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to fix or buy new? That is the question

April 19th, 2005, 04:08 PM
We all know that electricians charge a fortune these days right? Well, I am faced with a dilema.

I have a microwave...about 2.5 years old. Worked fine up until a few months ago. If we use it and any other type of power on the same line (lights, TV, heater, xbox), the powers shorts out. I know it's the microwave doing it because we moved it there when we got the dog, and it only happened since we moved it. Also, it's making funny noises.

I think it's the motor for the turntable actually, as that is where the noise appears to be coming from.

I know if I take it to be fixed by an electrician, it will cost be more than the microwave is worth. I just trash it and buy a new one? Doesn't make sense to me why things are cheaper to buy than fix. I think it's a huge waste just to dump it, when it could be an easy fix (still electicians charge $60 and hour..)

April 19th, 2005, 04:10 PM
Without question,buy a new one :D

April 19th, 2005, 04:14 PM
Microwaves are inexpensive now. Buy one, by all means!

I have admit tho that my microwave stopped working a few weeks ago and its location - above the stove between some cupboards - spelled a nightmare of installation and I was not looking forward to that. One of my patients advised me to just buy microwave fuse (NOT the kind in your fusebox) and $3.29 later, all I had to do was take out the top of the microwave, install the tiny fuse and all was well again. :)

April 19th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Wow. I wish mine was just a fuse problem! Mine isn't the most expensive microwave. It was a Christmas present from my parents when I moved out on my own for the first time. I think it was from Walmart.

Oh well...who needs a microwave anyway. 90% of the time it's used to reheat coffee or rice.

April 19th, 2005, 04:29 PM
My husband and I just moved back to Canada from England - we got our microwave last month from WalMart like your parents did. Cost us $70 something including tax!

April 19th, 2005, 04:44 PM
i havent had a microwave in 2 years, and honestly i dont miss it


April 19th, 2005, 06:20 PM
Unless it is an expensive, convection one, get a new one. They sell some at Costco for like $60..

April 19th, 2005, 06:31 PM
I think it's a huge waste just to dump it, when it could be an easy fix (still electicians charge $60 and hour..)

Maybe you could donate it to A shcool, or give it to a small appliance repair shop. At least you won't be putting it in a landfill site.

April 19th, 2005, 07:06 PM
It's certainly the disposable society we live in today, Raingirl, you are so right. We're encourged to conserve, recycle - yet the reality is that in many cases, it cheaper to just replace things - so why would we?
I recall when virtually everything was repaired..toasters even.
My home printer just died. It wasnt an expensive one, so why bother with it? Just get another one.
It's what we do.

I bought a microwave for $50 recently, so I would have to say this would the way to go for you.
And the old one perhaps disposed of in the way that Happycats mentioned.
Ironically,you might find that it wont even be accepted for donation if it needs a repair. :crazy:
If not, you could dispose of it at a recycling depot.

April 19th, 2005, 07:56 PM
How do you know it's not a fuse problem? That is one of the most common problems. Did you try the old light bulb in water trick? (and old science experiemnt that is actually helpful, lol) - you do not want to know how many science fairs I have judged and sometimes I think if I see one more volcano... lol (Poor kids!)

If not a fuse, it may be something easily fixed - like a broken timer switches a dead microprocessor, burnt plastic cavity ceiling, or a dead light bulb.

Pour some water in a bowl. Place an incandescent light bulb with its lead wires twisted together inside the bowl. If it lights up, your oven still works and it is some minor issue. (If it does not, it could still be just a fuse or the microprocessor). The light bulb trick is a cheap microwave power detector - and fun, lol

Good luck!! If you are not a tinkerer - my dad was an engineer so I love gadgets - you may just want to buy one. But pls dispose of it in an environmentally safe way.

April 20th, 2005, 11:17 AM
I know it's the microwave doing it because we moved it there when we got the dog, and it only happened since we moved it. Also, it's making funny noises.

I think it's the motor for the turntable actually, as that is where the noise appears to be coming from.

I would try and moving it back to where it was first, just to see if the problem still occurs. You might have too much power on one circuit. For example, you might be able to run four hair dryers through-out your apartment, no problem, but if you tried to run them all in the bathroom, the cirucuit would blow. I would try it in a different location first. If it runs fine on it's own, then I would say you have an issue with the circuit, not the microwave. Without getting into a whole electrical lesson, each circuit handles a certain "load". Right now, you have too much of a load on one circuit. Try it on a plug in a different room. If the power goes out, check and see if it is the same breaker. If it is, you need to try a different plug because you are still on the same circuit. Also, don't be surprised if the same circuit controls two completely different rooms. When they wire, a lot of times they don't take into consideration what rooms are where. Our old house (which was only 10 years old), one breaker controled the bathroom and all the bedroom plugs except one. Guess which plug was the one I worked on? I'll give you a hint--it was the one directly across from the screwdriver sticking out of the wall.

I would say it isn't a fuse inside the microwave. Fuses are like switches--on or off. If it was a fuse, then it wouldn't work. I have a strong feeling, however, it is the problem I mentioned above.

April 20th, 2005, 11:19 AM
I think the idea of it landing in a landfill is what scares me the most!!

Cyber, the microwave still works, that's not the problem. It's just that it shorts out the power circuit *sometimes* when I use it, and it's making funny noises. I'm afraid it's going to blow up on me or something (I'm picturing like when the girl stuck all her stuff in the microwave in Pump Up the Volume and it exploded). It's on the same breaker as my TV, VCR, XBOX, Stereo, dining room lights, and my solarium (where I'm always running a fan or heater). So when I have the TV on, making dinner, have the dining room lights on, if I add the microwave, the whole line shorts out and I have to go to the circuit box and hit the breaker switch. If I don't want it to cut out, I have to turn everything off on the same line to use the microwave which is inconvenient.

Maybe I will call around and see if I can get a quote to have it looked at just in case it is cheaper than I think it will be.

Shwinn...tried that. It makes the funny noises and shorts out now no matter where we plug it in.

April 20th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Schwinn - Could it may be something like a special outlet is needed that would be used for a window air conditioner? We had to do this in our old house or same problem would occur.

April 20th, 2005, 11:31 AM
If it is shorting out no matter what circuit you are on, then it is definitely the microwave. Sorry, I misunderstood. At any rate, I would say that it is probably better to buy a new one. By all means, though, call around and see what they say. I probably would. I do remember there was something I was going to have looked at, and I was told it was $30-50 just to have it looked at, whether they could fix it or not. If that is the case, then I'd go ahead and toss it. And don't worry about it landing in a landfill. If you take it yourself, they have an area for appliances so it doesn't just wind up being buried. The other option is put it on the curb, and chances are it will be gone within a few days (scavengers).

By the way, I wouldn't worry too much about it "blowing up". That usually only happens in the movies. That being said, you might want to stand behind a lead wall while you're reheating your coffee, just in case. And keep hubby in the other room until you're done having children... (just kidding...)

April 20th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Every time I am on the phone and the neighbors use their microwave, my phone sounds like it's under water. I don't like what that implies... I love on Everybody Loves Raymond, all the men cover "themselves" when they turn the microwave on. As if it won't go through your hands... :p

April 20th, 2005, 02:18 PM
I don't know if this was said or not... I only skimmed the replies. Why don't you call a repair place and ask if they would find out the problem for you for free and if it's too much, they can keep it... If you think it's worth it, then have them fix it.
At least this way you don't have to buy a new one if it's a simplie fix and them getting to keep it is a good incentive if you go for new!