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Freestanding microwave in a built-in unit?

(6 Posts)
Magnetron Sat 13-Apr-13 21:48:05

We had a built-in microwave that was part of the built-in kitchen when we moved in. I accidentally broke it, and I know for a fact (don't ask me how I know!) that it would cost loadsamoney to repair it.

It would cost even more money to get a new built-in one. But there are regular free-standing ones that are exactly the same size as the now dead one, and they are loads cheaper.

They all say that they are not suitable for use in a built-in unit, I think it's something to do with the type of ventilation which differs in a freestanding one and a built-in one. But with the size we'd get, there would be a fair bit of room for the air to circulate around anyway, as there is space in the cavity - ie it wouldn't be flush to the sides of the unit, a good inch to two inches space in every direction, more at the back I think.

I'm not sure how seriously we need to take the caution about the freestanding ones not being suitable for a built-in unit, partly because they all also say they shouldn't be installed directly above a normal oven. But ours was installed above the normal oven when the property was fitted out, and the same was done in all the other kitchens here (several 100's of flats) so obviously builders/developers don't feel the need to take that warning very seriously, which makes me wonder how much of a real issue these guidelines are.

The risk is presumably the risk of fire if it overheated, but the spec of the one we're looking at says it shuts down automatically if it overheats anyway, and it would never be on when I'm not close at hand to keep an eye on it, so...... Obviously don't want to compromise on a real safety issue, but the £££ difference is huge, and what I want to know is - is there anyone out there with any in-depth, expert knowledge of microwaves who can tell me whether this is a real safety risk or not??

Magnetron Sat 13-Apr-13 21:48:42

ps thanks in advance if anyone actually does know anything about this!!

DameFanny Sat 13-Apr-13 21:52:23

We've got a regular one in the cupboard over the oven and we haven't had any problems in going on 9 years

Magnetron Sat 13-Apr-13 21:54:13

Thanks DameFanny! That's very good to hear!

killedanotherthread Sun 14-Apr-13 09:50:35

I've specified this sort of set-up in our new kitchen, two kitchen fitters who quoted couldn't see any problem with it as long as the microwave wasn't going to be on too long. I was looking at the instruction booklet yesterday and it said that the microwave doesn't let out steam through the vents (which would make sense, as the microwaves need to be contained?). So I guess the main problem would be over-heating, but since microwaves are speedy cookers that wouldn't ordinarily be a problem? (I hope!)

Magnetron Mon 15-Apr-13 07:52:59

Thanks killed (smile at your name!) that's helpful too. I think we're heading in that direction now.

I guess it's one of those things where the manufacturors have to say that to cover themselves, but in practice it's OK. Especially as, like you say, it'll only be used for short periods at a time.

Thanks both!

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