Question about Sharp R-220BW Microwave Oven

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Microwave ovens What is the little rectangular cover inside the oven and usually to the right hand side do.Mine has started sparking when cooking.

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  • cablegirl Dec 16, 2007

    The rectangular cardboard looking cover has a hole in it now from sparking. Can I still use the microwave?

  • rickjan Apr 03, 2008

    I have a GE JES1288 that does the same thing. it archs, or sparks when we put popcorn in, and it also has burnt a little hole in the rectangular piece. Can we still use the micro with a hole in this thing?

    Why does the micro spark? Its microwaveable popcorn..any ideas?

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The job of the waveguide cover is to protect the waveguide (opening) and the magnetron from buildup of food particles and grease. When the grease and food particles build up on and below the cover, they will carbonize and arc - and maybe even flame up! The solution is to clean it and keep it clean - but if it's too dirty, it must be replaced. Sometimes it's necessary to remove the cover to clean both sides of it, and to clean the edges of the opening it covers. It is held in place with a small plastic rivet (or screw) and once that is removed, the cover will slide over a little then drop down. Be VERY careful not to get cut on the potentially sharp edges of the opening, and do not spray anything into the opening. Apply an alcohol-based cleaner (such as the purple kind) and /or gentle scouring powder to a cloth or paper towel and carefully wipe it out, then when it's dry, reinstall the cover and the rivet. I suggest to my customers that they NEVER use any ammonia-based cleaner (like the blue stuff) on a microwave, since the amonia will crack and distort polycarbonate plastics.

Posted on Sep 15, 2006

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  • Expert
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Can't tell you much about your little rectangle, but sparks can result from left over food particles that got carbonized, and a good cleaning might get rid of it, unless you like looking at the sparks(I heard you shouldn't stare at a microwave while working though, washing machines are safer). make sure you unplug it while cleaning or doing anything else, those micros are dangerous as hell. Take care

Posted on Mar 16, 2006

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: microwave ovens

The cover is probably the magenetron. That is where the microwaves come from. If the bread was moist, it might have left condensate in the unit which is causing the sparking. Unplug the unit, leave the door open over night. If you can remove that cover, do so. Be sure to carefully replace it before using the unit. Never turn on a microwave with nothing in it.

Posted on Dec 17, 2007

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1 Answer

My LG/Dometic MICROWAVE sparks inside the cooking area when turned on


see the next steps and follow with common sense: God bless you
Microwave is arcing If you see arcing or sparking inside a microwave, turn unit off immediately. Arcing can be caused by having something metal in the oven cavity touching a side, an oven shelf is touching the side of the cavity, an oven shelf support has broken, microwave waveguide, or bad magnetron.
If your microwave has a shelf in it, and you do not use it, keep it out. If one of the shelf supports breaks or comes out, the microwave will arc where the support was. You will have to sand the spot down, paint with appliance paint and re-install support. If the shelf shifts on the support and touches the side it will arc.
Your magnetron waveguide will either come out of the top, or side of the oven cavity. Some will have a stirrer in it(mostly top waveguides) with a panel over, or just a cardboard type cover over it. Over time, the stirrer cover can become warped from the heat which will expose the stirrer's metal shaft which will then cause sparking. These covers and stirrers come in a kit and can be replaced from inside the oven cavity.
Your cover over a side waveguide is coated with a substance on it, and overtime this coating can come off from the heat and moisture in the microwave. These waveguide covers are very easy to replace from inside the oven cavity. Touch up any paint that may have chipped or come off because of the arcing.
If your waveguide cover and/or stirrer are all OK, then the spark is coming from your magnetron. The antenna on your magnetrom has overheated and burned, sending the microwaves out at the wrong angle. If you catch this microwave oven repair early enough, you can usually get by with just replacing the magnetron. If the arcing has caused servere damage inside the waveguide, you will need a new microwave. Waveguides are not replaceable and most you can barely see into them, let alone sand and re-paint. In this case of microwave oven repair, when you remove the magnetron, you will see the burned antenna, or your magnetron will fail the test bel
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Presuming that you have iliminated the possibility of any metal objects that are not meant to be in the machine being in there (and this includes dishes and other items with silver or gold leaf on them, which WILL spark and burn!) then take a look inside the oven its self. You will find a waveguide cover. It is usually a strange flakey silvery plastic/card like material called Mica and is usually on the same side of the microwave wall as the control panel (So if the picture on this thread is accurate, I will guess the Mica cover is on the right hand wall inside as you look at the machine from the front) . Over time, the magnatron (the thing that creates the microwave energy) will often burn a hole through the mika, or cause a dark brown or black burn mark in it. If this cover is even slightly damaged then it may well cause sparking inside the machine. These covers are designed to be removed and you can buy replacements for them from electrical stores.

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I gather from researching the part that yours is a UK model oven. Here is a source for the replacement waveguide cover. If you're in some other part of the world, at least you'll know what you're looking for when you search for a more convenient source. You may be able to find a replacement locally, as the waveguide cover is a commonly-replaced item. Check with appliance parts houses or service shops in your area to see if one might be available.

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The cover is probably the magenetron. That is where the microwaves come from. If the bread was moist, it might have left condensate in the unit which is causing the sparking. Unplug the unit, leave the door open over night. If you can remove that cover, do so. Be sure to carefully replace it before using the unit. Never turn on a microwave with nothing in it.

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