Is it Worth Fixing a Microwave?
If you’re like me, you don’t spend a whole lot of time wondering about the magical box in your kitchen that heats up your leftovers. The microwave is just part of the background unless of course it refuses to work for you and you’re left waiting 12 hours for your steak to defrost like some sort of caveman.
So, what can you do to fix the microwave, and is it even worth your time? The answer is, like always, dependent on what exactly is wrong and if you are able to fix it, according to Pronto Appliance Services, who specializes in professional appliance repair in Orlando.
Type of Malfunction
Like every appliance these days, microwaves seem both more complex and flimsier. Figuring out what exactly is wrong should be your first port of call. It might be something obvious like an issue with the door locking or a fuse but it could also be an issue with the heating component.
Generally speaking, your issue is likely to occur in one of these 4 areas: The electricity supply, the case/components, the microwave generator, and the electronics.
NOTE: Microwaves can be extremely dangerous to work on for the unskilled. Operating a microwave in any state of disassembly could pose both electrical and radiation dangers. If you do not have the skills or training to safely navigate this issue you should not attempt a fix.
Please see this article for common information about microwaves and their risks. Warning out of the way, if the problem is identifiable this leads us on to the next consideration.
Cost of Repair and Cost of Replacement
Depending on how much you spent on your microwave and how expensive the part is, you’ll need to make a decision as to whether or not a fix is the best solution. Many companies do not even keep replacement parts as they just expect you to buy a new one or repair/replace if in warranty.
More than likely, you’re going to want to salvage that $800 space-age machine more than that $25 thrift store grab. Still, if the parts are cheap and you can do the job yourself, it’s worth a try (a new turner for the tray might cost as little as $5, for example).
The Complexity of the Task
This is a tough one because the majority of home repair tasks suffer from ‘mission creep’ and are never as simple as they seem from the outset. Your turner needs replacing, simple enough right? Unfortunately for you, the elegant designer made it so the microwave needs to be completely disassembled to change this one small part.
The catch 22 is that to know appliance well enough so you can gauge from the outset how difficult it will be, you’d probably have to have the experience of significant ‘mission creep’ already.
When the damaged component is even more complex than a door lock or a plug it might be beyond your technical capabilities to fix (it’s probably a small percentage of the population that could take apart and fix a microwave generator in their garage!).
If the task is going to be incredibly difficult it may be time to reassess your decision with regards to cost when factoring in the most important issue.
The Value of Your Time
Very often we don’t put value on our time. Remember bagging up our nickels instead of taking them to the counting machine? Did you factor in the two hours work you had to do as a cost? No, me neither. Time is money though, and some things just aren’t worth yours.
Now I know what you’re thinking, the value is in fixing something yourself and being self-reliant. This is 100% true but if you find yourself spending 10 hours fixing something you can replace for $25 that has no sentimental value, you’re probably better off doing another task to boost your handyman skills.
Of course, this should be considered alongside the complexity of the task and the benefit it’ll have for any future repairs. Chances are if you’ve read this article, you’re probably invested enough to fix something simple without becoming a philosophy major on the subject of ‘time and it’s value’.
Microwaves are no joke. They are complex machines that can be very dangerous if broken or improperly repaired. However, there are many things on a microwave that can be easily repaired or replaced and a few more that an experienced, trained, and safety-conscious person can tackle.
It is worth considering how much the microwave is worth to you with regard to costs of repair/replacement, how useful the learning experience will be, and whether or not you want to mess with radiation.
Perhaps consider looking at one of the many tutorials online and decide for yourself. As always, stay safe and don’t take on any tasks you can’t handle.