The Dog Could Find Nothing Wrong With The Microwave

Don’t buy a new microwave just yet! I thought for sure we were going to have to buy a new one especially since Nea, our dog, could find nothing wrong.

Nea (dog) visually inspected the microwave and found no problems whatsoever

Nea (dog) visually inspected the microwave and found no problems whatsoever

We have these fancy appliances with a touch screen display (sometimes I miss the old school turn dials). Anyhow, our power went out one afternoon. It seems to happen all the time where we live so I didn’t think much of it. That is, until my wife called me saying the microwave wouldn’t work.

Full Reset

That evening, I checked things out and the touchscreen display was on, but completely unresponsive. I tried looking for some combination of “reset” in the owner’s manual and couldn’t find anything. So I flipped the circuit breaker to cut all the power. My thought was that if left the microwave off long enough, all the internal capacitors would fully discharge and other components would reset to due an extended power loss. And it worked, or so I thought! A few hours later, I got back around to this project and so I flipped the breaker back on and the display did a bunch of diagnostic stuff and came back on. BUT it was still unresponsive. Argh!! Being what seemed to be an electrical issue (from a power outage/surge), I felt confident it would be less expensive to just replace than have a tech come out, work on it and perhaps still be unable to fix it. A bit of perfect timing I suppose, Val’s dad had come by that evening and steered me to the idea that perhaps this was all just a case of a blown circuit board and it would be worth checking out.

This is the fancy display that came on, but did not work at all

This is the fancy display that came on, but did not work at all (this picture is after I fixed it, I’m happily heating up a piece of pizza on the dining room table)

Removal

Unhinging a microwave is no fun task, but a few bolts is all it took to pull it down from the counter. We have one of those hanging microwaves, not a counter-top model. I had to take out about twenty or so screws to remove the microwave’s metal encasing.

Final Fix

After taking the encasing off, I found two fuses near the top of the microwave and I thought I’d check those out. Unfortunately, the manufacturer had put strong tape all over the outside of each fuse, so you could not see if either was severed. I bet they do that so you have to call out a tech. But I figured both were probably still ok since the display was lit, even if unresponsive. I guessed they had absolutely nothing to do with the display or they were working and not the source of the issue.

I found the circuit board that seemed to be right on the backside of the touch screen display. I was hoping to see it charred in smoke or have some physical indication that it needed to be replaced. But there wasn’t anything obvious. So I began pulling out all the cables and plugging them back in to see if that worked. Nothing. I felt defeated. But I did notice one cable I hadn’t tried, the white one highlighted below.

I re-seated it, turned the microwave back on and everything started working again. The display was on and responsive!!!

And who help me put in the microwave that evening? My wife! She loved it. Not! But she did like not having to replace the microwave.

microwave2So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, maybe give this a try before calling a tech or replacing a microwave. Just be careful, let capacitors and other components discharge before working with it. Read the warnings on the microwave, don’t shock yourself or injure yourself by touching parts you shouldn’t touch.

 

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18 Comments

  1. Hahahaha loved reading this! The picture of your dog cracked me up. Is always nice to see that people try to fix things before trashing them. I am of that kind too 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m so glad it made you laugh!!! That’s awesome, thanks for letting me know. It’s kind of rewarding to fix something isn’t it…aside from the obvious not having to spend money! Oh and I had no idea just how greasy the underside of a microwave is even if it looks totally clean. Sheesh.

      Reply
  2. So cool… My dad is one of the same… He just keeps believing in his appliances and fixing things instead of giving up and buying a new one (but he’s electrocuted himself, fell off a tall ladder, drilled a hole right through his thumb to the ther side) … So I just prefer to buy a new one 😉

    Reply
    • Yea, somehow that is totally believable and I can understand that!! Hilarious…at least he’s still alive! Well, I have fallen off a ladder myself, but none of that other stuff fortunately!

      Reply
  3. You brave..brave man. I am hiding this post from the Mr. Fix-it I live with. He tried to fix our dryer once and it caught on fire. I’ll stick with the dog and say “Maybe it’s time for a new one!” Loved this and your dog rocks!

    Reply
    • Hahahaha, holy cow! I hope it caught fire immediately so you could extinguish it fast (as opposed to it randomly catching fire one evening or something). Wow!! Yea, I don’t know if I can fix anything more complicated than what I just went through.

      Reply
  4. I have no patience for this kind of thing. NONE. Just reading this post with the word capacitor in it made me tired. Glad you fixed it though. Good for you! 🙂

    Reply
  5. I am so impressed! The patience and perseverance. My wonderful husband would have electrocuted himself just by unplugging the thing! We would have gone to one of the big box stores and replaced it. Glad you were able to figure it out. Better for the environment. 🙂

    Reply
    • Oh yea, don’t even worry, I was sure I was going to have to do exactly that same thing. I can fix small things like this, but if the dishwasher goes out, who knows… Thanks for dropping me a note!

      Reply
  6. mumsthewordintheuk

     /  04/26/2013

    With all the information on the Internet I have managed to fix the belt on my tumble dryer, the pump on my washing machine, the belt, filter and service the dyson and changed a fan on my boiler. There is no better feeling than fixing something yourself knowing you haven’t wasted money on a new one or paid over the odds to get it fixed. This post was right up my street!

    Reply
    • Yea, I hear ya…I wish I was talented enough to fix just about anything in the house, but when it comes to hard core electrical work, no such skill. But I’m dangerous enough to look something up on the Internet and try to fix it…same goes with the car. You are right, I can’t even remember where I got information pre-Internet. It’s insane.

      Reply
  7. hlm

     /  04/27/2013

    I assume that your dog is going to sleeping in the backyard until he completes his NASTEC/ISCET certification?

    Reply
  8. I’m impressed. If I tried anything like this I’d probably set the house on fire 🙂

    Reply
  9. Great post. Made me smile, and smile again. Truly do-it-yourself-I-wont-be-defeated-by-some-machine stuff;)

    I do this with computers and I always ‘win’, e.g. http://maxqubit.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/error-101-neterr_connection_reset-the-connection-was-reset/

    But 2 weeks ago I tried to do the same with our not-so-good-working-anymore-vacuum-cleaner … took it apart alright, but did hurt my hand, broke some internal fix thingy, managed to have a look at the battery pack, came to the conclusion that a ‘battery pack replacement’ is actually more expensive than the whole device, wanted to put it back together which failed (because I broke that fix thingy;) … upon where my wife said ‘But it DID work before’ with dragonfire eyes.

    Soooo, I binned the whole thing/parts, admitted my defeat (to my wife) and bought a new vacuum cleaner from the web

    Hahaha … but glad to see you managed to WIN over the microwave;)

    – Max

    Reply

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