So, your microwave had a good run. Remember all that delicious popcorn? Or what about those tasty leftovers you’ve made over the years? Good times. But if your microwave has been around since the Clinton administration, there’s a good chance Mr. Nukem has started showing his age.
If you’ve been tossing around the idea of tossing your microwave, here are six warning signs that should seal the deal.
Note: If your microwave is less than five years old, really expensive, or built into your range, it’s generally worth at least thinking about repairing the problem before replacing.
1. Cooking takes forever. If the movie is usually half over before you’ve managed to successfully pop your corn, the magnetron of your microwave is probably starting to wear out. To test this, microwave an 8-ounce cup of water for two minutes. If the water isn’t steaming hot, it’s time to replace your microwave.
2. The keypad sticks. Have one or two buttons on your keypad stopped working? This can be really frustrating! First, try cleaning off the keypad (make sure you unplug the microwave, first) to see if there’s anything lodged in there. If not – and your microwave is more than five years old – it will probably be cheaper to buy a new one than replace the keypad.
3. It sounds like a lawnmower. If your microwave has started making excessively loud sounds while it cooks, there are probably some serious issues that warrant a replacement. Loud noises generally indicate a problem with the power diode or high voltage capacitor (sounds like parts of a time machine, right?), both of which are expensive to replace. Tip: Just make sure the loud noise isn’t coming from a piece of food or debris stuck in the turntable!
4. Hitting “Start” makes it angry. If punching in the cook time and hitting “Start” creates a loud buzzing sound instead of a tasty treat, that’s another sign your power diode is in trouble. Time to replace!
5. There are worn gaskets on the door. Radiation leakage is a deal breaker. If you see pitted or worn gaskets around the microwave door, it’s time to part ways.
6. It’s over ten years old. Microwaves are generally expected to last for 10-12 years. So, if yours is older than that, and it has started having problems, purchasing a replacement is probably the way to go.