Small Household Appliances/Over the range microwave


QUESTION: Dear Wayne,

My Kenmore over the range microwave passed away, so we purchased a GE one with the same characteristics and also the same width so it'd fit in the spot in between kitchen cabinets where the old one was.

I was wishing that the metal plate which held the old microw. to the wall would be standard and would fit the new GE m.w., so it wouldn't have to be removed. But no way, they're quite different...

I removed the old one, and now I have a wall full of holes, and there's no solid beam behind the drywall at the spot for the m.w. I'm planning to patch the holes made by the old screws, but I don't think that if one of the new screws coincides with one of the patched holes, that the patch would hold like the original drywall did. I'd like to have a firm, secure, long-lasting installation, but I'm out of ideas. Would you please suggest a better way to do this?

Thanks in advance,


ANSWER: Purchase a stud finder at your local building supply store, they are not expensive.  There should be a stud somewhere in the wall that you can hit with a screw.  You may end up opening the wall and mounting a cross stud between two studs to mount the plate to.  The wall will not be hard to patch as it is probably just drywall.  If you are careful, you may be able to use the old piece of drywall.

Another possibility would be to use snap open anchor bolts.  You have to drill a hole in the drywall and insert a spring clip that will spring open on the back side of the hole.  If there is room you can mount a short piece of 1X4 to wall with these bolts.  Or if you do not have much room you can mount the plate directly to the wall using these bolts.  

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Wayne,

Thank you for the great ideas. After I rated your answer, when I got home, I looked inside the wall thru the venting holes at the top of the wall, and you're right, it has what I believe to be a stud in the center of the space where the kitchen range and the over-the-range microwave go. It's a galvanized or metalic stud, but it's hollow, not like the wood ones I'm familiar with. I wonder how would a screw hold to this...? Mabe I have to use a special kind of screw? According to your experience, which is the best way to proceed with this type of stud?

Thank you in advance,


Metal studs are made of steel and can be drilled and you can use metal screws to hold your bracket.  Just be sure that you drill the correct size hole in the stud for that size screw that you are using.  Good luck.

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Wayne Kiefer


Any concerning the repair of small electric household appliances (coffee makers, waffle makers,etc.) shavers, antique clocks, air compressors, lamps, generators.


High school Industrial Arts teacher. Plant manager at Trek Bicycle factory. Self employed for last 20 years in the small appliance repair business.

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