How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Magnetron In A Microwave?

The average cost of replacing a magnetron in a microwave is $150, but it can range from $50 to $400 depending on the brand, model, and type of microwave oven. A magnetron is the device that generates the microwaves that heat the food in the oven. It is one of the most important and expensive components of a microwave oven, and it can wear out or fail over time due to various reasons. In this article, we will explain what a magnetron is, how it works, how to diagnose a faulty magnetron, and how to replace it or hire a professional to do it for you.

What Is A Magnetron And How Does It Work?

A magnetron is a type of vacuum tube that uses a heated filament and a magnet to produce a stream of high-frequency electromagnetic waves, also known as microwaves. The microwaves are then directed into the cooking chamber of the microwave oven, where they interact with the water molecules in the food and cause them to vibrate and generate heat. This is how a microwave oven cooks food quickly and evenly.

A magnetron consists of a cathode, an anode, and a magnet. The cathode is a metal rod that is heated by an electric current and emits electrons. The anode is a metal cylinder with holes or cavities around it, which surrounds the cathode. The magnet is placed around the anode and creates a magnetic field that forces the electrons to spiral around the cathode and pass through the cavities. As the electrons pass through the cavities, they create an alternating electric field that resonates with the natural frequency of the cavities and generates microwaves. The microwaves are then collected by a waveguide and fed into the cooking chamber.

How To Diagnose A Faulty Magnetron?

A magnetron can fail due to various factors, such as age, overheating, power surges, or physical damage. Some of the common signs of a faulty magnetron are:

  • The microwave oven does not heat the food or heats it unevenly.
  • The microwave oven makes loud or unusual noises, such as humming, buzzing, or clicking.
  • The microwave oven emits sparks, smoke, or a burning smell.
  • The microwave oven trips the circuit breaker or blows a fuse when turned on.
  • The microwave oven displays an error code or a warning message on the screen.
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If you notice any of these symptoms, you should stop using the microwave oven immediately and unplug it from the power source. You should then inspect the magnetron for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks, burns, or corrosion. You can also test the magnetron with a multimeter, a device that measures electrical resistance, voltage, and current. To do this, you will need to remove the microwave oven’s cover and locate the magnetron, which is usually a metal box with wires attached to it. You will also need to discharge the high-voltage capacitor, a component that stores electrical energy, to avoid getting shocked. You can do this by touching the capacitor’s terminals with a screwdriver or a pair of pliers with insulated handles.

To test the magnetron with a multimeter, you will need to set the multimeter to the lowest resistance setting and touch the probes to the terminals of the magnetron. A good magnetron should have a low resistance reading, usually less than 1 ohm, between the terminals. It should also have a high resistance reading, usually more than 10 megohms, between each terminal and the metal body of the magnetron. If the multimeter shows a different reading, such as a zero or infinite resistance, the magnetron is likely defective and needs to be replaced.

How To Replace A Magnetron In A Microwave?

Replacing a magnetron in a microwave is not a simple task and requires some technical skills and tools. It is also a potentially dangerous procedure, as it involves working with high-voltage components that can cause electric shocks or burns. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a professional microwave repair service to do it for you, especially if your microwave oven is still under warranty or covered by a service plan. A professional microwave repair service will have the experience, expertise, and equipment to replace the magnetron safely and efficiently. They will also be able to diagnose and fix any other issues that may be affecting your microwave oven’s performance.

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However, if you are confident and comfortable with doing it yourself, you can follow these steps to replace the magnetron in your microwave:

  • Unplug the microwave oven from the power source and remove the screws from the back panel.
  • Remove the back panel and locate the magnetron, which is a metal box with wires attached to it. You may need to remove some other components, such as the fan, the transformer, or the waveguide, to access the magnetron.
  • Disconnect the wires from the magnetron and unscrew the mounting bolts.
  • Pull out the old magnetron and replace it with a new one. Make sure the new magnetron is compatible with your microwave oven’s brand and model.
  • Reconnect the wires and secure the magnetron with the bolts.
  • Replace the other components and the back panel and plug in the microwave oven.
  • Test the microwave oven by heating a cup of water for a minute and checking the temperature.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Magnetron In A Microwave?

The cost of replacing a magnetron in a microwave depends on several factors, such as the brand, model, and type of microwave oven, the availability and price of the replacement part, and the labor cost of the repair service. Here are some estimates of the cost of replacing a magnetron in a microwave:

  • The average cost of a new magnetron is $50 to $100, but it can range from $20 to $200 depending on the brand and model of the microwave oven. Higher-end or specialized models may have more expensive magnetrons.
  • The average labor cost of replacing a magnetron is $100 to $150, but it can range from $50 to $250 depending on the complexity of the repair and the location and reputation of the repair service. Some repair services may charge a flat fee, while others may charge by the hour or by the job.
  • The total cost of replacing a magnetron in a microwave is $150 to $250 on average, but it can range from $50 to $400 depending on the factors mentioned above.

Is It Worth Replacing A Magnetron In A Microwave?

Whether it is worth replacing a magnetron in a microwave depends on the cost of the repair and the value of the microwave oven. Generally, if the cost of the repair is more than half of the cost of a new microwave oven, it may not be worth it. You may be better off buying a new microwave oven that has better features, performance, and efficiency. However, if the cost of the repair is less than half of the cost of a new microwave oven, and the microwave oven is still in good condition and has a long lifespan, it may be worth it. You may be able to save money and extend the life of your microwave oven by replacing the magnetron.

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Another factor to consider is the environmental impact of replacing a magnetron in a microwave. By repairing your microwave oven instead of throwing it away, you may be able to reduce the amount of waste and pollution that goes into landfills and the atmosphere. You may also be able to conserve the natural resources and energy that are used to manufacture new microwave ovens. Therefore, replacing a magnetron in a microwave may be a more eco-friendly option than buying a new one.

Conclusion

A magnetron is the device that generates the microwaves that heat the food in a microwave oven. It can fail or wear out over time due to various reasons, causing the microwave oven to malfunction or stop working. Replacing a magnetron in a microwave is a complex and risky procedure that requires some technical skills and tools. It is advisable to hire a professional microwave repair service to do it for you, especially if your microwave oven is still under warranty or covered by a service plan. The average cost of replacing a magnetron in a microwave is $150, but it can range from $50 to $400 depending on the brand, model, and type of microwave oven, the availability and price of the replacement part, and the labor cost of the repair service. Whether it is worth replacing a magnetron in a microwave depends on the cost of the repair and the value of the microwave oven, as well as the environmental impact of repairing or replacing the appliance.