With the invention of the microwave oven, life became easier and we’ve come to rely on them a great deal. The microwave oven is a scientific marvel. Who would have thought that food could be cooked without having to put it in the oven on over an open fire? The microwave was created in 1946. The first microwave was six feet tall, weighed almost 750 pounds and cost $5,000! By 1994, 90% of American homes had a microwave. Microwaves heat food when molecules vibrate inside the food and makes the food hot. The reason you don’t get sick from eating food heated in microwaves is because after the food absorbs the waves, they turn into heat. If it starts to cause problems, you’ll find it reassuring that many times you can take care of the problem quickly and inexpensively. You’ll need a volt-ohm meter that you can grab at any hardware store along with a notebook to make notes to keep track of where the screws go. You can also take pictures as you go to remember where it all goes and unplug the microwave before you start trying to figure things out.
How to Discharge a Microwave Capacitor
Discharging the capacitor is very important if you’re going to be touching internal parts. The capacitor is where additional voltage is stored and can cause injury even of the microwave is unplugged. To discharge it in a safe way you’ll need to have a screwdriver, a wire-wound resistor that has a 2 watt-20,000ohm rating and some jumper cables that have alligator clips on the ends. The first thing you need to do is clip a wire to the metal shaft of the screwdriver while clipping the other wire to one end of the capacitor’s terminals. Use the tip of the screwdriver and touch the other terminal. There will probably be a small spark. If the capacitor has three terminals, this process will need to be done on the middle terminal and each terminal on each side.
My Microwave Won’t Turn On
1. After you unplug the microwave, check for power at the outlet and check the cord for any damage or burn marks. Microwave ovens have lots of safety features and any one of them might be causing the problem. You will need to remove the outside shell of the microwave by unscrewing the screws and sliding it off.
2. Use fuse pullers to see if the fuse is blown. Set the RX1 on your VOM and place a probe on each end of the fuse. It will need to be replaced if the reading is anything other than zero.
3. Check the door switch. Find the door switches and take the leads off. Use the VOM set on RX1 and probe the terminals. With the door open, the reading should be infinity and zero if it’s closed. If these readings don’t show, you need to replace it. There are two door switches, so check both.
4. The fan motor might be bad. Find the fan and take the leads off. Again, take the VOM set to RX1 and probe the terminal. If there’s an infinity reading, it means it’s bad and will need to be replaced.