Needed: Microwave w/ limited (45 sec. max.) timer

Does anybody know of a microwave with a maximum 45 sec. timer OR - have any ideas how to adapt a microwave to make it safe for a very forgetful elderly lady to operate. My mother has been setting her microwave way too long lately and is in danger of having it pulled from her assisted living apartment because she leaves food in (to reheat) too long. She desperately needs it for heating her tea as she has no stove (disconnected 5 years ago). The setting would have to be no longer than 45 seconds. Any ideas?? I believe she has a 900 watt sharp microwave and I could probably change the timer if I knew how and where to get one. -- Thanks, Russ
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On 10 Nov 2004 19:00:37 -0800 "Russ" used 10 lines of text to write in newsgroup: alt.home.repair

The microwaves that convenience stores use have very short timers. I don't know where you would find one.
--
-Graham

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Greetings,
You could put a momentary switch on it. Your mother would have to HOLD DOWN the switch for the microwave to run. I would hate that if I were her but at least she could keep her microwave.
Hope this helps, William

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Just get a springwould timer from an electrical supplier. Be sure you don't jumper out any of the interlocks when you are replacing the existing timer.
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Would it be helpful to put tape over most of the buttons? Just leave a quick set one minute for her to push.
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The tape over buttons is a good idea..
Also, I have seen older models that have rotary, analog timers, like the old minute minder type of kitchen timers that you twist the dial, and it mechanically dings after the spring mechanism winds down. You may also be able to find that type of control on a very bottom of the line, dorm room type model at Walmart of Kmart.
I believe those timers go higher that 45 seconds or a minute, but it seems to me that it being a mechanical twisting dial would make it infinately easier for an older person to understand it, and to operate it properly, and not set it to keep on running. You could put a piece of bright tape and teach her to not twist it past that spot. Or you could even devise a mechanical stop so you could only twist it past a certain point.. maybe even mold a crude stop out of epoxy putty, stick it to the faceplate next to the twist dial, but have it stick over the dial so it prevents the dial from twisting past that point.. I am describing it inelloquently, but a typical reader of this group could jimmy up some sort of stop without too many problems.
I would guess she makes it go to long because she may only know how to get it on, but may not fully understand how the set the timer to have it turn off automatically. Which I fully understand, those buttons can be confusing for me, and I am a mensa member* in the prime of my cognitive life.
*author may be exagerating the facts, or just making stuff up.
Another suggestion, if it is truly just for her tea, what about picking up an electric kettle, it looks like a typical tea kettle, but has a base that you plug into the wall, It heats up quickly, then you pour out the boilding water. The advantage is those have auto shutoffs if they boil dry, so even if she left it on, it would pose no danger. then she wouldn't be using the m-wave, and have a safe alternative.
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This is not because she's simply a "very forgetful old lady" it's for her safety and the safety of all of the rest of the residents and staff living in the same assisted living center.
Sadly, your mom is no longer capable of cooking *anything* for herself. Let it go and let the staff do their job - assisting her living, instead of remaining in denial that your mom is somehow still capable of safely operating cooking and heating devices as long as one can figure out a way to jimmy up some rube goldberg timer to keep her from killing herself and possibly others.
By that same tolken, if this woman can't remember 45 seconds is long enough for microwaving water, I wouldn't trust her unattended with a scalding cup of hot water provided by a limited microwave timer either.

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Easily the most amusing misspelling of the week.
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It's just a bad hobbit he picked up
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Good thing the spelling flame ELF picked up on it.
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"HA HA Budys Here" - He didn't ask for help or your opinion on how to deal with his aging Mother, now, did he?
(Russ)

in
Let it

remaining
cooking
rube
enough for

hot
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If you can find one of those old manual timer microwaves, you might have a fairly cheap option.
Plug the microwave into an X10 appliance modual. get one of the macro devices that does not require being hooked up to a computer to work.
Set the device to send a unit on, wait 45 seconds, unit off command when she hits a button.
To operate the microwave, she turns the timer knob on the microwave and hits the X10 remote button.
Mind you, this is overly complicated. Why not get her one of these: http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=instant+hot+water+dispenser&scoring=p
Auto shut off, and directly suited to the purpose you describe.
I kinda like the countertop hot/cold water dispensers myself.
--
be safe.
flip
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I agree, one of the few things I dislike about this group is when someone asks a legitimate tech question, and some judgemental weasle jumps on and goes on his high horse about some life issue that is only tangentally related to issue at hand... same if for Dr.Phil.com, this is about TOOLS and fixin stuff, not passing judgements and giving advice. Having said all that... on to one more suggestion.
I noticed on my sister-in-law's m-wave last night there is a "+30 seconds" button. You can start it by just hitting that button. hit it twice and it goes to 60 seconds, 3 times 90 seconds, etc. It occurs to me that you could purchase a model with that feature, and tape cardboard over all other buttons, leaving just that one button. She could press it once, or twice and have sufficient control to do her tea. The simplicity of one single button it seems would make it very easy for her to manage.
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Thanks all for the great advice. I will probably look for a microwave with the 30 second timer as you stated. She already has the tea warmer, but that has to be plugged in all of the time to accomodate her. She likes tea at a moments notice. This is why the microwave is so good for her. I can't imagine her starting a fire or anything in a microwave. That seems pretty hard to do. She just put a hamburger on a paper plate in too long once and it smoked when she took it out. Now they are banning it (zero tolerance)if I can't come up with a modified short timer model. As far as the post suggesting personal advice; If you find yourself caring for an aging parent, you will find it is gradual process in accomodating their needs. My mother is 82 and doing fine but the memory is starting to slip. --Russ
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replying to Russ, James Briggs wrote: My daughter and I both have one. And I am in the same age range as your mother. Even if you got the microwave get this too. It is dangerous to microwave water. The water can explode. Even if it doesn't reaching into the microwave for the cup can get you burned. An electric kettle is much safer and much faster. This is faster then a microwave and there are no external connections when you pick it up so it is very safe. You can also change the temperature for green tea or herbal tea. Also wonderful to boil water for other reasons. it is one of the best things I own and my daughter agrees with me and she never agrees with me.
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