Interior cardboard/foil piece fell off revealing small chamber inside oven--still safe?
I'm replacing a westinghouse 3504 microwave oven BUT...the new one isn't here yet. inside the oven/cooking chamber is a small, rectangular recess that WAS previously covered by a foil coated cardboard panel, which has now fallen off. what is this small recess? is the oven safe to use until my new one arrives? can i/should i improvise a covering for this recess, and if so with what material?
Thanks from single dad, father of 2, from all of us.
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That is a piece of Mica that is called the Wave Guide Cover. It is very important as it stops food particles from entering the magnetron output aerial. You must replace it. Contact an appliance repair centre for replacement.
That piece is called the waveguide cover. Emerson calls it a spatter shield. Behind it is the hole where the microwaves enter the oven. Its job is to prevent food spatters from getting into the microwave source, and it's not a good idea to run the oven without it.
The cover is usually held in place by a plastic rivet that pulls out. I couldn't find the part number for the cover used in your model. But here is a link to a parts place that has several covers available:
If one of the covers shown looks like yours you can order it. Another possibility is to contact Emerson at 800-695-0098. This is the number they give to locate authorized servicers near you, and you might be able to order a replacement cover through them.
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check the conductivity of the plastic with an ohmmeter by placing the probes an inch apart on the plastic surface. If the resistance is large or infinity, the plastic probably performs no role in stopping the microwave radiation. If so, any epoxy probably can be used to close the hole safely. Make sure you don't use too much and if possible place tape over the repair and orient the microwave so the epoxy presses against the tape while drying to prevent it from oozing into any door hinge/close mechanism. Otherwise, a piece of microwave door glass from a broken unit can ge glued over the hole and should stop the radiation. You can check for leakage with test units but be very carefuly anyway.