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OT: Testing microwaves for radiation leaks

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  • OT: Testing microwaves for radiation leaks

    My mom had a microwave which wouldn't latch. My dad repaired it(probably a spring came off). It works fine and latches tight but now my mom won't use it because she thinks it will now leak microwave radiation.

    I have tried to get it tested here in town by an appliance dealer but they want more than the unit is worth to check it and I have to make an appointment for them to come to my house!

    I scrounged the internet and you tube but it looks like the testers are very costly.

    I have a unit that is ten years newer and it looks exactly the same.

    Is there any reliable way to test these things?

    Dave A.

  • #2
    Well, years ago Radio Shack (remember them?) used to sell a microwave oven leakage detector. I still have one. All it really consisted of was some generic, unmarked signal diode attached to a small go - no go mille-ammeter. It would also respond to the output of a two way radio as well, which was a good way to test the tester. I would think that a diode across the leads of a digital VOM would work. You really shouldn't see any reading. Test it with a two way radio.

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    • #3
      My advice? Just replace it. Otherwise, no matter what test you perform, every malady, ache, pain, burned out light bulb, squeaky door etc. in the house will be the fault of that damn leaky microwave until it's gone.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Optics Curmudgeon View Post
        My advice? Just replace it. Otherwise, no matter what test you perform, every malady, ache, pain, burned out light bulb, squeaky door etc. in the house will be the fault of that damn leaky microwave until it's gone.
        Best answer.
        Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
        ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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        • #5
          It's like most every thing else in todays world. It's not worth repairing. We live in a throw away world............ except for old machines!!

          JL.................

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          • #6
            Microwave leak detectors were around $20-30 a few years ago and most repair centres had to have two in the shop just to satisfy panicky customers , they consisted of an RF diode and a resistor with a led to indicate leakage .
            If a microwave was repaired there wasnt much chance of any leaks as the covers contained it as long as the door was closing properly.

            Michael

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Frank K View Post
              You really shouldn't see any reading. Test it with a two way radio.
              You will see even a new one leak a little, it is just impossible to have it completely sealed as long as it has a door or any ventilation.

              For the OP: Tell your mom to go see a doctor for a new prescription
              Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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              • #8
                General Tools makes one for 10 bucks
                http://www.generaltools.com/search_r...x=0&search.y=0
                Sole proprietor of Acme Buggy Whips Ltd.
                Specialty products for beating dead horses.

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                • #9
                  Leakage of microwaves is dependent on the fit of the door. If it looks like it fits right, it's almost totally assured that it's not leaking. Open the door and look at the frame of the box- if it's not bent or wrinkled, and the door closes normally, you don't have a problem. If the door does not close into the same position that it did before, then you do potentially have a problem. If the fit looks right and there's no visible frame damage, it's safe to use. There could be other problems, such as micro switches that are no longer working correctly, or being operated correctly by the latching mechanism, but this doesn't result in microwave leakage- only the possibility that the oven won't operate correctly or maybe not at all. If there does seem to be a problem with it working normally, then I'd agree- just replace it. Often enough it's too involved to replace parts which maybe are becoming intermittent.

                  I've worked on enough microwave ovens to know that the only potential to get zapped by escaping microwaves is through mechanical damage that prevents proper door closing.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    If you don't scrap it, where are you going to get the microwave transformer to build your spot welder?

                    I was somewhat disappointed to find the one I had replaced at home was working again. I have it at work now to reheat my lunch when the sun's not out enough to use the dashboard. But someday...

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                    • #11
                      It is non-ionizing radiation.
                      It can not hurt you in any appreciable way.
                      It is not going to cause cancer.
                      If you stick your head in it, it might boil your brain,
                      but most people won't try that.

                      -Doozer
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        I dont think that it would affect the majority of the meth heads or Bubba's.

                        Michael

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                        • #13
                          It is non-ionizing radiation.
                          It can not hurt you in any appreciable way.
                          It is not going to cause cancer.
                          If you stick your head in it, it might boil your brain,
                          but most people won't try that.
                          Well gee, sounds like I could just leave the door off.

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                          • #14
                            If your hair falls out, skin gets purple blotches and you die, it's leaking.
                            The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                            Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                            Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                            • #15
                              There is no seal or anything on my microwave. In fact I believe there is at least a 1/8" gap all around the door when shut. Its been that way since new.
                              Andy

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