punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

My microwave just died

This sucks. I mean, yeah, and new one is like $100 from BJ's, but I don't want to spend $100 now. The joke it that it would probably cost $150 to repair. I could look at it myself, but there's this HUGE capacitor in the back of these kinds of appliances, and that's like saying you'll remove a rattlesnake from your basement on your own: best left to those who know what they are doing.

I put in some tea to heat, and it heated the tea just fine. Then a few minutes later, I went to heat more tea, and noticed the panel was dead. This had happened before, usually when someone plugs something in upstairs like a vacuum cleaner when the microwave runs. The circuit blows, so thinking this was the issue, I reset the breaker. But then when the UPS on my Internet gateway suddenly beeped in protest, I realized that the circuit was NOT tripped after all (because the former owners used different sized breakers, you can't tell what's tripped by looking at them).

I tested the outlet, and it was fine. I plugged in the microwave. Dead. Not even a flash on the LED timer display. It had died quietly after making tea. I only had the bloody thing for 4 years, what the hell?

But now that I think about it, a few weeks ago I heated a hot pocket in one of those "crisping sleeves," and when I wasn't looking, it burst into flame. I am not exaggerating. Seriously, the crisping sleeve was erupting with shooting flames like a freshly lit match.

Fuck! What unpredictable behavior for a hot pocket! I must have heated hundreds of things in crisping sleeves or plates, and nothing happened more than a weakly filled promise of crisping.

I immediately shut off the microwave, and the hot pocket was actually burning like a hot ember. Like that chunk of "evil" from the ending of "Time Bandits." Dark smoke billowed into the kitchen as I grabbed a set of salad tongs, opened the microwave, and tossed the black and red coal into the sink and poured water on it. When the water cleared, I saw the burning was only on the crisping sleeve (now ashes) and the outermost layer of flaky and damp crust of the hot pocket. The center was still frozen. It had only been cooking for 30-40 seconds.

Since then, my son and I have cooked several more hot pockets, and nothing more than a hot and loosely defined "crisp crust" occurred. But now I suspect that the microwave was trying to tell me something, or an error in the crisping sleeve manufacturing process had reached a statistical inevitability, given how many hot pockets we eat around here, which might have been the killing blow to the microwave emitting tube.

A minor silver lining: it was almost due for the monthly cleaning, and now I won't have to. Heh.
Tags: appliances, cooking, fire, mircowave
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