Just venting again! Earlier this week I was complaining about parts
availability for my LG washer. That ended up OK - hose replaced, leak
What would posess a microwave manufacturer to use itty-bitty little
buttons on their control panel?
Back around May, bought a Sharp over-the-range microwave from Best
Buy. It was a closeout, smokin' deal, about $100. At the time, I
wasn't even seeing no-name over-the-range microwaves for that price.
This is one of those models where most of the controls are hidden
behind the flap of the door when it is closed. Nice, uncluttered look
with the door closed. The only buttons that are exposed when the door
is closed are: start, stop/clear, fan, and light. Those are the
aforementioned itty-bitty buttons, about the size of a jellybean, if
not a little smaller. When I was looking at it in the store, I thought
they looked kind of delicate, but the bargain price won me over. I
guess there was a reason why Best Buy was closing them out.
3 months later, and the Start button, the one that gets used the most,
takes about 15 to 20 pushes to work. Guess my initial impression about
the durability of those itty-bitty switches was right.
Had a guy out fixing the washing machine yesterday, asked him about
the microwave. First thing he said was that his shop stopped doing
warranty work for Sharp a while back, problems getting paid slowly if
at all. Second thing he said was that yeah, they replace a LOT of
those itty-bitty buttons, they just don't last. Bad design choice, I
That said, I did manage to find a shop that will do Sharp warranty
work. They're coming Monday to replace the button panel. Hmmm, 3
months for one set of buttons - maybe I can get 1 or 2 more
replacements before the warranty expires. <G>
I have the same type of microwave, but the regular countertop version.
Those buttons are just extensions really, they just push on the membrane
keypad behind them. I haven't have any problems with them, but if I did,
they are very easy to replace or repair.
That may be so, but as long as it's under warranty, might as well let
the pro do it - while standing behind him looking over his shoulder
watching. The guy at the repair shop that I talked to said that it's a
plug-in assembly with the 4 buttons on a separate panel. We'll see
when they open it up.
Proves my philosophy again for the millionth time:
If you by something inferior because of the price,
it hurts every time you use it.
If you buy quality, it hurts only once - when you pay for it.
The old adage "it's the stingy man who pays the most".
Actually, I go by: be skeptical, critical and careful, when you shop these
days. Regardless of price. You can get shafted, no matter how much you
Don't buy cheap, buy practical sturdy goods. I've seen small $15 heaters
with membrane controls and a remote. Anyone that buys such a product,
deserves what he gets.
On Aug 9, 8:32 pm, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:
- I have a Sharp that gets a ton of use, and it's running well several
- years later.
Does it have the button-extensions that the OP stated are the problem?
You're not comparing apples-to-apples if they are different models
with different key pad construction.
Definitely truth in that. Some things don't sell for reasons that
wouldn't bother me, but some things don't sell for the same reasons I
wouldn't want them.
These switches I'm sure are bad, but there are lots of quality
switches that are itty-bitty. Even when the knob is big, the switch
is often little.
Keep the old panel and you may be able to refurbish it yourself.
spray cleaner maybe.
Or maybe it has switches within it that you'll be able to buy.
Rub with denim pants maybe -- well that takes scratches out of
plastic. I don't know about conductivity.
I have a very nice GE clock radio AM FM 6-station memory, two alarms
and each one either to the radio, the buzzer, or both in sequnece,
tone control, snooze, that I bought in 1972. The first 10 or 20 years
it worked fine, but after that the button switches didn't work so
well. Some I could get along without. If I wanted to set the clock
for 4:17 and the 7 would not work, I could wait until 4:18.
Eventually I took the thing apart and cleaned the metal contacts
directly. Lasted a year or two. Gets dirty progressivly more quickly
Got another one at the Goodwill. Same problem. It would give me a
spare control board, but there are so many wires soldered that it's
easier to clean without detaching.
My Chrysler radio from 1984 also gave me problems with the buttons,
when they were about 11 years old. Called Chrysler in Baltimore and
they gave me the name of the place that did their repairs, Caton
Radio. Bought new switches, only a dollar a piece iiirc, and no
deseoldering necessary because after it was disassemble, you only had
to pull the top of the switch out of it's little box, and put a new
one back in, with new rubber diaphragm that gave the push back.
My next car was a 1988 Chryselfr but it had a crummy after market
radio so I put the 84 radio in it, and after a few years needed
swtiches again. Went to the same radio store and they said they were
out of them and would call me. Weeeks went by, I called them. Still
out of them, Called every couple weeks or months for months.
Finally I'm vacationing in Brooklyn NY and go to a Chrsler dealer and
ask them who does their radios and get a place on 86th St and go over
there and he has them in stock for a dollar apiece. I bought a double
I think I'm using the same radio in my 95 chryself. It also came
witha cheap after market radio. This time, or last time, the dash was
black instead of silver, so I painted the radio, minus the buttons,
with the window masked. Looks nice.
I may have to shop at Caton Radio again, but I will be wary.
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