Today there has to be at least one microwave oven in every household in America. Rich or poor everyone has to have a microwave oven. I for one am waiting impatiently for a food replicator but until then I have to deal with my finicky microwave. Well, it kind of died last week but it served me well for a very long time. I bought that little guy six years ago and we had a long and sometimes heated relationship. In the years that I owned it I learned a lot about what it took to keep it functioning. The first time we had a difficulty I learned a few basic things. Number one any self-respecting DIY specialist must own a VOM (volt ohmmeter). These can be purchased at any hardware store. These can be purchased at any hardware store. A pillbox can work as a great organizer for screws. The most important thing I learned was to unplug it before tinkering. Which reminds me all microwave ovens have a volt capacitor. This sores voltage and can give you a really nasty shock if you are not careful even with the unit unplugged. There is a wonderful article at ehow that explains how to build your own tool to discharge the capacitor.
Problem 1 – The oven doesn’t come on at all
Solution: unplug the chord and use the VOM to check the outlet. Inspect you chord and check for burns and frayed. There are a lot of safety devices in a microwave oven, any of them can be at fault. You will probably have to remove the outside cover. That is a simple task just remove all the screws under the unit and on the back, this is where the pillbox comes in. These are what you want to check:
Check for a blown fuse
Check the door switch it could have gone bad
The fan motor could have died
Problem 2 – The microwave oven always blows its fuses
Solution: Check the door switch. The diode or the capacitor may have gone out. You will want to discharge the capacitor as I said before then check it with the VOM it should start reading low and go high if this is good then reverse the probe and retest. The VOM must be set to RX100. The first reading should have been infinity and the reverse reading should be in the low area if this is not the case it needs to be replaced. If this is not the culprit that only leaves the Magnetron this is a very sensitive piece and you should take it to a pro.
Problem 3 – Food does not cook evenly and it cooks slowly
Solution: check the voltage from the outlet. If its voltage is 115V there is an electrical problem in you home wiring. If its not that there may be a faulty turntable. Turn the unit upside down remove the bottom grill and test with the VOM to RX1 probe the terminals, if it reads infinity the motor needs to be replaced.
This should keep your appliance working well for quite sometime if all else fails consult an expert.