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Discovered the abject misery of oven/microwave combos. Need advice.

Ian Simpson
6 years ago

So this miserable thing (Whirlpool GMC301PRS) broke on Thanksgiving:

After doing some research online, it sounds like the temperature sensor and control board have likely called a quits, and the repairs would probably be between $700 and $1000. It's 11 years old now, i.e. not worth fixing.

In my naiveté, I thought "Oh, a good oven is only $1200 and this is one of those minus range plus microwave which is a $300 appliance; not a big deal" only to find out that microwave wall oven combos are criminally expensive (floor seems to be $2000 on sale) and, at least in my opinion, more prone to failure since you have 2 appliances wrapped into a single bundle of failure potential.

Initially I was looking at the KitchenAid KOCE500ESS as a replacement while gnashing my teeth about the idea of spending $3000 on $2000 worth of appliances.

I'm starting to think that the best course of action would actually be to do a single wall oven (KitchenAid KOSE500ESS or Bosch HBL8451UC) and then probably do a countertop microwave on a shelf above, most likely with a trim piece to make it look a bit more uniform.

(On a related note, I noticed that the KitchenAid microwave that's part of the aforementioned combo, the KMBP100ESS, is a retina searing $1800 by itself.)

Annoyingly, the microwave I like the most, the KitchenAid KMHC319ESS, is an over-the-range microwave, and it sounds like it's not a great idea to MacGruber one of those into a cabinet.

So, given that, I'm curious to get feedback on the course of action I'm considering taking and any prerequisites or consequences I should brace myself for.

I'm assuming some cabinet work will be required as the existing unit is 43" tall and likely not tall enough to accommodate placing both an oven and microwave where its carcass once was. I do think it's worth this separation though as I'm against the liability of a single unit.

Also, why on earth are the standalone built in microwaves $1000 more than an equivalent standalone model?

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