Friday, January 3, 2014

The Death of Our Microwave

We moved into our current home 3 ½ years ago. The older home underwent renovations, primarily in the kitchen, but we did not replace the refrigerator, dishwasher, or stove. They all worked and our budget was limited. New appliances would wait until some unspecified future time.

We purchased one new piece of equipment – a microwave convection oven. The oven was a bit of a splurge, but worth it. I use both the microwave and convention oven features frequently. I also use the fast bake option, defrost, the fan, timer, and clock.

The day after Christmas meatballs and rice temptingly simmered in the convection oven when suddenly the microwave stopped working. The machine went silent and totally black.

Hub immediately came to the rescue, but he could not fix it.

It was time to bring in the professionals. We called the local appliance store. Unfortunately no repairman could take a look at our dead appliance until the following Friday, the third day of the New Year.

Meanwhile I fumed.

This was an undesirable case of déjà vu.

A year and a half ago a storm called el Derecho pounded our area. An electrical shock killed our newest appliance purchase. Electronic parts in the microwave fried, requiring replacement.

The repairman made a house call, quickly looking over the machine and then sadly, slowly shaking his head. Replacement parts would cost hundreds of dollars – the cost of a new microwave. And there was no guarantee the microwave would work.

So we reluctantly bought our second new microwave. Same kind, same manufacturer.

Fast forward to the almost present, a week ago. There was no indication of any problems, electrical or otherwise, when carefully placing the casserole dish in the oven. The microwave heated to the required temperature and purred nicely for about 20 minutes. Then, suddenly, silence. The numbers on the digital screens disappeared. The microwave was noiseless and dark.

Meanwhile the old appliances continue humming along. They survived el Derecho and hurricane Sandy.

I would not mind buying a new refrigerator or dishwasher or stove, but I am not at all happy about the idea of buying another microwave.  

I fear two new appliances croaked in less than two years. I do not consider an eighteen-month old appliance obsolete. Replacing a microwave every 18 months is not in my budget.

I will not tell you the manufacturer of both of our short-lived appliances, but the very large U.S. corporation is known by two letters and makes lots of other stuff besides appliances. Think about it…gee, do you think you know the company?

Anyway, back to the sad saga of the demise of two microwaves by the same manufacturer in two years.

A dismal record. The appliance company made money on us, but we will not repeat the mistake a third time. We will not buy another ** appliance again.

For the past week I have used our regular oven, which uses more energy and therefore costs more to operate than the microwave. I cannot take food out of the freezer, quickly defrost and cook it. I must think about what I want to do in advance. I have to plan.

I miss the clock. Numerous times I glance at the microwave only to face blackness. No digital numbers greet me.

OK, I am spoiled. I admit it. I miss my microwave.

We awoke this morning in anticipation of greeting a repairman. But, alas, it is not happening.

The weather gods had other ideas. A storm sweeping through the Northeast left over six inches of snow in our area. The store called – no repairmen on the roads today.

And so the saga continues.

Will the fix be an easy, cheap one?

If needing replacement, what lucky manufacturer will be the recipient of our hard-earned dollars?

Should I replace with another microwave convection oven, or think bigger? Should we replace the stove with one offering a convection option and buy a microwave without a convection alternative? Our stove is operational, but the white enamel is beginning to peel and the self-cleaning mechanism does not work.

Stay tuned for the final chapter in the continuing saga of the death of our microwaves.


  1. GEe, I can't imagine what company you mean! We like our convection oven and use our microwave only for small heat-up projects. So I would tend in that direction, but only out of habit. Good luck!

  2. I don't even know what a convection oven does. I am a Luddite!! Dianne

  3. It is maddening how appliances just don't last unless they are old and ugly and you wish they would die but they don't. I guess the answer is to buy something ugly.

  4. Hope it was under warranty. Another option is to keep your oven until it goes, purchase a regular microwave and purchase a small countertop convection oven. I bought a countertop Wolfgang Puck appliance that is a combination convection oven, broiler, and rotisserie a few years ago for about $100. I especially love the rotisserie feature. It's great using it during the summer when you don't want to heat up your whole kitchen with using a regular oven.

  5. Our microwave is from Korea. It works; but it's kind of noisy and I really wouldn't recommend it very highly. Good luck!

  6. I use my microwave daily, but it's a cheap Sharp one from Target. It's been a good little guy for at least five years, maybe closer to ten. I was thinking the other day that maybe I should replace it, not knowing if they wear out or not. i think it's time, reading about your problems.

  7. "Six Decades and Counting...Life Reinvented" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

  8. There seems to be a microwave curse on your home, or gremlins in the system. Either way, you're extremely unlucky. I wonder if the repair man finally fixed the problem? You're brave trying to tough it out without a microwave. My aged parents don't have one and have never had one, which just proves that life without a microwave is possible. Commiserations.

    Lisa @ Westinghouse Small Appliances