How To Remove An Over-The-Range Microwave (Do This!)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

Over the range microwaves are great if you’re looking to save space to keep the countertop free for your extra kitchen appliances. It hangs above your stove or counter, secured into a little cabinet nook. But what happens if it needs maintenance or repairs? How do you remove it?

To remove your over the range microwave, first, prepare your workspace by disconnecting and/or removing your stove. Then, unplug your microwave. Afterward, remove the top screws that secure your microwave, and slide it out of its place until the tabs pop off the bracket.

If you’re looking to replace your old over the range microwave, it’s essential you know how to do this on your own. You can always hire a professional, but it’s better to save on money and follow the instructions we’ve included for you below.

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Why Would You Need To Remove An Over The Range Microwave?

Over the range microwaves, unfortunately, aren’t exempt from needing repairs or replacements. That said, it’s essential that you know how to remove your microwave to fix or replace it. However, if you only need to clean it, then you can allow it to remain in place as this is easy to do with a step stool. It will save you on time as well.

How To Remove An Over The Range Microwave

We’ve included these step-by-step instructions on how to remove an over the range microwave so that you can do this easily yourself without needing to hire a professional.

Step 1: Prepare Your Work Space

If you have a microwave that sits above your electric range or your gas stove, you will need to take extra precaution by disconnecting your stove. For an electric cooker, simply unplug the range from the wall.

However, if you have a gas stove, then you will need to turn the gas off and disconnect the hose. Also, disconnect the power supply to ensure no mistakes happen. From there, you can either pull the range out and replace it with a step ladder or place the step ladder in front of the stove.

If you have your microwave over countertop space instead of your stove, then take this time to clear off any appliances that might get in your way.

Step 2: Unplug Your Microwave

Now that you’ve got the space adequately prepared, you can now unplug your microwave. Open the cabinet above the microwave to find the outlet that it’s plugged into. If it’s not fed through the top cabinet, then check in the back of the cubby.

Disconnect it from the wall and feed the cord through the hole of the cubby hole where the microwave sits. This way, the cord doesn’t get damaged when you remove it from its rightful spot.

Step 3: Remove The Top Screws

On the top of your microwave, there are two or three screws that are mounting the top of your microwave to the bottom of the cabinet that it sits below. Unscrew these mounting screws while you keep one hand under the microwave if it’s free hanging.

This may be easier if you have a partner and an electric screwdriver. Have your partner either hold the bottom of the microwave or handle the screws to make this process a lot easier.

Step 4: Pull Out The Microwave

Now that you’ve got the screws off and the cord disconnected, it’s time to remove the microwave. Tilt the microwave towards you while holding it so that it doesn’t fall. Make sure while you’re tilting that the tabs on the back bracket come loose.

Once the tabs come loose, then the microwave will slide out of the mounting bracket. Have your partner help you. If you don’t have someone to help, then make sure you use both hands during this phase so that you don’t drop and damage your appliance.

Lift your microwave to slide it off the wall. Then, set your microwave on the countertop, out of your way, so that you don’t knock it down by accident.

Step 5: Remove The Mounting Bracket

The mounting bracket is attached to the wall with three or four screws. Unscrew all of these to lift the bracket off, as you will not be installing a new microwave on this bracket. However, if you’re simply repairing your microwave, then you can leave this bracket there.

Getting Rid Of Your Old Microwave

You can check into several options when it comes to getting rid of your old microwave; we’ve included a few below for you to consider.

Recycle Your Old Microwave

If you are getting a new microwave, you will need to figure out what to do with your old one. You can recycle it if your local regulations and laws allow you to. Since this is electronic waste, then it needs to be recycled at a unique recycling center.

You can check online by searching for different electronic recycling centers. Check their website or call to make sure that microwaves are allowed at their recycling facility. Each policy is different depending on the company that you choose, so call around to find the best choice for you.

Also, take the time to ask about any fees to make sure you have the amount to pay for your microwave disposal. First, to avoid the costs, check with your municipal government. They usually have free recycling and waste programs for those that reside within city limits.

Take-Back Programs

Check with the manufacturer as they might have a take-back program in place so their consumers can recycle the products. For example, Hamilton Beach has a take-back program, although you’ll have to pay the shipping fees. However, other manufacturers have dropoff locations as microwaves tend to be expensive to ship due to their heavy weight.

You can also check with any major retail store as some of them accept electronic waste. Before you do this, though, you will need to call them to ensure they take microwaves. Some stores will have exceptions, such as Best Buy, where they only accept certain electronic waste types.

Pros And Cons Of Over The Range Microwaves

One thing that appliances have in common is that there are pros and cons about them. Below, we take you through the pros and cons of having an over the range microwave.

Advantages

  • Saves on space. Perhaps the most popular reason most people love over the range microwaves is their ability to save you on counter space. This is perfect for smaller kitchens, especially if you’re in a studio apartment or cottage style dwelling. You’ll be able to fit all your appliances on your kitchen counter and save on space if your microwave is over the range.
  • Increased functionality. Your over the range microwave not only functions as a food cooking device but also as a range hood to evacuate any food odors, smoke, and steam. The fans incorporated into over the range microwaves are designed this way to increase functionality by allowing microwaves to be placed in a different area while still allowing proper ventilation.
  • Convenience. The height factor is convenient for some individuals as it allows them a way to peer in the microwave without bending down. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about little kids pulling the microwave down off the counter and injuring themselves. Having the microwave at eye level is perfect so that you can see your food cook.

Disadvantages

  • Height is a factor. Most wall cabinets are installed too high up on the wall, which means that your microwave may not sit at a comfortable height for you. This makes it harder to use for shot people and older children who need to warm their after-school snacks. If you can’t find one that’s the proper height for your needs, then it’s best to either get a countertop microwave or install it elsewhere.
  • Larger pots may be harder to use. If your microwave sits too high, it will be harder for you to cook with your microwave using taller posts as you won’t be able to see exactly what’s going on in it. When removing a tall post from the microwave, you will need to be extra careful so that you don’t burn your hands or spill the contents all over yourself.
  • Poor ventilation. One of the most important aspects of having an over the range microwave is that it also needs to work as a range hood to pull the air out. Otherwise, it will just keep recirculating. If you can connect the fans to an outside air tunnel, that would be great; otherwise, there’s no way for it to provide the proper ventilation. Most of the over the range microwaves have a 300cfm capacity, but other range hoods have a 1000 cfm capacity. Finding a microwave with this type of fanning capacity can even more expensive.

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Wrapping It Up

Knowing how to remove your over the range microwave is essential, especially if you need to have it repaired or replaced. If you support the microwave when you remove it from the bracket and follow all the necessary precautions, you can do this in as little as five minutes. It’s the perfect DIY project for a beginner.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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