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Thread: Need a new microwave

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    New England
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    1,725

    Need a new microwave

    After 30 years the only microwave we've ever owned just bit the dust. Started making a nasty noise and gave off a nasty electric burning smell.

    Just thought I'd inquire here to get some advice on brands and features.

    I doubt the boss would want to spend more that 250 bucks tops. I'm seeing some well rated models for a hundred less than that.

    Biggest question at this early point is re inverter technology I guess. Is it really better? What about size? The kids are gone so it's just the two of us except when they come for a visit with the grandkids.

  2. #2
    Good luck. When my DIL visited, she noted that our microwave was much slower than hers even though they are both the same wattage. I did some checking of ours and found out that is indeed performing below what it should for the wattage. We've had this one for at least 25 years. According to my research magnetrons lose power over time, which apparently ours has.

    We started looking at new microwaves and everyone we looked at had at least 1/3 of the reviews saying don't buy this one. We became so frustrated tat we decided to continue using our under powered one until it dies.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Ha, when we bought this house I bought a cheap microwave from Home Depot just to heat tea and things while working here. It was supposed to be a temporary thing I would eventually use in my shop. It's worked so well in the kitchen we haven't bothered to replace it. It's an 1100w Magic Chef.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Medina Ohio
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    how big do you want we have a smaller one that fits our needs and was about $60 10 years ago. The same one is still about $60

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Issaquah, Washington
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    I'm a big fan of the Sharp drawer unit but that would probably require some cabinet work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    2,746
    We still have the one I bought decades ago as a Monkey Wards display model. I like it because it has as twist knob. I hate having to turn on my brain to decide do I need 59 seconds or one minute. is that showing 60 seconds or 60 minutes etc etc. Sometimes the old way is better and easier. I do not need bluetooth for my appliances.
    Bil lD.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
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    37
    Quote Originally Posted by zBill Dufour View Post
    We still have the one I bought decades ago...I like it because it has as twist knob....
    Except if you're heating a critical liquid such as baby's milk the inaccuracies of the knob can extend the heating cycle by 10~15% and be uncomfortable for the kid. Comparing a digital readout timer to bluetooth compatible is a bit of a stretch....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
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    Re inverter technology I'm interested in that as well. My understanding, and I could have it wrong, is that if I select 50% power on a non-inverter unit it runs at 100% power 50% of the time. An inverter oven really does run at 50% power 100% of the time. Which one is better? I don't really know.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    SE Michigan
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    When we remodeled the kitchen we had it built into an upper cabinet. It’s a counter top model with a trim kit. We’re on our third since 2005. All GEs. I figure $150 every 5-6 years is doable. Just replaced it last month. This time, they changed the configuration slightly and I needed a new trim kit...cost just about as much as the microwave.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
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    4,287
    We bought one when we got married. Probably lasted 15 years. Since then (9 years), we've probably been through a couple more. The first replacement was close to $200, but it didn't last very long, so now we've just resigned ourselves to getting cheap ones every few years. They seem to have become a disposable item like many other appliances these days.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Zellers View Post
    to get some advice on brands and features.
    Features:

    Don't get the kind with a door latch mechanism that has two long prongs that stick out from the door. When you use an oven mitt to take something out of the microwave, the prongs snag the back of the mitt.

    Buy one where the glass carousel fits securely on the mechanism that turns it. On many models the carousel has only a shallow groove in it and tends to slide off.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    New England
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    Well these stories seem to prove that they are now building these microwaves to not last as opposed to the earlier models. So sad.

    When we bought a new electric stove a few years ago the delivery guys laughed when we told them the one they were carting away lasted 28 years (including some repairs). Then they said immediately "Well, this one won't last that long!"

    Ugh. Seems to be a good case for buying the extended warranty.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    Ugh. Seems to be a good case for buying the extended warranty.
    The product is likely built to last five years. The factory warranty is usually up to one year. The extended warranty takes you up to the design life. To me, it is just another way to rip off the customer.

    We bought a lot of our household appliances at Sears. We did get an extension on the warranties. One of the refrigerators needed service. To keep the extension going would annually cost about as much as one of the appliances. Our drier developed a problem. The repair cost less than the annual cost of the warranties.

    In my way of looking at it, we have come out ahead so far.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Livonia, Michigan
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    669
    When we moved into the house I'm in now it came with a home warranty. The over the range GE microwave fizzled out with a burned up magentron. The warranty people elected to fix it.

    When the repairman came out with the new magnetron my wife asked him about a replacement microwave like a Samsung. He said that the Samsungs were junk and wouldn't last as long.

    I pulled the burned out magnetron out of the garbage. It had a SAMSUNG sticker on the side.

    Is there any difference between any of them anymore?

    The over the range GEs that we've had lasted about 12 years each. The microwave gets a LOT of use.

    Edit: the repair occurred in 2003.

    -Tom

  15. #15
    As to inverter tech: We've had a countertop Panasonic 1200w inverter unit for about 3 years. The inverter thing is the bomb. 30% power is literally 30% power, NOT full power for 3 seconds then 7 seconds 0 power... it does make a difference!
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