Skip

Gas stoves and Microwaves
February 28, 2006 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Are over the range microwaves safe over gas stoves?

We'd like to upgrade from an electric stove to gas.

We currently have an over the range microwave. We thought we'd just leave it there, because if we removed it, we'd have to redo the backsplash, which is more of a project than we'd like to get into.

The dude at Lowe's told us we should NOT have an over the range microwave with a gas stove, something to the effect of gas stoves emitting higher BTUs than electric, and not safe around the microwave. He said if we're going with gas, we should replace the microwave with a range hood.

True?
posted by delladlux to Home & Garden (18 answers total)
 
As long as the microwave is high enough, AND has a built-in exhaust hood, it should be fine. The manual for one of these units should list the recommended minimum for safe mounting. If your microwave doesn't have a built in exhaust hood, don't do it... you'll probably melt something or become asphyxiated (sp?) by gas fumes. It also might be a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher by the gas range, by the way (regardless of what you chose to do with the microwave).
posted by fvox13 at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2006


That's the first I've ever heard of it. Considering the "kitchen galleries" at Lowe's own website show this very configuration, I think someone at Lowe's is BSing. This has never been an inspection issue when I bought or sold a house.

I'd also say, you'd need to have a cooktop that put out a ferocious amount of heat for it to damage a microwave/hood--it would also be way too hot for you to approach.

One thing that could be an issue (but would be already) would be having the microwave and stove on the same electrical circuit. Not so much a fire hazard as just tripping a breaker because you're pulling too much power.
posted by adamrice at 1:38 PM on February 28, 2006


As long as it has a built in hood it's fine.
posted by zeoslap at 1:40 PM on February 28, 2006


Lowe's man talks through hat, impresses customers.

We have a MW-over-gas setup, with hood. No problems.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:54 PM on February 28, 2006


I did a fair bit of research when we installed our over-range microwave, and I never ran across this once.

I call bullshit. Indeed, if you surf on over to GE appliances' website, one of the first over-range microwave pictures you'll see will be of a nuker over a gas range.

Guy's wrong.
posted by teece at 1:57 PM on February 28, 2006


The guy is wrong if you are getting a normal, run-of-the-mill gas range. The guy is right if you're getting a "professional" gas range (like a Viking or something). In that case, the higher BTU output of the burners requires that your range hood be vented outside, and that would prevent you from having a microwave there. The fans built in to the bottom of the microwave just blow the exhaust back out into the kitchen, which is not good enough for a professional range.
posted by spilon at 2:10 PM on February 28, 2006


I have a microwave (LG) over a normal KitchenAid gas stove.

First, the microwave does have a range hood, but it's not vented anywhere but above the microwave and into the kitchen, so it's' not any use for getting rid of oily smoke or anything like that. it's possible to vent it outside, but we just didn't bother making a hole in the wall.

The whole thing works fine. The only problem is that if you use the rear burners with open pots, the fan comes on automatically and it's loud, which is annoying. But otherwise there haven't been any problems. If you run the range for hours on end the inside of the microwave can get warm, but there haven't been any ill effects.

Well, there is a crack in the outside plastic in the bottom-left of the door near the hinge, but that seems to be from mechanical stress more than heat or anything else. The crack isn't on the inside of the door at all, so I'm assuming that there's no radiation leakage. I would guess that you'd have this same issue if you put the same microwave over an electric stove as well.
posted by GuyZero at 2:19 PM on February 28, 2006


Do you not have a hood now? That might be what he was getting at. I don't know if I've ever seen this configuration w/o a hood.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:25 PM on February 28, 2006


First, the microwave does have a range hood, but it's not vented anywhere

My over-the-range microwave had an install option to hook up the built-in fan to an outside vent. (oops, you said that next).

So it seems you could even do this with a really high energy output range, unless the airflow is not strong enough.

(FWIW, ours vents above the microwave -- which is directly below an outside-vented ceiling fan, so it works fine getting air outside).
posted by teece at 2:31 PM on February 28, 2006


I installed an over the gas range microwave/vent hood at my father's place but the owner's manual specifically voided the warranty on the unit in this configuration. We did it anyways because of the small kitchen and haven't had a problem but then again my father is smart enough not to turn all the burns on high without turning on the exhaust fan.
posted by Mitheral at 2:57 PM on February 28, 2006


My last place was a high-end condo and we had an OTR mic and gas stove. I do think you have to make sure there's a big space between the top and the mic, but I assume the builder's people took care of that for us. Why not contact a gas stove manufacturer and ask them?
posted by acoutu at 4:18 PM on February 28, 2006


I read through the specs for a GE over-the-range nuke box as part of research for a DIY job and the specs are really clear about what the clearance needs to be and there was nothing that said don't do this with a gas stove nor any restrictions for outside/inside venting.
posted by plinth at 5:05 PM on February 28, 2006


something to the effect of gas stoves emitting higher BTUs than electric

Echoing spilon, the warning probably applies to more pro-like gas stoves. What kind of gas stove are you looking at, given that you are "upgrading"?
posted by yerfatma at 6:25 PM on February 28, 2006


When we were looking for this same thing (at Lowes as well as a matter of fact), the only thing they said was we needed a 41 inch clearance between the stovetop and the bottom of the exhaust on the microwave/convection oven.

This should be your only hurdle, if any.
posted by genefinder at 5:56 AM on March 1, 2006


My mom has managed to not burn down the house for approximately 20 years with the microwave-over-the-gas-stove set up.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:36 AM on March 1, 2006


In that case, the higher BTU output of the burners requires that your range hood be vented outside, and that would prevent you from having a microwave there. The fans built in to the bottom of the microwave just blow the exhaust back out into the kitchen, . . .

Not on ours, which vents outside.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:27 AM on March 1, 2006


Genefinder. 41 inches???
That's almost 4 feet. Are you sure it wasn't 21 inches? I measured, and 41 inches seemed ridiculously high above the stove, so much so, a 6 foot tall person couldn't reach the microwave.
posted by delladlux at 8:55 PM on March 1, 2006


That number jumped at me, too. I think it's more Lowe's "expertise" at work.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:49 AM on March 2, 2006


« Older Help me get started as a freel...   |  DVD/VHS dual deck suggestions?... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post