Installing Appliances!

sail_awayMarch 24, 2013

We have new microwave and wall oven to be put in tall cabinet, DW, and gas cooktop. We (meaning mostly DH with help as needed from me) are installing everything except gas cooktop ourselves in our original cabinets from 22 years ago. We are paying someone to install the gas cooktop.

What a job it has turned out to be---especially the wall oven and microwave. We have 27" cabinets, and they both barely fit--we had to enlarge the cutouts for both, as well as make a lot of other adjustments to fit them in.

The wall oven was especially hard---first, that thing is HEAVY---I almost couldn't help DH to move it, and I was scared I was going to drop it. Then we had to cut out much larger hole---all that was left was the cabinet frame---for the oven. (The opening had to be cut twice, actually, because DH misread or mismeasured the first time.) Then, when we thought we could finally slide it in, there were tiny screws sticking out slightly toward the front which made it impossible to get it in the last few inches .... so, mark where the screws were on the side of the cabinet, slide it out AGAIN, and use a round file to chisel out an indentation in the cabinet frame to allow the oven to slide in.

Victory at last! But wait, it still won't go---the oven is so deep that the conduit containing the electrical wires doesn't fit behind the oven. So, after some discussion about what to do, DH expanded the small opening in the back of the cabinet at the bottom to extend all the way up--there was enough room to lay the conduit over the top of the oven. However, the entry point for the wires to come into the oven was on the side, where there isn't ANY room to get the wires through. So we punch a hole in the top cover of the oven and bring the wires through that way. Whew!

Finally, after being up two very late nights working on these, all appliances are in and working. Who knew it would be this challenging?

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Does sometimes happen that way.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 1:25PM
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Congratulations on winning the battle of the appliances. Pictures when you are back to life.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Anything do-it-yourself in a home always takes at LEAST twice as long as we anticipate...and usually longer. Not fun!

We are all awaiting an appliance report, and also look forward to pictures of your hard work. :)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Yeah, it feels good to have won that battle, but we can't rest on a laurels---we have to get our old countertops out before next Friday, when the fabricators will be templating for the new countertops.

I'll be in a better position to give a report on the appliances once we've gotten things back to normal and I can put them through their paces. Initial impressions: (1) Love DW racks, they pull in and out so smoothly. Have no idea how it will work yet, as waiting to get more than a handful of dishes in it before running. (We did do a trial rinse with the empty DW to make sure nothing leaked or anything---it's really, really quiet----can't hear it when it's just running,not draining.) (2) Soooo disappointed by the roller rack in the wall oven. Following written directions, it was nearly impossible to remove the rack from the oven. If I can't figure it out, I'm leaving the fancy easy-glide rolling rack out of the oven and will just get by with the two regular ones. All I've done is play with the controls, but hope to bake/roast something tomorrow. (3) Having a new microwave is a real eye opener. I knew my microwave had been taking longer and longer to cook or warm things, but I guess I didn't realize how much time it was taking since it got worse gradually. Just to warm a cup of coffee took twice as much time in my old 1500-watt microwave compared to the new 1200-watt one. Obviously going to be a learning curve with all of them.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:02PM
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"Who knew it would be this challenging?"

I did! I did! ;-)

I helped my dad install a Thermador double oven in a cabinet. Also, I got to remove it a few times for repairs when some of the elements burned out. We improvised an old stool, legs cut to the correct height, to place the oven upon and then push into position.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 2:40PM
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weedmeister, Yes--we did something similar. We have a small trunk (which I keep under a console in our foyer) that holds all the attachments for our central vac. With a bath towel folded on top, it was just the right height for sliding the oven in and out (we put heavy cardboard underneath to protect the floor while sliding). It was all I could do to help lift the wall oven up onto the trunk, which we then were able to slide over to where the oven cabinet is; if we had bought a double oven, I couldn't have done it.

By the way, DH had to take it back out last night because it wasn't quite level. Added a shim and now it's level.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Well - any updates!!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 10:39PM
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When I last wrote, we were facing the task of removing the counter tops. DH had checked online for ideas on how to make the removal easier and, most importantly, how to make sure we didn't damage our cabinets in the process. He decided to go with the suggestion of using a heavy duty car jack. He set the car jack on a big block of wood, then put a 2x4 on the top of it, resting under the edge of the countertop. Then it was a process of pulling it up, moving the jack and pulling up the next section down the whole length of the countertop. We also had to run a sharp edge along the top/back of the built-in backsplash to loosen it before finally pulling it off. All in all, it was a pretty smooth process---I'd recommend this method to others. It took time and effort, but everything came off cleanly. Of course, the backsplash wall doesn't look too good, but at least we didn't pull off any sheetrock. We'll just have to do some patching and evening out before the backsplash.

As far as the appliances, I only got to use my DW twice---both times it worked beautifully. I couldn't believe I was putting in those grimy dishes AND letting them sit for 24 hours before adding more dishes and runnning the DW. I actually had to fight against the impulse to rinse them, but I was determined to test out what everyone has been telling me----and you were all right! It was especially difficult to put the dirty utensils in with stuff stuck on them---if you've ever gotten a dirty fork in a restaurant, you know what I mean. But they came out perfect. I pulled out the filter to rinse it out after the two loads that were washed in the DW, and I didn't find anything there. i rinsed it anyway, but apparently the DW has liquified everything on the dishes so far. For the last few days and all of this week i'm washing dishes in my utility room until counters are installed and sink and DW are hooked up again. I'll probably appreciate the DW even more after that, huh?

I've continued to use the microwave and oven, but haven't really put them through their paces yet, as we've had the countertops off. But I've used my oven everyday and just love having a reliable one again---one that I can set the temperature and actually have it be that temperature. I thought the electronic controls might be cumbersome, but the menus are quite intuitive, and I don't have to go through dozens of screens to do what I want to do. My only complaints so far are: (1) As mentioned above, I am deeply disappointed in the rolling rack---I thought it would be so wonderful to have a rack with ball bearings in my oven, but it's proving to be a pain. I've left it out entirely. My plan is to go down to the appliance shop and ask for help figuring out how to remove and insert the rack. If that doesn't work, then does anyone want/need a roll out rack for a 27" Jenn-Air convection oven? We did experiment with baking salmon and using the auto convert feature to bake it using convection. It was fun to see how it automatically converts time and temperature, if necessary, to make the adjustments for cooking with convection. It worked great.

As I mentioned above, I can't believe what a difference there is between my old and new microwave. My microwave is just an inexpensive Whirlpool---it looks just like the Jenn-AIr, although it has less features and costs 1/2 the price. I didn't want or need the extra features, so this is working quite well for us. At first, I thought all the extra choices for "warm dinner plate," "beverage," "fresh vegetables," "frozen vegetables," etc. were ridiculous. I figured I know how long to cook or warm things, I don't need that. However, I decided that I should try them out, just to see how they work. They actualy work quite well. How does it do that? The only one that has been way off is the "beverage" choice. I heated my coffee in it and it was almost boiling over when it was finished. I think it heated it for 70 seconds, and in my old microwave I heated my coffee for about 88 seconds, and I often had to add more time. I actually only heat my coffee for 45 seconds now in the new one. Another feature I find surprisingly useful is the "add 30 seconds/start." I often just push that twice for something I want to heat or contniue cooking for just 1 minute.

So, in sum, I'm pleased with my appliances. i haven't really put them through a normal week's use, but I think I've experimented with them enough to know that, overall, I'm very happy with the choices. The only caveat is seeing whether they prove to be durable and not need excessive repairs. Only time will tell that.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:47PM
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As to the DW filter, you don't have to deal with it more than every 6 months or so, depending on your load.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Oh, thanks, Weedmeister. I figured, with as much stuff as I left on the dishes, I would need to rinse it out every week.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:05PM
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