Thermador Model SMW 272--replace the microwave

deadstkFebruary 9, 2010

Thought owners of Thermador SMW 272 oven/warmer-draw/microwave might like to know that despite what others might tell you, including Thermador you can replace the microwave in these ovens with an updated model from Thermador!

The back story: my microwave just flat out wore out after 9/yrs of constant use but the oven and warmer-draw worked perfect. I contacted Thermador twice (once by email and by phone) to find out if the microwave could be replaced. They told me no that model was no longer available and there was no substitution or update. Many of the so called appliance technicians on the web with umpteen years experience said the same thing. I check with my local appliance dealer (Thermador dealer at that) and they concurred that I was simply SOL.

Resided to the fact that I was looking at a whole new oven, I went back to the dealer I had originally purchase the oven from thinking I was going to be buying a new oven. I mentioned my dilemma to the sales person there and he said no way! He personally owned the oven and new for a fact that the current Thermdaor model MBES/01 microwave fits that oven just fine. He assured me that it was no big deal.

Well $800 and four days later I had the replacement and sure enough it was identical to the original. I had it installed in about an hour and it looks and works perfect.

Hope this helps some of you out there.

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I think what people were saying is that replacement was/is expensive or not practical - not impossible. I was not aware TDor was telling people a replacement wasn't available.

Most people squeal when told they need an $800 standard featured microwave.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 9:27PM
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Hi I know it's been a while since this post but you are the only one I can find with info re:a replacement microwave for the Thermador SMW272 microwave. I also have this unit and my microwave is going on it(it is about 7 yrs old) The dealer I bought it from said there was not a replacement from Thermador but there was one from Sharp (Sharp used to make the Thermador model above.),althought it does not look the same and will say Sharp. No retro kit needed either. I was a little disappointed at this news, as I really like the look of the old unit and don't want to cheapen it but not using a Thermador microwave. So I began searching the internet for info, that's when I stumbled on your post. After reading it I got a little hopeful that there was a better solution. So I called Thermador and they are now saying that the MBES/01 model will work with the old unit, the only problem is that they may have to reconfigure my wooden cabinets and I need to get a trim kit as wall because the old one won't work. So my questions to you are: 1.) Did the MBES model work for you without messing with the surounding cabinets and did you need a trim kit. The microwave is now retailing for $799.00 and the trim kit is another $350. not to mention messing with my cabinets. It obviously would not be worth that much to me to keep the name. Thanks for any advice you can give me!!!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:02PM
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We did this replacement with the MBES/01 and it worked great despite the fear-mongering I got from Thermador customer service. No cabinet work or additional trim kit was required. I was fortunate to find one for well less than $699 on ebay but that supplier no longer appears to stock it.

In the mean time, we cross our fingers every time the power goes out that the main display board will keep working - this has been replaced 3 times now and Thermador LOVES to hear from me on the issue.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 6:05PM
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blanche48...s_v_g...PLEASE HELP! This is absolutely the only forum I can find with people actually replacing the Tdor microwave with another Tdor microwave. I too have the same model and microwave problem. Thermador has given me the "no option" deal and telling me I need to purchase the upgraded model for $4k! I have been looking at the measurements for the MBES and it appears the height is going to be an issue. My SMW272(MBBS) measures at 14" (including the pegs for mounting to the frame it sits on inside) and the new MBES measures at 12 7/8". Did the trim kit from the old microwave work on the new one? Seems there would be a huge gap from the bottom of the oven control unit to the top of the microwave with an almost 2 inch difference. Also, just so I'm sure on the total length of the oven/combo/warmer unit...does everyone's measure 55in from top to bottom and do you have the 27in width model? didn't have to do ANY modifications?
Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I am posting my experience of replacing the microwave unit on the SMW272. I tried to change the control board, and every other part without any luck. Thermador actually sent the control board back to me indicating that it cannot be fixed. As glance pointed out, Thermador indicated that the MBES/01 was a replacement unit that Thermador recommended, but none of the local dealers i contacted indicated that it worked. All of them indicated that their customers had horrible experiences with replacing the microwave with an MBES/01

All of them seemed to suggest the GE JEB1860SMSS as a possible replacement, but it was a smaller microwave, but would need modifications and all of them recommended me to this one installer in the area who was swapping out the microwaves with the GE. (he charged $349 for the install). Hearing all this, i decided to research this further and decided not to go with a GE but with the Panasonic Prestige NN-SD997S, which had the same dimensions except for the depth.

I did the replacement myself and it took less than an hour. I was able to reuse the trim kit and all the trim that came with the microwave inside the SMW 272. It took some wiggling to get the old microwave out of the SMW272 casing without having the take the whole thing apart, but it can be done.

So i spent a total of $195 by buying the microwave from Amazon , instead of the $4000+ to replace the complete unit or $800 for the MBES/01

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 7:39AM
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I would like to attest to Krisht's experience above. I replaced my broken SMW272 with a Panasonic NN-SD997S. Easy replacement. The only hiccup I had was the f'ing Panasonic had a Torx screw with a pin in the middle. I had to get it off using a pair of pliers. Other than that, the whole process took less than an hour. $186 fix.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 10:23PM
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I replaced the microwave with the panasonic recommended by Jagane and it was a direct replacement. The trim ring pulls off and there are a handful of screws that must be removed to free the microwave. The sheet metal cladding pieces that prevent the microwave from coming out are applied with tape, a screwdriver acting as a pry bar or a thin piece of wood will make quick work of them.

Installation is a breeze, I didn't use the two sheet metal adds ons on the top, just the base piece on the bottom and the new one fit like a glove, even the holes lined up to screw in the base. This is a replacement that anyone with a screwdriver can accomplish, should take no more than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Panasonic NN-SD997S Genius "Prestige" 2.2 cuft 1250-Watt Sensor Microwave with Inverter Technology & Blue Readout, Stainless Steel

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:27PM
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Can you explain how to remove the microwave? I can't figure out how to remove the trim around the microwave. Do I need to remove the whole combination unit from the wall first? If so, is that by removing the four screws on the side of the regular oven? Is there something else I'm missing? Thanks

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 9:10PM
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You don't have to remove the combination unit from the wall. To remove the trim around the microwave, use a flat head screwdriver and pry it open at the four corners (snapped on to the housing).

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:58AM
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You don't have to remove the combination unit from the wall. To remove the trim around the microwave, use a flat head screwdriver and pry it open at the four corners (snapped on to the housing).

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:57AM
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I just replaced my Thermador microwave with the Panasonic unit mentioned above (thank you Jagane!) and it turned out better than I had hoped.

The Thermador SMW272 was purchased in March 2003 for almost $6,000 and has been fairly reliable until last year when I had to replace a circuit board on the oven ($600) and now the microwave, which started to turn-off and go into "cooling" mode after 5 seconds or so. This shut-off problem progressed from occasionally to all of the time (except for the first use in the morning, oddly). A $120 repair call from Thermador service told me that there were no parts available and that they couldn't fix it and that there were no replacements, etc. He even added that I shouldn't have purchased this in the first place as, in his opinion, one should never buy a built-in with more than one appliance.

An online search brought me to this site and the info that there are two solutions: replace the microwave with a new Thermador unit or go with the Panasonic model for a lot less.

I went with the Panasonic model, which I purchased for $234 without tax compared to the $800 for the Themador--a savings of $566!!!

I was concerned about the quality as you normally do get what you pay for and something that costs only 1/3 of the alternative must be lacking in something--right? Wrong. Comparing unit to unit without knowing the cost, I would definitely pick the Panasonic as being the more expensive unit. It has a solid, high-end feel to it and the stainless steel is also on the top and sides while the Thermador doesn't (the Panasonic looks great as a stand-alone unit--which is a consideration since the Thermador oven has a questionable life expectancy). The buttons also seem to be higher quality--real steal rather that the cheap-o touch pad on the Thermador.

The installation, as described before, is a snap. The Panasonic unit is the exact same size as the Thermador and the mounting holes lined up perfectly as if this was intended to be a replacement. A truly simple job that is easier than you think it will be.

The only negatives, and they are minor, are that the new unit has the Panasonic logo (I would like to remove this--any tips?) and the door window is not a direct visual match to the rest of the unit as it has curved sides like an old tv rather than the rectangular aesthetic. The window also has a slight blue-ish cast and the display is blue, which is a little more intrusive than the Thermador. However, the stainless steel has the same finish and it looks like the trim was custom made for the Panasonic--seems like it was made for this application. The whole built-in with the microwave, warning drawer and oven looks as expensive and as good as it did before and I can't imagine anyone noticing anything amiss.

Thanks again for the advice.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 12:43PM
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I have the same Thermador combo oven, and the microwave started to NOT heat the food. After ordering and installing a new $65 megatron, no luck. So I started looking at the Panasonic mentioned here above in other posts....I looked on line and couldn't find one for less that $300. But while in Wal-Mart I took a look at the microwaves they had on the floor and found that one looked and measured exactly like the Thermador. It is # NN-T945SF. It fits perfectly and the door and control panel look exactly like the Thermador and it only cost $159.00! I couldn't believe it but I just had let everyone know!

Here is a link that might be useful: Panasonic NN-T945SF

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 9:01PM
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I'll echo and augment what others have said, the Panasonic NN-SD987SB microwave is much higher end and has physical buttons as compared to the cheap membrane type pad of the Thermador MBES. It's an easy swap if you have a Thermador microwave that's failed as dimensionally and mechanically they are the exact same unit both manufactured by Panasonic, but also hard to stomach that you had overpaid 5x for the Thermador for what Panasonic is charging for a higher end model with physical buttons. Having done that once, I will never buy Thermador or parent Bosch appliances again - Consumer Reports has never ranked either brand highly and now I can see why - reskinning $130 Panasonics with cheaper controls and selling them at $700 is likely to really tick some people off - no one likes to be a sucker - or worse yet be identified as a sucker by a savvy guest or neighbor - "oh you bought a Thermador microwave?". The Panasonic's graphic LED displays (albeit in blue) are identical to the Thermador's but i guess this is to be expected since Panasonic manufactures the lower end Thermador model as well.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:52PM
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