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Magic Chef Microwave looses power when making popcorn

Set the timer for 2:55, not using the popcorn setting. The microwave stops dead, no display and comes back to life after about 10 minutes. Second microwave of same make and model both brand new. I installed exactly the same microwave in my last house, back in May, and popped the same brand and package size of popcorn with out problems. My theory is the steam from the pop corn is for some reason tripping a thermal cut out switch.

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  • Nonchalant Jan 19, 2008

    I had this problem with popcorn and called Magic Chef. It's a known problem with microwave popcorn and baking potatoes. They suggested the plate solution. I've had my microwave for about a year and it has worked fine for me. HOWEVER... I had a 10-pack bag of snack-size (about 1/2 size of regular bags) microwave popcorn. I put the last bag on a platelast night and before the time was up, I heard a loud pop. My plate split into 3 pieces. From what I can see, all the break lines are clean brreaks - no little pieces lying around. I don't know if the bag was too hot or what... All I've founb was a post somewhere from 1999 where it happened to someone else. Don't know the "why" the plate broke.



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  • 9,098 Answers

That does indeed sound like the mag is overheating and the thermostat is tripping, but it's probably not the steam.

Do you feel a good amount of air flowing through the vents?

If the cooling fan is not running or the air vents are blocked, that wil allow the magnetron to overheat.

If air flow is not a problem, then you may have a defective magnetron.

Assuming it's still under warranty, it would be best to let a Magic Chef-authorized servicer handle it.

For more help from Magic Chef / Ewave : ; Contact page ; Order


Posted on Oct 22, 2007


Actually figures out that it was the sensor for the plate that was tripping it out. Placing a dinner plate on it before popping corn resolved the problem. Assuming my wife remembers the plate of course.

Posted on Oct 22, 2007


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Generic questions and comments:

Does your microwave have a "popcorn" setting and are you using it? Is there a rotating table in your machine? Is your popcorn bag elevated on top of a bowl or similar? Are you using some other "sensor" setting? Can you use straight time setting and get it to go past the 1 min 45 second mark?

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Since it's less than one year old, it would be fully covered under warranty. I'd suggest contacting the manufacturer to get it fixed free.

For more help from Magic Chef / Ewave see here or their contact page.

For Magic Chef in Canada call 866.587.2002

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

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You are running the risk of damaging the Magnatron by doing this.

Check the packets you are using, you will have to reduce your power output.

This is because microwaves act by being absorbed by water. There is very little in popcorn and in fat. Once this has been evaporated, the microwave energy builds up (as it is still being produced - but not absorbed), and ends up cooking the magnatron itself.

I have seen countless posts on here after cooking popcorn!

More fun on the hob anyway - and cheaper to buy in bulk!

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The cooling fan is a must!

Otherwise, the magnetron will be ruined, and that drives up the repair cost.

If you or a friend decide to work on it, we have *critical* safety, disassembly, and troubleshooting info at our site, and our link is at our listing here on FixYa:

You can order parts here:

To contact Magic Chef about getting an *authorized* servicer, see:

We're happy to help and we appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

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We had the same problem with our brand new Magic Chef. Before going through the trouble of taking it back I called Home Depot. After talking to a Home Depot Rep I am told that the overheat sensor is under the glass plate directly beneath the popcorn bag. Popcorn gets very hot and the heat of the popcorn causes the sensor to shut the machine down. I would imagine this would be the same for a baked potato.
Very poor design.
I was told to put a microwave safe plate down and put the popcorn bag on it. This should help to reduce the heat and not trip the sensor.
A safety sensor is great, but not if it keeps tripping the machine and shutting down!

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