Is microwave safe without the outside cover screwed on.

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I just got out of the hospital with a broken arm and abdominal surgery. (you don't want to know the gory details) It's very hard to do anything. I live alone.
I have a small microwave whhich had an intermittent fuse. This happened a week before I was hospitaized, and I hadn't fixed it yet. It would be great to have hot food. I can replace the fuse but finding and getting and and putting on the metal cover, the cabinet, is probably beyond me. It it safe to use without that outside cover? How far away would I have to be?
What if I do find the cover but I can't do more than lay it on top, in place, but can't even put one screw in. Does the cover help at all wihout any screws? What about one screw? Does the screw have to be in tight?
Thanks a lot.
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I am getting into a bit of a mood to pull out my Troll-O-Meter unit to see if it gets a reading for someone who can load food into a microwave oven and operate it and drag its cover onto it but is questioning need of a screw or more than one screw.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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"mm" wrote

No, it is not safe and it's not just a matter of distance for you either. It's the other stuff in your house. I doubt you can run from a fire just now.
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cshenk wrote:

It may or may not be safe, depending on how the case and RF shielding are constructed. Can't see it from here. If your current cashflow can handle it, I'd call a local ma'n'pa appliance store, explain your situation, and get a price on a low-end countertop micro delivered and plugged in, with your old one carried down to the basement for you. You can look the brand and model number up online as you are talking to them, so you know what you are buying. Should be less than 100 bucks or so- they are pretty cheap now. It will take their driver and helper maybe five minutes onsite as they make their other deliveries, so it shouldn't be too hard getting them to stretch their delivery policy.
Once you get healed up, you can search out all the pieces of the old one, and get it running again, to use as a spare.
-- aem sends...
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Recommend NOT. A microwave is a powerful radio transmitter in a box. However if you do HAVE to use it put item in, operate and retreat a distance away (like at least 10 to 20 feet) until it stops. That's usually only a minute or two anyway! And use as little as possible with nothing flammable nearby. When it comes time to put cover back on make absolutely sure the edges of the cover (which provided RF 'radio frequency' seals are correctly meshed/inserted. It's very easy to put cover on some and NOT get those seals correct. It may be good idea to get some help with that; another pair of hands etc. Be careful there a very high voltage inside as well. In my time as an electronics technician I have repaired a few and recommend great care. A new microwave (often, here, around $50 to $80 at Wal Mart or costco etc.) or one loaned by a friend may be an idea? Take care.
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I hae found that Goodwill is an excellent source for microwave ovens, usually $10 or so. Apparently they have people whp go through them, clean and make repairs.
Jimmie
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First thanks to everyone for their helpful answers. I feel much better now.

That is an excellent idea, aem. I'm so used to buying something and taking it home, it never occurred to me. And there is a family one-store appliance company just 3 or 4 miles from here and I know their name. Even though I've never been inside, they've been in a well-trafficked semi-upscale location for the whole 25 years I've been here so they're probably good and couldn't be that bad.
BTW, I've quoted you once or twice to people here about the advantages of independant appliance stores.

Also a very good idea.

Also good.
Thanks a lot.

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Sorry, but mm has been a regular here for a couple of years and he did mention in the past that he lives alone. I have no reason to doubt he has a problem. Unfortunately, IIRC, he lives a couple of hundred miles from me or I'd go fix his microwave cover or take him a cheap unit to use.
I could lend him the one I bought for my wife when she came out of the hospital with a fractured foot. I hope you are never in that position.
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wrote:

Thanks, Edwin. I appreciate the defense and the thought that you'd do that for me. I don't think i've come across anyone here who lives closer than 50 miles (although on a couple other ngs I've found one guy who lives 20 and 2 or 3 others who were 5 miles away.
I'm making progress though. I found the case for the microwave and it's not really buried. And my bad hand has improved a lot just since yesterday. The splint came off and the smaller lighter cast went on on Wednesday, but I didn't really see much change until today, Sunday. I can use all 5 fingers for typing today.
I did have a warm lunch at the hospital on Wednesday, so that gives me more patience too. And I could have pizza or other italian food delivered. There used to be a Chinese restaurant that delivered, but it closed suddenly a few months ago, no one I know knows why.

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"mm" wrote

Would you be anyplace near Norfolk, VA? If so, email me. It's not grunged above.
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Another generous offer. I am "anyplace" near Norfolk but Baltimore is still too far. Thanks a lot.
Last night I looked at the fuse I had because I had to buy two to fix my sister-in-law's microwave. (My brother had used the wrong but almost identical rack in the thing, and it sparked, melted a bit of plastic, and blew the fuse.)
It was 20 amps and I needed 12, so I went back to RS today and got a 15 amp. 4 for 3 dollars. (They also have 10 amps.)
I'll put that in tomorrow, plus the cover, which has 7 clips I see now, that are part of the cover and clip to the metal parts of the microwave. I think i can get one screw in too.
I was testy Saturday night -- sorry all -- and what I didn't want to say is I have a temporary colostomy bag which also slows me down, and upsets me, although they tell me that people function normally for years with one. Although I'm not sure that includes crawling on one's belly into the eaves of the attic. But 2 to 5 more months and he's going to reverse that. I'm hoping to be 100% by April. And to have warm food in a day or two.
Posted and mailed.
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"mm" wrote

So sorry then. I was driving by that on the way to and from a picnic in NY (friends and family sort of thing) just this past month. I could have grabbed a quick cheap one and set back with a cup of tea with your for a spell, which would have tided you over.

Ok, long as you are careful to not hurt yourself. You need good nutrition to get over the surgery, but you also have to not stress the system just now with any lifting.

Grin, understandable. Meantime, a useful gadget to borrow if someone has one, is a *small* crockpot. Often called a 'baby' crockpot. Removable line weighs about 1 lb. Suitable to steam/heat/bake several small potatoes or 2 small apples. Not sure what diet you need, but if you want to meet me in the rec.food.cooking group or telnet to my place at shenks.synchro.net --> echos---> cooking (not same as usenet group, slower but much more friendly) we can probably help with recipes that fit any diet you need, if you tell us what it is.
From my little rememberance, you actually need a somewaht restrictive fiber diet with a colostomy bag? Not radically, but it shifts the longer you have it. Also because some of the intestines (lower presumed) are 'edited out of the path' you have to eat high in some items. I do not recall what they are, but I bet if you tell me, I can wipe up some tastey ideas you can run by your Doc. Might not matter just much to you this week, but as you start feeling better, it will.
What little I recall from ages ago as a nurses aide (that bright eyed little lady with a smile and a warm cloth where needed) was that things that made big stomach acids were not good (at least at the start, I didnt see folks after release). I seem to recall a low acid diet?
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mm wrote: ...[story of being incapacitated]...
Surely there's somebody you know who could give a guy a hand in a church group, work or somewhere???
I'd guess (but it would be only that) if could slide the cover back on the unit it would be reasonably effective if don't stay directly in the area.
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mm wrote:

So far as I recall, the ONLY unique hazards connected with a microwave are its interference with some, older, pacemakers and exacerbating cataracts if you put your eyeball in the oven. If you were using a megawatt radar dish to warm you chocolate bar, you might get a hot hand, but otherwise...
Other hazards, that a microwave shares with a toaster, are electric shock from exposed components or possibly a fire.
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I used to do Amana warranty work and we had one of those testers for checking for leakage. It made the customers feel all warm and fuzzy. I have tested numerous ones with the cover off and never found a significant amount of leakage so getting nuked is not the problem. There could be some lethal voltages exposed with the cover off, to me that is the real issue.
Jimmie
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HeyBub wrote: ...

That's essentially true, altho there are other specific hazards (one being the testes are extremely temperature sensitive, but we'll not explore that one further here :) ).
If shielding is in place and no seal leaks, etc., there's very little evidence of any problem. The question here is how much the removed cover is actually shielding as opposed to the cosmetic cover.
I'd reiterate the suggestion to at least slide the cover back on the unit and then not stay in the immediate vicinity (as in hover over it waiting) while it's on as probably being reasonable precautions.
If that proves excessively difficult, starting it and leaving the room completely would still undoubtedly be ok. (Staying probably would, too, but since one can't tell where there might be a fairly strong beam unless and until there's evidence of heating, caution is better than not. The cataract thing is long term damage and why take excessive chance kind of reasoning.)
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I can do that.

I never do that! I usually sit 6 to 8 feet away and I used a Radio Shack microwave meter to check leakage when I first got this microwave. It was zero or appeared that way with an analog meter with the cover ON.

Hmmm.
Absolutely.
Thanks to you and to all.

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wrote:

Why take a chance? How difficult is it to ask a friend or neighbor to help you put the cover back on?
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wrote:

It wouldn't be difficult, except they've done so many things for me already. One stopped by my house twice and brought things I needed to the hostpital; 3 others brought me food, 2 from the grocery according to what I wanted, and one that she made herself; Another couple picked me up at the hospital and wanted me to stay a couple nights at their house; Another took me to the hospital for a follow-up appt. I would have taken a cab, but he insisted. One drilled out my door locks at home and changed the locks so I could return home, because the hospital lost my keys and my friends with keys were away for a few days, I'm hoping someone will mow my tiny lawn, but I may end up paying a neighbor who mows several lawns, I presume for money. But he mowed away my new rose bush, outside my fence, earlier this summer, so I'm not eager to have him mow inside the fence.
One is having me for dinner and giving me a room so I can spend the night and have lunch the next day. Her son-in-law is going to pick me up and take me home. (Actually, I may be able to drive by then so I won't need the ride or the room.)
And more.
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On Sun, 21 Sep 2008 01:51:05 -0400, mm wrote:

1st try to get a new microwave oven.
IIRC, I once heard a lecture by a professor of Electrical Engineering from a Big Ten college who stated that most Microwave Ovens have the frequency of the oven focused on heating water molecules. The long string protein molecules pick up vibration (heat) from the vibrations of the water molecules (convection heating).
Thus, most microwave ovens will not hurt most of your body because you blood will move the heat to other parts of your body. The more blood circulation (because it is mostly water) in a specific part of your body, the less danger. Obviously, the place(s) where there is water and little, or no, blood to transport the heat is a potential problem: the inner part of your eye and inside your bladder. Heating up the fluid inside your eyeball over and over can be bad on the cones and rods on the back of your eyeball.
{Aside: microwave energy is NOT X-ray or Gamma-Ray energy. Wrong energy level and E-M frequency.}
As someone else pointed out, keep metal well away with the cover just slightly on. Make sure you turn your head well away from the oven when in use. The further your eyeballs and bladder are from the source, the better. Worst case: sitting in wheelchair, watching food cook by staring into oven while oven is on counter eyeball height and the cover is loosely on.
But still get a new oven.
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