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SubZero_Wolf Expert
SubZero_Wolf Expert, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 340
Experience:  Licensed Appliance Journeyman
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I have a Panasonic "the Genius" model with Inverter. It seems

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I have a Panasonic "the Genius" model with Inverter. It seems 'dead' only to come on by itself the odd time. It actually works fine for a few hours only to go dead again. While in its 'dead' mode, absolutely nothing works, no clock, no light, nothing. A month later the light is on and it's OK for a very short while, then it's gone again. A guy at an appliance store says it sounds to him that there's a loose wire in there. The people where I bought it says the inverter is gone. If so, why will it work at all? It has not been used a lot over the years and, while I am willing to buy a new one, why do so if it's just a loose wire. Is it dangerous to mess around in the back of it even tho it's unplugged? Terry.

SubZero_Wolf Expert :

Hello, I can help you with this. Microwaves are the most dangerous appliance to work on. The capacitor (cap) can hold a charge for weeks that can kill if you are not careful. I would suspect a loose connection rather than an inverter problem. If you decide to attempt repair make sure you short the cap with insulated pliers before touching any wires. You will need a set of security bits to remove the cover as manufactures don't want just anyone messing around with very high voltage. If you like to attempt let me know and I can give you instructions on how to drain the cap. Thanks, Sam

Customer:

Hi Sam, now it's starting to scare me a little. I know very little about electricity and don't know if I would recognize the cap if I saw it. Is it marked capacitator and what are security bits? I am glad that you also think it might be a loose connection rather than the inverter. Would your advice suggest that a rank amateur maybe shouldn't be messing around with this? I paid nearly $500 for this appliance and wouldn't mind paying an expert something to fix it for a reasonable price but also don't want to put more into it than it is worth. If one knows what he is doing is it a fairly easy chore to check for a loose connection? Thanks Terry.

SubZero_Wolf Expert :

Components are not marked inside, the cap is a silver cylinder about 2" in diameter and 4-6 inches tall. They are all regular Phillips screws on the back of the cover but two are call T20 security (star with a center pin). Finding a loose connection can be very easy (if lucky) or very frustrating if its in the wire at a place you cannot see easily with the top off. If you are not comfortable with electricity then I'm not sure this it the best job to learn on. Something like a washer or dryer is a lot more safe and straightforward. If you called a technician to your home and he was able to find the connection easily I'm guessing i would cost around 150 to repair.

Customer:

Thanks Sam, I think I'll take your advice and take it to a pro. I'd hate to get nuked over a microwave oven. I was already trying to get the back off and couldn't understand why it wouldn't come loose after I had removed a few dozen screws. Security bits never entered my mind but now I understand. I really appreciate your help with this and now I can talk to a tech. and pretend that I know a little about microwave ovens especially when I mention capacitators and security bits. Thanks again. Terry.

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