Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

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Selu Gadu
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Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by Selu Gadu » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:57 pm

After 30+ years our little microwave oven has begun intermittently tripping the breaker. Reset the breaker and it will run fine for 2-3 weeks. My wife is arguing for a replacement based on the likelihood that a newer unit will have features the old one lacks (she hates the mechanical timer that is calibrated in 15 second intervals).

I am inclined to drive the old unit until it definitively drops, in the meantime checking what is out there so we can be prepared to purchase a replacement quickly when necessary. Any suggestions on what to look for (or avoid) in a replacement?
De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est. Quantum Mechanics can't be all that tough, after all it isn't rocket science!

barnaclebob
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:00 pm

My GE with a steam sensor has the popcorn turn out perfectly when you hit the popcorn button. Other than that quick minute buttons and a +30 second button that immediately starts the microwave are pretty much a necessity these days.

123
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by 123 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:17 pm

Selu Gadu wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:57 pm
After 30+ years our little microwave oven has begun intermittently tripping the breaker...
Presuming you've already upgraded from a wood stove, coal furnace, ice box, and CRT TV it's time to move ahead on the microwave front. I think virtually any microwave you purchase will be a step up from what you're currently using. Consumer Reports usually has good product recommendations so you might want to look at some issues in the local library, once a year they publish a "Buying Guide" .

Some of the features added to microwaves in the last 30 year include power levels and automatic cooking for some products. Power levels allow you to vary the microwave energy left to allow more thorough cooking at a lower level instead of the full power nuclear method your unit likely has. Automatic cooking lets you put in a covered container of fresh or frozen vegetables and they will be cooked precisely because the microwave senses the steam generated by the product. There are also automatic defrost features.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

2comma
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by 2comma » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:27 pm

That's taking frugality to the next level! New counter top microwaves are cheap. Several years back we were talking about needing and extra microwave in the breakroom at work, the next day 3 showed up. For some reason people seem to have extras so if you ask around someone would probably be glad to give you a 5-10 year old one they don't want.
If I am stupid I will pay.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:48 pm

The first thing I would do is test the circuit breaker. It may have become oversensitive during the course of three decades. That isn't to say I'm against replacing the microwave, but the first step in solving a problem is to identify where it lies. In technical support, for example, it's common to describe a certain class of issues as having been isolated to the component located between the keyboard and the seat.
PJW

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Kenkat
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by Kenkat » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:16 pm

I’ve had a few microwaves over the years with lots of features like auto reheat and popcorn or pizza settings. I never used any of these. So when my last expensive microwave bit the dust I bought the cheapest thing I could find. $99 for an over the range microwave. Even had a turntable. It was not branded but the salesman said it was made by LG. Works great.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by cheese_breath » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:53 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:16 pm
I’ve had a few microwaves over the years with lots of features like auto reheat and popcorn or pizza settings. I never used any of these. So when my last expensive microwave bit the dust I bought the cheapest thing I could find. $99 for an over the range microwave. Even had a turntable. It was not branded but the salesman said it was made by LG. Works great.
Got our GE countertop off the shelf at Walmart around the same price. It has all these features too, most of which I've never used.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

stan1
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by stan1 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:14 pm

We got a $109 LG at Lowes. Does what we need. Had to pay a little more because it sits on a shelf and I wanted to 100OW minimum with a small stature. Works fine. These days microwaves are very inexpensive. When you think about it an Instapot costs almost as much as a microwave.

mariezzz
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by mariezzz » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:40 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:48 pm
The first thing I would do is test the circuit breaker. It may have become oversensitive during the course of three decades. That isn't to say I'm against replacing the microwave, but the first step in solving a problem is to identify where it lies. In technical support, for example, it's common to describe a certain class of issues as having been isolated to the component located between the keyboard and the seat.
PJW
+1
A lot of newer microwaves seem like they're garbage - many at work or that friends have bought keep dying, so I'd keep the old one unless it's an electrical hazard.

Would that component be the cat?
----
Essentials in a 'modern' microwave:
Enough power - the weak ones can take forever to cook things.
All the different power levels on a microwave are excessive, in my opinion. I use full power and defrost (I could set for various other power levels but never have).
Buttons where you can press just one, to get 1,2,3 minutes (full power), plus add 30 seconds are essentia
Plus a turn table.
Easy to clean.
That's what i have. It would be nice if there was a 4 min & 5 minute single button option. Microwave has a timer, but so does the stove - stove's time is more intuitive.

The microwaves that go over the stove are designed to better survive the humidity & heat that a stove generates. 3 years ago, I bought an over-the-stove dented one for about 80% off due to a dent in the back - these things have a frame built around them so the dent didn't really matter. It's actually in the frame under the microwave itself - I hammered it out a bit. You can see it if you look up under the hood & know it's there. I have a counter-top microwave over 25 years old sitting packed away as a back-up.

AerialP
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by AerialP » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:46 pm

Ever since I bought my Breville Smart Oven I very rarely use my aging microwave. It's the same size as my microwave, has convection oven capabilities, also toasts bread/bagels amazingly, can broil a steak, and frozen pizzas are cooked to perfection. I suggest doing a bit of research on it. Is it 100% a microwave replacement? No. But for me it has definitely taken over.

Selu Gadu
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by Selu Gadu » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:13 pm

Thanks to everyone for their responses, I can count on the board to come up with interesting comments, helpful tips, etc. We will likely go the Lowes/Walmart route in the next week or two. My experience with my mom's (newer) microwave is similar to many responses along the lines of "it has a lot of features which I don't use" so we will look for a basic (cheap) model and hope for the best.

Regarding the circuit breaker that is tripping, it is on a plug strip we use for several small appliances (one at the time!) and none of the others cause the breaker to trip. The branch circuit breaker at the main panel is rock solid so my index of suspicion is high regarding the microwave although Murphy's Laws will continue to operate - we shall see.

Will look into the Breville Smart Oven as a possible replacement for the toaster oven from hell that neither toasts nor ovens worth a hoot, thanks for the lead.
De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est. Quantum Mechanics can't be all that tough, after all it isn't rocket science!

Katietsu
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by Katietsu » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:27 pm

I dragged my feet on a microwave replacement and was surprised to be so pleased when I got the new one. To start with it was higher wattage and just took so much less time. My favorite feature is the inverter defrost. This works really well to defrost an item evenly so you don’t end up with tough edges and a frozen center.

sport
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by sport » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:40 pm

When we built our new house, we put in a GE "over the range" microwave. It was a fancy model with a digital touch panel. After about 9 years, the touch panel died. The cost for a replacement part plus labor was more than $500. The appliance repair company was honest and told us that it did not pay to replace the panel, even though everything else worked fine. We have been happy with the Whirlpool unit we bought to replace it. We have also been dissatisfied with the GE Profile range and the GE Profile refrigerator. The Google Maps street view of our house shows the GE service truck in the driveway. :annoyed

Afty
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by Afty » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:31 pm

I've owned maybe 5 or 6 different microwaves over the past ~20 years, as my wife and I have moved around several times. As others have said, microwaves are cheap, and I haven't noticed any significant differences among the various microwaves we've had. Our current microwave is a GE model recommended by the Wirecutter (this one). It's fine, but really all of them have been fine.

JimInIllinois
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by JimInIllinois » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:25 pm

I'd recommend an "inverter" model. On most microwaves the different power levels are achieved by turning full power on and off on a cycle of 15 seconds or so, so at power level 5 you get 10 for 7.5 seconds and 0 for 7.5 seconds. An inverter model applies lower power continuously, which I think is better for gentle heating. We have a 1200W Panasonic.

FraggleRock
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speed oven

Post by FraggleRock » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:45 pm


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victorb
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by victorb » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:27 am

The Panasonic Inverter Microwaves are very good. We have one with excellent results

jcchen
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by jcchen » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:55 am

If you havent got a new microwave in 30 years, almost any modern model would heat food much faster.

agree with the others re panasonic inverters. They heat food more evenly than other types.

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just frank
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by just frank » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:09 am

I deferred on replacing an ancient microwave in 2004.....and finally broke down and went to the store and got a replacement for ....$35 !!

It was waay better than the old one, and has worked well for lo these 13 years.

mouses
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 pm

sport wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:40 pm
The Google Maps street view of our house shows the GE service truck in the driveway. :annoyed
Street View of my house shows a pile of rubbish waiting for the rubbish pickup folk. Really, Google ought to give people some advance notice :-)

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cheese_breath
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:28 pm

mouses wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 pm
sport wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:40 pm
The Google Maps street view of our house shows the GE service truck in the driveway. :annoyed
Street View of my house shows a pile of rubbish waiting for the rubbish pickup folk. Really, Google ought to give people some advance notice :-)
Street view of my house is half blocked by a big tree. If they would have driven a few feet past the tree they could have got the whole house.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

sport
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by sport » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:35 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:28 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 pm
sport wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:40 pm
The Google Maps street view of our house shows the GE service truck in the driveway. :annoyed
Street View of my house shows a pile of rubbish waiting for the rubbish pickup folk. Really, Google ought to give people some advance notice :-)
Street view of my house is half blocked by a big tree. If they would have driven a few feet past the tree they could have got the whole house.
My comment about the street view of my house was related to how often the GE service man was here to fix their unreliable appliances. It was not a comment on the efficiency of the Google camera system.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Replacement Suggestions For Microwave Oven

Post by cheese_breath » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:42 pm

sport wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:35 pm
cheese_breath wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:28 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:12 pm
sport wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:40 pm
The Google Maps street view of our house shows the GE service truck in the driveway. :annoyed
Street View of my house shows a pile of rubbish waiting for the rubbish pickup folk. Really, Google ought to give people some advance notice :-)
Street view of my house is half blocked by a big tree. If they would have driven a few feet past the tree they could have got the whole house.
My comment about the street view of my house was related to how often the GE service man was here to fix their unreliable appliances. It was not a comment on the efficiency of the Google camera system.
Our GE appliances usually give out before the warranty expires. So after the repairman does his job it's like getting another new appliance free. :D
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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