Microwave oven repair

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Hi All ;
I thought I'd pick-your-brains - before assigning another clean good-old appliance to the scrap heap .. I hate doing that. Sanyo microwave oven 1995 has worked fine until recently - it will run for just over a minute on high - then the magnetron and fan shuts down - turntable keeps going - then re-start after 20 seconds. < I believe that if it was cycling for defrost or re-heat - that the fan would keep running > I took the cover off & cleaned a bit of dust <there wasn't much> and wiggled wiring connections. There appear to be 2 heat sensor cut-offs <?> would the symptoms point here ? <as a possible cheap easy do-it-yourself fix > Any other experiences, suggestions, ideas ? John T.
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On 12/6/2015 8:00 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

Sure a heat sensor could be bad. OTOH the unit could actually be over-heating...
Although I am one who likes to fix things rather than replace...I've found that it is rarely worth it to bother with something 20 years old.
Good chance , if you did get it repaired...before too long something else would go
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On 12/06/2015 09:00 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

After using a Panasonic Inverter microwave, I'm glad my old one broke and I trashed it.
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On Sun, 06 Dec 2015 09:00:29 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

Is it one of the recalled models? The affected microwaves have the model numbers EM-C8787B UK2 (a black colour) or EM-C8787W (a white colour).
Getting 20 years out of a microwave is pretty good. Newer ones are more powerful. Time to move on.
Don. www.donwiss.com (e-mail link at home page bottom).
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Nope - not that model. I don't feel like it owes me anything - but hate to add to the scrap stream over a 5 dollar part .. I might try exchanging the two heat sensors, if they are identical - as a test ... John T.
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On Sun, 06 Dec 2015 11:28:42 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

Could be the heat sensors, but then you have to find out what is causing the heat. Chances are, the parts will cost more than a new, more powerful, better cooking microwave.
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On 12/06/2015 08:28 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

You should be able to get a number off of them to find out what temp they open up at, at which point you can just hook it up to a multimeter, stick it in some water on the stove, and see what temp it opens up at (this assumes you have a thermometer to put in the water).
Jon
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I've tried to repair a few microwaves over the past 30 years. One need a new magnetron. It was a $150 part. A little time consuming to replace. Worked for another year and then a control board failed and I sent it to the bone yard.
Another oven had door interlock micro switches that failed. Inexpensive but tough to replace. Oven was good for a few more months until magnetron got weak.
Last one that failed, badged as a GE, a controller board failed. The cost of the board was almost the price of the cost of a new microwave. Not worth repairing.
The last one I purchased was badged Frigidaire, but inside looked just like the GE model with a few minor updates. Seem to be very few actual microwave manufacturers with companies just rubber stamping their logo on the outside of the box.
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wrote:

I bought a replacement today ~ same size 1.2 cubic ft - Panasonic inverter ... $ 109. Canadian ! at Lowes price matched to WalMart. Do we take bets on when this one goes to the scrap heap ? .... disposable world ,, John T.
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snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

We always had good luck with Panasonic MW oven. I gave away original Litton one purchased in the '70's. Built like tank and heavy, won't quit.
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Been using one for about 10 years. Very powerful. Sometimes too much, but It has real power levels unlike most.
Greg
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On 12/06/2015 09:20 AM, Don Wiss wrote:

I have a Pennys microwave that's 29 years old (IIRC) and it still works. I fixed it once (69-cent fuse) around 1990. It does have lower power, which usually requires adding 25% to cooking times.

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wrote:

I used to have the Amana Radar Range Model 2.
It looked just like the early image of all microwaves.
I got it free because the springs that held the door shut had broken off. Fixed at no cost.
Years later it had arcing in the HV cage, but I covered it with black GE Silicone from the squeeze tube.
Finally the main transformer failed. They had four in stock, and that's just for this region, but wanted $250 dollars for one. He said that was the dealer price. I pointed out I could buy a whole microwave for 100, fancy for 150. The parts guy told me to write to Amana Iowa, so I did, and they told me to contact some guy in Harrisburg. I thought he'd been instructed to give me a deal, since no one else was going to pay anything for an old microwave like this, let alone 250. But it was like starting at the beginning again.
So I threw it away.
In a a very old post here I gave details of how long it lasted, so it must have lasted until 1990, but i forget exactly and I forget when they were made.
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wrote:

I always try to fix stuff too, but Microwaves are one of the home appliances that are usually not fixable, because the cost of parts is too high and you still have an old MW.
Sure, if it's a blown fuse or the door dont latch, or a bad power cord, then fix it, but if the electronics fail, you may as well toss it and buy a new one. How those companies can justify charging so much for parts is hard to believe. Apparently they dont want to sell the parts.... Consider if that $250 part also has a serviceman's repair charges added to it. You may have a $400 (or more) bill to pay for a MW that is not worth more than $20 at a rummage sale.
And once you buy that transformer, what will fail next? The timer, the magnetron, or some other part....
It's a shame that waste is encouraged by these rip-off companies, but that's how it is in today's world! To add insult to injury, you'll probably have to pay $10 or more to dispose of it.......
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On Sun, 06 Dec 2015 16:01:43 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

Being me, I know I would have paid 50 for it, maybe even 100.
In my letter, I told them to save enough parts so that the grandchildren of the inventor could keep repairing their radarranges, but sell the rest for as much as you can get.

I wasn't worried about that. After all, I like fixing things.

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On 12/6/2015 7:00 AM, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com wrote:

Scrap it. Nowadays, you can buy a small microwave for under $100. It's not like the "early" days when it was considered a significant purchase (our first one was $600, IIRC -- when dollars were actually worth dollars! :> )
Most microwaves are designed to be pretty robust -- too easy for them to be abused (folks leaving silverware in the dishes they are reheating, etc.). If yours has advanced to the point where it no longer wants to work, chances are something significant has happened.
You wouldn't insert a 20A fuse in a circuit just because the 15A fuse wasn't holding, would you? :>
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wrote:

Who would use a 20A? In the old days of plug fuses, everyone replaced them with 30A. If they had made 50A plug fuses, people would have used them too....
When I worked for an electrician, I recall going on a job where all the power was out in a second floor apartment. When I got there, I immediately noticed the odor of smoke, and not from burnt cooking or cigarettes. I quickly looked at the apartment, then went to the basement, where I found ONE 30A fuse where there should have been a 15A. I also found smoke and the old BX cable above the box was too hot to touch. I killed the power to the whole building, and had to go to the nearest payphone to call the Fire Department (this was before cellphones and the guy had no landline).
I quickly went back to the job and the smoke was worse. I told the guy (who was very drunk), to get out. He refused. I took a hammer and smashed a hole in the wall on the first floor above the fuse box. There I found the wood smoldering around that BX cable. About the time I dumped a bucket of water in that wall, the Fire Dept arrived. They busted out more walls, and found that BX had charred all the wood around it, all the way to the second floor, but fortunately there was no flame. I stuck around just to watch and the FD had to drag that drunk out of his apt, because he refused to leave.
A fireman told me I probably saved that building, and possibly the tenant too. A few more minutes it would have been in flames. I never did find out what was done, but I'm sure the inspectors made them rewire that whole building. (Or condemned it). That wiring was a disaster. Amazingly, that ONE fuse was ALL the power for that entire apartment. The other 30A fuse apparently powered the lower apartment. That's all there were, TWO 30A fuses.
This was somewhere in the 1970s, and this building was a slum where drunks lived. I still doubt my boss even got paid for that job. But at least no one got hurt and there was no actual fire. This was the most crazy and exciting job I ever did.....
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The wiring almsot sounds like a duplex I lived in for a while. It was nice but built before ww2. It had 2 fuses in , both rated for 15 amps. There were 2 bed rooms ,a living room and kitchen and bath. Just had to be careful what I had on at a time. Did not have any of the plug in things like toster ovens or a coffee pot as I did not fix coffee there.
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On Sun, 6 Dec 2015 18:06:06 -0500, "Ralph Mowery"

Reminds me of where I lived for 10 years, in Brooklyn. Also 2 fuses, both 15 amps, but both supplied from a 20 amp fuse in the basement.
For a 6-room, 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom apartment in what was, before I got there, a luxury building, built in 1930. Cedar closet in every apartment, parquet floor in the living room, 9 or 10 foot ceilings, dumb-waiter going to the basement from every apartment (with doorbell style bells to call the concierge or for him to call you), and there had been a doorman, switchboard operator, elevator operator, and concierge.

I was able to run a full-size washing machine (and probably could have run a gas dryer if I had one) and eventually I got a small AC that ran okay at night, when the tv's were off, and I used an electric rotisserie a few times, but not when washing clothes or using the AC. I used to use a small electric broiler all the time, that is just before dinner, so it never bumped into the other devices.
The landlord had put in Fustat sockets so that the only fuses which could be inserted were the ones he wanted, 15a upstairs and 20a in the basement.
I only blew the basement fuse about once a year, and after the new landlord put a lock on the basement button in the elevator, I removed the 4 brass screws holding the big brass escutcheon on the wall of the elevator, ran lamp cord parallel to the key switch, so that the cut edge of the cord just reached the bottom edge of the escutheon. When I wanted to go the basement, I'd push the basement button while holding a quarter or any coin against the end of the wire. I only did this when none of the neighbors would notice.
Half the time I was there, the LL was a slumlord, and didn't provide enough heat. I would unscrew the hasp that locked the furnace room (which wasn't put on correctly or the screws wouldn't show) and check out the furnace room. Then I'd put the hasp back on, spit on my fingers and wipe the screws, so they woudl rust by morning and any scratches my screwdriver made wouldn't show.
When I checked 10 years after I left, the hotwire for the elevator had been removed.
I moved out in '83 and I think it was rewired after 2000, maybe around 2010, after a new landlord took over.
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On Sun, 6 Dec 2015 18:06:06 -0500, "Ralph Mowery"

That's pretty much what this place was. I dont recall if there were 1 or 2 bedrooms, because all I needed to see was the (and possibly only) outlet in the whole apt. It was in the kitchen and there was lampcord tacked on the wall going every which way. (which was wired right to the outlet screws), then more extension cords all over the place.
When I got that call, it was late in the evening and my boss said I had to go right away because the guy had no power. He said the landlord called and he told me to just walk in and go upstairs, because the tenant was drunk and would not answer the downstairs door. The guy was awake but not very coherent. He just told me to fix it and layed down on the couch. As soon as I saw that mess of lamp cord and extension cords, I knew this was not going to be a simple repair. The power was not completely out though. The refrigerator kept cycling, and when it was not trying to kick in, the lights were very dim. But when it did try to run, the lights went black. (Yea, that fridge was also plugged into lamp cord).
My plan was to shut off the power and rip that nightmare outlet apart, but I never got that far after finding the overheated wire. The FD broke down the door in the lower apt. No one lived there. After they got the drunk tenant out, he was very irate about going back in his apt. and he kept telling me to fix his power because his beer was warm in the fridge. The police took him away, probably to a shelter. I left after the FD confirmed there was no fire. Then I called my boss, and told him rewiring is the ONLY solution. At first he thought I was joking around when I told him the whole story, but I told him this was not a joke, and he better call that landlord, and tell him that the power can not be turned back on.
We never did rewire that place, so I dont know what was done.
Several years later I drove past that building, and there was no condemned sign on the door. I dont know if it was occupied, but it was still there. (A lot of buildings like that would have been condemned and demolished by the city, if the owner did not bring it up to code).
I still remember seeing the sizzling wire above the fuse box, shutting off the power, and and feeling a state of panic, like I was not sure what to do. Because I didn't want to leave that guy in there, but he would not leave, and I did not have time to argue with him. Also, I was not sure where there was a payphone in the area, so I had to drive somewhere. Luckily there was a phone nearby. Then I rushed back and immediately busted that hole in the wall without even thinking about it. Then finding the wood smoldering brought another scare, so I ran back upstairs and found a cooking container and filled it with water ran back down the stairs and tossed it into the wall. Thank God the FD arrived then.... While the FD was getting their equipment, I ran back upstairs, checked the guy, he was asleep. Then I began feeling the walls directly above the hole I had made downstairs, and found the plaster was warm in one spot. As soon as I told the FD, they busted that wall open. Sure enough, there was that BX cable and more charred wood and smoke, but no flames. I ended up working with the FD until they had exposed all possible places that wire ran, and were sure nothing was burning.
Although this happened 40+ years ago, I remember it like it just happened yesterday. Its the kind of thing a person dont forget!
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