Tip & How-To about Microwave Ovens

What to do when the microwave is arching.

Hi.
If your microwave cavity is crossed by luminous discharges of current , and you see flashing arches of current from the magnetron area to other areas of the microwave oven cavity, then we commonly say that the microwave is arching.

The first thing to do in this case is disconnecting power immediately, and trying to remove the cause of arching if possible.


Arching will damage the microwave oven, if it goes on for enough time.
Any metal conductive object, such as a spoon or a fork will cause arching if left inside the oven when the microwave device (the magnetron) is operating.
Ensure that there is no metal object inside, while the appliance is operating.
Some vegetable with an high amount of metal , and some other ingredient, like bacon , are known to cause arching in sporadic cases.
In that case add a little water to the food in the oven and try again.

Sometimes recycled paper, or use of containers that are not for microwave can also cause arching. In that case use a different container, or paper.
If there is arching and bad burnt-plastic-like smell with any food being cooked, that means that there is a major problem, and that if the oven is used in this condition, you may get further damage to the appliance. In some case there may also be safety concerns.

As said, you get arching inside microwave when inside the cavity there is a strongly conductive object, such as a metal object or carbon residue.
You also get arching when the oven cavity is damaged.
In this last case the cavity may have lost insulation, and it is better having the oven repaired by a technician, that will also conduct a radiation leak test on the appliance to prove its safety.


To attempt fixing the problem by yourself , you can do the following:

Disconnect power cord.

Check inside the oven cavity, ensure that there is no foreign object inside (such as a small screw). Check also under the turntable.

Check that the light and the magnetron covers are well in place.

Clean the cavity thoroughly, clean also the lamp enclosure if this can be accessed. Carbon residue from food may be causing the arching.


If after cleaning the arching is still there, that means that the cavity is damaged. In that case better calling a technician.
A damaged microwave may loose insulation , and this may be very dangerous for health.

If you want to contact a technician, the best thing to do is ringing the phone number listed on the appliance owners manual.




Ginko.

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1 Answer

Microwave only works for a second or two then stops & flashes "F7".


The microwave flashes F7 due to no current being drawn by the magnetron.

It sounds like the magnetron may have either failed or is not being supplied with the extremely high voltage required to run it.
Make sure the !!!!capacitor is discharged!!!!! before attempting any sort of repair.
Check the door interlock switches first then the high voltage diode with either an AVO model 8 on high resistance range for short circuit, the capacitor can fail and go short circuit, the feed fuse on the primary of the high voltage transformer and then finally, the magnetron is best checked by substitution.
Hope that helps.

Jan 01, 2011 | Whirlpool Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

microwave won't heat, light ,clock works the microwave just won't heat the items in it.


hELLO THERE
when a microwave quits heating but every thing else is ok normally
investigate these 4 areas

Investigate these three areas if your microwave won't heat but you hear a loud buzzing or humming noise:
microwave_diode.jpg Power Diode

A diode is an electronic component that readily passes current in one direction only and blocks the flow of current in the opposing direction. If your microwave's diode has become defective, your microwave will not heat and you will hear a buzzing noise. Test the diode to determine if this is the cause of your problem. Replace it if it is defective.

picturena.gif High Voltage Capacitor

A capacitor is an electrical device which stores electricity. A defective capacitor may be why your microwave is not heating but you are hearing a buzzing or humming noise. The capacitor will have to be tested to determine if this is the cause of your problem. A defective capacitor will have to be replaced before your microwave will work again. Make sure you discharge the capacitor before you test it, though.

microwave_magnetron.jpg Magnetron

A defective magnetron is the third possible cause of why your microwave is not heating, but you can hear a buzzing noise. Test your microwave's magnetron. Replace it if it is defective.

Nov 09, 2010 | GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

1 Answer

My microwave is making a loud buzzing noise and there was some charred areas inside on side wall


The loud noise is probably the magnetron makign the noise. The charred areas on the wall are from possible grease or food particles arching and burning the cavity. Alot of times there is a cover on the wall it burns. it would need to be replaced, as well as sand and paint the cavity area that is damaged with m/w grade paint.

Nov 21, 2009 | Thermador MBBS Microwave Oven

1 Answer

My oven started arching with micowave popcorn (4 or 5 different times). Now it will not heat. No error messages on the screen and everything else works. Thanks Dennis M.


Hi, there are three issues that will cause a no heat situation in a microwave. these issue are a failed Magnetron, busted cut-off fuse and, failed diode.

I recommend checking all these area that are located inside the microwave for faults.

The most common issue will be a failed Magnetron.

The diode and, fuse will be located on the noise filter assembly.

Jun 21, 2009 | GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

1 Answer

Microwave is not heating food and sounds like it is arching


Arching is often caused by a bad magnetron, the power diode must also be tested.

Test the high voltage capacitor, the rectifier diode.or the magnetron.

If it additionally does not spin and no light, then check also the door switch.

The diode and capacitors can br tested. The capacitor must be allowed discharge before testing, or you risk to get electrocuted, even if power is off. Capacitors can get discharged by shorting their two contacts.
Replace the magnetron if the checks and all of the high voltage component tests are good, but the unit still does not heat.

All locations, and description of this parts can be located using the diagram here: Counter top.

Parts must be tested to find out what is wrong.

Remember that microwaves are potentially dangerous devices if not repaired properly, the job must be done by a competent person.
A microwave energy leakage test must always be performed when the oven is serviced for any reason.

Regarding parts, contact the seller here to purchase parts. (here in UK).

Dec 28, 2008 | GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

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