Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fixing the Sparking Microwave

Our microwave was sparking recently, and we were worried that it was dying. Only 3 years old, it shouldn't be, but you never know. For every long lasting appliance there are a few short lasting ones. The side of the microwave, and the wave cover guide were black with soot from a mini-flame that appeared in there.

I researched on the Internet and a few people said to be sure things were clean inside and if the wave cover guide could be cleaned it should work. However ours was blacked,  with pieces of metal flaking off of it. It seemed trashed to me, so I ordered a new one. There were some on eBay, but I just went with Best Buy parts. Same price, $10, and same shipping, $8.

It arrived yesterday, so I put it in and turned on the microwave. After about 15sec, it seemed to be crackling and sparking, so I turned if off again and unplugged it. I didn't have time to deal with it, but I was worried about it. I talked with Tia about it later, and she suggested calling an appliance repair place before doing anything else.

So I called John Wright Appliance Repair in Parker, the town we live near. I spoke with him a bit, and he was happy to give me 5 minutes of his time with a few pointers. I got some good information, followed it, and things appear to be working. We'll see what happens over the next few days.

The advice?


First, I needed to clean the microwave. Our maid had done a great job cleaning off the inside, but there was still some black marks on the side. John said to use some 400-600 grit sandpaper to clean things off. So I grabbed a sheet of 400 and rubbed off the black. It pulled off a little paint and the gray metal underneath showed, but I can touch that up with paint.


Just above the wave guide cover, there was a little hole and some metal showing through the white finish. John said not to worry about it. The finish is aesthetic, and can be repaired. Any metal showing is safe for that microwave. It's tuned for the magnetron.


One thing I hadn't done was put anything in the microwave when I tested it. John said to be sure that there was something there, a glass of water is fine. I did that, ran a minute, and no sparking, crackling, and the water heated up.

I think it's fixed, and I hope so. $20 and a little time as opposed to $50 for an estimate from most places.

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