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Clearance to combustibles


czarcone
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The IRC makes no distinction between gas and electric ranges for the 30" vertical clearance to unprotectsed combustible material above the cooking surface. Reduced clearances are permitted in accordance with the listing and labeling of the range hoods or appliances.

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Sounds like the poster and responders are focused on the code requirements again instead of taking a broad, multi-disciplinary approach. The need for vertical space between the cooktop and the cabinet or micro/hood above it is based on more than just the mfr's req. or the code. How about the ability to stir a pot of spaghetti sauce when it's cooking on the back burner. I regularly see clearances of less than 18". Thoughts?

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Hi,

I don't think you should let yourself get wrapped around the axle over minutia. The minimum code clearance these days is 24 inches from the stovetop to the underside of a microwave, unless the manufacturer's listing and labeling allows it to be closer. Most do and here's why:

The bottom of the microwave must be steel, at least 28 guage thick. The minimum clearance to the underside of those little overrange cabinets is 30 inches from the surface of the stove and not less than 66 inches from the floor. Those have pretty much been standardized, except in the case of a home where the kitchen is designed for a handycapped person, and all of the manufacturer's and builders use those specs. You can pull up installation manuals for various overstove microwaves and range hoods online and find those numbers in their installation manuals.

So, the appliance manufacturer's make the microwaves with 28 gauge steel on the underside and design them with those minimum clearances in mind - knowing full well that they'll be below the 24 inch minimum that code specifies. It might not make a whole lot of sense to you or I, but unless you can prove that the manufacturer's specs state that you cannot install the microwave that close to the range, than calling it because you don't think it makes sense might not be the right call.

After all, the people who are going to use it have seen it and already know whether they are comfortable with the clearance. All they are really interested in knowing is whether it is installed correctly, works, presents a hazard or is somehow illegal. If they are uncomfortable with the height at those minimum standards they can always raise the cabinets and microwave to a height that makes them comfortable.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Yes,

That is what I'm saying. For instance, the GE Spacesaver oven has a height of 16 1/2 inches. When you install it beneath the small cabinet set at the standard 66 inch height, the bottom of it is 49 1/2 inches from the floor or only 13 1/2 inches from the top of a stove flush with the counters at the standard 36-inch height. The manufacturer knows full well that it will be that close to the oven when the cabinet is set at the minimum allowable height and it is designed that way. If someone wants to use a big stock pot on a stove under one of these, they'll just have to place it on the front burners.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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