2020 claims one last victim: RIP microwave

In the fall of '91 I was moving into a place with a couple of university friends, and it was determined that I should supply the microwave. Picked up a little GE model, iirc for about $200 at Sears, a not inconsiderable sum for a poor student at the time. For the last 29 years it’s been used nearly daily, and aside from the fan motor getting kinda loud for the last decade or so and the turntable drive mechanism getting a bit worn, has functioned flawlessly. Alas, yesterday after being cleaned it decided that the Power, Cancel, and Start buttons had beeped their last.

It is still sort of usable. It can be started using the one touch cook button that adds a minute on high. If you want a non-integer number of minutes, you can stop it by opening the door. Then you have to reset it by unplugging it. This is not optimal. In spite of its years of service, I’m kicking it to the curb in favour of a new model. However, I thought it at least deserved a bit of a tribute.

Somehow I doubt the new LG will make it to 2049.

I think this quote from A Christmas Story fits here nicely (slightly altered):

With as much dignity as he could muster, Gorsnak gathered up the sad remains of his shattered microwave. Later that night, alone in the backyard, he buried it next to the garage. Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of “Taps” being played, gently.

They don’t make 'em like that, any more! Take a bow, GE!

My wife had a microwave whose front button panel gave up the ghost, so I called around to price a replacement – it was 90% the cost of a new oven. Out it went!

I feel your pain. My microwave that I got for Christmas 1984 to take to college died about a week ago. Well, not really ‘died’. It still works, but the knob you twist to set the time will turn it on, but not wind down, so you have an 'ON" microwave till you remember to turn it off or the house burns down. Me, personally, could live with this for the rest of my life, but I have ‘people’ in the house that will kill us all in a day.

Found a ‘new’ one in a thrift store for $10.50. It goes ‘round and round’!

I’ll get over it. Maybe.

I have one from 1983 (or older), as described in this thread:

It was in the break room at work and they were about to throw it away and I rescued it.

Coincidentally my regular microwave died a week ago, and I completely forgot about the antique one until just now! I could have been using it while I’m waiting for my new one to be delivered and installed!

Interesting thing about that: I read the back plate for model details before shopping for a new one (didn’t have what I wanted and ended up just matching exterior dimensions since that’s what I cared about anyways) and, well,

I’m debating trying to repair the old gal. I’m guessing a broken contact trace on the membrane keypad, which might be possible to effect a workaround with a bit of tin foil or something. No straightforward way into the control panel unfortunately, though I have put zero effort into it so far.

But weren’t those older models frying your gonads if you stood too close?

I remember when microwaves started becoming popular in the 1970s. I knew so many people who claimed to get a headache from standing too close. You never hear that anymore. I never got a headache, and I still wonder if the microwaves are better now or people are just hypochondriacs.

My best microwave story is when I was babysitting while stoned, and I put the baby … um, maybe pass on that one. But back when I worked in a convenience store in West Texas, the store got itself a microwave. This guy came in one day and said he just wanted to heat up his food from Der Wienerschnitzel. We told him sure. A couple minutes later, he’s crying out, “My food’s on fire! What’s wrong with your microwave?!?” It turns out that Der Wienerschnitzel at the time wrapped their stuff in a type of foil paper. Some people had not got the memo yet about not putting metal inside.

You say that as if it were A Bad Thing! :grin:

My mom has an old microwave that no longer has visible displays and she has to unplug it every time she’s done using it. We were going to replace it for her - a new one would have been less than $150 and it would have fit in the same spot with no problems.

She refused - multiple times. She continues to use this semi-functional, stained, pathetic excuse for an appliance. I think it’s a badge of pride for her that she can still use it. I think she’s insane. I should sneak a new one in there while she’s running errands. Hmmmm, she’s got a birthday coming up in a week…

2020 ate our dishwasher, too. We should be getting delivery of a new one right around inauguration day. Two reasons to celebrate!

Our 21-year-old microwave is going strong. It’s one of those above the stove models, which is a stupid place to put a microwave. All the cooking steam and grease splatter from the stove top makes its way onto and sometimes into the microwave, despite the ventilation fans.

One of my customers did that once. The hamburger wrapper was foil on one side (which made sparks) and paper on the other side (which made a merry little blaze!). I did get to make use of what I had learned in our annual Fire Extinguisher Training Seminar. :smiley:

Did you ever notice the more careful you try to be taking microwaved liquid out of the (above the stove) oven, the more likely it seems you’re going to be taking a scalding bath?

So used the replacement model for the first time this morning. Going to have to get used to adjusting cooking times from what I’m used to because apparently 1000w is more than 650w. Who knew?

We remodeled our kitchen in 2004. In May of last year we finally replaced our dishwasher which hadn’t been cleaning dishes properly for some time. Then in the fall the microwave started giving us problems, so we started shopping for a new one. Before we could settle on a model, however, the double oven shot craps. So we ordered a new one during the first week of December and it’s supposed to arrive on Monday. Meanwhile we’re still trying to decide on a new microwave and hoping that the cooktop stays alive for a while.

Back in 1977, my paternal grandmother bought a GE microwave. She loved having the Latest and Greatest. The thing was about the size of a small freezer. It was sold as a “countertop” model, but that was a silly characterization. If you put it on your countertop, it took up about half of your available space. We nicknamed it The Beast.

When my grandmother died, my parents inherited The Beast. They used it with no issues for some years.

In 1985, The Beast made its way to my home. It sat atop our small fridge and was used daily. I still have the cookbook that came with it and use the brownie recipe to this day.

When we shifted homes in 1992, we installed a new over-the-stove microwave. (I agree with @teelabrown, they are a poor design.) A close friend needed a microwave, so I hauled The Beast to her place. I remember seeing it in her kitchen through the mid teens.

I asked her a couple of years ago if she still had The Beast. She said she was ready for something smaller (gee, why?) and had given it to another friend. So far as she knew, The Beast was still cheerily heating up leftovers and suchlike.

I’ve gone through 2 microwaves in the 16 years I’ve lived in my current location. They really don’t make 'em like they used to.

We used to own rentals. Our renters turned into aliens and did all sorts of unworldy, messy things. Mr VOW and The Kids were shoveling out the house, and found a microwave in the kitchen. It still worked.

They got silly, and tried zapping all sorts of non-food item in the microwave. They agreed, a DVD puts out an incredible light show before both the DVD and the microwave are pronounced dead.


First time I ever brought home a frozen pizza and microwaved it…I didn’t take off the plastic wrapper. I thought you were just supposed to heat it inside, sort of like a boil-n-bag. Plastic melted into the pizza. Awful. (I ate a couple slices anyway, but, ick…)

On my current MW, the front-panel buttons have gotten all fingernail scratched so you can’t read 'em any more. Gotta program it by guess and golly.

This morning, my computer printer had uninstalled itself. I was able to download the installation files and re-install it. Some New Year’s Day built-in planned obsolescence, or pure coincidence?

You think it was the MMXXI bug?