Microwaves are incredibly useful appliances that can save you valuable time by reheating and even cooking all kinds of dishes. As long as you remember there are certain things you shouldn’t put in a microwave, you can use yours to make your morning (or evening) go much smoother.
If you live in a small apartment, the question that will naturally arise is where do you put the microwave. Do you sacrifice some counter space for it, or do you perhaps want to build it into a cupboard? Or can you just put it on top of the fridge? Is that even safe?
Can You Put a Microwave on Top of a Fridge?
Yes, you can put a microwave on top of a fridge. All you need to do is make sure that it can fit, provide enough ventilation, and secure access to its own electrical circuit.
When placing a microwave on top of a fridge, you need to check where the ventilation holes on it are. If they are on the bottom, you will need to put the microwave on some legs. You can also place a wooden plate between the fridge and the microwave, to protect it from any dents. Make sure you elevate it as well, as the fridge needs to be able to breathe on the top.
Aim to have at least 20 centimetres of space between the top of the microwave and the ceiling, and around 15 centimetres between both appliances and the wall or any nearby furniture.
You will also want to consider how easy it will be to reach the microwave if you place it on top of the fridge. For example, you may want to reheat a bowl of soup. How likely are you to spill it if the microwave is too high up?
You also need to check if the microwave and the fridge can be on the same circuit. If not, consider the electricity source of each of them, and make sure there is an adequate plug socket available within easy reach.
While you can plug a refrigerator into an extension cord, and you can plug a microwave into an extension cord too in some cases, you should aim to plug both directly into a wall socket.
Can You Stack a Microwave on a Mini Fridge?
Yes, you can stack a microwave on top of a mini fridge. Just make sure that it’s not much heavier than 20 kilograms.
While mini fridges are smaller than regular ones, they are able to accommodate a microwave on top. You still need to apply the same considerations: make sure there is enough space around the fridge and microwave and that you can easily reach it, plus that you have the appropriate power source nearby.
Can a Refrigerator and Microwave Be on the Same Circuit?
A microwave and refrigerator can be on the same circuit if the microwave uses less than 10 amperes and if your local grid allows it. You should also check your refrigerator’s manual, as it may prohibit circuit installation with other appliances.
Ideally, you don’t want to place these two appliances on the same circuit, as you could trip it, blow it, or even cause a fire.
However, if the microwave uses less than 10 amperes and if your local electrical code permits it, you can place these two appliances on the same circuit. If you live in an old home with out-of-date wiring, you should definitely place them on separate circuits.
To be on the safe side, recruit advice from your local electrician.
How Much Weight Can You Put on Top of a Refrigerator?
While there is no specific weight your fridge can tolerate on top, it should be perfectly safe to place a microwave weighing up to 20-25 kilograms on it. To protect the fridge, place an elevated wood board between them.
An average microwave weighs around 17 kilograms, which should be just fine on your average fridge. Larger, sturdier fridges can also accommodate larger microwaves, but they are most often so tall you wouldn’t want anything you regularly use on top of it in the first place.
The only issue that comes with placing anything on the top of your fridge is that it will prevent the heat from escaping as efficiently. This means your fridge will have to work a bit harder, and may end up lasting you a shorter amount of time.
If you place your microwave on some legs, this problem should be circumvented. If you are placing a board between the too, make sure to also install some legs to the bottom, to help the fridge breathe.
How Much Ventilation Does a Microwave Need?
The amount of ventilation a microwave needs will depend on the model. Make sure never to block the vents, and leave plenty of space around the microwave to help it breathe.
A microwave needs ventilation so it can expel all the hot air that is created when it heats or cooks your food. If it can’t do this efficiently, it will ultimately start to be less and less efficient.
When placing a microwave on top of the fridge, check where the ventilation vents are located, and make sure there is plenty of space around them. Check your microwave’s user manual as well, for the exact amount of space required.
Do Microwaves Get Hot Underneath?
Microwaves can get hot underneath, especially if you have been cooking something for a long time or if you’ve used the highest temperature setting. This should however be only temporary.
If your microwave gets hot underneath only occasionally, it won’t pose a danger to your fridge. However, if you routinely use the microwave for cooking, and not just reheating, you may want to consider placing it somewhere else.
Is It OK to Put Things on Top of Fridge?
Yes, you can generally store things on top of the fridge, as long as you do so safely and consider the likelihood of them falling off, preventing the heat from escaping the fridge on top, and how easily they can be reached by kids or pets.
The space on top of the fridge often seems like a waste. Placing something (including a microwave) on top can be a true lifesaver in smaller kitchens.
Before you place anything on top of the fridge though, consider this:
- How heavy is it? Most fridges can take around 20 kilograms of weight.
- Can your kids or pets reach it easily? You don’t want to store cleaning products or medication on top of the fridge believing your kids can’t get to them, because they most likely can. Also, leaving food your pet (khm, khm, cat) can tuck into on the fridge is also a bad idea.
- Will it fall off? You don’t want to find old important papers or toys behind the fridge when you move it out to clean it. If there’s a chance the item might fall off, or worse, hurt someone, don’t put it on the fridge.
Can I Put Electronics on Top of the Refrigerator?
Yes, you can put electronics on top of the refrigerator, microwave included. While most manufacturers don’t recommend it, you can still safely store an item on the fridge, provided the fridge can still emit heat on top.
You don’t want to store electronics that can easily be knocked off the fridge, as they can get damaged in the fall. A microwave is unlikely to fall off unless there is an earthquake, so it should be fine on top of the fridge.
You should also bear in mind that the fridge needs to release heat on the top. If your electronic appliance may be damaged by this, you should place it somewhere else.
Elevating your microwave on some legs can provide all the cooling space a fridge needs, and can save you plenty of valuable space in your kitchen.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you have a 900-watt or a 1100-watt microwave, or any other kind for that matter, you should be able to store it on the fridge, as long as you don’t use it to cook every day, and leave some space between the two appliances.