Connect with us

How can I tell if my microwave oven is unsafe?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Ted Shoemaker, Aug 12, 2004.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Hello,

    Our microwave oven has been sparking intermittently.

    On the inside wall of the oven, (i.e. in the food area) is a shield
    made of sheet metal, about 2 inches by 4 inches. The sparking has
    occurred at the top center of that shield. Now there is a small hole
    at the sparking site, about 1/8 inch across.

    How safe (or unsafe) is this oven? Is it fixable?

    Thank you very much!

    Ted Shoemaker
     
  2. Mistress

    Mistress Guest

    "Safe" is a subjective judgement. It is fairly obvious that this condition
    needs to be fixed. I would recommend not using the unit until it is.

    I am trying to guess what the piece may be. Are you sure it is metal? (The
    size and placement lead me to think it might be a difuser; mentioned in my
    response post a couple days ago)

    If it is metal, are there screws securing it to the other metal? If so, try
    removing the piece, cleaning the goop off it and securely replacing it. A
    metal part must be securely connected to the cabinet wall. Of course the
    new hole in it suggests you should replace the part anyway.

    These are only long-distance guesses. Good luck.
     
  3. Just Me!

    Just Me! Guest

    think it was my post you refer to, yes indeed a diffuser(in my case),
    developed slight hole and started arcing, removed it cleaned it off both
    sides and replaced as securely as it was. Now works fine but has small
    hole through middle, does this mean the micro part is now focused
    through the hole and not diffused, if so is there any danger to anyone
    using it? its a combi and the oven is used more than the micro

    will replace as soon as I can find someone that knows what I am talking
    about

    HTH OP
    --
    Free Mobile When You Spend £20
    http://www.themobilematrix.com/index.asp?aff=u8120ukh
    Affiliate Link - helps me, much appreciated and
    thanks to all those that have already applied

    If you do not agree with the above link please ignore it. Do not start
    filling the group with carp about how as a brush me is
     
  4. Mistress

    Mistress Guest


    Good question. I have no idea what effect the hole would have.

    Maybe the lurkers can come up with some truly diabolical experiments to
    determine the new diffusion pattern. :)
     
  5. As far as I know, it's just cover for the waveguide and doesn't affect
    the distribution of microwave energy in any way. The turntable or
    rotating paddle distributes the microwaves more evenly.

    Also keep in mind that the wavelength of the microwaves is about 5
    inches. They don't sneak through little holes.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header is ignored.
    To contact me, please use the feedback form on the S.E.R FAQ Web sites.
     
  6. Nothing at all. 2.45 GHz (5 inch) microwaves won't go through a 1/4" hole.

    But that's even irrelevant since the plate is most likely just an inert
    waveguide cover, not a "diffuser".

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header is ignored.
    To contact me, please use the feedback form on the S.E.R FAQ Web sites.
     
  7. Personaly I would have the microwave oven properly checked by someone
    who is experienced at servicing them. If you have something that is
    sparking, there is definately something wrong. The sparking means that
    something is conducting to itself or ground, and acting as a load.
    This can damage the magnetron after a period of time.

    If you are cooking, and there is sparking, the sparks can be releasing
    some fumes due to the breakdown of the material being arced. This may
    not be safe for the food, depending on the material composition that
    is arcing.

    As for radiation safety, this depends on how well sealed the cabinet
    and doors are. This can be properly checked with a microwave oven
    radiation meter.

    Any of the service centers that service microwave ovens can check this
    for you. If your oven is a low cost oven and it is out of warranty,
    and you do not have the experience and skills to service it yourself,
    you may be better off to get a new one if the service cost will be
    high. First, take it in to the service center find out what is
    involved.

    Jerry G.
    ========
     
  8. Thank you for all answers.

    Ted Shoemaker
     
  9. CSA722

    CSA722 Guest

    Had the same thing happen to an old Emerson microwave. It was just a waveguide
    cover held on by plastic snaps. Grease had made its way around the edges and up
    over the top of it and thats what burned and caused a hole. A nearby appliance
    store had a new cover. Cheap.
     
  10. It's the wave guide cover,needs replacing before working the oven again.
    Some models[Matsui etc] have metal waveguides,others have the more easily cut
    foil lined cardboard guides.
    Metal you need the original part replacement,foiled cardboard you can buy a
    sheet and cut[carefully] to shape. Either way it should be a cheap repair.
     
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-