Replacing appliances can be costly and inconvenient. When your microwave just stops working, usually in the middle of cooking something, there’s nothing you can do but go out and replace it (and grab some takeout while you’re out there). Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some notice? Like, maybe a message on the screen saying, “Hey, I am going to stop working soon!”
That might never be a reality, however, there are some ways to know how worn out your microwave is, and how long you might have before you will need to replace it.
A good reference point is age. The usual lifespan of a microwave is about 10-12 years. If yours is older than that, chances are it’s not going to last much longer. It could actually be unsafe due to radiation leaks and dust build up in the vents.
The first and most obvious sign of wear is the cooking time. You will notice that things that used to take only a minute or two to heat up now take several minutes. This will happen over time as the heating elements and internal machinery wear down and can no longer exert the power they once did.
Second, you might notice the buttons starting to stick, or a select one or two might not even work anymore. Once those buttons aren’t working, you can be sure that this microwave is not cooking as well anymore and might be ready for replacement.
Third, pay attention to the sound it makes. Did it used to be a quiet running microwave that now sounds like a lawnmower? Over time, microwaves will have to use more power, making them sound louder while trying to cook your food.
Fourth, check the gaskets around the door, and check them often. If any seem damaged in any way, there is a good chance there is leaking radiation. You will want to replace that immediately, because this could be a huge health hazard.
There are a lot of microwaves that have lasted for more than 10 years for people, and those seem to be ones with lower watts. They don’t have to exert as much energy, and therefore they last longer. However, the higher the watts, the faster it cooks, so it’s a tradeoff.
Do you have a microwave that has lasted longer than you expected? Or maybe you had one that broke way before that decade mark? Tell us about it! Write your microwave review on Viewpoints.com and spread the word!