Putting a microwave on top of a fridge is safe but you should consider height of the fridge, microwave weight and other important things when doing it.
The space above your fridge is empty and it’s a smart idea to place a mini microwave oven on it. It will save the counter space in your kitchen but you need to be careful about safety of your microwave and your fridge as well.
The fridge cools down food inside it, while the microwave heats it up. Both the fridge and microwave need some clearance space for ventilation. When you place the microwave on your refrigerator, make sure that you don’t block ventilation of any appliance.
Can You Put a Microwave on Top of a Fridge?
YES, you can put a microwave on top of a fridge but with some conditions. You should consider height, weight, electricity usage and ventilation of both appliances before you take action.
You don’t need a large kitchen to fit all appliances, you need a creative mind to do that. If you have limited counter space, you can put your microwave on top of your fridge to utilize the free space. It is a good idea to save space and make your kitchen look beautiful.
5 Things to Consider When Putting a Microwave on Top of a Fridge
According to my research and personal experience, it is possible to put a microwave on top of a refrigerator and use it safely. Before you do it practically, I want to explain five important factors that you must consider when you put a microwave on top of a fridge in your kitchen.
A standard fridge comes with the height of 62-inch to 72-inch. The height can go beyond 72-inch if you have a bigger refrigerator. You must consider the fridge height and your height before you decide to put a microwave on top of your fridge.
The microwave is not a showpiece, you need to use it daily. If the height of your fridge makes the microwave hard to reach, it will create trouble for you to operate the microwave.
You may not easily reach the microwave to access its control panel, put the food plate inside and get it out when it’s cooked.
Using a microwave on a height is dangerous, the hot food can burn your fingers. You may throw some drops of food/beverage on your fridge. when getting it out of microwave.
You need to clean the microwave time to time, so you need a step stool or chair to clean the microwave. If you want to clean the microwave properly, you will have to bring the microwave down and then put it back after cleaning is done.
The tall height of your fridge will prevent you from seeing your food inside the microwave. So, you won’t be able to see the food being cooked inside your microwave which can result in overcooking or burning of the food and sometimes you may get undercooked food.
The next important factor to consider is weight of your microwave. If you want to place a microwave on top of your fridge, you must know its weight. Most microwave ovens weight between 20 lbs and 55 lbs but some are heavier.
You should also check how much weight your fridge can hold without any problem. For that, you should refer its user manual as it contains all important information about the fridge, its functions and safety guideline.
If your fridge can hold up to 50 lbs and your microwave weighs 40 lbs then you can put it on the fridge top. In case your fridge has lower weight limit or its user manual suggests to keep its top space free then you should not put the microwave on it.
Putting a heavy microwave on top of a refrigerator can damage it permanently. It will not only cause a dent on the fridge top but also affect its cooling performance and lifespan.
You must check the size of the microwave and the size of the fridge with a tape measure. If the microwave size (especially footprint) goes beyond the fridge top, it is not safe to put it on top of the fridge.
The microwave size should match with the fridge top to fit on it properly. It is okay if the microwave leaves some free space on top of the fridge after installation.
Putting a microwave with a large footprint on top of your fridge may not remain steady and can affect performance of the fridge in the long run.
#4. Electricity Consumption:
A standard fridge uses 100W to 300W electricity which increases to 500W or more with the size of the fridge. On the other hand, a standard microwave uses 1000W to 1500w electricity. But it can be 600W to 950W with a small microwave and go high up to 2100W with a large microwave oven.
The purpose to check electricity consumption of your fridge and microwave is to provide safe power supply to them. You may want to plug-in your fridge and microwave in the same power socket but make sure the circuit can handle it otherwise it will cause unwanted disasters.
For example: If you use a 150W fridge with 1200W microwave in the same power circuit, it should be able to handle 1600W or more electricity supply safely. If you have a doubt, I strongly recommend to plug-in your microwave and fridge in separate power circuits.
Both the fridge and the microwave need some clearance space for ventilation. The fridge needs clearance space on back and sides, while the microwave needs it on sides and back or top. You should read the user manual of the microwave and refrigerator to know about ventilation.
When you decide to put your microwave on top of your refrigerator, make sure that it doesn’t block ventilation of either gadget. If a microwave blocks ventilation of a fridge, it will add more load on its compressor which will reduce its lifespan.
If a microwave doesn’t block ventilation of a fridge, you can put it on its top. But make sure that the microwave gets enough clearance space for ventilation. If the microwave isn’t properly ventilated, it will get overheated and cause other malfunctioning issues.
In this way, you should consider these 5 factors when you want to place a microwave oven on a fridge in your kitchen.
Can You Put a Microwave on Top of a Mini Fridge?
Yes, you can put a microwave on top of a mini fridge as long as it is mentioned safe or allowed in its user manual. You should check the user manual of the mini fridge to know if you can put a microwave on it or not.
The mini fridge is shorter in height than a standard fridge, so the height problem is fixed but others still remain. So, you should consider weight, size, electricity and ventilation factors when you put a microwave on top of your mini fridge.
At the time of installation, you must check if the microwave is steady or wobbling when you pull its door. If the microwave wobbles during use then you should not place it on top of the mini fridge but find any other safe space for it.
Can You Plug-in Your Microwave and Fridge in Same Power Circuit?
Yes, you can plug-in your microwave and fridge in same power circuit but it is not safe to do that. I have 9+ years of experience with microwave ovens and I have also talked to many experts, they strictly advice to use a microwave and a fridge on separate power circuits.
The experts also suggest not to share the power circuit of a microwave or fridge with a fan, light or any other equipment/appliance. The reason for this suggestion is the difference in power consumption of a microwave and a fridge.
The microwave power consumption goes up and down as you adjust its power level from 1 to 10. The fluctuations in power consumption directly affect the power circuit and the other appliances plugged into it.
Therefore you should always use a microwave and a fridge on separate power circuits.
Advantages of Putting a Microwave on Top of Your Fridge
The microwave is a must-have gadget for every kitchen but it also takes up the counter space. To save the counter space or due to limited space in kitchen, you can put a microwave on top of your fridge which is a good options. A microwave on top of your refrigerator offers many advantages that I am going to share here.
[A] Ease of Access
When you put a microwave on top of a fridge with short to medium height, it provides great convenience. You can easily access the microwave above the fridge and use it for cooking a variety of food items every day.
The kitchen counter is not as tall as a short-medium fridge, so you feel more comfortable with the height of the microwave when it is on the fridge.
[B] Save Space
A microwave takes up several inches space of the kitchen counter or any other place you put it. The top of your fridge is an empty space that you can utilize by putting a microwave on it. It helps you save space on your kitchen counter so that you can use that free space for other appliances.
[C] Better Appearance
At the time of purchase, you should select a microwave and a fridge that match with each other and your kitchen interior as well. This will add an advantage of better appearance in your kitchen.
When the microwave color & design matches with your fridge, it adds more beauty to the kitchen. It looks like the microwave and fridge designed to stay together for making your kitchen more attractive.
[D] Child Safety
The toddlers and school going kids are very naughty and they don’t know how to operate a microwave safely. When the microwave is placed on top of a refrigerator at a certain height, the children cannot reach there.
Having a microwave on top of the fridge makes it automatically child-safe. Because the children cannot reach the microwave which makes the parents feel worry-free when they are not around the microwave and the kids are in kitchen.
Drawbacks of Putting a Microwave on Top of Your Fridge
When you put a microwave on top of your fridge, it provides many advantages that I have shared above. But that doesn’t mean it has all good things. It also have some drawbacks that you need to know. Here I provide the drawbacks of putting a microwave on top of a fridge as under.
[a] Poor or No Visibility and Hard to Reach
If you have a tall fridge with a microwave on its top, you will have poor or no visibility problem. You can put the food plate/bowl in the microwave but you can’t see it when it is getting cooked inside.
In addition, you need to put more efforts to reach the control panel of your microwave as it is too high. People with short height need a step stool or chair to reach the microwave and access its control panel buttons.
[b] Burning Fingers
You need to be very careful when getting the cooked food plate out of the microwave. Because the microwave is above the fridge and the food & plate are hot enough to burn your fingers. So, there are more chances of burning fingers when you place your microwave on top of your refrigerator.
[c] Food Splatters on Fridge
Some food items are solid and some are soft & cheesy that needs more attention. You need to be careful when putting any food or beverage that can leave splatters on the fridge right below the microwave.
If you need to get the food or beverage out of the microwave oven, do it very carefully otherwise the food splatters will fall on your fridge. You may feel frustrated if you need to clean your fridge after every use of your microwave oven.
[d] Vibration Caused Damage
Some refrigerators (fridges) vibrate when the compressor is active, but it is not true for all refrigerators. You can put a microwave on your fridge even if it vibrates sometimes but there is a risk of damage if the fridge vibrates when you are using the microwave.
The vibration of the fridge can directly affect the internal parts of the microwave when it is on & cooking food. It can damage one or more parts of the microwave and cause fire hazard if there is metal or aluminum/tin foil inside the microwave.
[e] Not Safe for Low Ceiling
A standard microwave requires 8-inch to 12-inch clearance space on its top for ventilation. If you want your microwave to work properly, you must provide its needed space for ventilation. This can be a trouble for low ceiling kitchens.
If you live in an apartment with low ceiling rooms & kitchen, you should not put a microwave on top of a fridge as it will block ventilation of the microwave. So, I recommend you to find any other space for the microwave where it can get proper ventilation and safe operation.
[f] Refusal in Warranty Service
Some microwave brands are against of putting a microwave on top of any other appliance. If you use a microwave on top of a fridge and it needs repair in warranty, you may face refusal in warranty service from the authorized service center.
In case your microwave goes bad, you should raise a complaint to the customer service for in warranty repairing. If the technician will come your place, you should get the microwave down from the top of the fridge before he arrives.
If you need to carry the microwave to its authorized service center, don’t tell them that you use it on top of the fridge otherwise they can refuse to provide free repairs.
[g] Risk of Fire Hazard
The first drawback of putting a microwave on top of a refrigerator is that you cannot see what’s happening inside it. If you cannot see the food cooking, you can also not see the sparks or arcing inside the microwave oven.
If the sparks inside your microwave are high and consistent, they can lead to fire hazard. The fire inside the microwave can damage its interior, internal parts and also damage the fridge if you cannot get fire under control in time.
In this way, you can get some advantages and some drawbacks when you place a microwave on your fridge and use it like that everyday.
FAQs about Putting a Microwave on Top of a Fridge
A microwave is safe to put on the kitchen counter, in cabinet and any other place you like. You can also place it above your refrigerator if it is not too heavy and it fits well on top of the fridge. Here I provide some important questions regarding using a microwave on top of a fridge and their answers as under.
Q.1 Is it safe to use a microwave on top of a fridge?
Yes, it is safe to use a microwave on top of a fridge as long as the microwave isn’t heavy and you can access it easily. Make sure that the microwave and fridge get necessary ventilation required for their safe functioning.
Q.2 Can You Plug-in Your Microwave and Mini Fridge in same socket?
Yes, you can put a microwave on top of a mini fridge and have them both plugged into the same socket but it will be safer if you plug them into separate power sockets.
Q.3 Is it safe to put a microwave on top of a fridge in a low ceiling kitchen?
No, it is NOT safe to put a microwave on top of a fridge in a low ceiling kitchen because the microwave requires 8 to 12-inch clearance space on its top for ventilation.
Final Verdict: Use a Microwave on Top of a Fridge Safely
A microwave works perfectly if you install it in a place where it gets required electricity and ventilation. It is okay to place your microwave on top of your fridge and use it everyday. It won’t be a trouble if you have taken care of ventilation of both appliances.
To help you understand the safety and risk factors, I have explained everything about if you can put a microwave on top of a refrigerator and how you can do it safely.
I hope that my experience will be useful for you to use your microwave and your fridge safely when the microwave is on top of the fridge.
If you have low ceiling that blocks ventilation of your microwave then don’t put it on top of your fridge. You can put your microwave on the kitchen counter or get an over-the-range microwave to put it in your kitchen cabinet.