My dad was in town for a day or two last week. He asked me what activities he should do while he was here. On the short list: the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the botanical gardens, riding his bike up Mt. Lemmon, and installing a new above-range microwave.
Our old microwave - brand "EWave," which immediately made me think of Magnetbox, Panaphonic, and Sorny - broke for the third time almost a year ago. First, the handle broke off. Apparently, somebody on the EWave microwave design team didn't realize that handles were not meant to be fragile objects. After it broke off, we used a butter knife to pry the door open. Next, the keypad went on the fritz. You could still use the microwave, but only sometimes. Finally, the microwave itself stopped functioning. There was just no way around it - it was broken, broken, broken.
Since then, we've been using a regular old countertop microwave we already owned. So for many months now, the first item on my honey-do list for Jeremy has been "Get this microwave the heck off my counter."
When my dad came to town, we headed off to Lowe's to check out our options for self-installing a new microwave. For reasons not entirely clear to me, Lowe's decided to hire a wet blanket for an appliance salesman.
Our first question for him was whether we (well, my dad) would be able to install the microwave by ourselves. "Oh, I doubt it," he said, "but we do offer home delivery and installation for $150."
OK, then. How about the installation kit? And can we use the old bolt placements that are already there? "Well, the hardware is included with the microwave," but "no, no, you couldn't use the old stuff. Our delivery service, however, will just take away your old one and put in the new."
When I found the cheapest acceptable microwave: "Oh, that one's on clearance. And actually, we're out of stock. You'd have to just take the floor model."
We finally found an in-stock, not-too-expensive microwave and decided to just go for it and do it ourselves. But just to make sure, we asked if we could hire an installation guy to come over and finish the job if we found we couldn't do it. It almost killed the salesman to let us walk out of there without using his precious delivery service, but grudgingly, he admitted that we could.
You know how Bob the Builder's motto is "Can we fix it? Yes, we can!"? Well, this grumpy Lowe's appliance salesman's motto was "No, you can't!"
My dad didn't really notice this attitude, which means either that my dad is less perceptive of other people's moods or else that I went in there with a chip on my shoulder, expecting to be mistreated and looked down upon because I am a woman.
The removal and installation ended up going very well, thanks to my dad.
Breaking Dawn and Twilight were on hand to provide additional support height in case the microwave fell while my dad was removing it.
Here is the old piece of junk. We considered putting it out by the side of the road - we have previously rid ourselves of an entertainment center and an ancient barbecue in that manner (the barbecue was gone before we'd even walked back into the house). But this microwave was not only broken, it was broken in three ways. So we threw it out.
The finished product. I feel like I have twice as much kitchen space now that I don't have a broken microwave hanging out above my stove and another microwave hogging a whole corner of the counter.
When it was all done, and I was sure we had been successful installing the microwave, I asked my dad if he wanted to go back to Lowe's and say "in your face!" to the salesman. Sadly, he declined.
So, in the case of "Can we [replace] it?" although Lowe's would have you believe otherwise, the answer is: "Yes, we can!" Especially if your dad is in town.