I started the microwave tonight and a strange sound - metallic crackling - started instantly with the start button being pushed. It seemed to be coming from the left side. The microwave was operating, fan & lights working, timer & keypad are fine. We stopped and restarted several times and it was always there, occasionally on and off, but mostly constant. We tried to cook some hotdogs to see what would happen (our instinct was to not use it at all - it was a bad sound!), and two times, on the auto heat setting and just a simple timed setting, they were really overcooked. We cook hotdogs all the time, so could tell that it was responding the way it normally does. We've had no problems until this and use it regularly... It is maybe 3 years old, the only other problem was a fuse we needed to replace, which I understand is standard on these. There may have been a faint odor, but it wasn't strong enough to say for sure - I was cooking and I couldn't tell for certain if what I was noticing was really there - my husband didn't notice an odor. Any idea what this might be and if it is something we can try to do, or even worth the repair?
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It sounds like either your inverter is producing too high a voltage, or your magnetron may be damaged, causing it to overcook.
In either case, it definitely needs professional attention. There are very high voltages involved.
Since it's out of warranty, the repair charges would likely run about $75-90 labor for in-home service (less if you carry it in) and about $40-75 for parts depending on which is bad.
If you run into a technician who can repair the inverter instead of just swapping it, you might save a bit.
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Replace the fuse with a ceramic fuse from Home depot! costs less than $3 and it will fix the problem. I had all the same problems as everyone else, you name it my microwave had it! you must remember replace it with a ceramic fuse! not a glass one. I know people say its the switchboard and all that nonsence but I promise you, the fuse plays a majoe roll in the microwave not working properly. Even though it doesnt look broken, a junky fuse can cause your appliance to do very strange things. I replaced mine 6 months ago and it works like its fresh out of the box.
In order to try to set your mind at ease I will have to explain the Basics on how a Microwave Oven Functions.
When a Microwave Oven is set to COOK ...START. It cooks at 100%. There is no lowering of the heat as with a Range ( Cook Top) Control. So in order to do the other things such as DEFROST, WARM, or anything other than 100% COOK. A COOK ON- COOK OFF system was utilized. To DEFROST, the Microve COOKS at 100% for 30% of the TIME, then IDLES for 70% of the TIME. COOK ON 30% of the TIME, COOK OFF 70% of the TIME = DEFROST This is why you can hear the CYCLE. More power is required during the ON CYCLE, thus the lower vibration. The Vibration occurs when the High Voltage Transformer is turned ON ( COOK ON).
The VIBRATION seems to have got louder with age. This is somewhat normal as there is a vibration from the High Voltage Transformer present every time the Microwave is used. screws and other metal parts seem to get loose with this vibration. There is no solution, unless you can tighten EVERY screw, nut, and bolt in the unit.