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Old 05-06-2019, 11:49 AM   #1
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Microwave Sparks


I have a GE Profile Advantium 120 microwave in my home. It's well taken care of, so I wouldn't expect our newest problem to be a result of neglect or abuse. However, it started sparking recently while in use. It's intermittent. Someone will probably say, "you had metal in there." Nope. The item I heated last night was a plastic bottle full of water, and I had done this a thousand times in the past, same bottle, with no issues. What are some tips folks can share about what might be causing the issue?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:21 PM   #2
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Re: Microwave Sparks


I found a video that may help. As your user name implies, lincensed pro engineer, I'm sure you can figure something out. If it's not under warantee, I would just buy a new microwave - but that's me. Just my thoughts. Hope you can get it fixed.


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Old 05-06-2019, 02:29 PM   #3
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Re: Microwave Sparks


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
I found a video that may help.
Thanks! That was helpful. I saw something else on Google talking about a faulty wave guide cover. So I'm going to check that, for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
As your user name implies, lincensed pro engineer, I'm sure you can figure something out.
Yup, I'll figure something out, but coming to forums always helps, since I'm not omniscient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
If it's not under warantee, I would just buy a new microwave - but that's me.
Tossing it out is not my first option. This is a pretty fancy microwave with advanced "oven-type" features, and it is part of a stove/micro set. So I'm going to try and salvage it, within reason of course.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Microwave Sparks


the video tells you about a piece you can buy for $5 or usually more than that but if you take it out you can clean it maybe with some very fine sandpaper I have done it and it works

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Old 05-06-2019, 06:54 PM   #5
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Re: Microwave Sparks


Jmon nailed it on the wave guide. Although good luck with buying a part from ge for $5. Itís a pretty common occurrence
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:59 PM   #6
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Re: Microwave Sparks


I had the same problem last year and simply removing the waveguide, cleaning it on both sides, solved the problem. I found a replacement on RepairClinic.com but didn't need to order it as cleaning it worked.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:21 AM   #7
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Re: Microwave Sparks


Can someone explain the purpose of the wave guide cover? It looks like nothing more than a flimsy piece of cardboard. And how can it cause a lightning storm in the microwave, merely from splattered food upon it?
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:58 PM   #8
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Re: Microwave Sparks


If you read the link below, the cover's job protects the electronics inside the microwave. Please be careful and I would avoid using it until it's fixed.


https://www.hunker.com/13407957/can-...aveguide-cover
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:04 PM   #9
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Re: Microwave Sparks


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If you read the link below, the cover's job protects the electronics inside the microwave. Please be careful and I would avoid using it until it's fixed.


https://www.hunker.com/13407957/can-...aveguide-cover
Thank you, I too had previously found and read that article. I'm no microwave expert, so maybe my ignorance is bliss, but it doesn't really say how or why a flimsy cardboard cover is an integral part of the machine, other than to cover internals. Nor does it say how food splatter on it leads to poor performance.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:22 PM   #10
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Re: Microwave Sparks


Quote:
Originally Posted by m_ridzon View Post
Thank you, I too had previously found and read that article. I'm no microwave expert, so maybe my ignorance is bliss, but it doesn't really say how or why a flimsy cardboard cover is an integral part of the machine, other than to cover internals. Nor does it say how food splatter on it leads to poor performance.
It is not regular cardboard.
What should I do ?If there are any issues with your waveguide cover it should be replaced. When new the mica sheet is rigid and firm. Over a period of time it absorbs moisture and gets food splatters on it. It then becomes soft and flexible. The cover can be replaced either with a suitable replacement made by the manufacturer of the microwave or if the old cover is in good enough shape to be used as a template, blank sheets of mica can be purchased and cut to fit.

waveguide cover material - mica sheets

We often replace waveguide covers in our workshop. We are also asked to supply them directly. They are available mail order via our website ready made for some of the leading manufacturers or as blank sheets to make your own.


https://microwaveexpert.wordpress.co...veguide-cover/
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:24 AM   #11
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Re: Microwave Sparks


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
It is not regular cardboard.
What should I do ?If there are any issues with your waveguide cover it should be replaced. When new the mica sheet is rigid and firm. Over a period of time it absorbs moisture and gets food splatters on it. It then becomes soft and flexible. The cover can be replaced either with a suitable replacement made by the manufacturer of the microwave or if the old cover is in good enough shape to be used as a template, blank sheets of mica can be purchased and cut to fit.

waveguide cover material - mica sheets

We often replace waveguide covers in our workshop. We are also asked to supply them directly. They are available mail order via our website ready made for some of the leading manufacturers or as blank sheets to make your own.


https://microwaveexpert.wordpress.co...veguide-cover/
So what does the cover do, other than protecting against splatter, because I could get a piece of cardboard to do that. But it seems "mica" is the required material, for some unknown reason.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:29 AM   #12
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Re: Microwave Sparks


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Originally Posted by m_ridzon View Post
So what does the cover do, other than protecting against splatter, because I could get a piece of cardboard to do that. But it seems "mica" is the required material, for some unknown reason.
I likely spreads the pattern out so you don't have one hot spot.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:59 AM   #13
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Re: Microwave Sparks


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I likely spreads the pattern out so you don't have one hot spot.
Okay, so now this thread is getting more insightful about what is actually going on. Thanks for this information.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:48 AM   #14
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Re: Microwave Sparks


Update & looking for more insight:

I cleaned the wave guide cover with a wet wash rag (first image below).

Sparks continue though. My wife observed it this morning for 90 seconds while microwaving food. She said the sparking occurs at the top (blue circled area in the second image below). That area is part of the advanced "oven" feature available in this appliance. To my knowledge, it does nothing while operating as a traditional microwave, so I'm not sure why sparks might exist there. There is food grime behind the mesh though, on the oven coils. Does anybody know if that might be part of the problem? Any insight?
Attached Thumbnails
Microwave Sparks-p1230022.jpg   Microwave Sparks-p1230023.jpg  
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:18 PM   #15
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Microwave Sparks


Replace your waveguide. Itís bad. Donít use your microwave until you do. You can ruin your magnetron


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Last edited by BayouRunner; 05-12-2019 at 12:25 PM.
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