Do microwave ovens get weaker with age?
April 1, 2014 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Something that used to take about 40 seconds to warm up in our microwave oven to a certain temperature now seems to take about 50 seconds. This change seemed to happen fairly suddenly rather than gradually. I don't mind waiting 10 extra seconds, but I'm wondering whether the power of a microwave oven diminishes over time and whether I should expect further deterioration of its performance. It's probably about eight years old and is used daily but lightly.
posted by Dansaman to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I believe that means your magnetron is starting to fail.

After my 12 year old microwave started to take longer to cook foods, it died several months later. Suggest you begin shopping for a new one.
posted by zarq at 2:30 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah I'm surprised that the magnetron would partially fail rather than completely, but that's the way microwaves die. Everything seems to work but nothing ever heats.

If you're comfortable buying used things the market for microwaves on craigslist is great (if you're a buyer). When ours croaked last year I didn't want to buy a comparable one new since we had an over-range model in mind, but having an infant makes living w/o a microwave a lot harder. $25 and a 5 minute drive later I had a very nice GE model.

Hell, you can have it if you're nearby :) I finally got that over-stove installed a few weeks ago.
posted by phearlez at 2:38 PM on April 1, 2014

If my office is anything to go by, yes this does happen, and yes, people just keep using it until it takes 5 minutes to heat a bowl of soup.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:14 AM on April 2, 2014

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