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How Do You Test A Microwave?

Employee performing test and tag services

A microwave oven is these days a regularly used kitchen appliance, often being used many times during the day up until the time you go to bed, when its last job is to warm your heat bag!

But like most appliances, microwaves wear out over time with hinges and latches becoming loose, seals not as effective, and the power output slowly dropping over time. A Jim’s Test & Tag technician is trained to look and test for these things to ensure your microwave is safe and working as it should.

It’s worth noting that a microwave oven in a workplace often receives very little love and can also deteriorate over time without anyone noticing, so it’s just as important to keep these up to date as well.

How do you test a microwave?
Firstly, a Jim’s Test & Tag technician will test that your microwave oven is electrically safe by using a portable appliance tester and checking the appliance for Earth, Insulation Resistance and Current Leakage. These tests are the same as we would perform for your toaster or kettle as well.

We then use a specialist meter to record the microwave radiation leakage of your microwave by running it with a small glass of water in it. Microwaves have a radiation leakage limit of 5mW per square centimetre and our radiation meters are set to test for this. Of course, before doing this, we will check for visual signs of wear and tear including damage and burn marks, particularly around the door seals.

When should a microwave oven be replaced?
If your microwave fails any of the above tests, then it should be replaced as it is not safe to use. Having said that, microwaves can exhibit some signs of wear and tear yet still pass the tests. Your technician can see how close to the limit your microwave is running and advise as to whether replacement is imminent or not.

How long do microwaves last?
We have seen microwave ovens in operation for over 30 years, however, their power outputs have generally diminished over time. What might have taken 1 minute to heat when it was new now takes 3 minutes. A sure sign you have lost power. Jims’s Technicians can also measure the power output of your microwave to see how it is performing – particularly important in commercial settings when food is heated to pre-set times in a microwave. So, an old microwave might not be dangerous – but it might also not be very effective!

Is microwave radiation leakage dangerous?

Microwave radiation is dangerous and can heat body tissue just that same as it can heat your evening meal!! If you microwave has been measured to have more than the recommended radiation leakage, then it is dangerous to use. But in any event, it is wise to always stand back from you microwave when using it. There’s always something more exciting on television than what’s happening in your microwave (no matter how good your next meal might be!).

If you’re concerned about your microwave or other kitchen appliances, then give one of our friendly technicians at Jim’s Test & Tag a call. We’ll help assure that you, your family, or your workplace are as safe as you can be in the kitchen. Contact us on 131 546 or request an online quote here.

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