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Old 04-10-2016, 04:51 PM
 
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I moved into a townhouse with a very small kitchen and no microwave. There is a space for one over the range. It now has a small hood with fan to the outside. I have been planning to take out the hood and have a microwave put in, but I have been looking at reviews, and honestly, I can't find any over-the-range microwave that seems reliable. All of them have complaints about lasting on or two years, then being unfixable, or having handles melt, the door no longer closes, etc. But none of them seem to be solid, reliable machines. I've looked up counter top models as well, but they all seem to be just as unreliable. I do really want a microwave, but I don't want to be buying a new one every year. Does anyone know how to solve this problem - like some model or brand that is actually well made?
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Old 04-10-2016, 05:38 PM
 
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It's not really that they're unrepairable. It's just that, for the cost of the microwave, buying the major parts for it is a very large percentage of the cost of just purchasing a new one. If you paid $250 for an OTR MW and the Magnetron goes out it could likely be $150 or so just for the parts plus if you can't or don't want to do it yourself the cost for someone to come out and repair for you.

Obviously if you're getting up there in the more expensive microwaves then it's worth it to fix it.

Most of the reasons why they fail are abuse/misuse. For example the MW that have the metal grid in them. People would let food build up on the grid and then the microwave arcs (because it's no longer truly circular at that point) which cause black spots and failed circuit boards, magnetrons, etc... Capacitors are normal fail parts and are pretty inexpensive.

I don't know if this helps at all.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:37 PM
 
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Well, I realize people who have had a bad experience with something are more likely to write reviews than those who have had a good experience, so the reviews will be skewed. Still, it is scarey to see any really bad reviews, like those that say "Piece of junk - died at 6 months." Do you think those are all people who have abused the machines, or used them in a dirty state? The ones that say the handle fell apart or the door cracked are people who boiled large pots of soup under the handle or slammed the doors? Maybe. I have looked at the Consumer Reports reviews, but they rate items based on lab evaluations, and don't do longitudinal studies for reliability. I understand why they don't (microwave models change every few months) but it doesn't help in finding a reliable model. Perhaps my best bet is to buy it from a small appliance store that will back its products better than Home Depot or Lowe's. But the whole thing makes me feel like I am part of our disposable culture, discarding e-waste right and left, filling up the land fills. And I don't like that.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
Well, I realize people who have had a bad experience with something are more likely to write reviews than those who have had a good experience, so the reviews will be skewed. Still, it is scarey to see any really bad reviews, like those that say "Piece of junk - died at 6 months." Do you think those are all people who have abused the machines, or used them in a dirty state? The ones that say the handle fell apart or the door cracked are people who boiled large pots of soup under the handle or slammed the doors? Maybe. I have looked at the Consumer Reports reviews, but they rate items based on lab evaluations, and don't do longitudinal studies for reliability. I understand why they don't (microwave models change every few months) but it doesn't help in finding a reliable model. Perhaps my best bet is to buy it from a small appliance store that will back its products better than Home Depot or Lowe's. But the whole thing makes me feel like I am part of our disposable culture, discarding e-waste right and left, filling up the land fills. And I don't like that.
Well you automatically get a no cost to you 1 year warranty if you went with GE. The other warranties are not as good at no cost to you. You can always get long term replacement is must where it probably maxes out at 4 or 5 years but it might be the cost of one or more MWs depending on which one you get.

As far as not wanting to fill landfills with e-waste, then it sounds like you'd rather repair than replace and that's okay.

FWIW I'm not seeing anywhere near the problems that you seem to be running across in reviews and such. Sure, 1-2% of all appliances give some problem or another. The other 98-99% get no mention usually. The one year warranty previously spoken of (and I'm not an employee or an affiliate with GE or anything in full disclosure) is to make sure you get through that initial period and to make sure customers are happy and covered even if most never call. Of course when you do call in warranty work you can get the gambit of people who might possibly show up to try and repair your appliance from everyone but GE who sends out a GE employee.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
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If your unit was built with a hood over the range, the circuit may be part of the general wiring of the kitchen and might not be able to handle a microwave. Is the hood hard wired or does it plug into an outlet. When my house was built in 99, code required a separate breaker for a microwave over the range with a plug outlet. Check before you purchase.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I would not sacrifice a kitchen hood with venting to the outside for a microwave. There are times for all cooks when something unexpectedly boils over or burns and you want that smoke gone ASAP. It also keeps the kitchen smelling fresh, no worries about lingering strong smelling foods.

If you don't already own one, I would put the money you were going to use for the microwave install into getting a convection oven.
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
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^^^^^
Microwaves have an exhaust fan. Connects to a standard 3.5"x10" duct.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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I just don't put that much stock in reviews. There are a lot of idiots in this world.
If there are NO positive reviews, that might turn me off of something that's normally pretty reliable (like a microwave)... but otherwise just buy a brand name microwave. Thinking about it, I wouldn't even read reviews for a Microwave. You are putting too much thought in this. Just go get one.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,567 posts, read 55,502,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
I just don't put that much stock in reviews. There are a lot of idiots in this world.
If there are NO positive reviews, that might turn me off of something that's normally pretty reliable (like a microwave)... but otherwise just buy a brand name microwave. Thinking about it, I wouldn't even read reviews for a Microwave. You are putting too much thought in this. Just go get one.
I did that a few years back. After dealing with the failure of the first one, the failure of the second one (different brand), and the failure of the third one (different brand again) all within six years, I got the message. I guess I must be one of those idiots you refer to. OR, just possibly, the manufacturers designing a product full of heat and humidity sensitive electronics directly over a known source of excessive heat and humidity, and then buying the cheapest spec components to use in that design, and then not including any attempt at heat shielding in the base of that unit, but speccing the cheapest, noisiest, undersized and high revving fan to try to remove a portion of that heat might be frikkin idiots.

OTOH, I'm sure they stand a chance of working well in a dry cool climate, like the Atacama desert.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:32 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,374 posts, read 11,286,586 times
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Ours is from the early 80's and still works,
(Quasar - made by Amana - sold by Sears)
https://www.google.com/search?q=quas...mkjdP9TViSM%3A
but ...


We have taken it in, every 4-5 years for a small repair job.
Not sure what they fixed, but the cost was minimal compared to what we paid for it.
Like under 30 dollars each time.

A few weeks ago, the bugger started to squeal.
Opened the thing up and found the fan in the back to be squealing.
Removed the fan (easy), cleaned and lubed the shaft and the bearing, and it now runs as it is supposed to run.

But (again), it was not a cheapy one we bought long ago.
It is a multi function unit, has a circulating air oven built in, and a thermometer controlled cycle.
It is a rather big (800 watts) one and weighs a *ton*. You can actually cook a whole meal in the thing. I am amazed how much you can program the thing, compared to modern units ! So many minutes at this temp, then let sit for so many minutes and then brown and then whatever else programming ... We use it more than the regular oven and cook top !

If I remember right it was more than 500 dollars then ...

So in the end, you get what you pay for ...

All depending on what you want to heat up (rather then cooking a meal in it), get one for the least amount of money at the minimum size you can live with.
Just like Computer Printers, cheaper to buy a new one than to fix it !

I would NOT buy one that goes on top of your cook top.
Hard to get the same *fit right* unit when it does give up.
A counter one, would fit anywhere and probably more available for a hefty discount price.

Last edited by irman; 04-14-2016 at 01:41 PM..
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