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Electrical Wire and Cable

How To Get Power for a Microwave Circuit

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Install an Electrical Circuit for a Microwave Oven: Dedicated Circuit for a Microwave Oven, Example of a Microwave Oven Circuit.

Guide to Circuit Wiring for a Microwave Oven

Electrical Question: I have a new forced air heater I now run when my wife is chilled.

I have good copper wiring throughout the house. I am considering running a 120 volt leg off the 240 volt circuit that supplies the oven and range outlet thus sharing the oven range power with the microwave.

My Electrical Questions Are:


This electrical wiring question came from: Alan, a Handyman from Memphis, Tennessee.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Alan.

How to Wire a Microwave Oven Circuit

Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, electric drill,  auger bits and extension cord.
Safety Measures: Personal safety and construction safety measures must be practiced as needed for the type of construction materials that are present and the circuit wiring methods which will be performed.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical circuit wiring.
Notice: Installing a dedicated microwave outlet and electrical circuit wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Electrical Answer Specific to this Question about Power for a Microwave Oven

The proposed plan to tap 120 volts from the 60 amp oven range circuit to be used for the microwave oven, or anything else is highly dangerous and should be avoided.

Example of Installing a Circuit for a Microwave Oven

  1. Typically the required circuit for a microwave oven is 120 volt 20 amps.
  2. The electrical panel supplying the circuit must have additional amperage capacity and the available space for the additional circuit breaker.
  3. A 12-2 with ground Type NM Cable is installed from the electrical panel to the location of the microwave oven.
  4. An outlet box is installed with a 20 amp rated electrical outlet and cover plate for the microwave oven cord connection.
  5. A 20 amp rated circuit breaker is installed in the electrical panel supplying the circuit power for the dedicated circuit.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How To Get Power for a Microwave Circuit”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Madelin,
    The 110 volt outlet that is located behind the gas range is typically on a shared circuit because a gas range does not require a dedicated circuit. A microwave oven does require a dedicated 120 volt circuit so that the outlet and circuit is not shared which will prevent the circuit from becoming overloaded which will trip the circuit breaker. If the outlet behind the range is on a separate circuit then yes, it may be routed up and used for the microwave oven, however this would have to be verified.

  2. Madelin Weiss says:

    I have a gas range that is plugged into a 110 volt line. I am having an over the oven microwave oven installed – can the new microwave use the same 110 volt outlet as the range?