A tiny quiet hum.
December 20, 2016 7:19 PM   Subscribe

We got a new microwave (Panasonic, 1.3cu feet). Yay! When it's plugged in, clock on, but not heating anything, a very quiet hum can be heard in a quiet kitchen. It's bugging my fiance and I (it sounds very similar to a hum something else makes when it's acting up, so we debug Other Appliance only to realize nope, it's the microwave), and we're wondering if this is normal? Googling only resulted in VERY LOUD HUMS and this is, uh, the opposite of loud.

Why yes, I do feel stupid for asking this.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you checked the electrical outlet? They can buzz or hum if not properly grounded or for other reasons.
posted by cabingirl at 7:52 PM on December 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Does it hum in other outlets? Could you put it on a power strip, or surge protector, and see if that changes it's sound?
posted by nickggully at 9:14 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Leave a cup of water in the microwave. Check it every so often. If it heats up then unplug the microwave and take it for service/replacement right away. I had a humming microwave that was actually heating things up when it wasn't running... not good.
posted by azpenguin at 10:06 PM on December 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Best answer: Take it back. I got a new microwave last year that hummed audibly and after a week I noticed that also half the buttons didn't work. Get a microwave that doesn't hum.
posted by mskyle at 5:29 AM on December 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


Best answer: it didn't occur to me when I posted before, but we have a Panasonic microwave and we also had to return the first one we bought (for scary crackling noises). The second one has been fine. So yea I agree with the others to take it back as a first step.
posted by cabingirl at 6:02 AM on December 21, 2016


Best answer: Nthing that the solution to a new product acting up in any way is just take it back and exchange it. Even if it's nothing serious, why take a chance? Things should work right when you buy them new.
posted by catatethebird at 6:10 AM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: Leave a cup of water in the microwave. Check it every so often. If it heats up then unplug the microwave and take it for service/replacement right away. I had a humming microwave that was actually heating things up when it wasn't running... not good.

Aight, but was yours a barely audible hum? You can really only hear it if the house is completely silent. Any noise at all in any part of the house 'overwhelms' the hum.

I also gotta note that the microwave is unusually far forward because of fit issues, so it's also just... closer to my ears than most microwaves. So I was inclined to think that maybe all microwaves ever-so-slightly hum.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:08 AM on December 21, 2016


Best answer: No. Not all microwaves hum. My broken microwave had an audible hum (I don't know about "barely audible" but quiet enough that we had trouble tracing it to the microwave); we exchanged it for the exact same microwave and it does not hum.
posted by mskyle at 7:18 AM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Well, balls. We can't even return it to the store, only by having a shipping company pick it up, so this'll be fun during Christmas Madness. (Assuming, of course, that no packing material was thrown out. Or the receipt.)

Thanks guys, it's going back.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:32 AM on December 21, 2016


If you are hypersensitive, it is amazing how many things in your environment hum and it drives you crazy.
posted by Altomentis at 12:20 PM on December 21, 2016


It could be coil whine, which is caused by vibration of coils in the circuits due to changing magnetic fields. And this often still happens when the device is on standby. Like your husband I'm super sensitive to this in a quiet room. I usually get over it bothering me after having this device for a while. Sometimes it's a manufacturing defect but other times you'll get the same noise in a replacement.
posted by Joe Chip at 5:18 PM on December 21, 2016


Response by poster: New microwave purchased and set up (even fits better in the space!). No whine/hum. Heated water. Learned what a mica waveguide cover was as it baffled me. Huzzah etc.

Thanks guys.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:35 AM on December 24, 2016


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