Micro / Range Hood on a wall switch

Did a condo inspection on Saturday and could not get the microwave / range hood to turn on. So…I asked the property representative if he knew how to operate the unit. He said sure…you have to turn the wall switch on over by the door.


VERY unconventional, but no code or safety issue I can think of.

Sounds like someone got lazy and didn’t want to run a new wire for the microwave. They used an existing light switching wire to hardwire the microwave.

Sounds very inconvenient to me. And that’s what I would note in the report.

I can recall an inspection where I couldn’t locate switched lighting for the bathroom. Then the Realtor yells out, here it is…it’s in the kitchen. Hmmmmmm.

A friend’s house had been remodeled before she bought it. The kitchen light switch was inside the pantry on the back wall.

Don’t need to depend on it in the dark in a hurry !

I hate having to reset the clock on my microwave!


This type of installation will become more common the more Green Earth catches on.

One needs to realize that their utility bill can be reduced by as much as Thirty Dollars ($30) per month by simply turning off unnecessary power draws to understand the reasoning behind the switch.

The kitchen is a good starting place for conserving energy. In my kitchen alone I have a clock on the electric range, microwave, coffee maker as well as on hanging on the wall.

Why would anyone need so many clocks?

I suppose that when one reaches my age all these clocks come in pretty handy. The way I put all these clocks to work is to set the coffee pot to start at 2:00 AM as this is the same time that I usually make my nightly bathroom run. After the relief of the bathroom I will have a fresh cup of coffee to warm my inside so I can slip back off to sleep. It also assures that I arise again around 5:30 AM should the alarm fail.

After having only one cup of coffee as we all know the second cup would keep me awake and also move the next bathroom run up to about 4:30 AM which would be too early to drink that second cup that I programmed the microwave to reheat at 5:30 AM.

Well if you will let me go now I think that I will set the pot for tonight…lol

The way this wiring configuration was set up, you had to have the wall switch in the on position to run the microwave and exhaust hood. So…if you decided you were going to nuke a TV dinner and walked out of the room and turned off the wrong switch, it turns off the power supply to the microwave. That isn’t conserving energy…that’s just plain stupid in my opinion.

Was this condo a former model/spec? Sometimes they’ve been wired so that some of the main loads can be controlled by a single switch when you enter (easy on/off for display). They might have forgotten to reconfigure the wiring. Usually it’s done through a coil that was put in the panel, though.

There was probably one of those old round chrome exhaust fans in the ceiling controlled by the switch. When they remodeled they just used that feed. Probably only 15 amps too.

only problem would be if it is not on a dedicated single outlet circuit.