).

However, the picture you posted is not what I call a handy box. Handy box is the same size, but has all corners rounded, has 1/2" knockouts, and has a raised tapped hole for a ground screw.

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  #13  
Old 12-28-15, 10:00 PM
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Handyboxes come both ways..... round or square corners.
Some are just handier than others.
 
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Old 12-28-15, 10:05 PM
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But gee Brian, I was worried about the aesthetics in case any of his house guests look in his cabinet.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-28-15 at 11:30 PM.
  #15  
Old 12-28-15, 10:30 PM
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I know.... I take my handy boxes seriously.

I just like the raised ground screw, and the holes for mounting are better placed.
 
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Old 12-29-15, 07:14 AM
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I prefer the Wiremold box that Ray posted. Looks better and more room to work. It also has the raised hole for the ground.
 
  #17  
Old 12-30-15, 01:48 PM
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So stupid question time, if I am just taking the existing outlet and putting it into the new surface box why would I use the ground in the surface box vs using the ground on the existing outlet?
 
  #18  
Old 12-30-15, 02:16 PM
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I don't understand your question but if the box is metal both the box and the receptacle must be grounded. The only ground comes from the cable to the box.
 
  #19  
Old 12-30-15, 02:17 PM
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Grounding

why would I use the ground in the surface box vs using the ground on the existing outlet?
Both the receptacle and metal box must be grounded.
 
  #20  
Old 12-31-15, 01:03 PM
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Definitely good to know....so since I haven't done this before, what do I need to get besides the metal handy box and push in clamp to wire it it correctly?
 
  #21  
Old 12-31-15, 01:39 PM
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Wire nut for pigtailing the ground to box and receptacle and spare length of bare wire for the pigtail or a wire nut with green pigtail.

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A Handy Box receptacle cover plate. A standard cover plate won't fit correctly.

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  #22  
Old 01-06-16, 12:06 PM
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So for the grounding wire, I cut off a section of the existing wire and then pigtail that with a wire going to the box ground and the wire coming in from the wall?
 
  #23  
Old 01-06-16, 01:12 PM
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Or just use a wire nut with pigtail as I showed in my previous post or if the house cable ground wire is long enough use a green wire nut with a hole in the end for one ground wire to pass through.

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