In the kitchen, space is at a premium, and a built-in microwave is a common solution to the problem of a useful but bulky appliance. These units are typically installed above a cook top or countertop to make efficient use of space. GE manufactures a line of built-in microwaves called Spacemaker, and these have been installed in thousands of homes around the country. However, they may need to be removed or replaced with newer models.
Removing a GE Spacemaker Microwave
While removing a GE Spacemaker microwave does not require a professional, it is essential to remove these ovens with an assistant. These units are heavy and trying to remove one by yourself could lead to injury or another form of accident.
Among the safety considerations when moving GE space saver appliances are the potential to drop the microwave and injure yourself or someone else, or damage your kitchen. Make sure to disconnect the electricity for a safe removal of the microwave as well.
How to Remove a Microwave
Your GE Spacemaker microwave should be attached to the wall behind it as well as the cabinet above it. Behind the microwave is a mounting plate that will have at least one point of attachment to a stud in your kitchen wall. The mounting plate has support tabs on the bottom edge, upon which the microwave rests.
The oven is also attached to the cabinet above by bolts. The mounting plates vary across manufacturers and models, so if you intend to replace your GE Spacemaker, you will likely have to remove the mounting plate as well and install a new one to fit the new unit.
Getting Started with Removal
To begin, you will need to unplug the microwave. The outlet is typically hidden inside the cabinet above the appliance with the cord going through a hole in the cabinet and being looped in a bracket.
Depending on your installation, there may be a roof venting assembly inside the cabinet above the microwave. You may need to remove the caulk around the lower edge of the assembly to detach the exhaust adapter from the cabinet.
Other installations may be wall-vented. Make sure to detach the ventilation assembly before removing the microwave so as to not damage the cabinet, walls or unit.
Help Holding the Microwave
Have your assistant hold the microwave from the bottom. Open the cabinet above the microwave and locate the two bolts holding the microwave in place below the cabinet. Depending on the type of cabinet, there may be filler blocks on top of the microwave between the unit and the cabinet.
These filler blocks may not be firmly attached to the microwave once the bolts are loosened but should not cause any issues if they fall out. Loosen the two bolts and check to make sure your assistant is firmly holding the microwave. Once you have ensured that the microwave is being supported, remove the bolts entirely.
Lowering the Microwave
The microwave is now being supported solely by the brackets on the mounting plate behind it. Work with your assistant to slowly lower the front of the microwave until it is at a 45-degree angle. Then, gently lift the microwave off the rear brackets. Pull the electric cord through the hole in the cabinet and remove the microwave.
Removing the Mounting Plate
The mounting plate is attached to the wall in at least four points with spring toggle head bolts in the drywall and lag screws in the stud. Have your assistant hold the mounting plate as you remove the screws so that it does not fall and damage your countertop or cook top.
The head bolts can be removed like other screws by unscrewing them. The toggle (or wing part) of the bolt will fall down the opposite side of the wall as you unscrew the bolt. Unscrew all four bolts or screws and remove the plate. Note any markings on the wall that locate studs, which may be useful for installing your next microwave.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (www.sweetfrivolity.com).