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Sharp R-24ST Microwave - Sticking START button

This has been a fantastic oven, but recently the start button has started sticking - you have to press it hard several times to get it to work. At first I thought it might be dirty, but I tried cleaning the area around it and it has made no difference. I guess it needs a new switch - any ideas on how to replace it, please.

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  • italiastar Feb 09, 2009

    Many thanks - I'll give this a go.

  • italiastar Feb 10, 2009

    Hi,

    Thank you for the follow-up. I haven't had a chance to find out how the control cover comes off yet, because there are no obvious screws. I think your solution is the most like one, and thank you for it. I'm always nervous about Microwaves - these are one of the things that bother me, however I'm reasonably confident and only work withing my ability - besides I'm not going anywher near the magnetron etc. I''ll give it a look hopefully by the weekend and let you know how I get on. More than happy to give you a Fixya, because you've been more than helpful and I'm sure your solution will work.

    Thank you,

    Gerald


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I had the same problem some years ago, and in my view it is caused by a design fault. There's a circuit board behind the front panel with tiny tactile switches that get pressed by the front panel buttons. But the **** design is that the switches aren't located behind the buttons, so the "engineering solution" that Sharp has used is to mount each of the buttons on a framework so that a sticky out bit from the button presses the appropriate switch. The problem is that the framework is made of plastic and so will eventually give way. Some 5 years ago I opened up my microwave and repaired the framework. When it went again yesterday, it was too far gone to repair. I could purchase a spare button panel from one of the spares suppliers, but for some GBP 8 or so.

Wanting an instant solution, I went a bit further. I removed the switches and soldered short trailing leads to their contacts. I glued (with epoxy) the switches back onto the circuit board so that they were directly behind the buttons, and then soldered the trailing leads from each switch back to the original switch locations. This meant redrilling the holes for one switch as the original holes were now obscured. I then cut off the three buttons from their framework (it was just the Stop, Start and Power level buttons as we never use the others) and trimmed off any projections to make them flush on the back. I filled the hollow of the button with modelling clay, and then expoxied a thin (2mm) layer of rubber on the back. When re-assembled, the buttons simply float in the hole in the front panel, but don't fall out as the switch is just behind them. They now work better than ever before, as they're pressing directly on the switch, rather than indirectly.

For disassembly (from memory), I removed the six or so screws holding on the main steel cover (at the sides and on the rear). There was one screw inside the casing securing the front panel assembly which, when removed, allowed the front panel assembly to be removed by lifting slightly and then pulling out. Disconnect the cable connectors (taking care to label where the yellow & red power connectors go. On the front panel assembley there are two circuit boards on top of each other. Remove the top one and the connector from it to the bottom one. The bottom circuit board is screwed in with 4 screws. Once the bottom board is removed, the button panel lifts out and you're ready to consider whether you're up to my repair method or whether you want to order a new button panel.

It may have taken me a while to complete this, but it gave me the satisfaction of a repair with no parts required, and the confidence that it will last, and can be tweaked if required. So my R24ST lives again!

Posted on May 06, 2009

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I don't have the service manual for that UK model, but my experience tells me that under the buttons there is either a set of board with mechanical switches or a membrane keypad.

Either way, that membrane or switch board is likely what you'll have to replace.

For generic disassembly help, see:
http://www.microwavedisplay.com/safety.txt
http://www.microwavedisplay.com/disassembly.txt

Info on ordering Sharp UK parts / spares is here.

If you're in another country, you can visit Sharp's world portal here.

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

Posted on Feb 09, 2009

  • William Miller
    William Miller Feb 10, 2009


    If you need more help, please reply back and let me know.

    If this gets it fixed, I'd appreciate if you'd consider me for a FixYa rating.

    Good luck & thanks.

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