Question about Microwave Ovens

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Which to buy?

Need your repair experience on various brands of microwave ovens; am in the market to buy & finding prof. repair opinions is difficult.  Basic question: which brands do you repair?.... and: which of them has required the least repair? Am interested in Haier 10-year magnetron warranty; Panasonic has 5-year on Inverter models. My recent experience with GE JES1289 was miserable & won't buy that brand again. Their (subcontracted) repairman toldl me GE knew about bad mfrg. run of Chinese-contracted magnetrons but installed them anyway in the JES line & sold them. Everything I've recently read about this model supports my experience. So am trying to find out which brands (and perhaps models) are the most reliable. And the best place to get that information is from the people who actually do the repairs.  Hope you can help me .... and I appreciate your time.   Jan

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I've worked on microwaves - troubleshooting to the component level, not just parts swapping - for over 20 years.

I have always liked Sharp microwaves, despite the trouble they've had with the displays in recent years.

Their part prices are very reasonable, and the service manuals are thorough.

I feel the same way about Panasonic, but I do not really care for any inverter-based ovens, and I guess all of theirs are now. You have to check the tag or manual to see.

(More complexity means a higher chance of failure, and repairs on these must be carried out by an experienced person.)

And I'd have to add Samsung to that list of favored brands, and right behind them would be LG I guess.

By necessity, in-home labor is expensive to provide.

A shop will usually spend 300-400% more time before and after the service call on your repair and the associated paperwork than just the time they are in your home.

So if you buy an over-the-range model, I would definitely recommend an extended warranty which provides for in-home service.

Any brand that's made by another company usually means high part prices.

For instance, it's shocking how much a part for a Dacor or Viking (both made by Sharp) will run when compared to the original Sharp part.

Same thing with GE (made by Samsung) and Kenmore, which these days is usually made by L.G. but made for Whirlpool, so there's an additional layer of cost!

While most microwaves are made in China or of Chinese parts, I'm not sure I would recommend a Chinese brand per se, which Haier is.

Same goes for Galanz.

I would check ahead of time into whether their were a few local authorized servicers in their network.

Otherwise, you may have to drive it many miles yourself for service or return it to the store.

Amana, Electrolux, Estate, Frigidaire, Jenn-Air, Kitchen, Aid, Litton, Roper, Tappan, Thermador, and Whirlpool are all under the Maytag umbrella now.

Take a look at their long warranties, and see if they have local authorized servicers. Especially with an extended warranty, these can be good choices.

Once you have your new microwave, read and heed the manual. Then file that away and don't lose it.

Good luck.

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

Posted on Jan 30, 2009

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