1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Microwave's vent close to refrigerator

  1. Nov 20, 2015 #1
    < Mentor Note -- Post edited >

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    So do you know how a microwave has air vents on the side?

    How much of a distance must be allowed between the vent and the side of refrigerator in order for the Microwave not to overheat?

    Is 10 cm enough? Would putting an aluminum foil on the side of the fridge help? Like it'd absorb whatever radiation(?) waves from the vent, and not let the side of the fridge overheat... or not let the microwave get its waves waved back... so it'd overheat... or like waves must not be obstructed, because then they superimpose on each other and it'll block other waves coming out from the vent and then the mw would overheat rapidly...?

    It's just right now the MW seems to get hot on the right side (opposite side of the vent), when I touch it at the bottom, and on top.

    2. Relevant equations
    I have no idea. Like, does only the air come out from the vents? How about electric/magnetic fields?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Suppose it's a 800W microwave. Uhm... Dunno what to say next.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    10cm seems like it should be adequate. You might check the Owner's Manual for a typical microwave oven to see if it specifies a distance. Do you have a specific model of microwave oven in mind?
  4. Nov 20, 2015 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There should be no "waves" from the vents of a microwave. All the microwave radiation is contained in the "guts" of the oven. The vents are for air circulation to cool the electronics, so it's just conventional cooling requirements like any other piece of electronic equipment.

    The manufacturer will have made recommendations regarding minimum clearances to allow an adequate amount of airflow according to whatever stated or unstated assumptions they've made about the rest of the operating environment. As @berkeman states, your owners manual should lay out those generic recommendations. If you have a particular situation that you're unsure about, contact the manufacturer and describe your setup.
  5. Nov 20, 2015 #4


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    I've measured my distance. 3 cm. And I haven't had any problems, yet.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Microwave's vent close to refrigerator
  1. Refrigeration Cycle (Replies: 8)