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Tom Goellner
Tom Goellner, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1627
Experience:  32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
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Our microwave shuts off at 4-5 seconds of operation ... what

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Our microwave shuts off at 4-5 seconds of operation ... what could be wrong?
need a little more info - - when it shuts off does the control go blank or does it continue counting down the time and it just stops heating ? What is the make and model of your micro?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It is a Panasonic NN-S951BF 2.2 cu ... their website gives no help at all ... I have e-mailed them but I expect to not receive an answer. Everything "acts" like normal, but it will only go about 4-5 seconds and just shuts off completely ... there is a "sparking-type" noise also ... any suggestions? Should it just go in the trash?
It justs shuts off completely -even the display goes blank?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No the display stays on, the microwave just quits operating ...

This micro should have a setting you can use as a timer Use this and tell me if it counts down and beeps ( try it on two minutes ) If it does try on cook mode again and while it is cooking push in on the door by the handle rather hard and see if that makes it stay on.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
That worked!! I did the timer function and then put a cup in with water and ran it three times and it is working fine, EXCEPT, it does make a bit of a snapping noise at the start but then that goes away?
OK it sounds like you have a bad door switch - this is inexpensive to repair.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Now it's doing the same thing today! How frustrating ... any thoughts?
Like I mentioned it sounds like you have a bad door switch. If you take the control panel off and look over where the door latches you could probably see one of these micro switches is slightly burned looking or the wire ends look burned
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
How do we go about taking the control panel off etc.? Do you know where I can get a new door switch? When we "wiggle" the door, the left side is loose ... It will run fine if I hold up on the door while running ... what a pain! :)
Some amount of wiggle is normal . This is an over the range microwave correct? If you remove the grille at the top you'll see the screws to gain access to the control panel and the switches are to the left where the door latches. Try for your parts.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This is a counter top model, not over the range.
OK easier - remove the entire outer shell - take out all screws and pull off from the back.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I just checked that website and they do not list Panasonic Microwaves?
Surprised by that . There is company that makes aftermarket microwave parts . Their name isXXXXX . Probably a parts store near you has them but for sure - Marcone Appliance Parts - their number is XXXXX They are open til noon on SAT and 8:30 til 5:00 wee4kdays CST.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did a search and found a company that has all the parts we need ... do you have any instructions as to how to replace the latch etc? My husband's willing to do it ... with some instruction :)
Sorry - Panasonic is not easily accessible ( as you all ready know ) but once you get the parts you'll see this is not difficult - a couple of screws and the entire switch bracket is removed.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It does seem like it's the door ... because when you push in on it and start it and let go of the door it acts like it has vaccumed shut and will run just fine ... I did find just the latches for the door and also the door assembly ... I'm assuming that the door assembly would be the entire door? We cannot seem to find a way to take the door off to access the latches ... do you know of a schematic drawing for it or a website that would "show" us how to do that?
What I'm referring to is the part inside the microwave that the latch " hooks" into - this part has the door switches on it and these switches are what typically go bad. You don't remove the door to get to this - remove the outer shell of micro to get to it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ah, now I understand :) I did not find those parts though ... just the latches that "go into"
Now you have me confused When the door closes the metal latches on the door go into the body through holes and click the switches shut inside the microwave, these switches are mounted on a piece of plastic right there . There are at least two , maybe three switches look at them closely and the wires that go to them for discoloration which indicates a faulty switch.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Here's a link to the website where I found the parts ... I thought you meant it would be the latches on the door ... not the place they go into on the body of the microwave ... I think we are on the same page now :)


AMI Resources - Your Appliance Parts Resource

OK what have you seen in there ? look like a switch has burned, discolored?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I will have my husband take it apart this evening ... we have not opened it yet ... I will post back as soon as we have a look inside :)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I just wanted to let you know that we have not forgotten to get back to you ... but my husband has not had time to tear the microwave apart yet, I'm hoping he can get to it soon :)
sOK but this site will probably " time out " by then but that's ok - start over.
Tom Goellner and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My husband decided it wasn't worth his time and effort to rip this apart so I went to WalMart and found the exact same microwave ... except newer :) Thanks for all your help! I will definitely keep this website bookmarked ...