Removing & installing an over-the-range microwave with one technician

Fred's Appliance Academy
August 25, 2023
Microwave Training

The first order of business when servicing an over-the-range microwave is to protect the range at all costs. Here, I'm placing a shipping blanket over the top of the range to protect it, and this should always be done with the breaker to the range turned off. In the instance that one of the burner knobs is accidentally turned on, by the time you smell it, the damage is already done.

Next, you're going to want to place a two or three-step ladder in front of the range so we can gain access to above the microwave. Now with access to the cabinets above the microwave, we're going to go ahead and disconnect the microwave from power. And I will say that usually these cabinets are packed full of stuff, so for the video I went ahead and emptied them out ahead of time.

Next, I'm going to go ahead and take the glass tray and rollers it sits on out of the microwave, and this process can really be done at any point in time before the microwave is actually dropped.

Next, I'm going to remove the two bolts that are securing the microwave to the cabinet. And these bolts, as you can see right there, are located in the front-left and front-right corners of the cabinet. For this process, I do recommend that you use a small compact drill or electric screw gun as the bolts are fined threaded and it can take quite some time to remove them with just a hand tool. Now that the bolts are removed, I'm going to press against the microwave and walk down the ladder and gently let the microwave roll down and forward toward me. With the microwave leaning forward, we can now pull the power cord out through the bottom of the cabinet, and once this is done, the microwave is ready to be lifted off of the rear bracket and set gently down on top of the blanket we've placed on top of the range.

At this point, the microwave is a hundred percent accessible and ready for service. At this point, the microwave is ready to be reinstalled and I'm going to open the door as well as take the power cable and run it back up into the cabinet. And this is not always an option. Sometimes the cable is too short, so what you would do is hang the microwave back on the wall mounts and then run the power cable back up into the cabinet. The reason why I do this process with the microwave door open is that all of the weight in the microwave is located behind the control panel, in this case towards the right. So by putting my hand inside the microwave cavity all the way to the right, I can balance some of that awkward weight of the microwave. You may have noticed that I just looked underneath the microwave and that was to ensure myself that the microwave was in fact on the hangers, and you can see those hangers in the upper right-hand corner here.

Getting the microwave back on the hangers can be a little bit difficult of a task and just taken into consideration that I've uninstalled and reinstalled hundreds of microwaves With the microwave now back in position, we can reinstall the bolts to secure it back to the cabinets. Again, to do this, I'm using a small compact drill as it's much faster than using traditional hand tools. With the microwave now secure, we're going to go ahead and plug it back in, close the door, reset the clock, and shortly give it a test run. One of the things I want to point out here is that I actually almost leave my drill in the cabinets above the microwave, and that can be rather a pain in the butt when you get to your next call and realize you don't have the tools you need to do the job and you have to backtrack to the previous customer's house. And you also need to take into consideration that the customer may not be home.

Here, I'm going to go ahead and place the rollers and tray back inside the microwave cavity and make sure they're properly aligned. This next step is crucial to being a professional, and it's as simple as how I fold this blanket. And if you notice, I fold the blanket in and over itself, and that's if I have knocked down any debris while I was working on the microwave, I folded it into the blanket and didn't allow it to go on top of their range or around their cabinets.

Of course, anytime you make a repair on a microwave, you want to test it, and I'm just doing that with about one-half a cup of water and about 60 seconds of run time on the microwave. Ideally, you would test the microwave before you hang it back up, but I didn't actually do anything to my microwave, so I knew that it was going to work when I put it back up. A pretty standard output test for your microwave is one cup of water at room temperature, and you're going to run it and it should achieve a boil in about three minutes of runtime on high. The last step to being a professional is to get your grimy fingerprints off that microwave or at least ask the customer if they would like you to do so.

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