How high should that Microwave be?
We've all seen homes where a fire is waiting to happen and lately while showing I've just run into a huge selection of homes with this installation problem. Some microwaves were barely 8" above the back burner of the stove in an older home with an oversized cabinet over the stove. What makes people think this is safe?
So, since I really never investigated 'how high', I decided to call the village to talk about current building code. Guess what, there is none! Talked to the Fire Marshall who said there should be but at this time there isn't an official height to protect the public against themselves.
Any idiot with a screwdriver and rudimentary electrical skills can install a microwave above the stove and burn their house down. The pics here are from a foreclosure where the bottom of the microwave was literally melted. Handle was heat mangled and they started the counter top on fire. Gee, ya think it was too low at that point?
Depending on the manufacturer there doesn't seem to be a safety standard height recommended only as 'high as possible'. It also mentions the 'height of the operators'. So, if you are 'short in stature or height challenged' that makes it OK to lower the microwave and burn the house down? Don't think so.
So evidently I am the only rational person that is deciding to speak out on this topic. No lower than the bottom of the cabinets on either side of the stove which is 30" from the top of your cabinets. My solution is to remove the cabinet above the stove and rehang it higher giving you your needed clearance. It won't line up with the upper cabinet height but it's better than burning down your house!
Another solution (not mine BTW) but not very cost effective is to take your cabinet to a cabinet maker and have it cut down. Yeah right, as I don't have any idea how much this would cost and most older cabinets are not even wood. A cabinet maker would laugh you out of his shop when you ask him to re-manufacture your 80's 'euro' style beauty.
Any home inspectors out there with any suggestions, please feel free to chime in with any advice for homeowners too.