Published by Dave’s Repair Service, All Rights Reserved
In this issue:
Flickering Christmas Lights - *Inside* Your Microwave Oven!
1) If you've ever seen an 'arcing'
microwave, you know it gets your attention! It's pretty dramatic, with
lots of flashing light, acrid smoke and a disconcerting 'buzzing' noise,
all coming from inside the oven! (As my good friend Gary C. would say,
'that can't be good')
2) Making Sure your Range is Ready for All
The good news is, it's not as bad as it looks! If you shut
the oven down right away, this is usually a pretty easy problem to
These impressive (and actually pretty cool!) 'fireworks' are most
often caused by cooking oils building up behind the 'waveguide' or
'stirrer' cover, then being ignited by microwave energy. This has become
more common today, because the trend is toward smaller oven cavities
combined with higher output wattages (kind of like a teenage boy and a
fast motorcycle - it's just a matter of time!)
Anyway, if it's a countertop oven and the arc's on the cavity
ceiling (most are), just take out the glass tray or carousel and flip
the oven upside down; that'll make the job easier.
(If yours is an over the range model, you can
usually leave it mounted to the cabinet to do this).
Most of these plastic or mica covers are held in place by small
plastic rivets, pried out with a putty knife or small screwdriver. Once
the cover's off, you'll want to degrease the area with naphtha or
alcohol, then correct any paint damage by sanding the area and using
'touch up' paint ('almond' usually works well) to
cover the bare metal.
If the cover isn't too badly damaged or covered with carbon
deposits, it might be reusable. I usually make new covers from plastic
sheeting or mica, traced from the original and carefully cut out with a
scissors or utility knife. Don't worry about getting it perfect,
it doesn't have to be.
Here's the most important step - and one the manufacturers are
starting to give more attention: seal the cover before putting it back
on. Do this, and chances are you'll never see these 'fireworks' again.
Applying just a small bead of silicone caulk around the perimeter
of the cover before reinstalling it does a good job of sealing it to the
oven cavity. Allow the caulk to dry overnight, and you're all set!
2) I don't know about your house, but
our oven gets a real workout this time of year (and by January I need a
real workout to burn off all the baked goods! <grin>)
So I'd like to share a couple of quick tips for making sure your
range is ready to take on all that Christmas baking...
Turn on the oven, let it heat for a few minutes, and check the
appearance of that red hot bake element. It should be evenly red, with
no 'hotspots' that are brighter than the rest.
If yours has a hotspot, you'll want to replace the element ASAP,
because it's telling you it's about to burn open there.
The same test applies to the surface units if yours are the
'conventional' style. If you see any hotspots, you'll definitely want to
replace the unit before things get too 'exciting'. I've seen them blow
holes up through the bottom of really nice saucepans and splatter
spaghetti sauce all over the ceiling when they burn out!
If your surface units are the common plug in type, it's a good
idea to turn them on, one at a time, and 'wiggle' them a bit, using a
pliers. If you hear or see any arcing where the unit plugs in, it's time
for a new receptacle and some sanding of the units' terminals (see the December
2002 DRSNews for more on this).
Turn the oven on and time how long it takes before you hear the burner
ignite. The rule of thumb is, if it's under 2 minutes, you're 'good to
go'. If longer than that, replacing the oven ignitor is a really good
idea, because this is one indication that it's going what we call
'low-A' and probably won't last much longer.
We blame poor old Mr. Murphy, but these always seem to fail when
the house is full of company, or about to be. And the way ignitor prices
have come down in recent years (yes, they've actually come *down*!),
now's a great time to buy a spare to have on hand. You can read more
about ignitors here
Thanks again, for inviting me into your
inbox! As always, if you have any topics you’d like to see
discussed here or covered in an online article, let me
know and I’ll do my best to oblige. And don't forget
those testimonials! Many thanks if you've already sent
yours in! I'm posting them just as fast as I can!
Wishing all the very best to you and yours this
Dave’s Repair Service
New Albany, PA
'Wise Men Still Seek Him'
Isaiah 9:6, 7
** I've been told that 'Merry CHRISTmas' is not a
'politically correct' greeting these days. My response is that I'm not a
politician, but a Christian, and CHRISTmas is the celebration of the one
Birth that changed the world (and me!) forever. Were it not for CHRISTmas,
when the Creator of the universe stepped into His creation to solve man's
genetic problem He calls 'sin', the world (and I) would have no hope.
Every time we date a check we acknowledge this
calendar-changing event, and we can celebrate it any time of year (and
should!). That little baby's all grown up and He's still very much
alive, as we'll all see very soon. I hope you know Him. He and His Word
are the only constants in this ever-crazier world.
So from our home to yours, may you have the Merriest
Copyright 2005 www.DavesRepair.com
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