How To Remove GE Spacesaver Microwave (Quickly & Easily!)
An answer to the lack of counter space in the kitchen is the addition of an over-the-range microwave oven. Many homeowners find a GE Spacesaver microwave oven already installed when they purchase their home. In time, these microwaves need to be updated or replaced, and homeowners wonder how to remove a GE Spacesaver microwave oven.
Removing a GE Spacesaver microwave oven can be a challenge. Figuring out the almost jigsaw-like steps required to access the hidden fasteners and brackets does seem like a puzzle. Most GE Spacesaver microwave ovens are attached to a bracket on the top and the wall behind the microwave.
To effectively and efficiently remove a GE Spacesaver microwave oven, some tips and tricks make the job easier. Our step-by-step instructions will soon have your GE Spacesaver microwave oven sitting on the floor of your kitchen ready for repair or replacement.
How the GE Spacesaver Microwave Is Supported
Your GE Spacesaver microwave oven seems to hang effortlessly from the cabinets over your range. In truth, the brackets and hanging method represent excellent engineering to keep the GE Spacesaver microwave oven securely in place.
In general, a mounting plate attaches to the wall behind your range. The bracket must have at least one mounting point attached to a stud inside the wall. Ideally, more than one screw will find a stud in the wall to secure your GE Spacesaver microwave oven.
In addition to this bracket, the GE Spacesaver microwave oven bolts through the bottom of the upper cabinet. Different models of GE Spacesaver microwave oven have different styles of plates and through bolts. However, the basic steps to removing a GE Spacesaver microwave oven are the same.
Getting Your Microwave Uninstalled
Most homeowners can easily remove a GE Spacesaver microwave oven by following a few relatively simple steps. You should have help during part of this process. Some GE Spacesaver microwave ovens are heavy. The location over your range can make it awkward to hold the microwave and remove the mounting bolts.
An extra pair of hands is important when you are ready to remove or reinstall a GE Spacesaver microwave oven to prevent injury or accidents. Working safe also requires some other considerations. Please follow our steps to remove your GE Spacesaver microwave oven safely.
Step 1: Unplug or Disconnect Your Spacesaver Microwave
Most GE Spacesaver microwave ovens get their power from an outlet in the cabinet over the microwave oven. Find the outlet in the cabinet and unplug the cord serving the microwave from the outlet.
In some cases, the cord may be hard-wired in the electrical box in the cabinet. To safely disconnect the wires, you must cut the power to the electrical box. You can do this at the circuit breaker box where the electrical power comes into your home.
Once you find the breaker that serves your microwave oven, flip the circuit breaker to the off position. Don’t rush back and immediately start to loosen the wire nuts and pull the wires apart. Try turning the microwave on. If the microwave fails to start after you turn off the circuit breaker, you are safe to begin unwiring the connection.
If the microwave comes on, you haven’t found the right breaker. Keep trying until your microwave doesn’t come on when you press the button.
Step 2: Check for a Roof Vent
Some GE Spacesaver microwave ovens have a vent carrying the air up and out of the house through the roof. Before taking anything else loose, you must detach the vent pipe from the adapter on the GE Spacesaver microwave oven.
The vent pipe may be attached using a clamp or screwed to the adapter using a sheet metal screw. Once you determine how to remove the vent pipe, loosen it carefully. Ensure you can support the vent pipe; otherwise, it may slip and become disconnected in that attic space.
The vent may turn and exit the house through the kitchen wall. The dismounting process is the same as disconnecting a roof-mounted vent pipe.
Step 3: Unbolt the Microwave – You Will Need Help
When the electricity and vent pipes are disconnected, it is time to unbolt your GE Spacesaver microwave oven from the upper cabinet. To do this safely, you need help.
Have your assistant support the microwave from the bottom. Unscrew the bolts that go through the bottom of the cabinet and engage the microwave frame from the top. It is almost impossible to do this alone. Save yourself pain and expense by recruiting someone to help you at this stage.
The GE Spacesaver microwave oven may have filler blocks installed to space the microwave from the cabinet correctly. These filler blocks may not be attached and may fall out when you loosen the bolt.
We suggest that you protect the top of your range with a towel or a moving blanket. Covering the top of the range with a towel or moving blanket can help protect the range if an accident happens.
Step 4: Getting Free of the Mounting Bracket
While you or your assistant supports the front of the microwave, the mounting bracket supports the back edge of the microwave. At this point, you and your assistant need to free the GE Spacesaver microwave oven from the mounting bracket.
Lower the front edge of the microwave slightly. With the front edge of the GE Spacesaver microwave oven, you and your assistant can lift the rear of the microwave and disengage the mounting bracket.
Be sure that you feed the electric cord down through the bottom of the cabinet before you attempt to move the microwave away from the kitchen wall.
Step 5: Removing the Mounting Bracket
Set your GE Spacesaver microwave oven to one side out of the way. It is now time to turn your attention to the mounting bracket attached to the wall. Have your assistant hold the bracket while you unscrew the mounting bolts.
You may hear part of the mounting bolt fall into the wall. The toggle of the bolt falling into the wall is normal, so don’t be alarmed.
To Repair or Replace – The Big Decision
Many homeowners wonder if it is possible to repair a non-functioning microwave oven. The answer is it depends. A GE Spacesaver microwave oven is a complicated piece of equipment with some serious electronic and electrical equipment. In most cases, only a trained appliance repair person has the experience to help you make this decision.
Generally, the parts that fail in a microwave oven aren’t easily replaceable. The part itself may cost almost as much as a new microwave oven. When you factor in the time it takes the technician to repair the appliance, it is almost always cheaper to purchase a new microwave oven.
You should also consider the age of the broken microwave. New microwaves have many new features. The newer models are almost always more efficient to operate. Many have much more sophisticated controls that allow a wider range of cooking and warming. Some models are even controllable with your smartphone.
Disposing of an Old Microwave – Another Problem in Some Places
Getting rid of that old GE Spacesaver microwave oven may pose a bigger problem than getting it down. Many locales now consider microwave ovens as hazardous materials and severely restrict how you may dispose of the old appliance.
Broken Microwaves – Avoid the Landfill
You can check with your local solid waste provider for the legalities of disposing of an old microwave. In some places, these appliances must be handled by a licensed and approved hazardous waste recycler. If you are lucky, you can take the microwave to any metal recycling company. Unfortunately, where the regulations are strictest, you may have to pay a fee to dispose of your old microwave oven.
In any case, don’t toss your microwave oven in the closest trash receptacle. Tossing away your old microwave may be illegal and is certainly not very environmentally responsible.
If It Still Works, There Are Alternatives.
If you are replacing a working microwave, there many alternatives to trashing or recycling the old microwave. Some of these alternatives include:
- Make a Donation – Donate the operating microwave to a charitable organization. Many charities welcome gifts of working appliances. You also get a small tax break for making your donation.
- Have a Yard Sale – You might get back a small portion of the cost of a new microwave by having a yard or patio sale. Good, clean working appliances often bring premium prices from garage sales.
- Keep it in the Family – Someone in your family or a close friend might need an upgrade or a new-to-them microwave oven. Ask around to see who might be interested.
- Put it to use – A GE Spacesaver microwave oven doesn’t have to be in a kitchen. You may have another spot where you could use a working microwave. Some crafts require a microwave, and a hobby shop or craft room might be a possibility. If your outdoor kitchen has a shelter, adding a microwave oven might also work.
Getting the Old Out Before the New Comes In
Removing a GE Spacesaver microwave is not a big or complicated job. It does require a little know-how and some muscle, but it is a job most homeowners can accomplish. Be sure to have some help to save yourself and your kitchen from damage or injury. Work safely and carefully.
Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.
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