Help! Is GE Profile Spacemaker II microwave a good choice?

mrs-mjtAugust 20, 2008

I'm looking for a MW that has a shallow depth and found this model (PEM31SMSS). Any pros or cons? I was planning on putting MW in island so size wasn't an issue, but my family wants it placed in upper cabs so it is easier to access so trying to find something that won't stick out too far. I'm meeting with cabinet guy tomorrow so need to decide quick. Thanks!

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sher_nc

I was considering the same model when I looked at GE wall ovens. I didn't have this one, but I did have a GE Profile spacemaker OTR microwave & really liked it. Never had any problems.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:52PM
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sarschlos_remodeler

We had a GE profile OTR in our last house (it was the only model that came in a 36" width to cover the entire width of our cooktop) and never had any problems. I wanted one that was also a convection oven, but the 36" model only came in a standard MW. The convection/mws are less spacious inside.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:59PM
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luisa_at_home

The GE PEM is the only game in town at 12 deep 24 wide. I looked all over for alternatives & ended up with this one. It's not bad but a little low, so watch out for bonking tallish items on the top on the way in! Otherwise it seems to work quite well.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 3:29PM
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grannabelle

we have it and have no probs - although it is small it does fit decent sized plates and casserole dishes

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 4:00PM
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cindyinsocal

I have it as well and love it. I was worried about it being to small, but everything I need to fit in it does!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:59PM
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weissman

I have its predecessor the JEM31 and it works fine - I've had it for nearly 6 years without any problems.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:08PM
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cat_mom

We have the same one as weissman. Went from a HUGE 20 yr old Panasonic to this one. Had no choice re: size, and wanted one that had an on/off option for the turntable, so the JEM31 was it. It works fine for our needs.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:50PM
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gibby2015

I have the predecessor too - it's great.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:57PM
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perqqderqq

I have a GE Spacemaker II (very similar to the PEM31) that I bought 16 years ago and still use today. It's an excellent microwave, but it's not huge. I plan to buy the PEM31 in a few days for our new kitchen. I discovered, as someone already mentioned, if you want/need a shallow microwave that's still at least 1.0 Cu. Ft. the GE is the only game in town.

- Jim

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 12:49AM
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mrs-mjt

Thanks! So where do you have your spacemaker mounted? Is it on a shelf in upper cabinet or did you hang it underneath the cabinet? Pictures would be great!! I don't want to lose my upper cabinets to a MW yet not sure if I want it hanging over my countertop. Need to decide ASAP!

I'm tempted to just go with a standard depth MW in the island but don't think I'll like bending over to get stuff out, to clean it, etc. as I'm not getting any younger. :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 1:31AM
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weissman

I have it mounted in an upper cabinet with a trim kit - pictures on my home page or Finished Kitchens Blog. Needed to recess it slightly to get it flush - the other MW you can mount in an upper cabinet is the Sharp R-1214.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:58AM
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mrs-mjt

Thanks weissman. I'm on someone else's computer so I don't have the finished kitchen blog bookmarked like I do on my home computer and can't seem to find it. Can someone please send me a link?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 10:51AM
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weissman

Here's the link - you can always just google to find it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchens Blog

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 10:57AM
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mrs-mjt

Thanks! For some reason when I tried to google it, it wouldn't come up or my late-night tired eyes missed the link.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 2:36PM
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suska6184

I have that microwave mounted on the brackets underneath the upper cabinets. I really did not want to sacrifice cabinet space, but I wasn't sure how I'd like the loss of height over that area of counter. Turned out to be perfect for me in the long run. The height is ideal, and I ended up always finding something to use that low clearance counter for, eg. fruit bowl, brownie pan, etc.
I have not run across anything I ever wanted to put in that microwave that was too big- it holds everything!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:17PM
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mrs-mjt

Thanks suska6184, I've wondered about mounting it under the cabinet so I don't lose out on upper cab space but was concerned about the "loss" of counter space underneath so appreciate your input. What is the distance between your countertop and upper cabinets? What is the distance between your countertop and bottom of MW? Do you have a picture by chance? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:45PM
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mysterymachine

I have that microwave. The guy at the appliance store made a good point that they are so cost effective that even if they don't last you can buy a new model in a few yrs. So far we've loved it - it took a little bit getting used to the small size however I've offset the need for it a lot with the double oven with the warming feature. The defrost (which is mainly what I use it for) is a much better, more even defrost than the sharp mw I had before.

They have them in our lunchrooms at work and they take a beating and have no problems.

I tried to find a picture of just the microwave layout... I know I have one somewhere - just can't find it now so this will have to do:

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 1:53PM
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mrs-mjt

Thanks for the photo mysterymachine. I really LOVE your kitchen!

Can you give me the interior dimensions of the cab that your MW sits in so I can pass them on to my cabinet guy? I met with him yesterday and he was a bit concerned about how it would look aesthetically as well giving up cabinet space to house the MW, but the other option is to hang it underneath the cabs, put it on countertop or do an island MW. I've ruled out the island MW. Who would've thought figuring out a place for a MW would be so challenging!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:27AM
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suska6184

mrs-mjt,

Sorry, I do not have a picture but to answer your questions:
the distance between my counter and the bottom of my upper cabinets is 18 inches, and the distance from my counter to the bottom of the microwave is 7-1/4 inches. Not alot of clearance there so it does pose limitations, but I have made it work for me. I was more OK with that than giving up upper cabinet space. However, I feel I do have plenty of counterspace throughout the rest of my kitchen, so that is definitely something you should consider. If it's kind of limited, hanging the microwave may not be the best option for you. But for ease of use, I agree that either hanging it or building it into the upper cabinet area is preferable to having it in an island.

Good luck with all of your decisions!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 1:13AM
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cat_mom

Here's our JEM31 with trim kit:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:06AM
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dcindc

Thanks for the assuarances! I am planning to buy this microwave as well. We don't want a massive microwave, and this will fit in the 24" cab.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:12AM
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remodel1958

First I brought home a beautiful JennAir convection oven - it seemed like it would do everything but ended up being a real pain. Too complicated! And in the end too large (I didn't plan the cab right and there wouldn't have been enough clearance for a convection)

So I now have this Ge Spacemaker and LOVE it. 95% of the time, it has taken only ONE panel press to get the job done.

Couldn't be happier and I have a full size oven if I need larger capacity.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:37PM
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mrs-mjt

cat mom, LOVE your cabinets! Appreciate all your input!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 11:12PM
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mysterymachine

Thanks for the compliments on the kitchen. I will get you those dimensions tonight. One important thing is that the outlet for it is actually in the cabinet above it so that you can use the full depth of the cabinet and not have space robbed by the plug.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:49PM
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cat_mom

Thanks mrs-mjt! Glad to help out!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 2:41PM
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laurmela

I have the JEM as well and love it. It is hung under an upper cabinet over the counter next to my stove. It is on the finished kitchen blog as well. WE used to have one over the stove and I hated that, no room on the stove.

Good luck.

Laura

Here is a link that might be useful: microwave

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 2:59PM
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linnymac

http://s465.photobucket.com/albums/rr11/linnymac
I have no idea how to send just one picture....but my Profile II fits in well and I didn't even want a microwave. I love the drawer under it

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:00PM
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mrs-mjt

mysterymachine, Thanks for the tip on the outlet location.

lauraella, I like how your MW looks hanging below the cabinet. I may have to give that option more thought.

linnymac,thanks for the photo.

Looks like this MW can be mounted in a variety of ways that work well.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 1:49AM
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mysterymachine

The measurements of the opening the microwave is in: 25.75" x 13.5"

Its a standard 27" wide upper cab (12" deep). The only difference between the microwave cab and any other uppers is that the microwave cab is laminated inside and out and also has that slab of wood for the microwave to sit on (technically it doesn't need that slab with where the feet are but it looks better becuase the slab lines up with the face of the other cabs)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:49AM
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mrs-mjt

Thanks mysterymachine!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 2:33PM
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garden18c

Hi mrs-mjt,

Just wondering if you made a decision on your MW. I have this same problem with where to put the MW. Not much upper cabinets to work with and I don't want it under counter height or on island.

Did you choose either the GE PEM or GE JEM31? I like the look of the JEM31 but not sure it's still available?
We considered getting a MW/convection above a single wall oven - KitchenAid unit (instead of double ovens) but didn't like the idea of the microwave being above the oven (too high and the pull down door makes it even harder for kids to use) and also losing the use of a MW when using that 2nd oven (MW/convection oven of the combined unit).
Anyone have other additional thoughts?

KD says to put it under counter. My husband says we should just get a small one and put it on the counter. I don't like that either!

A difficult decision. Thanks for asking this question.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 1:52PM
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mrs-mjt

garden18c, I ordered the PEM31 from abt.com (they have a Labor Day sale so got an extra 5% off). If you check the abt.com website they have rave reviews for the PEM31.

It would certainly be easier if I just put MW in island but the house we are currently staying at has MW in island and I don't like bending over to press buttons, remove plates, etc... as I'm not getting any younger. I use my MW a lot so want it very handy so the cabinetmaker drew it in an upper 14" deep cabinet next to my frig. He trimmed it out so it looks built in. The only concern with this design is that I'm stuck with the MW dimensions of the PEM31 so when MW dies, I hope GE will still be making this model to replace it.

I don't think it would bother me to have this counter-depth MW sitting on the counter or even hanging from it if you want to save your upper cabinets.

Who thought placing a MW would be so difficult! LOL!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 6:56PM
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wahoomom5

Believe it or not, four years later the PEM31 is still the only microwave of this size around.

Here is my situation, small'ish kitchen with no built in microwave currently. To maximize counter space I am considering taking down my old vent hood over my stove and mounting this microwave in it's place. I can't place a normal OTR microwave over my stove because the cabinet above the stove is too low and would place the bottom of the microwave too close to the cooktop. I really only have the 12 inch height to work with. Mounting this microwave under any other existing cabinets isn't really workable because my cabinets are mounted 16 inches above the counters, leaving only 4 inches from bottom of microwave to counter which is unusable.

So, has anyone mounted this microwave above the stove or placed it on a shelf above the stove? If so, can you please post pictures.I am not that concerned about losing the vent hood as I rarely use it anyway. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:59PM
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