Question about Microwave Ovens

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We used the microwave as a timer by mistake. It shut off by itself. Is it broken?

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If it goes dead for a while during or after cooking then comes back on, the magnetron is probably overheating and causing the magnetron thermostat to open.

Then when it cools, it closes the circuit and allows power through again.

If it did not come back on, chances are the magnetron's thermostat (or thermal cutout, TCO, etc. as they are also known) has failed and will have to be replaced.

You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts for many brands by entering your full model number here.

Many brands also have a "mini-manual" (tech sheet) hidden inside the unit behind the control panel or hidden on the left side behind the grille, which is very helpful when troubleshooting, testing, and locating components.

If the parts link does not cover your model, please reply back with your brand and model number so we can help you.

We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008

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