The Magnetron Conundrum


Shortly after hearing a comment that it was no longer possible to find a microwave oven that is not made in China my ten-year-old Kitchen Aid boiled its last cup of water and emitted a nasty burning smell.



Unwilling to bow to a commie appliance conspiracy, and not wanting to go back to my teapot, I dug out my trusty toolkit and multi-meter and plunged into the Swedish made stainless steel appliance. (I once owned a computer repair shop that did component level service).






The handy service guide found inside and a few helpful postings on appliance repair blogs yielded up the culprits – the UK made Whirlpool magnetron (along with its faithful diode).

So thanks to the good folks at I had my new parts the next day!








Of course, nearly every victory comes with a bitter disappointment:

Damn you Whirlpool and Matsushita!


Nonetheless, we are up and running again, but I doubt the Chinese part will last as long as the British original.








Maybe I’ll unwind the burned filament wire and rebuild my own magnetron – if I can find some old, Made in America copper, that is. Unfortunately, I cannot fabricate a semiconductor diode at home . . .  and if things continue America won’t be able to either.