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Over The Range Microwaves
Old 01-10-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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Over The Range Microwaves

So, after over 10 years of my GE over the range microwave oven just working along (it was brand new when I moved into where I live now), the oven's turntable decided to no longer turn.

Now I'm weighing my options.

1) be old school and manually rotate the food. For example, if something gets nuked for 4 minutes, turn the plate about a quarter turn each minute.

2) call for repair (about $89 just for a visit, since I don't have a service plan)

3) buy a counter top, smaller microwave oven since my microwave needs mainly are to just reheat food anyway.

When I moved in years ago, and saw the microwave, I said cool, but also wished it wasn't the over the range type as I knew some day the oven would break down.

On question on over the range microwaves. If I decided to go brand new, for example, get one from say, Sears/Best Buy/Home Depot would they install the new one and remove the old for me (like a dishwasher), or not so for microwaves?
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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If it's just the turntable, is it worth the cost to repair/replace? You can get an after market turntable that you wind up by hand every so often. My old microwave never had a turntable so I used one of these for over 10 yrs before I had any issues with it. Here's the one we got, you can find them for a cheaper price if you look around, there's warehouse deal offers too

Amazon.com: Nordic Ware MIcrowave Micro-Go-Round 10 Inch: Kitchen & Dining

Any store dealing with appliance installations can do this replacement/install. I installed one of these before, just a bunch of long screws and bolts that mount it to cabinets and the back wall.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post

On question on over the range microwaves. If I decided to go brand new, for example, get one from say, Sears/Best Buy/Home Depot would they install the new one and remove the old for me (like a dishwasher), or not so for microwaves?
Yes they will, but check out the fee they want. For the big box stores, that may not be negotiable. Also look into local appliance stores. They may be competitive in price to the bigger stores, and you may be able to negotiate the installation charge.

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #4
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If it's just the turntable, is it worth the cost to repair/replace? You can get an after market turntable that you wind up by hand every so often. My old microwave never had a turntable so I used one of these for over 10 yrs before I had any issues with it. Here's the one we got, you can find them for a cheaper price if you look around, there's warehouse deal offers too

Amazon.com: Nordic Ware MIcrowave Micro-Go-Round 10 Inch: Kitchen & Dining

Any store dealing with appliance installations can do this replacement/install. I installed one of these before, just a bunch of long screws and bolts that mount it to cabinets and the back wall.
I saw the winder/turner too. I might check out Wally World later on. But in Amazon there were mixed reviews and at a cost of about $35 I could use that amount towards a counter top microwave. Of course, this might be the quickest, simplest solution (if I don't mind manually winding the thing). Plus, if I'm not happy, I can always return and get my money back (no harm, no foul). I am suprised, when looking at Amazon and on the internet, I didn't find a competing product. Seems like the one you gave on the link is the only one of it's kind out there.

Looking at my over the range, there's also a vent currently connected, so it might be a bit more than just the bolts.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
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Yes they will, but check out the fee they want. For the big box stores, that may not be negotiable. Also look into local appliance stores. They may be competitive in price to the bigger stores, and you may be able to negotiate the installation charge.

-- Rita
Thanks. Definitely, I'd have to ask and see what fees apply first.

One place I'll definitely not go to is Lowes for anything installation work. I've had horrible experiences with them in the past.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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I saw the winder/turner too. I might check out Wally World later on. But in Amazon there were mixed reviews and at a cost of about $35 I could use that amount towards a counter top microwave. Of course, this might be the quickest, simplest solution (if I don't mind manually winding the thing). Plus, if I'm not happy, I can always return and get my money back (no harm, no foul). I am suprised, when looking at Amazon and on the internet, I didn't find a competing product. Seems like the one you gave on the link is the only one of it's kind out there.

Looking at my over the range, there's also a vent currently connected, so it might be a bit more than just the bolts.
You can find these new/used on Ebay and Craigslist around $20 or less. I found quite a few on Craigslist. The one I installed was a combination vent hood/microwave. Since you already have it installed, a replacement/reinstall should be much easier. It's a lot harder to install a brand new unit w/no existing vent hole connections. Just check your vent opening size to make sure it matches.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Perhaps you've already done this, but if you google "troubleshoot microwave turntable," some things to check will pop up. You never know...
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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When our microhood burned out the replacement we bought didn't fit. That's when we found out that the standards had changed since its installation 15 years earlier and that size was no longer built. There was no option for a new one, so we just put in a hood and a small countertop microwave that sits in a food pantry.

Countertop microwaves cost less (much less?), don't need to be installed by anyone, and there are many more options to choose from. We use it for heating, not cooking, and were able to find one that fit our small available shelf space.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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What JPatrick said:

could look here for starters:
GE Microwave. Turntable doesn't turn any more - The Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum - Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair Help - ApplianceGuru.com: The Samurai Appliance Repair Forums

Microwave Turntable Doesn't Turn - Repair Parts - RepairClinic.com

Maybe won't be the answer, but according to the discussion, the initial checking is fairly simple on over the counter ovens, since the diagnosis and repair looks to be from the bottom up... with just a few fasteners to undo to find the motor.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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I would not like an over the stove microwave...

Either it is at the right height where it does not interfere with the stove and it too high OR it is too low and interferes with cooking...

For me, I would go with the counter top... I had one for 25 years and never had a problem (btw, it did not have a turntable... did not seem to matter that much).... I gave it away when our new house had a built in over the stove and not near the cooktop...
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
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Last week we replaced our 29 year old electric range and hood with new models. The range was a Christmas present from DS. The hood and installation were my presents.

As a side note I'm afraid of hoods (or over the range microwaves) that vent through the roof. I worry about possible water leaks through the roof and grease buildup in the vent pipe.

The old range was a 27" slide-in model. The hood was a 30" recirculating model. We replaced them with a 30" free-standing range and a matching recirculating hood. We bought the range and hood from a large local dealer. We had the dealer do the installation. Here's the cost breakdown:

1. Cut formica counter top and cabinets to the floor. $100 This requires a couple of special saws that I don't have and a lot of careful measurement and a steady hand. A man should know his limitations.

1. Hood. $105 (My guess is an over the range recirculating microwave would be the same). This is a two person job. The hood is hard-wired. The new hood did fit. No cabinet cutting required. Includes delivery and take away.

2. Range $190. The old range was hard-wired. A new wall receptacle was installed. A plug-in cord was installed on the stove. This is also a two person job. Price includes delivery and take away.

We did not need or want an over the range microwave. We have a built-in microwave shelf directly adjacent to the range. We keep a throwaway microwave on the shelf. When one breaks or gets very dirty, we replace it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #12
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First thing, be careful with High Voltage Condenser, it can retain charge, several Kilo Volts. Same thing happened to my microwave oven, turntable did not turn. It is really easy to change once you get the part, hopefully motor is bad, not the relay on control board.

My microwave stopped heating the food. Transformer is open, so is the fuse after it. Now for me the question is, even if I change these, will microwave work. Since fuse is blown, something is drawing high current, condenser/diode/magnetron. No way to test these high voltage devices.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #13
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My over the range microwave kicked out a year ago. I bought a similar model (obviously a few years newer) that utilized the same trim kit as the old model. All you do is snap off the trim kit, pull out the old microwave, slip in the new one and reattach the trim kit. Took all of ten minutes.

Besides...when it truly does give out (not just the turntable) what are you going to do? Just leave it in the slot and have another on the countertop?
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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Countertop microwaves cost less (much less?), don't need to be installed by anyone, and there are many more options to choose from. We use it for heating, not cooking, and were able to find one that fit our small available shelf space.
A small countertop microwave will be $50-$100. They are easy to replace. If you've got the room, I'd get one and use it for the 95% of things you cook in the microwave. Use the OTR microwave for the rare really big stuff and just be prepared to rotate things. The more you use it, the sooner it will quit altogether and you'll be out $300++ plus the installation cost and hassle.

We've got a countertop unit and an OTR microwave. We use the countertop one almost exclusively but the big one is available for heating multiple things at the same time, etc. Having two is handy and more cost-effective than using the OTR microwave exclusively.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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First thing, be careful with High Voltage Condenser, it can retain charge, several Kilo Volts. Same thing happened to my microwave oven, turntable did not turn. It is really easy to change once you get the part, hopefully motor is bad, not the relay on control board.

My microwave stopped heating the food. Transformer is open, so is the fuse after it. Now for me the question is, even if I change these, will microwave work. Since fuse is blown, something is drawing high current, condenser/diode/magnetron. No way to test these high voltage devices.
Thanks for the warning about the high voltage. For that reason, I'm not going to try any repairs myself. The microwave was built in 2000. Kind of like an old car, if I get it fixed, the fix may last a good while, or something else might crop up. Things for me to consider.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:51 PM   #16
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Let me defend these over the range mwaves for a second.

So, it was time to freshen the kitchen. Kitchen is 30 years old and small. I was getting ready to blow out walls, put in big ranges, replace cabinets and all that stuff. Would have dropped $40k+. But LBYM got me.

I'm gonna leave that project for the next owner.

Kept the beautiful build in place solid birch cabinets. Fashioned my own countertop, and (drum roll) replaced the over the range microwave. Total cost was less than $2k with a ton of sweat.

The reason I'm defending these devices is space. We don't have it. This thing saves our kitchen lives. Yes, it is not optimal in height or placement, but it solves a problem.

NOW, about that replacement. Someone mentioned here... The standard sizes have changed. If you find that you need to replace it, measure, measure, measure. An "install" won't include what I had to do.

What I had to do was cut my cabinets and give 4" more headroom. It was a bit scary, but I did it. However, I sent the doors to a professional cabinet maker/repairer who did a great job shortening them. I didn't have the woodworking skills for that. Money well spent. It looks great.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:21 PM   #17
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I went to Wally World and did some Showrooming

Well, actually, I went there hoping to find the go-around thing that I'd wind up but couldn't find one. I did look at some of the counter top models. Not the best selection but small ones for $49 (700 watt), another a bit bigger for $55, then a 900 watt one for $65.

I've decided to roll the dice and ordered the Go-round-wind-up thing from Amazon for $34. If the product works without frustration, then that'll fit the bill. If not, then I'll just do a refund. Amazon is great about returns.

In the meantime, I might need to start clearing out some counter space

Thanks for all suggestions and ideas everyone.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #18
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My over the range microwave kicked out a year ago. I bought a similar model (obviously a few years newer) that utilized the same trim kit as the old model. All you do is snap off the trim kit, pull out the old microwave, slip in the new one and reattach the trim kit. Took all of ten minutes.

Besides...when it truly does give out (not just the turntable) what are you going to do? Just leave it in the slot and have another on the countertop?

On my old house I just removed the microwave and had a nice shelf right above the stove... it didn't look great, but worked for me....
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:09 PM   #19
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Let me defend these over the range mwaves for a second.

So, it was time to freshen the kitchen. Kitchen is 30 years old and small. I was getting ready to blow out walls, put in big ranges, replace cabinets and all that stuff. Would have dropped $40k+. But LBYM got me.

I'm gonna leave that project for the next owner.

Kept the beautiful build in place solid birch cabinets. Fashioned my own countertop, and (drum roll) replaced the over the range microwave. Total cost was less than $2k with a ton of sweat.

The reason I'm defending these devices is space. We don't have it. This thing saves our kitchen lives. Yes, it is not optimal in height or placement, but it solves a problem.

NOW, about that replacement. Someone mentioned here... The standard sizes have changed. If you find that you need to replace it, measure, measure, measure. An "install" won't include what I had to do.

What I had to do was cut my cabinets and give 4" more headroom. It was a bit scary, but I did it. However, I sent the doors to a professional cabinet maker/repairer who did a great job shortening them. I didn't have the woodworking skills for that. Money well spent. It looks great.

You just reminded me of my sister's house... her BIG (and I mean really big) built in went out many years ago... her DH just bought the newer size and did some trim boards to close the gaps.... looks great... and it was cheap.....
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #20
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We have had OTR microwaves for over 20 years. Luckily no problems and we like the convenience and additional counter space. We rarely use the hood fan and both were just the charcoal filter (no exhaust to the outside).

I would just see if it can be repaired and if not, then replace. IIRC our latest one was ~$350.
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