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We are looking at installing an over the range microwave in our house but I have a few questions concerning the electrical hookup before we pull the trigger and get one.

Currently there is a range hood above our stove. I took it down and there is an electrical cable coming directly out of the wall into the hood. I know that it is advised that an OTR microwave be on its own dedicated circuit (or something like that) from anything else.

However, I’m not entirely sure if it is or not. I’ve narrowed down which breaker it’s on and I’ve attached an image below. The stove is on the same one. Does that mean I will not be able to use that wiring? I’m mainly confused by the circle with two slashes in it afterward, does that mean anything specific?

Edit: sorry for the sideways image. Stack exchange rotates the image when I upload it for some reason.

enter image description here

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    What's the number on that breaker's handle? Also, do you have a way of knowing how many other outlets are on that breaker, and is your stove gas or electric? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 12 at 0:48
  • It has a 20 on it. And as far as I’m aware, only the stove and hood are on that breaker. Nothing else in the kitchen (including things plugged into all of the outlets) turns off when I flip it except for the stove and hood. The stove is also electric. – Quiver Aug 12 at 0:59
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    If the stove is truly electric, then it will have its own breaker, normally a 2-pole, 40 or 50A unit – ThreePhaseEel Aug 12 at 2:22
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    Somehow I overlooked the 2-pole that says “Range” lol. So yeah, the stove has it’s own breaker. – Quiver Aug 12 at 3:16
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You should be fine

If this breaker truly is only serving the hood (I'd double check that with a plug-in radio in each of the kitchen outlets with this breaker off), then you'll be fine with putting the microwave/hood on there. If there are kitchen outlets on this breaker, then I would limit the input (nameplate) power of the microwave/hood to 1.2kW (which will mean a relatively small microwave) to avoid violating NEC 210.23(A)(2):

(2) Utilization Equipment Fastened in Place. The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than luminaires, shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch-circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord-and-plug-connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied.

As to that symbol...

The two-parallel-lines-in-a-circle symbol you see on your loadcenter's directory label, by the way, is the standard symbol used to denote a receptacle on North American electrical floorplans.

  • Thank you very much for your help. I will go ahead with the installation but first I will do as you advised and double-check that it is a dedicated circuit. – Quiver Aug 12 at 21:41
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This might not be the best answer, but personally I'd just go ahead and do it. Newer microwaves don't take as much power as the older ones.

If the breaker trips in the future, then run a dedicated circuit to it.

If the breaker never trips, then leave it that way forever.

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I think it would be OK. If the microwave and the stove are the only things on the circuit, the stove is likely only pulling electricity for the clock and lights, spark ignition, etc. That's how mine is hooked up in my present home and the one we had before that, and we've had no issues in either case.

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