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Microwave door safety question..

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Hmmmmm, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. Hmmmmm

    Hmmmmm Guest

    So in our microwave there is the outer glass, then the metal grid, then a
    layer of clear plastic over the grid. .

    For nondisclosed reasons, there was a metal object inside and it sparked, a
    spark flew to the plastic which melted.. The metal grid is ok.. But there is
    small hole
    in the inner plastic..

    When I microwaved a glass of water some water vapour came through the small
    hole and condensed on the outer window..

    Is the microwave safe for using?

    I think it is but my wives father claimed it is not..

    Again, the metal grid is ok..

    Anyone know?
     
  2. Hi!

    So long as the metal grid is OK and undamaged, the microwave is perfectly
    safe to use.

    The glass in the door may play some additional role, but that I am not sure
    of. I remember having been told or reading somewhere that the metal grid was
    all that was required to keep the microwaves inside the oven.

    William
     
  3. NSM

    NSM Guest

    | So in our microwave there is the outer glass, then the metal grid, then a
    | layer of clear plastic over the grid. .
    |
    | For nondisclosed reasons, there was a metal object inside and it sparked,
    a
    | spark flew to the plastic which melted.. The metal grid is ok.. But there
    is
    | small hole
    | in the inner plastic..
    |
    | When I microwaved a glass of water some water vapour came through the
    small
    | hole and condensed on the outer window..
    |
    | Is the microwave safe for using?
    |
    | I think it is but my wives father claimed it is not..
    |
    | Again, the metal grid is ok..

    Should be fine. You could always tape over the hole. It's the small metal
    holes that block the RF - you don't want them enlarged in any way.

    N
     
  4. Hmmmmm

    Hmmmmm Guest

    Thanks.. What should I tape the door with? Would the glue heat up?

    Antti
     
  5. NSM

    NSM Guest

    | Thanks.. What should I tape the door with? Would the glue heat up?

    I'd be inclined to use Scotch tape. If it gets too hot to stick I'd try to
    think of an alternative. I just wouldn't want steam and dirt getting into
    the door layers.

    N
     
  6. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    I'd use a small blob of silicone caulking, shoe goo or something similar. I
    suggest setting the front of the oven in the sun or near a heat vent for a
    while to dry out the moisture between the layers though first.
     
  7. The metal grid is all that's needed. However, it would probably be a good
    idea to glue a piece of plastic over the hole so no more water vapor can
    get inside there (after it evaporates of course!)

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
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    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
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    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header is ignored.
    To contact me, please use the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  8. Jerry G.

    Jerry G. Guest

    As long as the metal grid, the door seals, and door latch were not damaged,
    there will be no radiation leakage. But, I would replace the front glass to
    prevent moisture build-up in the door. Moisture in the door may cause some
    extra loading on the emissions, thus lowering cooking efficiency. Depending
    on the door design, this may also cause some reflections, thus without doing
    any type of testing, there is no accurate way to make an accurate assumption
    to what is really going on.

    Using tape may be a problem. The microwave radiation may cause the glue on
    the tape to start cooking, and also give off fumes that may not be healthy,
    or simply melting the tape, and making a bit of a mess.

    Maybe a non corrosive silicon type rubber may be okay to patch the glass,
    but this should really be checked out to know if its chemistry is safe to
    use in a microwave environment without giving off fumes, or any type of
    emissions that would be dangerous for the food, or for the people in the
    room where the air is blowing out.

    Personally, I would order a new glass (door window) and replace it. This way
    you will know that it will be properly and safely serviced. You may have to
    replace the complete door, depending on the manufacture's parts policy.

    --

    Jerry G.
    ======


    So in our microwave there is the outer glass, then the metal grid, then a
    layer of clear plastic over the grid. .

    For nondisclosed reasons, there was a metal object inside and it sparked, a
    spark flew to the plastic which melted.. The metal grid is ok.. But there is
    small hole
    in the inner plastic..

    When I microwaved a glass of water some water vapour came through the small
    hole and condensed on the outer window..

    Is the microwave safe for using?

    I think it is but my wives father claimed it is not..

    Again, the metal grid is ok..

    Anyone know?
     
  9. Thanks.. What should I tape the door with? Would the glue heat up?

    As another poster suggested, patching the hole with silicone caulk is a good
    idea.

    Just so long as whatever is patching the hole doesn't contain water or other
    kinds of molecules that can get excited by microwaves, you shouldn't have
    problems with the patch heating up in anyway.

    A microwave oven cooks food by exposing it to high amplitude microwave
    radiation (also known as radar) emitted by a magnetron. The microwaves cause
    molecules inside the food, like water, to move and cause friction within the
    food. Because of this internal friction, the food literally cooks itself from
    the inside out when exposed to microwave energy and is also why typically the
    hottest cooking temperature a microwave oven by itself will ever attain is the
    boiling point of water.

    This is also a reason why a microwave oven is a cruel and horrible choice for
    keeping your pets warm. Remember the urban legend of an old lady who
    microwaved her poodle when it got wet? Well, the story may be fictional, but
    the end effect is not:

    microwave + pet = a dead mess.

    - Reinhart
     
  10. NSM

    NSM Guest

    ....
    | This is also a reason why a microwave oven is a cruel and horrible choice
    for
    | keeping your pets warm. Remember the urban legend of an old lady who
    | microwaved her poodle when it got wet? Well, the story may be fictional,
    but
    | the end effect is not:

    Actually there is/was a piglet warmer that worked like this. When the
    piglets rubbed against an arm they got some low dose microwaves to warm them
    up. Apparently it worked OK, and didn't prebake the bacon!

    N
     
  11. James254

    James254 Guest

    Hi Hmmmmm,

    It's difficult to answer you questions because the answer is Yes, it's safe
    and No, it's not safe.

    As you mention above there is a hole in the inner plastic. This plastic is
    there to prevent food spatter and moisture getting inside the door. To the
    very best of my knowledge it has no effect whatever to microwave radiation.
    Again, the same applies to the outer glass, it shouldn't stop microwave
    radiation.

    The only thing stopping you from getting cooked is the metal grid. So, for
    the moment yes it's safe to use.

    However for the long term you have to consider what will happen to the metal
    grid now it's exposed to food spatter and condensation. It will probably
    cause the metal grid to start to rust, as it rusts the small holes in the
    metal grid will become larger. This will allow microwave radiation to
    escape. So for the long term, No it's not safe to use.

    I would suggest that you replace the plastic film with the original type as
    specified by the manufacturer, just for your own piece of mind. The film is
    relatively cheap and if you can cover a school book with contact, you'll
    have nearly all the skills required to replace it.

    If you want to know the effects on the human body when exposed to microwave
    radiation you only need look at
    http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/consumer/microwave.html

    Food for thought,
    James
     
  12. Hmmmmm

    Hmmmmm Guest

    Thank you for the responses all! I put a scotch tape on it.. Seems to work
    fine and dandy..

    Antti
     
  13. The holes in the metal screening in the door will take a long, long
    time to enlarge, so the microwave should be just fine for at least a
    few years. By the time there is any enlargement of the holes, it will
    be time to get a new microwave anyway. The problem will be if dirty
    moisture builds up on the inside of the outside glass, there will be
    no way to clean it and you will lose a clear view of what's going on
    with your food as it is cooking. If you are like me, you sometimes
    need to see what is going on so you know when to shut the machine off.

    Even if the holes enlarge a little bit, there is margin put in by the
    manufacturer, and you would have to stand right in front of the door
    for a period of time (several minutes) before you would start heating
    yourself. The biggest danger would be to your eyes as they don't
    conduct heat away rapidly. So, if you have any doubts, just stand
    back a couple of feet from the door and don't stare at it for more
    than a few seconds at a time. Your father-in-law is right to be
    cautious, but he wrong in this case at the present time.

    H. R. (Bob) Hofmann
     
  14. CJT

    CJT Guest

    James254 wrote:
    ^^^^^

    LOL! Freudian?
     
  15. Actually there is/was a piglet warmer that worked like this. When the
    But, the energy level, and thus amplitude, was probably very low to where it
    wouldn't be hazardous.

    It's still not like a microwave oven. The principle might be the same, but an
    oven works with energy that is usually in the hundreds up to over a thousand
    watts. This translates into a HUGE amplitude of microwave energy that would
    cook anyone's bacon. - Reinhart
     
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