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Removing microwave waveguide cover

Hi,

i have a GE 1860 microwave that has sparking from the waveguide cover. Reading the posts, it seems that it would be a good idea for me to remove the cover and thoroughly clean that as that might solve the issue. My microwave is mounted under a cabinet and is itself in a large cabinet held by a frame. Two questions though
a) the wave guide cover is held in place by two rivet like things that I'm not sure how to remove. Pry them off? and if so, how would i put those back in?
b) I read somewhere that there I need to discharge a capacitor before I open the cover as I might otherwise shock myself. Is this true? and if so how do I go about doing this?

Thanks!

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  • okaab Jan 25, 2008

    Thanks for the reply. I actually wasn't asking about removing the waveguide per se, but the waveguide cover, as there ware other posts on this that suggest that food particles / grease may have gotten on to or behind the cover, causing carbonization and sparking. The suggestion was to remove the cover and clean it thoroughly as that may alleviate the issue. My original questions above were with that intention in mind. How do I remove the cover with those "rivet" like things holding it and do I need to worry about the capacitor when i do so?



    Thanks!

  • okaab Jan 26, 2008

    Thank you very much. I removed the waveguide cover and it did have some gunk under the sides which I cleaned. I also noticed some black (burn?) marks on the metal behind the waveguide cover which i managed to clean somewhat. Hope that those marks were a result of the carbonization of food particles v/s something else wrong with the magnetron or waveguide. Anyway, hope that this cleaning helps eliminate the occasional sparking that I have been seeing. Thanks again for your help.

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell May 11, 2010

    Not a good idea to be messing around the waveguide of a microwave oven. The waveguide is covered with a protective coating (usually a special paint) that aids in wave propagation. Usually when sparking occurs inside a waveguide it's due to the magnetron misfiring. If operated in this condition for extensive periods of time, the waveguide coating can become damaged from arcing and is non-repairable. You cannot simply repaint or clean a waveguide to get rid of this problem. Replacing the magnetron at this point (even if bad) will not correct the problem either. The unit will continue to arc, because the protective coating is burned off in areas. I haven't heard anywhere that you could restore a waveguide in the manner you are describing. In addition, if you disassemble a waveguide you run the possibility of introducing foreign matter like dust and lint, or possibly damaging the interior surface of the waveguide itself which can make the problem worse. The capacitor you are describing is in the high voltage network near the magnetron. Voltage potentials in this area of the oven are around 13,000 volts and higher. That's why it is shielded and has multiple warning labels posted. Some units come with special temper resistant screws to prevent consumers from gaining access to this area. In a nut shell, if you suspect you have a bad waveguide, the microwave is considered non-repairable with some lower end models. On the higher end scale, you may be able to replace the waveguide. I could not cross reference any parts with the model number you provided. If you can list your correct model number (located near the door opening), I can see if your waveguide is replaceable. If you aren't savvy in electronics this is NOT the appliance to be cutting your teeth on. You could easily hurt yourself in the process if you aren't careful. One last thing...some manufacturers may warrant the waveguide or magnetron for an extended period beyond the usual one-year limited warranty you usually get with appliance purchases. If you still have an active warranty you may want to check into this as well.

  • lhord sam
    lhord sam Dec 29, 2013

    hey there, i've tampered the mica plate which is covering the wave guide.. is this a serious matter? kindly help me..

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2014

    Do i need to replace my waveguide cover that is burnt? Or can I simply remove the cover and continue using my microwave?

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Okay...if you are talking about the center cover that fits in either the overhead of the microwave cavity, or along one of the walls, those rivet like things you mentioned, are plastic and the center locking pin simply pulls out with the aid of a small screwdriver. Once you carefully pull the locking pin out until it stops, take the same small screwdriver and use it to gently pry around the outer ring and the locking tab should come right out. If you are careful you should be able reuse them. I have done this before. Try to avoid handling the interior of the waveguide itself. Look for any scorch marks. Some discoloration is normal (kind of like a gray streaking color). However, if it is burned excessively, the waveguide is probably shot. The high voltage capacitor is not located near the waveguide cover, so you should not have to worry about discharging it. It is located BEFORE the magnetron. Unplug the microwave oven as a safeguard. I hope this helps you.

Posted on Jan 25, 2008

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Jan 26, 2008

    Some discoloration is normal. As long as the surface coating of the waveguide is not damaged to the point where bare metal is showing, you should be okay. If the unit continues to spark after this you may have a magentron that's beginning to exhibit signs of wear (just some food for thought). Glad I could have helped you.

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I ordered a replacement waveguide cover for my kenmore microwave. It did have a small square cardboard like cover. The new on is two plastic pieces but the screws are too short..any suggestions

Posted on Feb 16, 2008

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If the microwave is sparking or arcing the waveguide cover might be damaged and shorting out. Try removing the waveguide cover and see if the problem goes away. If there are any damaged spots in the microwave ceiling or sidewalls, repair them and paint them with microwave oven paint. Replace the waveguide cover if it is burnt or if it will not stay in place.


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  2. Cavity/Rack supportIf sparking or arcing in your microwave is near a rack support, any exposed metallic area can be covered with a microwave cavity support. It is also recommended to replace the rack supports in this situation to ensure the issue is resolved.
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  • Cavity/Rack supportIf sparking or arcing in your microwave is near a rack support, any exposed metallic area can be covered with a microwave cavity support. It is also recommended to replace the rack supports in this situation to ensure the issue is resolved.
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  • Cavity/Rack supportIf sparking or arcing in your microwave is near a rack support, any exposed metallic area can be covered with a microwave cavity support. It is also recommended to replace the rack supports in this situation to ensure the issue is resolved.
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