Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Getting Every Bit of Life Out of a Microwave

As I blogged last week, our microwave has become its decline to the landfill. Unlike most American families, we did not set it at the curb and run out to the nearest big-box store to replace it. No, we are frugal, thus we are different.

First, we attempted to repair it. My husband is an electrical engineer who designs circuit boards for a living. So, we have a strong advantage here. As soon as the machine began giving us a failure signal he attempted to de-bug the problem. This involved removing the screws and the outside enclosure. Once inside he discovered schematic drawings. This machine was built to be repaired, not just tossed. Unfortunately, no problem (a.k.a. short) could not be found. Stumped, he put it back together and brought it back to the kitchen.

There it sits, unplugged except for when we need to use it. You see, it still works. We just can't leave it plugged in. If we do, it will start beeping after about 2 minutes. And the clock no longer works. But, it gets the job done.

Knowing it needs to be replaced, I've begun gathering data. We know we want a machine that has at least 1000 watts of power; this one has 1500 watts. Target had "college" versions on sale but they were either 700 watt for $49 or 900 watt for $69. I wasn't impressed by the power or price. So, on my next trip to a thrift store I'll be scouting the aisles for a "new" microwave. Until then, we'll plug ours in when needed.

1 comment:

  1. You know, for years we didn't have a microwave, and it seemed like it was everybody's goal in life to give us their old one that worked perfectly well but they no longer wanted. We never accepted those hand-me-downs -- we simply didn't want a microwave at the time -- but if you put a feeler out, someone might have an extra microwave that they would like to get rid of.