Category Archives: Microwave Ovens

Measuring Appliance Power Consumption

Your Name: Jan

Type of Appliance: Microwave Oven

Brand: Kenmore

Model Number: 721.8801080

Your Precious Words:
Trying to find out how many watts it is. Its a little 1988 machine that came in a little camper I bought. It works but I can’t find any info on it and am wondering if technology is better or safer now. Thanks for helping, Jan

This is a perfect application for the Kitt-A-Watt meter! It’s a simple device that plugs into any standard 120v outlet that you plug your 120v appliance into, such as your microwave oven, and then read the power consumption right there on the digital display. Sounds expensive but it’s not! The Kill-A-Watt meter is less than $30 and comes with a one year warranty if purchased right here.

The Kill-A-Watt power consumption meter

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.

How to replace the touchpad in a microwave oven [video and podcast]

Your Name: Clint
Type of Appliance: Microwave Oven
Brand: Whirlpool
Model Number: MH1150XMS-3
Your Precious Words: How hard is it to replace a touchpad?

Part links:

Touchpad ==>

Circuit Board ==>

Click the play button below to listen to just the audio portion of this reply…

Testing a Microwave High-Voltage Rectifier

When you’re troubleshooting a no-heat complaint in a microwave, one of the components you may need to check is the high-voltage rectifier (called a “rectumflyer” in the trade. )

Trouble is, the junction resistance on these rectumfliers is so high that doing a standard forward and reverse bias test with an ohm meter won’t tell you anything because it’ll just read open in both directions. This video shows an easy method for testing these special critters:

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.

KitchenAid KBHS179SSS Microwave Oven Schematic

KitchenAid KBHS179SSS Microwave Oven Schematic

Model number variations: KBHS179SSS, KBHS179S, KBHS179

KitchenAid KBHS179SSS Microwave Oven Schematic
Uploaded with Skitch!

(click image for larger view)

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

The Samurai Appliance Repair Forum

Find and Buy Appliance Parts

Microwave oven repeatedly blowing the internal fuse – what keeps making ’em blow?

Sublime Master Willie in the Samurai School of Appliantology dispenses these indispensable pearls of appliantological wisdom for troubleshooting a microwave oven that keeps blowing the internal fuse:

Quick n’ easy way to see if the high voltage system is blowing the fuse, disconnect the wires to the primary side of the high voltage transformer and make sure they are safely away from any part of the microwave.

Turn the unit on and if all operates OK, (except no heat of course), then the high voltage system is blowing the fuse and you would need to diagnose that section. If fuse still blows with transformer disconnected then it time to replace all the door switches.

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here

Introduction to Microwave Oven Repair

Someone posted this nifty Youtube video from Dave’s Farm in the Samurai School of Appliantology. It’s a well-made and easy-to-understand introduction to microwave ovens for do-it-yourselfers. Gives just the info you need, without using any jargon, to understand basic operation and do common repairs.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

SMS==> 603-505-8460

How to Test a Microwave Oven to See if it’s Heating Properly

Suspecting your microwave oven of slacking off on the job? Here’s a quick and easy test that’ll let you check your microwave oven’s heating output without needing to buy fancy equipment; only things you’ll need are a 1 liter PYREX glass bowl and a thermometer that can measure the temperature of hot water.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the bowl you are using is PYREX glass or another brand of glass that explicitly states it is microwave safe. DO NOT use plastic (inaccurate) or metal (DUH!).


1. Fill the PYREX bowl with water at room temperature. Record initial water temperature.

2. Run the microwave on high power for 2:03. Not 2:04, nor 2:02 except ye go on to 2:03. 2:05 is right out.

3. Record end water temperature.

If the microwave magnetron is working right, the minimum difference between the initial and ending temperature should be about 86℉. If it’s much less than this, then you probably have a weak magnetron. If water temperature hardly changes at all, then there’s something wrong with the high voltage section and you’ll need to troubleshoot it. Suspects include: magnetron, HV transformer, HV capacitor, HV rectifier, and door interlock switch among others.

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.

How to Test the High Voltage Rectifier in a Microwave Oven

The HV rectifier (a nearly-scatological name for a diode) is one of the most common things to fail in a microwave oven. Fortunately, they’re pretty inexpensive and easy to install. The trick is in testing it so’s you can tell whether it’s good or not. Most multimeters just don’t pump out enough mojo to be able to break down the diode junction so you can’t test the rectumflyer, er, I mean rectifier directly with your meter. But this spiffy little rig will let you test it with just about any meter.

Testing the HV Diode in a Microwave Oven

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.

Get Your LG Appliance Parts Right Here at Your Local Online Appliance Repair Shop

What does “local” mean anymore in this age of the Internet? I mean, can you get any more local than right here on your computer screen? I know we look big time an’ all, but we’re a mom & pop (literally!) operation, too. Instead of a brick n’ mortar repair shop, we’re your online DIY appliance repair shop; we’re every bit (pardon the pun) as real and we’re as close as your compooter screen. How’s that for local?

Fun Fact to Know and Tell: The “local” appliance repair shop in your town or city cannot buy LG appliance parts directly from their parts dealer like they do for other appliance brands; they have to buy them directly from LG.

What does this mean for you? It means you’re gonna pay a higher price and wait longer to get LG parts if buy them from your “local” parts house.

LG.jpgBut the Samurai has the solution: buy your LG parts right here through– your local online appliance repair place– you’ll save mucho dinero and you’ll get your parts delivered lickety-split. Just use the handy links below:

LG Appliance Parts Links

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How to Test the Major Components in a Microwave Oven

Faced with their first microwave oven repair, the bowels of many Grasshoppers begin to quake uncontrollably with trepidation. Well, you just relax, Grasshopper, and clean out those skivvies ‘cuz once you know a few tricks, you’ll see that microwave ovens are no more complicated than any other appliance. The Samurai shall reveal all these truths unto thee and the Truth shall set thee free. Please open your Appliantology hymnal and sing along with me now.

Almost all microwave ovens have a control compartment that you access in various ways. We won’t get into that here but if you need help with your specfic model, just start a new topic in the Kitchen appliance forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology and we’ll hepya there. In this post, I’ll just go over some of the basics to de-mystify microwave ovens for you.

The basic parts of a microwave oven are:

– a high voltage power source, commonly a simple transformer or an electronic power converter, which passes energy to the magnetron
– a cavity magnetron which converts high-voltage electric energy to microwave radiation
– a magnetron control circuit (usually with a microcontroller, an electronic control board or PCB, which stands for “printed circuit board”)
– a waveguide (to control the direction of the microwaves)
– a cooking chamber

Now, don’t the let the word “radiation” make you all a-sceered and quivery. Gird up your loins like a man! Did you know that light is also a form of radiation? So whaddya gonna do, go live in a dark cave the rest of your life or get a little edumucation from the Samurai?

Still there? That’s the warrior spirit!

The radiation in microwave ovens is what we professionals call “non-ionizing” radiation. That means, like light and radio waves, it doesn’t kick out radioactive particles. So it’s a complete misnomer to refer to microwaving food as “nuking” because it has nothing in common with nuclear radiation.

Feeling better already? Good, let’s continue with our hymnal.

When you’re ready to disassemble the microwave oven and do some troubleshooting, you’ll begin the same way you would for any other appliance: UNPLUG IT!

PhotobucketAfter you get the control panel open, there’s just one other safety thing to do before you start sticking your paws all in there: discharge the high voltage capacitor. The HV capacitor can hold up to 2,000 volts which can really curl your hair. Don’t start freaking out on me, all’s you gotta do is short the terminals together like ahso. It the capacitor is holding charge, it can snap like a fire cracker and make a cool-looking flash-bang so… heads up!

Awwite, with that bit of funness outta the way, we can proceed to the meatus of this troubleshooting membrane.

Here’s a generic troubleshooting table that applies to almost all microwave ovens in current use:

Microwave Oven Troubleshooting Table

One of the most common things to test (‘cuz they go bad a lot) are the door interlock switches. You know those plastic hooks on the open end of the door? Well, they go into slots on the cabinet and jiggle some little switches called interlock switches. Here’s a typical configuration of these switches:

Microwave Oven Door Interlock Switches
(click for larger view)

And here’s a table of the other major components inside that can go bad and how to check ’em:

Testing Components in a Microwave Oven
(click for larger view)

Just one enhancement to the parts-checking table above. Most of the time, your typical multi-meter isn’t strong enough to properly check the HV rectifier (or “rectumflyer” as we call it in the trade). So you have to do a little battery enhancement to be able to check it in reverse and forward bias. Behold:

Testing the HV Diode in a Microwave Oven

Awwite, there you be. If you need more hand-holding, come start a new topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums.

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.

Visualize Your Appliance Repair Experience

Appliance Breakdown Diagrams

Grok on these mind-expanding, interactive breakdown diagrams of various appliances so you can see how they’re put together. An indispensible troubleshooting and repair aid! Just click on the appliance you’re working on and run your mouse over the diagrams. It’ll popup pictures of the various key components inside as well as give you insight into how to disassemble. It’s the miracle of Flash!

If you need more detailed help, start a new topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum and we can get you more info.

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Two-Year Old GE Microwave: Melting Door and Burning Plastic Smell

… and to make your joy complete, GE has discontinued this two-year old model! Can you say, “Uhh, guys, we better stop production on this pig-dog before we get our bee-hinds sued into oblivion.” Uh-huh, that’s what I thought you said. Anyway, this topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums ‘splains what you need to fix it…

GE Microwave Melting Door and Burning Smell

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here.