Tuesday, August 20, 2013

kitchen crisis

Hot Jupiter, what a bacon busting day!

The microwave died. At first we (wife was punching the buttons at the time) thought the circuit breaker flipped. I scrambled down to the breaker box and found all breakers looked ok. Time for crisis management. Do you agree the microwave is the top appliance in a kitchen? I would be cruising crackers with my only hope being a cold sandwich without the microwave. Oh, the hunger pain from the many leftovers dying a slow death in the fridge.

A quick switching around of different small appliances into the socket used by the microwave determined that the microwave had loss the power to run. The will to heat. Just a blank dark space where the inaccurate time had just moments ago beamed for all to see.

not our old microwave

I sensed my wife didn’t share my sorrow. I might have heard her say something about more counter space. Not the time to discuss counter arrangements. There are leftovers waiting nearby. Our microwave is old and rules one corner of the counter with its electric energy.

Have you had the experience of traveling to a hotel equipped with a microwave or maybe a relative’s home and then were forced to use unfamiliar controls to just heat your morning buns? Oh the thought of learning the nuances of another control panel was frightening.

Mark Twain would have loved a microwave

After operating our faithful microwave for years I had learned that quickly punching the one minute button twice would produce two minutes and I didn’t even need to punch start. I could get a two minute heating session initiated with just two button pushes.

I quickly descended into my workspace with the old microwave. I have never named things like cars or appliances so I can only write old microwave. I took a screwdriver to it. After flipping it around I managed to remove the cover. Inside the cover was its electrical schematic (a design birth certificate with symbols). I followed the circuit and discovered a fuse. The fuse tested open (bad).

Next it was off to a nearby appliance parts store. This was a high amp fuse so I didn’t bother looking for it at a hardware store. I returned with a fuse transplant and hand inserted it. Screwed on the cover and gave it a quick test of warming about half a cup of water. It powered up and heated the water. Success! But I needed to perform a comprehensive test.

The old microwave has rewarded us with many a hot bag of popcorn. Popcorn is a microwave delight. I decided to do the popcorn test. Could it still power through a popcorn bag bake? It did.

However there was a problem. Mostly burnt popcorn while using the preset popcorn button. There had been the rare burnt popcorn bag in the past so I thought maybe it was just a bad bag. After thinking about running another popcorn test I realized something more than a new fuse was different during that first test. The glass plate that slowing turns the food had been taken out so that I could flip the box around to disassemble it.

Could the plate be the difference between hot vs. burnt popcorn? Another popcorn test was set-up and run. Total success! I have a theory to explain the need for the special glass plate but its technical and only a theory. More importantly the kitchen crisis was over in a matter of a few hours, a new fuse and two bags of popcorn.


Scarlet Blue said...

I will stick with my trusty old grill, I think.

Joanne said...

I am impressed that you drilled down to the fuse and replaced it. My brother-in-law would merely have stacked it on all the other dead equipment in the basement and bought a new, shiny one.

lisleman said...

I figured there was not much to lose in trying to fix it. If the replaced fuse just blew again I would only be out a few dollars and time spent. If it does blow again we will just junk it and find a new one. Stacking the dead equipment in the basement only makes sense if he were to use it for parts. thanks

lisleman said...

Grills are OK but not as quick and you need to go outside (winter, rain issues) unless you're nuts. Actually sticking to restaurants might not be too bad except for the expense. thanks

Dawn Saros-Kirk said...

Whew! Glad you got that crisis averted! Too bad your wife lost her extra counter space.

longhollow said...

I try to remember the old pre-microwave days, but I just can't. How did we manage? I know what you mean about unfamiliar microwaves, especially now that I can't see without my readers and usually can't find those. I dread the day our old microwave dies. But my husband believes in salvaging old things, too, so I'll let him know about your fuse trick!

lisleman said...

That was another reason to jump on fixing the old microwave. Had she started to get use to the space then getting a new microwave back in there might become an issue.

lisleman said...

Once I figured out the cover and became clear where the fuse was. Of course I don't know if the fuse will blow again soon. Yes it is hard to remember pre-microwave days. thanks

Cheryl P. said...

I am a devotee of all appliance both big and small. There isn't a kitchen store that doesn't call me much in the same way Timmy used to call Lassie. I would go into mourning if my microwave died. Glad you got yours up and running.

lisleman said...

mourning for a microwave - do you think there is a self-help book in that idea? thanks

Jene said...

I'll read anything with bacon in the title. I'm very impressed with your popcorn DOE. You could have been describing a typical appliance mishap in my own home. Glad you have your trusty radiation box back in service! My sister has no microwave andi just can't imagine.

lisleman said...

Yes I have my trusty radiating magic box running well. No microwave? Is she opposed for religious reasons? They are not very expensive anymore. thanks

Jene said...

Her tiny Manhattan kitchen has no counter space. Your wife would not approve.

lisleman said...

Oh a big city dweller. I guess if you measure the space it occupies and figure out its portion of the rent that amount would be more than the price of the microwave.

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