Saturday, August 02, 2008


About 10 days ago, we had a BIG set of thunderstorms roll through. The power went out twice in the same day. Later that day, I came home to find the microwave and the oven time pads were I reset them. Curiously, the microwave interior light was on and would not go off even when the door was opened and closed. You could enter time on the electronic pad and it would work. But the start key would not work. Neither could you use preprogrammed time-cook modes. I unplugged the thing and plugged it back in. I reset the breaker for that outlet. I opened and closed the door several times. Nothing worked.

Now, I have to be honest here: I have never liked this microwave ever since we bought it when we remodeled this house three years ago. It's a Sharp, and I bought it mainly because the price was really good and the Sharp that Jess' mom used to have was very good. I'm still not sure why I decided to go that route, though; we had a GE microwave at the other house and I loved it. We should have stuck with GE. The Sharp operates noisily, more noisily than the GE had. Its recirculation/exhaust fan blows very lightly on high, and on low, may as well not be on. If you are using the timer, you can't use the microwave, something that I absolutely abhor since I was used to the GE, which was smart enough to handle both tasks as once. And the work light on the Sharp was very dim and practically useless - something that has always maddened me because we didn't install another ceiling hi-hat over that area of the countertop because we knew we would have the work light from the microwave (because we were thinking it would be like the GE).

At any rate, I called Sharp the next day (Friday) to ask about the possibility of repair, knowing that I would not like what I heard. It would be at least $100 to replace the center of the touch pad, possibly $200 if the other component of the touch pad was fried. And the service call would be a minimum $75. So I was looking at at least $175, possibly $275, to fix this piece of junk microwave I didn't like. Nope. Not doing it. I unplugged the Sharp and I went shopping for a new GE.

By the time I bought the new GE, it was almost $600, what with the 5-year extended warranty, installation and takeaway, and a surge protector. I didn't have the $600 just lying around, but we needed the microwave. That was last Saturday.

So, today was installation day. About an hour before the installer showed up, I was playing around with Sharp. I had plugged it back in and was just goofing with it. The touch pad still didn't work, of course, and the light in the compartment just stayed on. I was annoyed with the Sharp for blowing out on something as simple as a thunderstorm that didn't harm any other appliance in the house, only that. I opened the door. I closed the door. I opened it again. I closed it again.

As I closed the door that last time, the light in the cooking compartment went out. And my heart skipped a beat.

I gingerly pressed the express cooking mode for a 1-minute cooktime.

You know how, when you have a computer problem and ask IT to come check it out and the damned thing won't repeat the problem for the tech, you feel like a complete idiot?

The oven started its cooking cycle.


It was working. The problem hadn't been the touch pad, it had been the door jamb. Apparently, the door wasn't making good contact with the unit so that's why the light was staying on and the Start key wouldn't work.


What to do? The thing worked for now, but we would have to have the door fixed at some point. I was happy to be getting back to a GE. I couldn't decide what to the installation tech, cancel the appointment and return the new oven, or let them install it and beat myself up for being such an idiot?

Well, we have a new microwave this evening. I didn't tell the installer that the old one actually worked. I couldn't. We rationalized that the Sharp's door was eventually going to bite the dust, and since we didn't like it that much anyway, investing more money into it would be counterproductive. And waiting around for it to die was sure to mean that it would croak at the most inopportune moment possible. We have company every weekend in August except this one, and I can't be without the microwave. We limped through last weekend without it when we had just one guest, and it was so annoying.

So once it was installed, we tried it out. I knew the Sharp was louder than the GE, I had just forgotten how quiet the GE was. Ahhh...virtually silent operation! And the recirculation/exhaust fan is so powerful! I think it would suck the dust right off the countertop. I can use the timer and the microwave at the same time! Hooray. And the last little bonus is that because it's a GE, the color of the stainless steel and the design of the door's window matches the other kitchen appliances better than the Sharp's had.

And then we realized that when the installers had left with the box, they hadn't taken the instruction book out of it.

Overall, I'm very happy with the oven, though. Of course, I have to be; I spent almost $600 on the thing, I'd damned well better be! Honestly, it is a much better machine. Really! And I'm going to the store tomorrow to pick up the instruction book for it. And I'm not looking back.


At 12:02 AM, August 03, 2008, Blogger Jess said...

Well, we were supposed to have company this weekend. If not for their having a problem and having to reschedule, we would have been juggling entertaining and a microwave installation. So maybe it was meant to be!

I know we didn't just have the money lying around, but every time some piece of equipment ever has given us trouble, it didn't turn out to be just one thing. It was one, then we'd fix it, then another and so on until we had to replace it. So this time we avoided the many headaches and got something new. In the end, I think it's probably for the best.

At 10:49 AM, August 03, 2008, Blogger Greg said...

Always good to own those actions! Congrats on the new microwave...enjoy!

At 2:56 PM, August 03, 2008, Blogger Michelle Ann said...

After my divorce when I moved into a pre-war duplex, the counters weren't tall enough to accommodate my microwave. I had no other choice but to store the one I had and find one small enough to fit into...oh, I don't know Barbie's Friggin'
Dream House. In other words...ain't no way, ain't no how. I actually learned to live without one for 2 whole years!!! When we moved, the microwave stayed in the garage and is only used for the occasionally cup of tea or popcorn. I felt so liberated!!!

But I am glad that you and Jess were reunited with your GE!

At 8:35 PM, August 06, 2008, Blogger Dantallion said...

Rationalization is one of the human brain's great little features. Personally, I'm of the opinion that life is short, and having good kitchen tools is particularly important for you, given that it's such an important hobby (and talent) of yours. So you absolutely did the right thing.

At 7:55 PM, August 12, 2008, Blogger pinknest said...

lol! this is an insane story, and it so sounds like some ridiculous drama that i would be involved in as well.

At 8:34 PM, August 12, 2008, Blogger Marc said...

greg: yup, I own 'em alright.

michelle ann: surely you jest! I would die...

Dan and pink: I love the new oven. I can't get over how much I love it. It's not just rationalizing, I swear! Didn't have the cash to do it, but I am glad I did.


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