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Replace over the range hood with a microwave ELECTRICAL

Good Morning DIY folks,

I just got an over the range microwave, but when I removed the hood that was there originally, I found the electrical was hard wired into the hood.  The microwave has a plug, so I'm thinking if I cut the plug off and hard wired it where the hood was there might be a problem.  Any thoughts?

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Posted 2013-03-12T14:50:41+0000  by mrglass mrglass

Hello mrglass.  Welcome to the Community!


I looked at the installation requirements for 3 brands of "over the range" microwave ovens.

Two of them were very specific on both the location of a junction box and the use of a 3 prong grounded outlet on a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit.

The third manual allowed the option for hardwiring if necessary.


It seems to me that the best solution would simply be to install an outlet in the junction box which formerly held the direct wire connection to the original vent hood.  Cutting off the plug of a cord and using wire nuts is not a good option.  If hard wiring is necessary I am pretty sure you would have to run an armored flexible cable from the junction box to the connection on the microwave chassis.  I think that it would be unusual to find a unit that would allow for easy replacement of the original power cord.  Even if the location of the junction box is too far away for the short cord on an OTR to reach, it makes more sense to add or relocate a box in the right location rather than try to hard wire.


Well, that's just my 2¢.


Is there any reason why you would not want to simply install a 3 prong outlet and plug in your microwave?



Posted 2013-03-12T16:11:09+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
if there is a junction box it is well behind the wall/cabinet, the area just barely fits the microwave itself, so if i installed a plug the microwave would be jutting out 2".
Posted 2013-03-12T17:11:56+0000  by mrglass

Hey mrglass.  Thanks for the quick reply.


What does the instruction manual that came with your unit tell you about the proper location for an outlet box?

Does it allow for the option for removing the cord and hardwiring?



Posted 2013-03-12T17:17:48+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

open box item. no instructions.


Posted 2013-03-12T20:37:14+0000  by mrglass

use the junction box that is now behind the microwave as a point to fish an outlet into the upper cabinet where it needs to be.  it should be a fairly simple process since you will only be fishing the wire about 8" or so vertically.

Posted 2013-03-15T14:20:23+0000  by joshcameron
The previous vent hood was hardwired, there would be no junction box behind it.  The existing electrical will not work and must be disconnected and/or properly abandoned.  The new microwave requires a new dedicated circuit and a receptacle in the cabinet above the microwave. 
Posted 2015-02-07T00:19:02+0000  by TomB2
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