Question about Kenmore Microwave Ovens

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I have a Kenmore countertop microwave that is almost ten years old. I was using it one day, heard a pop and it quit. Could it be a fuse and how do I get the back off?

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Usually when you hear a pop during operation and it quits either the Power Diode or High Voltage Capacitor has failed. When they fail they usally also cause the internal 15 Amp fues to fail. The back comes off by removing the 4 screws (2 on each side) and 6 screws in the back. (UNPLUGGED!) The you slide the cabinet cover back about 1/2 inch.. lift the rear of the cover 30 deg and remove the cover by pulling to the rear of the unit.

Once inside take a bladed screwdriver and short across the capacitor at least 3 times just incase it was not the failure. If you don't do this and the Cap is good it can really ruin your day! Then isolate the Cap by removing the set of terminal connections tht includes the power diode connection. Use an analog meter on R x 10K and probe the cap terminals. You should see resistance then watch the resistance increase to infinity. Reverse the leads and watch for the same indication....resistance then increase to infinity. It should do this each time you reverse the leads. To check the diode you read both ways with the meter leads across the diode. One way will read ZERO ohms and the other way should read close to infinity. (You have to reverse the leads.) Like I said usually the Cap or the diode fails. Make sure you check the fuse for continuity also. Most of the time they fail when one of the 2 components above fail. DO NOT replace the fuse until you replace the failed part. Otherwise the fuse will fail again.
The fuse is located in the fuse block at the end of the power cord.
When your reinstall the cover make sure you ensure the front side locking tabs near the bottom front are engaged with the front of the internal chassis.

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Posted on Sep 04, 2010

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You mentioned a loud pop, which is usually not a good thing. This is normally because some component has failed, causing the fuse to blow. In most cases this part is the magnetron tube, which is the microwave source. Other parts can go bad as well, but the magnetron is very common.

It's possible to troubleshoot and repair a microwave oven, but they are dangerous devices to work on. Lethal voltages are exposed with the cover off, and improper repairs can lead to excessive microwave leakage. It's best to have a professional check the oven and give an estimate for the repair if you want to keep it. It might be more economical to replace the oven, though. They are quite inexpensive now (in my area, a 900-watt Emerson countertop model was on sale for $40 last week), so you might wind up spending more on parts and labor than you would on a new oven.

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