No matter what time is set, the microwave works for exactly 17 seconds then switches to start up mode. Always 17 seconds!
Can anyone tell me what has gone faulty? Is it economically repairable, or do I need to buy a new microwave?
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Possible that the protector works, there is a thermal switch which is located to prevent fire and if there is a malfunctioning of the waveguide, magnetron or the circuit it can cut off the circuit. click this link for part location. : microwave
It sounds like you were sold somebody else's problem, it could be a bad magnetron, cracked high voltage diode, and a shorted high voltage capacitor to name a few. I recommend a professional if you feel it is worth getting checked.
Two options to try:
a) Press the Clock / Timer button 3 times
b) Unplug, wait a few seconds, then re-plug to power up with the factory settings. You will need to reset your clock and any favourite settings.
This should work with all Panasonic Microwave models.
Although your model number doesn't seem to show up, the NNS950-series units are powered by an high-voltage inverter. And yours has failed.
While an inverter (switched-mode power supply) is more efficient from a power consumption standpoint, it is more complex, thus more statistically prone to fail. These should only be examined and worked on by someone who has the necessary technical qualifications. Seriously.
Often the machine-soldered connections in a microwave inverter are too weak, so they eventually fail, especially if heat is high in the area. They sometimes fail catastrophically.
When not catastrophically damaged, you may hear clicking or squealing and may smell an electrical odor, which is sometimes obscured by the cooling fan.
Sometimes a whole new inverter is cheaper than the time and labor required to fix the old one.
If a technician is willing and able to troubleshoot and repair the inverter to component level, it will may be expensive, but may be worth it, especially if he or she will resolder and reinforce connections as needed as part of a thorough repair. That could easily make your inverter beter than a new one!
You might be able to get some verbal estimates if you call Panasonic-authorized appliance / microwave repair shops and ask then specifically about inverter component-level repair and simple inverter replacement costs for your exact model number.