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Old 03-02-2009, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Microwave to stove clearance

I'm curious to know if different AHJs have different clearance requirements for over-the-stove microwaves. I've been using 16 or more inches without any arguments, but somebody told me they can be as low as 12 inches.

Man, I don't know about that.

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Old 03-02-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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I'm with you on that, 12 is too low. I'm even a little shy about 16", you can easily have a deep stock pot 10" or so.

If it is made for over the stove, I'd think that the instructions would include a min. height, like I've seen with range hoods.

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Old 03-02-2009, 11:35 PM   #3
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I have some vague recollection [and no reference] that the distance is 18" ....too allow for the big pots, turkeys, and wild boars.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:57 PM   #4
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It's a building issue, not electrical (obviously) so to be sure call up the building dept and double check. A 5 min phone call could save you an hour of work. If I recall correctly it's 18'' in my county.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waco View Post
I'm curious to know if different AHJs have different clearance requirements for over-the-stove microwaves. I've been using 16 or more inches without any arguments, but somebody told me they can be as low as 12 inches.

Man, I don't know about that.
I would read the manufacturers specs on this. I assume you mean microwave range hood. The specs should give you some direction.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waco View Post
I'm curious to know if different AHJs have different clearance requirements for over-the-stove microwaves. I've been using 16 or more inches without any arguments, but somebody told me they can be as low as 12 inches.

Man, I don't know about that.

The installation instructions for the OTR GE Spacemaker micros that I often install give a minimum height of 30” from the range top to the bottom of the upper cabinet, which is equal to 66” minimum from the floor to the bottom of the cabinet mounted over the range.

I think this is also somewhat dictated by standard minimum kitchen cabinet installation height requirements in your area as well, but unless the inhabitants are wee people that have had their cabinets mounted excessively low, a standard 30” cabinet with its bottom mounted 18” above a 36” high countertop along with a standard 14” overall height cabinet mounted over the range and a micro around 16” in height would result in approximately 18” of clearance from the bottom of the micro/hood to the range top.

Using the 30” minimum from the range top to the bottom of the upper cabinet, referenced in the GE installation instructions and allowing for the 16” OTR units height, would seem to result in approximately 14” minimum clearance to the bottom of the micro from a range top, but for some reason the manufacturer doesn’t just come right out and say this.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waco View Post
I'm curious to know if different AHJs have different clearance requirements for over-the-stove microwaves. I've been using 16 or more inches without any arguments, but somebody told me they can be as low as 12 inches.

Man, I don't know about that.
It's 18" from the stove.
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
I have some vague recollection [and no reference] that the distance is 18" ....too allow for the big pots, turkeys, and wild boars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by heel600 View Post
It's 18" from the stove.

Got a reference...or is your memory as shot as mine
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:33 PM   #9
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You really need to check the specific microwave installation instructions. Here is one for the spacemaster ge microwave. It requires 66" minimum to the top of the unit. The unit is 16" tall so that puts the bottom at 50. Standard counter is 36" so that is 14" between. The unit says nothing about whether the counter is 38" or 40"-- I have seen both.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:06 PM   #10
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Below is the MFG spec I found from 4 vendors. It appears most call for 30" clearance for the cooking surface to top edge on microwave. I live in WA state called city and they told me whatever MFG recommends must be followed and if no MFG recommendation that 24" per city code.
Bottomline mircrowave will sit around 14" from the cooking surface which is too low for ot and pants to fit.
3 options comes in head to make this better;
1) Raise your cabinet higher (depends on how high looks okay)
2) Modify the smaller cabinet to make the height less so to allow more height room for the microwave
3) Just raise the smaller cabinet higher but will be out of shape seen some people doing it just a matter of ones taste.

Thanks

Dimensionsepth, Door Open:37-1/10 in.Height:16-7/16 in.Weight, Shipping (Approx.):55 lbs.Depth:15-3/8 in.Maximum Width:29-15/16 in.Turntable Diameter:12-3/4 in.

Cutouts:Top Edge from Cooking Surface:30 in. min.Height, Opening:16-1/2 in.Depth, Opening:13 in.Width, Opening:30 in.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:08 PM   #11
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When people take out an exhaust hood off a 15" upper cabinet and install an over-the-range microwave, the clearance is too little for manufacturer's specs. You need at 12" upper cabinet (or smaller). This is a very common thing for home inspectors to write up. Not a code reference, but a manufacturer's spec.

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