Question about In Microwave Ovens

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Will I have ruined the microwave if I forgot to put the food in the oven and made it cut out?

I forgot to put the food in the oven. After 2 minutes on high the power failed and there was no response - as if unplugged.the exterior top panel was very hot. After 5 minutes it bleeped and was back on but I didn't use it again.

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Its possible you could have burnt it out. You also may have blown the fuse which should be inside the cabinet. Before you do anything get a container of water and try to heat it and see if the machine works.
The microwave may have to reset itself. If it appears to work I would use it. If it shuts itself off then you have a problem but its probably cheaper to get a new one than to repair.

Posted on Dec 17, 2016

  • Jan Anderson
    Jan Anderson Dec 17, 2016

    Operating normally again. Seemed to my layman's eye like a safety cut out but can find no report of such. Grateful for your reply, safety always a concern.. Many thanks. Jan

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Why can't you run a microwave without anything in it? What happens and can you fix the problem? I forgot to put the food in and ran it for 4 minutes with nothing inside. Now it won't heat any food.


A microwave oven works on the principal of a high power high frequency radio transmitter. The device that emits the microwave energy is a tube called a magnetron . When you run the microwave empty with nothing to absorb the microwave energy it is all reflected back to the magnetron causing it to overheat and destroy itself or cause failure in the High Voltage power supply due to excessive current draw.This is caused by standing waves.

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The thermal fuse monitors the magnetron temperature and cuts power, if it gets to hot and resets in no more than 20 to 30 minutes. Unplug microwave oven, remove top, "several screws" look over to the right, thermal fuse is mounted on top on the inner chassis, "round and thick with 2 wires clipped on"

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Without a load (food or water) to absorb the microwave energy the microwaves will bounce back into the waveguide and on to the magnetron antennae causing damage. Usually there is a lot of arcing and noise when there is nothing inside the oven cavity which alerts you to the problem. I cannot say for sure if it destroyed the magnetron.

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Cuts out everytime you put food in, any mode any food, then displays sensor on panel displayed. May run for a few seconds then cuts again Rob.


Hi there,

It could be either the magnetron thermostat or the cavity thermostat would be faulty, depending on the microwave but in most cases it would be a thermostat.
First of all you can try cutting the power to the unit for 5 minutes, then retry it.
Call 800-626-2005 GE costumer care You will probably need to provide your serial number when you call so be sure you have that ready.

Good Luck!!

Thanks

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Microwave oven H-4020 BM...... How to clean inside????? I am unable to get the stains off and inside looks terrible.


First, wipe out any excess crumbs. Then fill a microwave-safe bowl with about 1-2 cups of water. Add some lemon juice, or put in half a piece of fresh cut lemon (squeezing some juice out first) into the bowl... Microwave until the water is boiling. Then let it sit for a few minutes to let the steam penetrate the interior. Carefully remove the bowl and interior tray. Wipe down the interior with a damp cloth. Wash the tray in the sink with dish soap, dry, and then return to microwave. For the outside, spray with a kitchen cleaner and wipe with paper towels. The main idea is that the steam from the water will loosen food particles, and the lemon will add a fresh smell.

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The first thing to try is a "hard reset". Unplug it from the power line for a minute, plug it back in, set the clock, then try again.

If it's still dead, since it's under warranty I would contact Whirlpool customer service for a free fix.

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

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