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Old 12-01-11, 07:16 PM   #1
Heat
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Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

My wife was heating some oil in a pan and forgot about it. It caught on fire, right under the microwave.

The microwave still works, but is it safe to use? What concerns me is the bubbled coating on the inside of the microwave.

This is the bottom of the microwave, with the air filters removed. Note the burned dials on the stove.



Here is the inside of the microwave. It was black with soot, from the burned paint / coating (it was cleaned as much as it could be).



The microwave still works fine but do you think that it would still be safe to use?

It's a Kenmore Microwave, Model 721.80039700

Last edited by Heat; 12-01-11 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:23 PM   #2
General Zod
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Why risk it? It's damaged. Get a new one.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

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Why risk it? It's damaged. Get a new one.
Agreed. A wife is usually damaged when she does far less than this.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:52 PM   #4
EdTheRipper
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Better off tossing it and getting a new one. Always better to be safe than sorry in a case like this.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Put a poptart in it for 15 minutes.

Then get a new one.
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Old 12-01-11, 08:15 PM   #6
Rockmjd23
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Using the microwave could give you a high dose of radiation, possibly turning you into a superhero, but most likely just killing you.
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Old 12-01-11, 08:19 PM   #7
jonw9
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Well, the magnetron is located on the control side, probably the righ, you can see the screen on the inside, sometimes it is cardboard.

I am not sure what the lining would do, probably nothing but facilitate easy clean up. There was an old microwave at an old job the had multiple bags of popcorn burnt inside, it looked like that.

So, I would say the micro is functionally sound (bar any wires burnt in the fire, which I think would be slim), and just aesthetically lacking.

If you have higher priority repairs to complete before this, I would continue to use it with no concern.

Of course, if the control panel is on the left (do those exist?) I would probably not operate it.

Perhaps heating a cup of water, while keeping an eye on the unit would quell your concerns?
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Old 12-01-11, 09:22 PM   #8
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Spring the $50 and get a new one. Especially now with the holidays around the corner I'm sure you can get a good deal.

I got a really nice Emerson one from Target last December for $35 -- retail $90 and it's great.
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Old 12-01-11, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Finally your user name makes sense.
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Old 12-01-11, 09:55 PM   #10
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

All that charring might add a tasty flavor.
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Old 12-01-11, 10:14 PM   #11
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

I would blow up some food, and then get a new microwave.
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Old 12-01-11, 10:16 PM   #12
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

How is the model number relevant?
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Old 12-01-11, 10:16 PM   #13
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

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Finally your user name makes sense.
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Old 12-01-11, 10:57 PM   #14
Heat
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

This is a combination microwave / oven vent, Sears calls them microhoods. The replacement would be around $250.

The reason why I don't want to replace it is because it still works fine, is fairly new (manufactured in early '09), and I don't have $250 laying around. The control panel is on the right side and wasn't directly affected by the fire.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:14 PM   #15
Abob Teff
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

You should have sniped one from somebody on Black Friday ...

Seriously though? You trust us with the potential health and well-being of your family?

Much like most of the regulars here, its integrity has been compromised. Replace it.

Or, if you don't like that answer ... Simply repaint the inside with a lead-based paint. The new lead lining will protect you from anything (plus you can hide things from Superman in it).
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Old 12-01-11, 11:26 PM   #16
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Well... seriously now...

You shouldn't worry about radiation or microwaves cooking your brain.

You should be worried about typical things regarding electronics: risk of electrocution, fire, and contamination by hazardous chemicals, which should be your chief concern since it's where you prepare food.

Get a new microwave.
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Old 12-02-11, 03:21 AM   #17
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Keep the microwave, get rid of the careless wife.
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Old 12-02-11, 03:48 AM   #18
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

It's time for you to turn the tables on her. Tell her that you think she's cheating, and this was an attempt to burn down the house with you in it so that she could be free.
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Old 12-02-11, 06:50 AM   #19
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

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It's time for you to turn the tables on her.
Pun intended?
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Old 12-02-11, 08:15 AM   #20
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

It seems to me there are three risks and we can't fully evaluate them from pictures:

Fire: The electronics may still work, but be damaged and be more prone to additional failure including catching fire. Since the right side isn't burnt, that may be minimal. I would watch for any unusual hot spots after it runs.

Toxic fumes: Any bad smells inside especially after operating? Do the charred areas get warm when the microwave is run? Burnt organics are frequently carcinogenic, and there is a limit to what your nose can detect. We can't smell it at all over the Internet, so it is fine. Seriously, any lingering bad smell inside or any taste or smell imparted to your food says it needs to go.

Microwave leaks: It is only microwaves, nonionizing radiation, but enough of a dose can cook food (the whole point). Any evidence the door seal is compromised and it could be leaking microwaves? I wouldn't get real close to the window unless I were sure all the seals still work. You might want to buy or borrow a microwave leak checker.

There is no way to say the risk is zero, but if you feel comfortable on all three points above, it may be OK. I wouldn't let it run by itself and walk away, at least for a while, and I would discard it if any evidence of tastes or smells added to food.
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Old 12-02-11, 01:26 PM   #21
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

This is the guy that won't tip on a free meal. You really think he's going to replace a functioning appliance just because it might kill his family?
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Old 12-02-11, 08:44 PM   #22
Heat
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

The side that burned was the opposite side from all of the electronics. There are no odors, etc. I'll give it a "butter test" by putting a stick of butter (on a tennis racket or something) next to the microwave while it's running, to see if it melts at all. And I'll let my wife do most of the microwaving from now on. I think I'll be safe.

And the danger is that it could literally cook your skin while you are using it, but you'd have to be within an inch or two... if it's even leaking (and the door seals are tight). It's not radioactive, there is no risk of cancer.

And on the free meals, I tip 20%.
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Old 12-02-11, 10:00 PM   #23
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heat View Post
It's a Kenmore Microwave, Model 721.80039700
Then you'd better keep it. They don't make that model anymore, so you won't be able to buy a new one.
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Old 12-02-11, 11:15 PM   #24
NORML54601
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Get a new unit that isn't a microvent if you're that cheap. Do you really want to take a chance on this one? My microwave cost me $40 and is still going strong after 10 years, you'll get your money's worth with a new one, assuming you don't set this one on fire too.
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Old 12-02-11, 11:51 PM   #25
Abob Teff
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Re: Microwave was burned in fire - safe to use? (pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heat View Post
And I'll let my wife do most of the microwaving from now on. I think I'll be safe.
Do you really believe this? I'm pretty certain her actions have proven otherwise.

Dude ... one of these days I need to finally meet you.
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