Domestic kitchen microwaves above stove.


Seeing a number of installations of microwaves directly 'above' regular electric cooking stoves or 'cook-tops'. Including in a house a relative is considering buying.
Wondering not so much about heat (Although the microwaves are not a commercially rated product and are built down to a price) but mainly about safety?
For example; a 5 foot 5 inch woman reaching up to the microwave with pots and boilers on stove below?
Any comments? Suggestions. TIA
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I dislike having a microwave over the stove.
The front needs constant cleaning, it is unsafe to use when the stove is in use, and when the stove is not in use the microwave is still too high for many people to use safely and conveniently. Unless the container inside is clear glass, most people cannot check the contents without first taking the container out of the microwave. And when some food explodes inside, the cleanup can be a major PITA involving a stepstool or ladder for someone who is not taller than average. For a tall person using the stove, the microwave tends to be too "in your face".
    Una
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terry wrote:

Are you the one who is going to be cooking in that kitchen? If not then why not let the person who _is_ make that kind of decision?
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Assuming you are speaking of the kind that is designed to be installed over the stove, with the vent and a light built in, they are safe if installed fallowing the manufactures specs for distance above the cooktop, and of course any local codes on this.
Safety? Well, if the user isn't cautious when using it, particularly when using the cook top as well, then they do risk injury. But it isn't like it is a hidden danger, it is pretty obvious that reaching over the hot cooktop has risks, just like reaching over the cooktop to adjust oven and timer settings on a range where these are located at the back of the cooktop.
Convenience is another matter. The location might be too high for a shorter person to easily, and perhaps safely, access. But again, that could be an issue with a standard microwave in a cabinet where it might be located above the counter.
Bottom line - it is pretty much personal preference. If you have the kitchen space to place it somewhere else, it would obviously be somewhat safer and perhaps more convenient. In our smaller kitchen, with just the wife and me normally using it, having it over the range was pretty much a no-brainer. It provides more counter and cabinet space in the rest of the kitchen, and keeps the 'cooking' appliances in one area, convenient to the person (me) doing the cooking.

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On Sat 11 Oct 2008 07:53:42a, terry told us...

I don't really think it's a practical idea for a shorter person. However, I'm 5'9" and have absolutely no problem moving food in and out of the microwave, or stirring food while it's in there.
There's a minimum recommended distance for mounting the microwave above the range, and for various reasons such as proper function of the ventilation system underneath, room to reach pots on the back of the range top, and obviously, convenience of access to whatever is in the microwave.
They were designed for this purpose, and I see no serious issues with them, other than the user's height.
Having said that, we have two microwaves, one over the range and one countertop model that we had before we moved into this house. I use both, but tend to use the countertop model for things that require more attention.
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Wayne Boatwright
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We've had one for about 25 years now. My wife is 5'3" and has no problem. It gets used even when the stove is in use with boiling pots or frying.
They have a built in thermostat that will turn on the vent fan if the temperature gets too hot from the burners or oven venting. While not as convenient as a counter top, it does save space and it works. For us, it is the only practical ay of having a MW.
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My mother's condo has this arrangement, and she's never used the microwave. She's 85 and 5'0", so she can't even see inside the thing without a step stool. I'm 5'6" and I wouldn't use the thing either. I'm not comfortable pulling out a casserole with boiling hot contents at face level.
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On Sat 11 Oct 2008 09:31:25a, h told us...

You should probably replace it with a cabinet and add a countertop microwave.
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Wayne Boatwright
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I sold these things for over twenty years and resisted installing one for my wife. She's only 5ft 2in and somewhat accident prone. Is always in a hurry and doesn't think of the consequences of her actions before acting. Finally gave in and put one in and she's used it now for three years without an accident. I guess I could have made a little more money by not scaring away my short women customers.
Tom G.
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Wife is 5 foot 4 in. Microwave is above the (Glass Top) stove for more years that I care to mention. Your concern is admirable but not worth the time thinking about it. If there was a problem I would have heard about it long ago. Not to worry. MLD
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Get her a set of 6 inch heels to wear in the kitchen. This will bring her up to 5'11" and that should be tall enough to reach. Other protective gear such as a set of fishnets, (for proper ventilation) a garter and an apron might be nice also,
You of course should supervise her closely especially when she has to reach up to a high shelf or bend at the waist to get something off a low shelf.
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