How to Remove an Old Built-In Microwave

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You will need a screw driver when removing a microwave.
Image Credit: M_a_y_a/iStock/GettyImages

Microwaves are one of those appliances that, once it's compromised or breaking down, it's probably best to replace it. Maybe you've moved into a place with an obsolete microwave installed under a cabinet or onto the wall or maybe you've had it for a long time and now want to replace your built-in microwave with a convection oven. Don't worry, it's a pretty simple job.

Getting Started

You really do need a helper to get this job done, as recommended by Abt, because they'll need to brace the microwave in place while you're trying to remove screws. As you wait for your assistant, you can check out the type of screwdriver needed for the job. Just open the cupboard above your microwave and look for the two screws. These are part of what's holding it in place; there's a pair of brackets or mounting rack behind it on the wall too.

Once you've got the right screwdriver and you've got your helpful person at your side, you can get started. Be sure you've got a space cleared out so you can set the microwave down with minimum hassle.

Removing a Built-In Microwave

Whether you've got a Profile GE built-in microwave, a Panasonic Genius or any other model, it's probably mounted into the cabinet above it. The plug should be at the back of the cabinet. So, unplug the microwave before you start the removal process.

Your assistant needs to brace the underside of the microwave and hold it in place while you get up top to remove the two screws. With the screws out, the assistant can begin carefully lowering the microwave. If you're not sure what sort of mounting system is behind the microwave, just lower it carefully until it's on a 45-degree angle. Now, you should be able to see if it's a rack at the bottom or brackets on either side.

But, typically, you just need to help your assistant with holding the front of the microwave so they can pop the back up and off the brackets or mount. Once it's free, watch the plug cord as you start pulling the microwave away from the wall. Set it down carefully and take a deep breath — job well done. Now, you can unscrew the mounting plate or brackets from the wall.

Should You Remove It?

Built-in microwaves are really handy for space-saving, but there are a couple of places that are misguided for installation, especially with families. The common thinking used to be to install the microwave higher up and out of the way, but safety-first thinking has a new idea on that.

Today, it's more common to install microwaves lower. The over-the-stove era of microwaves has also proven to be a mistake for many people because it can mean crowding the stove, which is both ineffective and dangerous. Removing it, though, can mean you'll be replacing that over-the-range microwave with a vent hood.

references

Steffani Cameron is the daughter of a realtor and interior decorator mother and a home contractor father. Steffani is a professional writer with over five years' experience writing about the home for BuildDirect and Bob Vila. Raised with a mad love for decorating, Steffani gave up her Art Deco apartment to travel and work remotely for five years. She's in love with experiencing traditional decor around the world, including stays in Thai teak plantations on the Mekong River and cave homes in Turkey.

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