When I turn on the microwave oven it will shut off without completing. The shutoff is generally preceded by flickering in the display panel. Sometimes it will operate to completion, quite bizarre. When I turn off the turntable it still works erradically.
I have changed the outlet the unit is plugged in to but that has not made any difference.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: Erradic operation of the microwave oven
Has this unit had the magnetron replaced lately?
If so, it may be loose or the RF gasket (mesh screen type washer) may be missing or damaged.
If not, the magnetron might be failing. To test this, you can try cooking on the lowest power level (1 or 10%) a few times and see if it fails less often.
Otherwise, I would suspect a bad connection or component on the control unit (smart board), which we repair nationwide for only $39.95 postpaid in most cases.
We have *critical* safety & disassembly info at our site, which is linked at our listing here on FixYa: http://tinyurl.com/yzjozk
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It thinks its overheating, and the (faulty) thermal shutoff is shutting down your unit. fix: since repair parts for household appliances are unavailable (parts are available for major appliances only), your fix is to replace the microwave. Or give it to the handy kid down the block who will disable the thermal shutoff and use it to melt plastic stuff for demented puerile YouTube videos...
I'm assuming you mis-typed and meant the oven begins running when you SHUT the door and stops when you OPEN the door. Please tell me this is what you meant! If the microwave oven runs with the door open, UPLUG IT IMMEDIATELY AND DO NOT USE IT!!!
If the oven begins running without pushing the start button then the controller is bad or the Start button is worn out and making contact without pushing it. (Most likely it is your controller.) Generally, it is not worth the cost to replace the controller on a 10 year old microwave. Probably time for a new one.
But if you want, you can call Whirlpool and see what they suggest at 800-253-1301.
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Usually this indicates failure of the magnetron and/or the inverter. Neither is easy to test without specialised HV equipment. Often the cause is operating the oven without anything in it. If this has happened, it will generally be failure of the magnetron.
Replacement of the magnetron is relatively easy (about 15 minutes) and the inverter a little longer but if you do not have the knowledge/skills please do not do it - there are very dangerous (deadly) voltages associated with magnetrons even after they have been switched off.
Cost of magnetrons ranges upwards from USD25 to USD100 (from Panasonic spare parts) and inverters range upwards from USD125. The cost of parts is often the reason microwave ovens are not repaired.
In principle no it is not hazardous.
In practice however, unless the machine is clean to the point of sterile, small items in the microwave can absorb more energy than they would if a large item was in the machine also. This can produce some damage to the machine.
manufacturers generally recommend not running microwaves empty.
Why would you want to?
If in doubt, just a cup of water would be more than adequate.
it is not a good idea to modify a microwave oven in any way.
Hope this helps :)