I think it is the result of a power surge we had during a storm the other
night. My question is, would it be worth fixing or should we just buy a new
one. It is about 7 years old, Panasonic from Sam's.
Microwave ovens are like toasters. Toss it and buy another and don't buy a
Also, lots of luck with the power company. I lost my last one due to their
fault - not trimming trees - and they said it was an act of God and would
not pay anything. Make sure you put a surge protector on the new one.
Advice; unless you are an electronics technician with proper skills do
not attempt to work on it yourself.
A microwave is essentially a 500 to 1000 watt (fairly powerful*) radio
transmitter in a metal box. It contains lethal voltage of several
thousand volts and if not reassembled correctly can leak microwave
radiation which may cause burns, or unknown health effects to humans.
Microwaves are so cheap these days and while one hates to subscribe to
the throwaway society it is probably not worth while to pay to get it
The fault may be something very simple (maybe an internal fuse, or
overheat switch) or something serious such as a magnetron (about $50)
or power transformer ($50 or more); with at least an hours labour etc.
to check out its safety /lack of radiations leakage etc. And correct
replacement parts MUST be used.
Over the past 15 or more years I have repaired probably about 9 MWs
safely (my background is electronics) but I emphasize that while it
MIGHT be a simple repair don't let anyone not sufficiently skilled
work on it.
Microwave ovens were once described as "As one of the most dangerous
household appliances ever designed". I agree.
Many microwaves have a simple automotive looking fuse inside the
If you are reasonably handy, remove all the external screws and
pull the top skin off the unit. Look for the fuse where the cord
enters the unit. If fried, remove and replace. Realize this is
NOT an automotive fuse. If it's fixed, keep it in the garage. If
not, toss it.
A live Singing Valentine quartet,
True. My brother put the wrong metal shelf in the microwave and it
stopped working. The correct metal shelf looked almost the same as
the wrong one, but of course the metal is different inside.
I took it apart and found the simple ceramic? (just like a cylindrical
glass fuse but the glass part is white and not glass :) ) in a glass
fuse holder on the circuit board, and fixed the thing for 1.50 for 5
fuses, or whatever they charge now.
This didn't stop my sister-in-law from buying a new one even though it
didn't fit as well. It didnt' even stop her from throwing away the
old one, but I got the cover out of the garbage outside and gave the
whole thing to Goodwill Industries.
Got the fuse at Radio Shack. Although I think anything with the same
amp rating, engraved on the end, would be ok, no?
I have a JC Penney microwave made around 1985 (before they stopped
selling non-clothes stuff). 5 years later it stopped working. I
removed the cover, knowing there was almost nothing I could do to fix
it. I found a blown fuse and replaced it with one from Radio Shack.
The microwave is still working today.
With each recommendation to replace the fuse should have been this
warning. Lethal voltages can remain inside a microwave even when
disconnected from AC mains. Technicians have been killed when they
'forgot' about that lethal voltage.
Second, fuse must have both same current rating AND same voltage
rating. Reason why that fuse is not glass? Encased in opaque white:
so that fuse does not explode when it blows.
If fuse voltage rating is too low, then fuse will not operate like a
fuse on 120 or 230 volt systems.
I had a power surge about 25 years ago which damaged a new TV set I bought.
Had it repaired for about $100. The regulator in the power supply blew. I
tried to get redress from the power company and wrote to the public
utilities commission; all to no avail with the best advice to see if your
homeowners policy would take care of it.
I decided that the only one who is going to protect me was myself and
studied up on the surge protectors.
If your mw is totally dead, it could be the regulator in the power supply.
Also check any fuses as mentioned before. I have also heard of people who
have opened the back of their mw after the surge and found a protective
device called a metal oxide varistor had blown. They replaced it for a
couple of dollars and got it to work.
I bought a power strip, took it apart and put metal oxide
varistors(MOVs)inside. To do it right, you have to protect against both
common mode and odd mode surges which translates to putting a MOV across the
power line terminals, from hot to ground and from neutral to ground. The MOV
are very cheap. When they are activated by a surge, they do destroy
themselves. They operate very fast; of the order of picoseconds, long before
a fuse will go out which by then the damage will have been done to the
There are devices which also do not destroy when a surge not exceeding its
rating occurs. These are called transorbs.
All my high value electronic stuff is plugged into these protective strips
I have modified.
"J.C." < email@example.com> wrote in message
I had a microwave (one bought from J C Penney as they were getting rid
of the non-clothes stuff) that went dead. I opened the case and looked
inside, knowing that there was almost nothing I could do to fix it.
However the problem was a blown fuse that could easily be replaced
with one Radio Shack sold for less than $1.
That happened more than 15 years ago, and the microwave still works.
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