Mums Microwave died.

Hi all,
We got a call from my (86 year old) Mum today to say that she saw smoke coming out of her microwave so she unplugged it and carried it out into the garden!
It's not a modern lightweight jobby either, a pretty substantial one we bought her around 30 years ago.
Now she knows not to put anything metal in it and has been using it for 30 years (after all), and was apparently, just warming some soup when it happened. The only 'thing' is that she also left a light, clear plastic food tub / punnet in there as well (she didn't spot it because it was transparent) but that didn't seem to have suffered so presumably didn't get hot itself?
Can anyone suggest what happened from this picture (taken looking up inside at the top):?
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/Microwave.jpg
Is that circle the output port of the magnetron you can see though the hole?
A question this raises is that are old microwaves a fire risk (and if so why), as ours is probably older than mums was. We did try to find a more colour coordinated microwave the last time we decorated the kitchen but couldn't find anything that was as substantial and capacious without being more complicated or expensive. ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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T i m a écrit :

The magnetron is usually at the side, working through an RF transparent ;window. That looks as if it could be the result of the rusting oven liner, making poor contact with the rest of the lining. That would concentrate the heating effect, causing a blast such as that. Or perhaps a spoon was left in a bowl and that made contact with the lining.
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On Tue, 24 May 2016 22:30:18 +0100, Harry Bloomfield

I can't remember what else was inside other than the 'plastic' panel at the top, part of which you saw melted.

Ok.

[1]
I don't think it made a noise as such (although you might have expected it to have done, looking at that damage) and (luckily?) Mum was in the kitchen at the time and although a bit 'mutton' these days, would probably have heard that?

Well, again, I wasn't there so only have her word for it but she assures us that she was just doing what she has always done and because it's (was) a pretty big oven, would have taken a fair sized spoon to have gone anywhere near the sides (and certainly the top) if left in a bowl?
FWIW, we replaced one of the two series 120V (or whatever they were) lamps a few years back and cleaned it out while we were there (there was a fair bit of 'fluff' over things). It amazed us just how well everything was made and how clean it still was (considering it has been used in a kitchen for 30 years). ;-)
Cheers, T i m
[1] "These blast points... too accurate for Sand People. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise." By ? ;-)
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On Tuesday, 24 May 2016 19:53:52 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

All cooking devices are a fire risk. Microwaves are massively safer than flame based methods.
Current microwaves are marginally safer due to a HV fuse, but not by much.
NT
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On Tue, 24 May 2016 15:29:05 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

And some clothes drying and mobile telephone devices of course. ;-(

Makes sense.

I don't think it's something you hear of much though is it?
Cheers, T i m
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I had an old philips go like this many years ago. The bloke who condemned it suggested that the rust on the microwave door seals might have changed the cavity perameters enough to cause hot spots to move. I'm assuming he meant standing waves or reflected power back into the magnetron area. It was a strange beast as it had no turntable but a rotating aerial which of course was never as good as a turntable. I cannot see your picture obviously, but there are so many things that can cause reflected power to be in the wrong place, that you may never know. Most things in microwaves are supposed to be non flamable but presumably that does not mean melting will not happen if they get hot enough! I now have a talking one from Cobolt. Brian
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On Wed, 25 May 2016 08:04:14 +0100, "Brian Gaff"

Yes, I was aware of things causing issues like that and have no way of knowing if Mum left something else in there that caused such reflections.

Understood. This one has (had) a big glass turntable but I don't know if it also had the stirrer fan / rotating aerial (as mentioned later in the thread).

Basically it looks like there is a 'non metal' panel in the middle of the roof of the microwave and offset from the middle was a fairly clean round hole about the size of a 50p piece right through the plastic. The plastic food container Mum left in there accidentally (she keeps the (microwave use) food cover stacking tray and a couple of other things in there between uses) had some of the plastic from whatever fell out of the roof in it and the edges of the hole have some drippage, as would be typical of some thermo plastic that had hot very hot. There is also some smoke damage around the hole.

That is where we are I think Brian. The microwave went straight down the dump (daughter was going that way) so I'll not have chance to see what happened.

Yes, I don't think there was an actual risk of a fire because I think it was all over once the bit that melted actually melted.

That's cool.
Mum would need one with a very loud voice! ;-)
It's funny. She's never worked in an office or needed to use a typewriter but because her hearing isn't so good she can communicate easier with us by typing on the likes of MSN Messenger now Skype than she can on the phone. We just have to be patient re waiting for a reply. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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On Wednesday, 25 May 2016 09:59:27 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

The usual cause is food stuck on the plastic outlet cover.

All you need do to give it more life is remove the burnt cover. People are in such a rush to chuck away what they paid for.

Microwaves do cause fires, they're just less likely to than other cooker types, as they're more contained.
NT
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On Wed, 25 May 2016 09:51:53 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That could well have been the cause in this case but it would have been the first time in 30 years (not that stops it being the case etc).

In hindsight you may have been right, but I was pretty sure a genuine replacement (anything) wouldn't have been available and I wasn't sure what I could have replaced it with that would have been 'safe' etc?

People are (especially these days), I'm generally not, in fact I've save many_an_item from being dumped, either directly or via Freecycle etc.

Understood.
As it happens, whilst the microwave was taken away by our daughter, it hadn't been dumped yet so I got the chance to take it to bits tonight. ;-)
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/Microwave%202.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/Microwave%203.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5772409/Microwave%204.jpg
I think it's done well to last 30 years and daughter has bought Mum a replacement as she wanted to. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
p.s. Tonight I saved a Dyson DC04 from being dumped by stripping the main beater-brush down and cleaning and re-lubing the bearings. It probably needs a pair of belts as they have never been changed but it seems to be going ok for now.
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On Wednesday, 25 May 2016 19:44:09 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

it's normally what causes that

and clean the carbon off the outlet

no need for one

any plastic that doesn't heat up in a microwave, or you can buy mica-like sheet. Or simply nothing, it will then work ok for years until gunk buildup causes a repeat show.

It's daft what gets dumped.
NT
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On 25/05/16 20:05, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

All Dysons should be dumped. Britains own Apple. All fashion and form and fuck all function.
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Microsoft : the best reason to go to Linux that ever existed.

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On Wednesday, 25 May 2016 20:25:01 UTC+1, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I've found they work better than the other hoovers I've had, they arent perfect but they cetainly worked better. Although I haven't tried the new look a likes.
And I prefer Macs lots of peole given the choice do.
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wrote:

Far more don’t than do.
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The Natural Philosopher a écrit :

Yesterday, I saw a local council truck, one of those with a metal cage around the load, it was absolutely brim full of Dyson vacs. There must have been hundreds of them. It just seemed odd that there were just Dyson vacs in there.
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On 26/05/16 13:47, Harry Bloomfield wrote:

Nothing sucks like a dies-soon....
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On Thu, 26 May 2016 13:47:09 +0100, Harry Bloomfield

I wonder if they have someone who will buy them off the Council / Refuse_site_franchise to refurbish them?
In the old days you could buy that sort of thing from the tip, often for just a couple of quid but now Elfin Safety won't let you.
Luckily we still have Freecycle. The stepdaughter came round and mentioned her vacuum cleaner wasn't very good (even from new).
I had quick look on Freecycle and someone was offering a Dyson multi-cyclone jobby locally. Long-short, got it home an hour later, cleaned it out with the Henry and it was working as good as new. I didn't let her take it but stripped it down completely and washed all the plastic bits in the bath and after that it also looked like new. She's still using it a few years later. ;-)
I've only ever bought one Dyson new (DC-01) and we don't really use it much, preferring the Miele Big Cat n Dog for the main stuff (mainly because it's quieter), the Dyson cylinder I got off Freecycle for the car / stairs and the Henry for the heavier stuff.
We are considering a portable of some sort and have a little Lidl Lithium jobby (that looks very much like the old B&D Dust Buster) but it's pretty useless. I can't really justify the price of the Dyson portables but not sure what else there is out there?
Cheers, T i m
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On Thursday, 26 May 2016 14:27:57 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

I had one at home and one at work.

I've got two dysons at home and one at work. I got the new dyson fluffy at work, I want one of them at home now.
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On Thu, 26 May 2016 06:55:43 -0700 (PDT), whisky-dave

Ok.

Ok, so what's so special about the 'Fluffy' over the 'Absolute, Total Clean or Animal' (apart from it sounding a bit lame that is). ;-)
Would it last long enough to actually clean a car out to a reasonable level?
What would you say are it's strong and weal points in real-world use?
Cheers, T i m
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On Thursday, 26 May 2016 14:27:57 UTC+1, T i m wrote:

Forgot to say that people have used dust pans/brooms for millenia and they are very cheap in fact you can make your own, whehter it will work as well as a dyson depends on yuor POV just like being in or out of the EU.
This should be the debate anthem. The Clash :- Should I say or should I go.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqH21LEmfbQ

Should I stay or should I go now... If I stay they will be trouble, if I leave it will be double....
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On Thu, 26 May 2016 07:26:22 -0700 (PDT), whisky-dave

Quite, and people (often with stone / dirt floors) are still using bundles of twigs lashed together but I'm not sure how well they would get into the nooks and crannies on the car? ;-)
I might try what our daughter does and clean the front of her van out with a leaf blower. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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