Microwaves

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Peanut

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I’m looking for reviews, input, suggestions, any info at all.

I have had good luck with microwaves. The first one I bought was for $5 at a yard sale in 1987, a late 70’s model, analog. I used it until 2003. I felt bad trashing it… still worked good, but was too small. :(

Then I bought a 2003 GE 1100watt, 1.1 cuft model. It’s still running but on its last legs here in 2019. Only 16 years! Darn cheap crap! :mad:

Secret… the Navy trained me to repair missile systems… microwave energy… I know a trick or two. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I’m looking for something about 2 cu ft in size and over 1200 watts. Suggestion? Even in the 1100-watt range?

Has anyone bought anything they are happy with in the last few years? Can someone help me find the third microwave of my life?

Reminds me of a baseball game I went to. 9 of us kept trying to start a wave in the stands for our team… Some one yelled down! “What kind of wave is that?” My girlfriend yelled up into the stands! “It’s a MicroWave!” Guess you had to be there… it was funny! :D
 

WVDragonlady

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Sorry I have a GE 1.4 cu ft. Works great so far. Haven't it long, only a couple of years. I only use it to steam my veggies, reheat things, the popcorn option and to boil water real quick.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-1-4-cu-ft-Countertop-Microwave-Oven/43041650

I don't remember what brand or how long I had the one before this one. I know I bought it at Lowes ( and they don't carry small appliances anymore) and it lasted a good while but like I've posted I don't use mine over much. I do use it every day though, just not heavily.


Its a " throw away" world anymore. Guess thats why things aren't built to last
 

hiwall

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The new microwave that the builder put in this house died in one year. It was a Whirlpool. I bought a Frigidaire. It lasted less than one year.
All brands are made in China and likely all at the same factory. Good luck getting a new one to last.
Our first microwave was a Sharp. It was still working after over twenty years of use (analog). We gave it away when we moved out of state.
 

Weedygarden

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Sorry I have a GE 1.4 cu ft. Works great so far. Haven't it long, only a couple of years. I only use it to steam my veggies, reheat things, the popcorn option and to boil water real quick.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-1-4-cu-ft-Countertop-Microwave-Oven/43041650

I don't remember what brand or how long I had the one before this one. I know I bought it at Lowes ( and they don't carry small appliances anymore) and it lasted a good while but like I've posted I don't use mine over much. I do use it every day though, just not heavily.

Its a " throw away" world anymore. Guess thats why things aren't built to last
Someone I worked with purchased a new home. In less than a year, the brand new refrigerator had been replaced at least once, and still there were issues. I wonder if this is why some people buy higher end products?
 

The Lazy L

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Kenmore (Sears) for 20 plus years. At 10 years it died, took it to Sears for repairs, Sears said it was not repairable, I picked it up and noticed there was a list of parts replaced, plugged it in when I got home and it worked another 10 years plus before it's second death.

Microwave mounts above the stove so we are limited on replacement choices. Bought a GE about 6 months ago...time will tell.

New appliances (all Kenmore) came with the house when we built it 20 plus years ago.
Stove died at 15 years. Replaced with Frigidaire.
Washer and dryer were resurrected twice, replaced with new this summer. Replaced with Speed Queen.
Refrigerator replaced this fall (in anticipation of its death). Replaced with Frigidaire.
 
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backlash

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Microwaves are like most things manufactured now. They have a limited life and it's cheaper and easier to just throw it out and but a new one.
My first microwave cost me $1100 and it took 2 people to carry it in the house. I bought it and a VCR together and it was almost $2000 total.
The VCR also weighed a lot. Today you can get either one for way less than $100 and carry both at the same time.
 

Caribou

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I bought a Sharp back in the 70's. The wife made me leave it at the last house. It's still running. This place came with an Amana when we bought it over three years ago and the microwave is running great. The house was 15 years old when we bought it and it is not impossible that this is the original microwave.
 

Peanut

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The one I have still microwaves fine. It's the touch pad with the numbers and such that is the problem. About 2 years ago the #1 quit working, not that big a deal. If I needed to cook something one minute I entered 59 seconds etc.

Last week I pressed #1 by accident, it worked, for about a week. Now some of the other numbers or commands have begun to fail intermittently. It's about to die. :(
 

viking

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When I built our home,(a long term project that is still ongoing), I installed a KitchenAid microwave, fan, convection oven combo which was made in 1994 and install shortly after that date, it's still running great but I suspect it will need to be replaced soon as the insides are kind of filled with grease which I don't think I can really clean out without ruining the machine, all I've had to do to it is replace a door safety microswitch and repair a crack on the door near the hinges with epoxy glue and a small metal strip. It's sad to say, but I don't think they make combos like this machine and I may end up installing a convection oven in its place because they really cook good and are pretty conservative on electricity. One really has to do their homework on electrical products before buying or you will get JUNK. We research info from Cooks Country, a PBS cook show, they put out a cook book that has a list of best kitchen appliances and on top of that, I do on line research. It's troubling to say this but almost all small appliances, even with well known names, are now made in China and many of them are highly rated. We just bought a Breville Fresh and Furious Blender that does a great job and has a lot of power. I really hate sending money to China but when they are the only ones making good machines I don't have a lot of choices, even Germany and other European nations are having their old brand machines made in China. Norelco shavers are now made there as well.
 

Peanut

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Anyone know what Inverter Microwave Ovens are? I checked the microwaves at WM the other day and saw some with the word Inverter on the box.

I know from decades in the electronic world what magnetrons are. They are what cooks food in a microwave oven. They are either on – full power or off, which is why your microwave turns on and off when cooking at say 50% power.

From the net…


Microwave inverters power microwave ovens using a power supply with an inverter instead of a magnetic coil or transformer. This device is more powerful and efficient than the older styles.


Supposedly this greatly increases the versatility over a conventional microwave, can cook some things one would normally cook in an oven but not all.

I guess my real question is… has anyone used one of these new fangled devices? :)

From the panisonic website...

What is Inverter Technology?

Unlike traditional microwaves that rely on pulse-on, pulse-off cooking at lower temperatures, patented Inverter Technology generates a steady stream of power at all temperature settings. The result? Consistent, evenly prepared food — edges to center — across a wide range of cooking techniques.

The past hour I've read lots of reviews... consensus... the cooking is far superior to a conventional microwave... Where it gets iffy is component failure rates.... seems high, but then all new microwaves may be junk.
 
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viking

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Our motor home has a microwave/convection oven/range hood. Every time we go camping I have to dig out the instructions to figure out how to use it.
It's easy I just can't remember from one trip to the next.
I think our motor home has one as well but we never use it unless we are plugged into 120, those things draw a large amount of current and would drain our solar system batteries too fast.
 

backlash

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I think our motor home has one as well but we never use it unless we are plugged into 120, those things draw a large amount of current and would drain our solar system batteries too fast.
There is no way to run a microwave unless you are on shore power or generator. Even then you have to watch what is powered on at the time. Microwave and AC at the same time is over the 30 amp limit.
 

JAC

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@Peanut Since you are microwave trained can you tell me if in fact an old microwave can be used as a Faraday cage? Either grounded or with the cord removed?
 

SheepDog

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With the cord completely removed the microwave oven can be used for a Faraday cage as long as it is against very low power and frequencies are no higher than its operating frequency.
It is not effective against an E1 pulse from an HEMP. That pulse is too fast and too high powered. It would be like trying to stop a radar signal from penetrating a lightning cage.
Note: most high rise buildings have lightning cages built in to the structure. The steel frame is the Faraday cage but it has holes up to ten foot square or more.
 

backlash

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On the subject of microwave ovens I'll add this.
Get yourself a microwave leakage detector. They will let you test your microwave to see if the door is sealing properly.
My BIL had an over the range unit that I tested and it was leaking radiation bad. It was right at head level and he would stand in front of it waiting for his food to cook.
I told him it was dangerous but he couldn't see it so it must be OK. He continued to use it every day.
I am not saying it was the cause but he died of esophagus cancer.
 

The Lazy L

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With the cord completely removed the microwave oven can be used for a Faraday cage as long as it is against very low power and frequencies are no higher than its operating frequency....
Could the cord be left attached, the AC prongs removed and the ground prong used to ground the microwave?
 

SheepDog

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The cord, of any length is an antenna for the E1 pulse. It will not really matter though because the microwave won't protect anything inside from that pulse anyway.
 

angie_nrs

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Interesting thread Peanut! Not long ago my White Westinghouse fried and almost started a fire in the house.:eek: It scared the crud outta me! It started heating up and burning wires while we were walking the pups. We walked back into the house and we smelled the burning. We hadn't even used it since that morning so I don't know what finally caused the internal burning. As soon as we identified what it was, it got booted out the door. I don't know yet if I should contact someone to report it. Thank God we were not at work when it decided to burn up.

Anyways, we had to replace it and bought a GE from Home Depot. It was slightly smaller than what we had and it takes over a minute to warm up a cup of coffee. I'm not happy with that since my old one would only take 20 seconds. So, my friend suggested the 2.2 cu panasonic and said she absolutely loves hers. So I just got mine delivered this past week. Hopefully I'll get it out of the box and hooked up today. It does say inverter technology on the box. I'll let you know how it goes. It was $168 from WM delivered to my door.
 

zoomzoom

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Anyways, we had to replace it and bought a GE from Home Depot. It was slightly smaller than what we had and it takes over a minute to warm up a cup of coffee. I'm not happy with that since my old one would only take 20 seconds. So, my friend suggested the 2.2 cu panasonic and said she absolutely loves hers. So I just got mine delivered this past week. Hopefully I'll get it out of the box and hooked up today. It does say inverter technology on the box. I'll let you know how it goes.
Please let us know how the new Panasonic works. I've never had a microwave that could heat a cup of coffee in under a minute.
 

Peanut

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@angie_nrs The Panisonic 2.2cuft is the exact one I saw at WM. They had a GE model that said Inverter on the box also. Yes please! Let us know how well it does.
 

angie_nrs

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I set it up yesterday and have only used it a few times now so I'll give you my first impressions. First, I don't like the hard plastic material that the unit sits on. It slides easily on the countertop and I would much prefer a rubber setting instead so it doesn't slide. Second, the door doesn't open all the way past 90 degrees like my other one did. This one only opens to a 90 degree angle.....not a big deal, but when you're used to having all kinds of elbow room, it is noticeable. Third, it is VERY loud with air whooshing sounds. It makes as much noise as my overhead stove fan! Fourth, the door has a blueish color to it. From far away it looks black/grey, but up close it has an obvious blue hue. The blue doesn't match anything in my kitchen at all. I just wish it was a normal black/grey color.

As far as functionality, I don't think I have this thing dialed in yet. There is a heat sensor function that I tried this morning and it way overheated my coffee and was still going. Apparently I did something wrong with the controls. I heated up soup yesterday and it seemed to do a good job, but didn't seem any quicker than my old microwave. I heated my first cup of coffee this morning using the 30 second button, but had to use 45 seconds to get it to the temperature I wanted. I'll have to play with the other function buttons and see how that goes, but I typically only use the microwave for basic reheating of liquids or leftovers. I don't even use it for popcorn since I prefer the Whirlypop for that.

You should check out the Amazon reviews for the Panasonic SN936W. There's lots of reviews on there. From looking at Amazon reviews on all microwaves, it seems as though they just don't make them like they used to. Maybe Craigslist is the best place to get a good microwave (used and older)......how sad is that? Especially considering many folks use a microwave on a daily basis. I'd be tempted to buy my old White Westinghouse if I saw it on Craigslist, but considering that it almost took my house.....I think I'll pass.

On the subject of microwave ovens I'll add this.
Get yourself a microwave leakage detector. They will let you test your microwave to see if the door is sealing properly.
My BIL had an over the range unit that I tested and it was leaking radiation bad. It was right at head level and he would stand in front of it waiting for his food to cook.
I told him it was dangerous but he couldn't see it so it must be OK. He continued to use it every day.
I am not saying it was the cause but he died of esophagus cancer.
Backlash, could you recommend a microwave leakage detector? Are there other things you could use the device for? Would a decimeter work? What would a good number be? I know nothing about any of that, so forgive me if these are stupid questions. They have several on Amazon in the $25 range, but I noticed none of them seem to have great reviews.
 

zoomzoom

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Fourth, the door has a blueish color to it. From far away it looks black/grey, but up close it has an obvious blue hue. The blue doesn't match anything in my kitchen at all. I just wish it was a normal black/grey color.
Look closely. Is there a protective film on the door/glass? Most mfgr's put a film on it for protection during packaging and shipping and it's almost always blue.
 

backlash

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Look closely. Is there a protective film on the door/glass? Most mfgr's put a film on it for protection during packaging and shipping and it's almost always blue.
That was my first thought. I once went to work on an X-Ray machine and there was a plastic film on the monitor. I removed it and everyone had to come in to see. Everybody had complained about it to the regular service engineer and he just said that was the way it was made. They had lived with it for over a year.

Backlash, could you recommend a microwave leakage detector?
I bought mine years ago at Radio Shack. They are out of business now so I don't have a clue where you could get one like mine. Probably can't. I'll look for mine and see if I can find a source.
I have read several things about testing microwaves because of this thread. Several suggested putting your cell phone in one and trying to call it or seeing if it looses Bluetooth or WiFi connection. With the microwave powered OFF obviously. :)
I have tested MRI scanner room with an AM radio. If the radio works in the room with the door closed there is an RF leak that has got to be fixed. Probably would work in a microwave.
 

angie_nrs

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Look closely. Is there a protective film on the door/glass? Most mfgr's put a film on it for protection during packaging and shipping and it's almost always blue.
Great suggestion, but sadly no. However, it does bring me to another complaint...... it's more difficult to see the food through the door than my other micorwaves. I checked both sides and there is no plastic packing film on either side of the door.
 

Peanut

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I have read several things about testing microwaves because of this thread. Several suggested putting your cell phone in one and trying to call it or seeing if it looses Bluetooth or WiFi connection. With the microwave powered OFF obviously. :)
I have tested MRI scanner room with an AM radio. If the radio works in the room with the door closed there is an RF leak that has got to be fixed. Probably would work in a microwave.
I've seen the radio in the MRI suite test a few times though I never installed one, serviced several but never did an install. I used to have a piece of a roll of copper left over from an MRI install. I haven't seen it in years, probably over at the old barn.

Thanks for the updates @angie_nrs... Please keep them coming... The panasonic 2.2 is bigger than I need, odd that the door won't open past 90 degrees.
 

captain belly

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I've given up on nice microwaves. They just don't last. If you get 5 years out of one, then you're doing good. I now buy $125 microwaves, and I've found that they last as long as the $300 ones. I've tried many different brands, and I believe Kenmore has been my fav.
 
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