microwaveOne of my first projects as a new homeowner was the installation of an over-the-stove microwave (Maytag MMV5000 Series). This microwave was a nearly new hand-me-down from our realtor (who happened to be renovating her own kitchen). This is a powerful microwave – at least in comparision to the little counter-top microwave we’ve had since we were married 6 1/2 years ago.

Anyhow, this installation was a task that gave me pause. I honestly didn’t know where to begin. You see, above our stove was an electrical box that was covered up. When I uncovered it, I discovered three sets of wires coming into the box. These wires were very old and did not look very reliable. I knew I had to test them, because if they worked, I could then pull them up into the cabinet above to give the microwave electricity. So I went out and bought a Volt-Ohm-Meter (digital, of course). I read the illegibly-small instructions and, when I had finished, realized that I still did not know how to operate this thing. This is the point that I called in an expert – my dad.

microwaveMy dad showed up that afternoon and grabbed my fancy new digital Volt-Ohm-Meter, and said “Huh… I’ve never used one like this before [read: fancy and digital instead of old and reliable].” He then immediately proceeded to test the lines without so much as a glance at the instructions. The wires, he soon discovered, were dead and so it became clear that we needed to seal up that box and install a new outlet in the cabinet, running a new cable downstairs to the electrical panel… which of course I was completely clueless about.

Long story short – he helped me install a shiny new outlet in the cabinet, run 12/2 cable from that outlet into our basement and to the electrical panel, install a new 20 Amp breaker into that breaker box to run the microwave, and finally to hang the microwave under the cabinet. A task that I had set aside a full Saturday to complete, ended up getting done between lunch and dinner, thanks to my Dad’s help.

It’s these sort of home improvement tasks that I will eventually get better and better at as time goes by. But for now, it’s nice to have a handy Dad to be able to teach me things like how to run electricity through your house safetly – mainly because, I hear being electrocuted isn’t as fun as it sounds.

Anyone want our old counter-top microwave? Let me know!