How to Replace a Microwave Vent & Install a Hood

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One answer to the question of where to put the microwave without wasting countertop space is to combine the function of the microwave with the range hood over your cook top. An over-the-counter microwave oven replaces the range hood and combines both functions. If your kitchen has one of these units and you wish to return the space over your range to range hood duty only, you first must remove the microwave oven.

Things You'll Need

  • No-touch electrical tester
  • Pliers
  • Helper
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wrench set (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Drill bit, 1/8 inch
  • Power drill
  • Caulk

Remove Microwave

  • Turn off the circuit breaker for the circuit where the microwave is connected, at the main breaker box. Open the cabinet door above the microwave oven. Locate the wiring connections for the microwave. Hold a no-touch electrical tester near the wires to ensure the current has been shut off. Twist off the wire nuts on the wiring connections. Untwist the wires with a pair of pliers to separate the wiring from the microwave and the wiring from the electrical box.

  • Have a helper support the lower front edge of the microwave. Loosen and remove the retaining bolts on the bottom of the inside of the cabinet above the microwave with a Phillips screwdriver.

  • Allow the front of the microwave to rotate downwards slightly, allowing the damper on the back of the oven to slide out of the duct work on the wall. Feed the wires through the access hole in the bottom of the cabinet.

  • Lift the microwave straight up to release the tabs on the rear of the unit from the mounting bracket on the wall. Remove the microwave and place it out of the way.

  • Remove the screws from the microwave wall bracket with a wrench or screwdriver, depending on which fasteners were used. Remove the bracket from the wall.

Install Range Hood

  • Raise the range hood to the underside of the cabinet where the microwave was removed. Feed the electrical wires from the range hood through the access hole in the bottom of the cabinet.

  • Raise the range hood so that its top is flush with the underside of the cabinet. Center the range hood in the opening. Mark the locations of the mounting holes in the underside of the hood onto the underside of the cabinet with a pencil. Remove the hood from the cabinet.

  • Drill pilot holes into the pencil marks in the underside of the cabinet with a 1/8-inch drill bit and a power drill. Apply a bead of caulk around the opening of the duct work in the wall. Raise the range hood into position again, ensuring that the electrical wires are fed through the access hole. Line up the mounting holes in the hood with the drilled holes on the underside of the cabinet. Ensure the rear of the hood is pressed against the bead of caulk to create a good seal.

  • Drive the screws that came with the range hood into the mounting holes with a Phillips screwdriver to secure the hood to the underside of the cabinet.

  • Twist the bare end of the white wire from the range hood to the white wire from the electrical box in the upper cabinet with pliers. Connect the black wires from the hood and the box in the same manner. Twist wire nuts onto the connected wires. Connect the ground wire from the hood to the green grounding screw on the electrical box. Turn on the circuit breaker.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some microwave ovens may have a power cord plugged into a wall outlet located in the cabinet above the microwave instead of being hard wired into the electrical system. In this case, unplug the power cord before removing the microwave.

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