Microwave Oven problem

Hi,
I have an over the stove microwave oven which I think has 2 related problems. The first is that its 20 Amp circuit breaker keeps tripping intermittently. It is the only device on the circuit. This has been occurring for a 2 months. Recently the microwave appears to be producing too much power while cooking. For example, it melts plastic plates where do not before and cooks items hotter than before. My thought is that microwave has had it.
Any comments?
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Wow, sounds like a problem, I would get a new one. Conceivably the breaker could be a problem child.
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The microwave may be broken but I don't see how it could use more than 20 amps even if it is. Sometimes breakers get old and trip when they shouldn't. (But if you replace it, don't throw it away until youre sure the new one works better.)
Do you have power levels on your microwave. Try using a lower level all the time. It's even possible that level 10 is bad, but levels 1 through 9 work fine, but if not that, 1 through 10 might still be proportional, even if they are all high.
At the very least you'll learn something about the psychology of microwaves, and you may get many more years out of your device.
BTW, iiuc, plenty of plastics will work well in a microwave, but the ones that are really designed for them won't get hot at all, even if the oven runs longer and hotter than it should. I certainly have some melmac type stuff that get's warmer than it should (which also means that the food isn't cooked as much as otherwise) and other melmac type stuff, or china, that doesn't get hot at all. I try to remember to use the latter.
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wrote:

do
microwave
The door has a switch that shorts out the power line if the oven tries to come on with the door open. That is the first place to look. There are two switches, one breaks the power so it won't turn on, the other shorts out the circuit if something goes wrong with the first one.
Al
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Good point. I remember reading that the law requires 3 door swtiches. Hard to believe but iiac I guess they don't want us zapping our eyeballs.

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Sheldon wrote:

Yea, I would go for a new one. They are really designed as throw away appliances.
--
Joseph Meehan

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You do not say how old the oven is. Designs have changed over the years. My Panasonic is almost 30 years old. Still works fine, although I had to replace the light bulb in it once. Chances are a replacement would last 3 years, if I'm lucky :-(
Microwave ovens can only produce the max amount of energy, that the tube is rated for. If you set it to lower power, the tube is turned on-off, some percentage of the time.
It may be possible that due to some component failure in the power supply, the whole thing is acting strange. Or that door switch, as someone suggested (I did not know they were designed that way).
Yeah, thrash it, as some suggested and your next one will fail even sooner.
Short of tube replacement, these things are fixable. Even the tube can be replaced. Of course if you can't live w/o it for a few days, make a deposit to the thrash heap, that's becoming the trademark of the American Consumerism.
Find a local repair shop that is reasonable and support them with repairs. I know there are very few left and not all are reasonable.
Rich
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RichK wrote:

...
My guess would be that the OP's mixer (a moving part that sort of stirs the microwaves as they go into the box may have failed.
BTW you are right that that today's are not designed to last as long. They also are better in some ways, but longevity is not one. They are generally lighter weight, and more efficient as well as they tend to cook a little more even.
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stirs
Agree. Did not even think of that. It would cause the uwaves to heat unevenly and overheat some spots. I doubt that the total output has increased :-)
In my old Panasonic (which I can hardly lift anymore), you can see the shadows dance around from the uwave deflector.

a
Again agree. Nothing wrong with making the appliance lighter. Saves on materials and sore backs :-)
Too many improvements of this sort are unfortunately made in the wrong places, resulting in broken silly bits that ruin the whole appliance.
Rich
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A lot of these old microwave ovens get heavier every year. I think it ihas to do with the unused microwaves causing the growth of mold or plasma or something heavy inside the empty areas of the metal box.

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mm wrote:

I had noticed that too, and now I know why. :-)

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Joseph Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

    Many years ago I worked in a service department repairing microwave ovens, among other things. One day a woman brought one in and said everything was cooking in half the time. This seemed odd but a test heating of a cup of water showed a remarkable temperature rise. Primary voltage was normal but secondary voltage to the magnetron was triple the normal voltage. The primary of the transformer had developed a short, burned open the winding and then fused to another layer of the winding resulting in a primary with only 1/3 the normal number of turns. This tripled the transformer turns ratio and turned the oven into a super cooker. Weird things can happen.
    Bob
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This might be in response to my suggestion to try other levels, since I think I"m the only one who suggested this.
Yes, I know what you are saying and you're right. But that doesn't mean that trying other levels wouldn't get around a problem in the logic circuit. I wouldn't say it is very likely to work, but it might. At the very least, the OP will start to get into the habit of testing every possibility and looking for every symptom. OTOH if it does work, it could work for years.

My sister-in-law couldn't wait. She bought a new one while I fixed the old one (in this case just a fuse) and gave it to Goodwill Industries. In fact she bought another one of a different brand at the first store she went to and said she'd hire a (probably lower-than-average-priced probably Mexican illegal) carpenter to make new moldings around the new microwave. It's also going to need stops to keep it from moving back or sideways.
As cheap as Mexicans sometimes are I think she's going to end up costing my brother a lot more money then if she'd just looked a bit longer to find one the same size that used the same mounting kit which they already had. But I kept my mouth shut.

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