Microwaves can take a lot of space, especially if they’re the medium-duty or heavy-duty kind you see at restaurants. Most people own a light-duty countertop freestanding microwave with a turntable that has a 1 kilowatt or less power and 0.7 to 1 cubic foot of interior capacity.
This microwave typically fits perfectly on top of the average-sized refrigerator. So here’s the deal:
Can You Put a Microwave on Top of a Fridge?
Technically, you can. However, what you’re actually trying to ask is, “Should I put a microwave on top of a fridge? Is that a good idea?” If you live in a small apartment or house, you might be lacking counter space for your microwave and other items like a conventional oven or toaster.
One way to maximize your space involves putting your microwave on other appliances, usually the refrigerator. Unlike an oven or toaster, a microwave won’t crush them with its weight. Usually, it’s the other way around and the oven, toaster, or oven toaster gets placed atop the microwave instead.
Further reading this post: Where to Put a Microwave in a Tiny Kitchen?
Yes, You Can Place the Microwave on Top of the Refrigerator
Long story short, you can put a microwave atop your refrigerator. Sure, you might need a stepladder to access the microwave from now on but that might not be an issue if you barely use it. You should also ensure placement remains safe.
You need to take into consideration a few things when placing your make and model of microwave atop your fridge, such as its height, weight, wattage, and ventilation.
Things to Remember When Putting a Microwave Atop a Fridge
You can put many things atop your fridge, from succulents to a storage tray for dry goods. However, be careful when it comes to opening and closing your fridge door. This causes the items atop the appliances to shift to the point of toppling over. This also applies to microwaves, by the way.
Safe Placement of the Microwave on the Fridge
To safely put your microwave atop the refrigerator, make sure it’s the right size. Also, be careful not to damage the top of the refrigerator as you transfer the smaller metal box above it. Most fridges measure 65 inches to 78 inches tall.
Putting a microwave on top of the fridge might make it hard for you to safely put food or take hot food out of it without getting burned yourself. Your children might need a stool or chair to reach the microwave. This might be a good thing if you wish the microwave was childproofed.
Will the Microwave Fit Atop the Refrigerator?
Make sure the microwave fits perfectly on your refrigerator or risk having it tip over because it’s too wide or too stout. Some microwave ovens feature large bodies that don’t fit on the topmost part of your refrigerator at all. Make sure the fit won’t slide, tilt, or fall as you open and close the appliances.
You should also remember that some kitchens have cabinets above the fridge that takes up space. You won’t be able to fit the microwave in such a situation. It might be better to buy a built-in microwave to place into the cabinet instead.
Is the Microwave Too Heavy? What About Ventilation?
Your heavy microwave could dent the top of the fridge if it proves too heavy for it. Check your refrigerator manual to see if it says anything about object placement atop it or how much weight it could support before ending up dented or damaged.
In regards to ventilation, most microwaves vent at the back or on the sides. If you’ve placed your fridge in an open area, microwave oven ventilation should be fine and unaffected when placed atop it. However, if you’ve put the fridge in the corner, ventilation might be compromised.
Furthermore, the heat produced by the microwave oven can cause the refrigerator compressor to activate more than it would normally. This affects fridge performance overtime when all is said and done.
Can a Microwave and Refrigerator Reside in the Same Circuit?
According to the 2020 National Electrical Code, every appliance should have a dedicated circuit instead of sharing the circuit with other appliances. This could cause power surges that could damage both your microwave and your refrigerator down the line.
Microwaves could use anywhere from 500 watts to 1,800 watts. Meanwhile, the fridge’s compressor draws a significant amount of power when it gets started. Using the same power outlet or series of power outlets for both appliances could cause a circuit breaker trip.
Can You Put a Microwave Atop a Mini-Fridge?
When putting a microwave on top of a mini-fridge, do so safely. It should be easier to do due to the smaller mini-fridge height. However, you still need to take into consideration the wattage, weight, and height of the microwave along with ventilation considerations.
A microwave should not be wider or bigger than the mini-fridge because it could damage, dent, or compromise the appliance. Consider using a mini microwave instead so it matches the mini-fridge proportionally.
Can You Put a Microwave Atop a Washing Machine?
Many homeowners who lack space might place the microwave and washing machine together, particularly in kitchens connected to the bathroom or water outlet.
You can place the microwave atop the front-loading washer type of washing machine. When doing this, place something under the microwave to compensate for the vibrations caused by the laundry machine when it operates.
Put a rubber mat, towel, or board under the microwave to protect the washing or laundry machine from damage caused by a rattled microwave oven.
Across the Board
Check every time to make sure the items atop your fridge won’t fall off it, thusly causing damage to themselves and injury to anyone in their way. Additionally, make sure the thing atop your fridge won’t block heat from escaping, causing your refrigerator compressor to work harder than normal.
This shortens the lifespan of your fridge when push comes to shove. It also increases your monthly bill every time. Proper placement and size considerations can save you a lot of headaches down the line.
- Jon & Cindy in Kitchen, “Can You Put a Microwave On A Fridge, In A Cabinet, and more?“, LittleUpgrades.com, Retrieved September 22, 2021