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People leading increasingly busy lifestyles rely on modern appliances for day to day convenience. When it comes to preparing meals, microwaves are easily the most labour-saving appliance and, at times, the most overused as well. These devices are built to optimum durability, but like anything that’s used constantly, there will come the point when homeowners need to replace them.

Any worn-out appliance is a potential hazard in the home, so it’s important to check them for any issues. Below are five of the most common signs the small kitchen appliance needs replacing.

When there are burning smells

The smell of burning is a sign that one should immediately turn off and unplug a microwave. The presence of smoke and sparks are an even more urgent concern. While it may be a small issue such as food burning to a crisp, it may also mean a serious one related to wiring and electrical connections. Either way, it becomes a fire hazard, and it is best to have a repair technician diagnose it right away.

When the food is not properly cooked

When the food takes faster or longer to cook than usual, the appliance does not efficiently fulfil its purpose. The microwave’s function is to cook food in a shorter period but not to heat the food too quickly that it burns or explodes. On the other hand, when the food is taking longer to cook than usual or heats food unevenly, it is a sign that the appliance is not working properly. Reduced or excessive heat results from a defective magnetron or circuit board and need a professional to fix.

Experts recommend a simple way to check the heating capacity of a microwave. Heat a bowl or cup of water in a high setting for two minutes. It should come out piping hot. Otherwise, it is time to replace it.

When you can hear unusual sounds

There should be no more than a steady hum when a microwave cooks any food. If there are other sounds, like buzzing or rattling noises, it is a sign of further issues in the device. Owners can check the turntables and fan blades for any leftover food or misaligned components and fix them accordingly. But if the noises persist, it is best to start looking for a new microwave.

When the display and keypads are malfunctioning

Flickering display screens, finicky buttons, unresponsive keypads. These are all signs that the kitchen appliance has underlying issues. The microwave just needs another cleaning at times, but sometimes these problems are circuit board and electrical issues. Moreover, a malfunctioning door makes the appliance a candidate for replacement. The door and seal keep the radiation contained, and the lack of this important feature is enough reason to buy a new one.

When it exceeded its life expectancy as declared on purchase

Most microwaves have a life expectancy of ten years, though some brands have five to eight years declared. If the appliance used at home is already past these marks, it is best to consider an upgrade. If it exhibits any of the signs above, one should not wait out its life expectancy years. The microwave should be repaired or replaced right away.

People should replace their appliance once past the decade mark, even if it seems to be working properly. Old appliances are at a greater risk for electrical issues, which makes them fire hazards. New microwave technology is safer for everyone in the household. Some are even more energy-efficient, an added benefit to the conventional appliance.


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