Kitchen Remodeling - Uninstalling Kitchen Appliances

kitchen appliances on a purple background

If a kitchen remodel has been on your mind, you’ve probably perused the internet for ideas, priced the fixtures, contemplated the new appliances, and checked for DIY tips, but did it occur to you to find out how to disconnect the large appliances before reno starts? With the variety available, including everything from toaster ovens to major smart kitchen appliances, it’s probably a good idea to consult the manuals before beginning work (if you don’t remember where they are, try searching online.

Note: A previous remodel that altered the footprint of the kitchen may create an issue when moving appliances, so measure openings before attempting to move your appliances. And when sliding an appliance out of its position, a section of old carpet or large pieces of cardboard can help protect the floor. If you don’t have either, furniture moving disks purchased from home improvement stores can make moving heavy items a breeze.

Disconnecting the Range

The type of range you own will determine the process for disconnection. Freestanding electric ranges are probably the easiest with only a thick pigtail plug connected to an electrical outlet. Ease it far enough away from the wall to allow you to unplug the cord. Then gently continue to move it enough for you to load it onto a dolly, a carpet section, moving disks, or your friends’ helpful hands to its place of storage during the remodel. Combination electric ranges with an upper oven and fan should have the duct disengaged first.

The drop-in range is attached via the base or side cabinets. Determine the type of connection-gas or electric-by looking inside the range itself, or inside the cabinets. This type of range requires an additional person who can help you lift it far enough to unplug from the outlet, or turn off the gas. After it's been disconnected, lift carefully and place it on a dolly for transport.

gas range burning under a pot

A gas range will require a little more care than a range with an electric connection. Move it just far enough forward to enable you to access the gas shut off valve. There should be enough flexible tubing to allow clearance to the valve so you can turn it off. With a small wrench, disconnect the tubing from the valve, and clear the range from the wall so you can ready it for transport.

If you’re switching to electric and don’t plan to reuse the supply line, disconnect it. Shut off the main gas valve first, extract the line, and cover the gas pipe that remains in the stud wall with a plug fitting. When finished, it’s a good idea to have the utility company inspect the gas system. Afterward, they can relight the pilot lights for other gas appliances affected when the gas supply was shut off.

Disconnecting the Wall Oven

These appliances usually have their connections hidden in a cabinet below the unit. Find the connection, then either unplug the cord if the oven is electric, or turn the valve off and disconnect the flexible tubing if you have a gas oven. Once disconnected, remove mounting screws from the frame or cabinets (they might be inside the oven door). This should release the unit so you can ease it clear of the cabinetry housing for removal.

an oven open on a white brick wall

Disconnecting the Cook Top

Locate the cook top connection in an adjoining cabinet either below or on either side of the unit. Determine whether you have an electric or gas connection, then follow the same disconnecting procedure for the wall oven and range. Find the screws that secure the unit to the countertop, unscrew them, and lift it out of its housing. Remove the supply line if you won’t be needing access to gas for the replacement appliance, and insert a plug fitting over the gas pipe in the stud wall.

If you have a barbecue cook top, you’ll have a ventilating system with ductwork that may go down through the floor or down and through the wall. The down vent and duct are usually attached via a metal collar that unsnaps or with duct tape that must be peeled off. If it's neither of those attachments, it may using flanges attached with nails or screws. Whichever way it’s attached, you’ll need to disengage the vent before you can unscrew the mounting hardware so you can lift it up and out.

Disconnecting the Range Hood

Removing a range hood may require the help of a second person to help you keep it from falling to the floor. First, find the electrical connection, which is usually under the removable light or filter panel. Disconnect the wires, capping them with wire nuts. Locate where the vent connects to the duct (check the cabinet above the hood). Use the same procedure to disconnect it from the ductwork as described for the barbecue cook top. Find the screws attaching it to the upper cabinet. If you can't find it, try looking up into the unit itself. Have your helper hold the hood while you remove the screws, then carefully lower it down and remove to storage.

man disconnecting a range hood

Disconnecting the Refrigerator

Properly disconnecting your refrigerator will provide less opportunity for mold growth in the water lines, and lessen chances of water leaking when moving it to storage. Start by removing all items from inside so you can move the fridge enough to unplug it. Turn the ice maker off and remove ice from bin. Turn off valve to water line. If you don't know where it is, follow the water line to the water source to locate it. Wipe down the interior with a mild cleaner if necessary.

Find the copper tube in the back and unscrew the compression nut holding the tube in the sleeve. You might need a flat head screwdriver. Have a bucket ready so you can drain the line. Remove the door to access the water connection if that's where the ice maker is connected. Disconnect tubing in the door and drain it into the bucket. Tape the doors open to keep kids and pets from inadvertently trapping themselves inside. After leaving it open for 24 hours, wipe any water that has accumulated, and tape doors shut. It’s now ready to be transported for storage.