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Arcing Microwave Oven

We have a Kenmore Microwave Oven( model#721.61282) procured in October, 2001. Over the past two weeks, on several occasions, after 4-6 seconds, we noted a flash which we believe is due to arcing. Should this be a safety concern? What might be causing this? Is it time for a new oven? Thanks for your info.

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Look in cavity for any burn marks. If burn marks are present sand and paint area. You have to use paint made for microwaves. If no burn marks, Flash coming from magnetron and it would be time to replace. Yes it can be a safety concern, I would not use until fixed.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

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Why is there a burn hole inside the oven, on the cardboard?


That's actually a mica "window" (cover) for the microwaves to come out. And it sounds like the magnetron started arcing and burned a hole in that cover. Either that, or some food (frequently spaghetti sause) got splattered on it, and the microwaves heated it up so much that it burned a hole in the cover. Does the microwave oven still work (heat)? Do you see or hear any arcing? If the microwave oven still works and there is no arcing, you can just replace that cover. Check SearsPartsDirect.com or RepairClinic.com.

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Kenmore microwave is sparking when you it start and then goes to pause


see this steps and fix it. God bless you
If you see arcing or sparking inside a microwave, turn unit off immediately. Arcing can be caused by having something metal in the oven cavity touching a side, an oven shelf is touching the side of the cavity, an oven shelf support has broken, microwave waveguide, or bad magnetron.
If your microwave has a shelf in it, and you do not use it, keep it out. If one of the shelf supports breaks or comes out, the microwave will arc where the support was. You will have to sand the spot down, paint with appliance paint and re-install support. If the shelf shifts on the support and touches the side it will arc.
Your magnetron waveguide will either come out of the top, or side of the oven cavity. Some will have a stirrer in it(mostly top waveguides) with a panel over, or just a cardboard type cover over it. Over time, the stirrer cover can become warped from the heat which will expose the stirrer's metal shaft which will then cause sparking. These covers and stirrers come in a kit and can be replaced from inside the oven cavity.
Your cover over a side waveguide is coated with a substance on it, and overtime this coating can come off from the heat and moisture in the microwave. These waveguide covers are very easy to replace from inside the oven cavity. Touch up any paint that may have chipped or come off because of the arcing.
If your waveguide cover and/or stirrer are all OK, then the spark is coming from your magnetron. The antenna on your magnetrom has overheated and burned, sending the microwaves out at the wrong angle. If you catch this microwave oven repair early enough, you can usually get by with just replacing the magnetron. If the arcing has caused servere damage inside the waveguide, you will need a new microwave. Waveguides are not replaceable and most you can barely see into them, let alone sand and re-paint. In this case of microwave oven repair, when you remove the magnetron, you will see the burned antenna, or your magnetron will fail the test below.

see the guide for test the magenetron and another component.

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Oct 03, 2012 | Kenmore Microwave Ovens

1 Answer

Sparkscome from food (no metal involved) and heating VERY quickly!


Arcing in or above oven chamberThere is often a simple cause:


  • Arcing in the oven chamber with a normal load (a cup of water, for example), often just indicates that a thorough cleaning of the oven chamber is needed, particularly around and inside/above the waveguide cover. Any food that gets trapped here will eventually burn and carbonize resulting in a focal point for further arcing. Usually, the waveguide cover is designed to be removable without taking the (cabinet) cover off of the oven. However, burnt food and carbon often make this difficult so that some disassembly will be required. See the sections: "SAFETY" and "Getting inside a microwave oven".
for more information see "Arcing in or above oven chamber" section of online Microwave Repair Manual.
If the microwave is clean, please post a reply and I will look at it again (this time include a model # and/or approx manufacture date)

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1 Answer

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Check the door safety interlock system. Remove the cover - test the little switches near the door lock.

These switches fail because we all open the oven door while the oven is operating. Thbis causing arcing and failure. When they fail, the oven doesn't know the door is closed and will not turn on the heat.

Need more help with this ...please ask.

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Clear the cook cycle when you remove the food. Some microwaves pick up where they left off, so you don't have to keep pressing buttons.

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the magnetron is what is arcing.. not sure if i would consider it easy enough for a do it yourselfer. there are a few components that need removing. plus the mw needs to be taken down in order to do it.

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Your problem is due to the "magnetron" arcing to the wave guide within the microwave. Picture someone arc-welding stuff together inside the microwave casing, that's essentially what's happening. It is a fire hazard and you should stop using the microwave immediately. As far as I know, there isn't a recall on that particular model (though there was on another similar Kenmore/Whirlpool model) so if it's out of warranty, you're out of luck.

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Rival Microwave ..Model MT660 oven rack


Contact Rival
c/o JCS/THG, LLC
13120 Jurupa Avenue
Fontana, CA 92337
Telephone: 1-800-323-9519

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

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