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Panasonic Inverter Microwaves - Advanced or retrograde?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Sat May 6th, 2006 01:55 am
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Rob Stercraw
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Konichiwa samurai!  I just joined the fun of inverter technology.  Sears repairman just left after delivering me a $356 estimate to replace the inverter board in my barely 2 year old Kenmore Elite.

I declined the repair, gave him $65 and now have a hefty paperweight.  Can someone recommend a low-cost non-inverter equipped microhood?

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 Posted: Sat May 6th, 2006 03:34 pm
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iceman
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Hey everybody!

I notice that Sears is taking a lot of people's $65 just to tell them it would be cheaper for them to replace their Microwave.  Here are some handy tips:

1) Sears has a warranty return depot in every major city.  Unless your Sears purchase is bolted down, call them to see if the diagnostic is less expensive if you bring it to them. 

2) Most appliances have a cheat-sheet hidden in some relatively easy to find location on the appliance itself.  If your appliance has error codes, this sheet will reveal how to get it to report them and how to interpret them.

3) Some small appliances are just not worth repairing.  Say anything that costs under $150.  Microwaves are right on the borderline, because the repair cost is often in excess of $150.

4) A quality microwave oven need not be expensive.  Check out Consumer Reports magazine at your local library or get the ratings online, in exchange for money naturally.

5) Here is a FREE article on the subject:


http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/microwave-ovens/reports/how-to-choose.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=microwaves

6) Shop around.  A microwave manufactured offshore probably costs less than $55.00 to manufacture and land on US soil.  If you are paying more than $150 for a top of the line model, chances are you have not done enough legwork.  Also microwaves are now sold by consumer electronics stores which are fiercely competitive and harbor strong animosity towards each other.  Use this to your advantage.  Nothing motivates a Fry's manger better than "The guy at Best-Buy said you guys couldn’t touch this price, and dared me to leave his store"

Last edited on Sat May 6th, 2006 03:36 pm by iceman



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 Posted: Mon May 8th, 2006 03:29 pm
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Rob Stercraw
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Greetings Iceman!

iceman wrote:
Hey everybody!

I notice that Sears is taking a lot of people's $65 just to tell them it would be cheaper for them to replace their Microwave.  Here are some handy tips:

1) Sears has a warranty return depot in every major city.  Unless your Sears purchase is bolted down, call them to see if the diagnostic is less expensive if you bring it to them. 
No could do.  I tried that as the diagnostic for carry-in is $39.  They told me they could not accept it there as microhoods were too large for the shipping containers they use to send them to the repair center.

2) Most appliances have a cheat-sheet hidden in some relatively easy to find location on the appliance itself.  If your appliance has error codes, this sheet will reveal how to get it to report them and how to interpret them.
I was not aware of this, but I saw the repairman found it.  My unit did not have any error codes, it was completely dead.

3) Some small appliances are just not worth repairing.  Say anything that costs under $150.  Microwaves are right on the borderline, because the repair cost is often in excess of $150.
This unit retailed at $599.  Now, I never would have bought a six hundred dollar microwave on my own - I bought it at their outlet store for $249.

4) A quality microwave oven need not be expensive.  Check out Consumer Reports magazine at your local library or get the ratings online, in exchange for money naturally.

5) Here is a FREE article on the subject:


http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/microwave-ovens/reports/how-to-choose.htm?resultPageIndex=1&resultIndex=1&searchTerm=microwaves

6) Shop around.  A microwave manufactured offshore probably costs less than $55.00 to manufacture and land on US soil.  If you are paying more than $150 for a top of the line model, chances are you have not done enough legwork.  Also microwaves are now sold by consumer electronics stores which are fiercely competitive and harbor strong animosity towards each other.  Use this to your advantage.  Nothing motivates a Fry's manger better than "The guy at Best-Buy said you guys couldn’t touch this price, and dared me to leave his store"
Here I appear to be kind of stuck.  This microwave hood is a 36" model.  Very few are 36" wide, the overwhelming majority are 30".  Least expensive 36" unit is about $600.  Unless I want to run a 30" microwave and utilize a "filler kit" to take up the excess space.  If I do that, I'm still going to be spending about $300 by the time I get a unit and kit. Might be time to rethink this whole microhood situation.  I know that if I do decide to buy another inverter-equipped microhood so I can fit the space I DEFINITELY will spring for the $60 extended warranty.

Last edited on Wed May 24th, 2006 05:22 pm by Rob Stercraw

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2006 05:19 pm
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Rob Stercraw
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Well, I solved my problem, albeit in an odd manner.  After getting the shocking estimate from the repairman, I went off in search of a new inverter board.  Did find it on Sears' parts site for $176 ($50 cheaper than the repairman quoted me).  Still a little hesitant to spend $200 on an appliance I only paid $249 for in the first place so I decided to go looking on ebay for it since I now had the part number.

Didn't find the part, but I did find the same microwave, brand new in the box (but in "bisque" instead of black like mine) ending in less than an hour and the bidding was only at $18 (+$75 shipping).

Wound up winning it for $51 ($126 including shipping) which was probably because the seller had a horrible picture and a really vague description.

It arrived and I cautiously opened the box, expecting it to be heavily damaged or something...  The vent adapter packed in the top of the carton was bent all to heck - looked like something got dropped on the carton. :?

Oh well, at least I can salvage the inverter board...  Pull off the top styrofoam and what do you know, it's in PERFECT condition.  :) I guess someone opened the carton, saw the adapter all crunched and wrote the thing off.  It had never been out of the carton.

Plugged it in to test and it worked fine!  YES!!!:party:

Stripped the old black one down so I could swap the color keyed pieces to the new unit and decided to strip the good PC boards, magnetron and turntable motor out of the old one to keep as spares.  Got to the inverter board and found it had burned and started to melt the surrounding plastic.

Swapped the plastics to the new unit (decided to keep the bisque stuff as wife is talking about redoing the kitchen).  The only electrical connection I had to undo was the door.  Retested it after assembly and all is still well.  Now I have tons of spares and a working unit again!

Yes, I know that probably wasnt a factory authorized procedure, but it worked. :rocker:

If I wouldnt have lucked into the cheap parts, I probably would have thrown it away.

 

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 Posted: Fri Jun 30th, 2006 06:18 am
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iceman
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Rob,

Outstanding!

Samurai,

I think a significant promotion is in order here, don't you?

 



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 Posted: Mon Jul 17th, 2006 03:36 am
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grindit
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Hi Iceman-

Read your post with interest as I do have a countertop Panasonic Inverter Microwave Model NN-S760WA that I bought in late 2000.  It just died this week, so yes, it did last over 5 years.  It will turn on briefly but shut off after a 4-5 seconds, not enough to heat anything. 

I checked the interlock switches and they are OK, but that's about as far as I got.   It was a nice unit while it lasted.  Not knowing much about Inverter ovens, any diagnostic suggestions while I have the patient open prior to sending it to microwave heaven? 

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2006 03:58 pm
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Biannale
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:yikes:

Not so lucky (or erudite) as you, I have already disposed of the over the range GE XL1800 (circa 2000) with the broken door spring, repair estimate near $280.

So, what is the best replacement for me? Previously we cut out an over the range cabinet and (oh can you say fire hazard?) just placed the unit on the cut out.

Now I want a real install. I have 39" available, a top vent, and my 120 all ready. Really want a good ven fan.  Suggestions? Model number? Many thanks.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2006 06:46 am
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VXO
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What... no haiku for this thread yet?

Well then... behold:

Inverter Power
Seems like a good idea
Try New Square Wheels!

I had an Inverter microwave, which died a horrible death due to low line voltage. I was heating something up in it and didn't notice that our illustrious local electric monopoly, FPL, apparently thought the Magic Voltage for the day should be 80... the cooling fan stalled and the inverter and magnetron cooked.

FYI, if you ever have a magnetron failure or are junking an oven... grab a pair of pliers and bend the tabs to take it apart. You'll be able to extract the two ceramic ring magnets, which make AWESOME refrigerator magnets. They have impressive power, but are still large enough to grab to easily remove from the 'fridge... and they'll cheerfully support thick objects like calendars!

Hard disk drive magnets make similarly insane beer box magnets, but if you clunk one onto the fridge, you'll probably have to slide it to the edge to get it off. (Watch your fingers - pinch hazards exist with these...)

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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2006 10:46 pm
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Keinokuorma
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Hard disk drive magnets make similarly insane beer box magnets, but if you clunk one onto the fridge, you'll probably have to slide it to the edge to get it off. (Watch your fingers - pinch hazards exist with these...)
True, stepper servo magnets are really strong. Must give high torque with little electric power. So far managed to ruin a watch and cell phone, and pinch a nice 4 cm tear on my palm.



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 Posted: Sun Aug 13th, 2006 10:56 pm
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iceman
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Hey VXO,

Excellent Haiku.  Domo.

:D iceman



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 Posted: Sat Apr 19th, 2008 02:59 pm
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iceman
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Well, my venerable Jenn-air Microwave has given up the ghost after 16 years of faithful service (Model M167W June 1992).  So I went on Sears.ca to check out the current offerings.  Looks like some people never learn.  Most notably Panasonic product developers, and some unfortunate Sears customers. 

Here is the current crop of customer reviews for the Panasonic Model NNH965W or Sears Canada model number 223 619 298 on sears.ca.  Since the recycle charge is $39.00 anyways, why not use that money to ship the defective microwave back to Panasonic Canada instead, and put a note inside to let them know what you really think?  The address is:

Panasonic Canada Inc‎
5770 Ambler Dr, Mississauga, ON L4W 2T3
(905) 238-2296‎
 
or
 

Panasonic Canada Inc‎
12-2135 32 Avenue NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6Z3
(403) 769-6700‎
 
or

Panasonic Canada Inc‎
12111 Riverside Way, Richmond, BC V6W 1K8
(604) 278-4211‎
 
or for our colleagues in La Belle Provence:
 

Panasonic Canada Inc‎
3075 Louis A Amos, Lachine, QC H8T 1C4
(514) 633-8684‎
 
"Je me Souviens"
 
Panasonic: What a KEYSTONE-COP CLOWN SHOW!


Sears Canada: Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review:


Our second one in 2 years just caught fire!

Reviewer:  JON  from Marmora, Ontario


We have owned two of this model of Panasonic oven. After the first one blew oup 2 years ago, we figured we had bought a lemon, and Sears very nicely replaced it with apologies. Now this one just started smoking and would not run: it is now in the backyard because I didn't want the smoke alarms to go off. Wonderful big microwave, and we need a big one. But WHAT A PIECE OF GARBAGE this model is! Panasonic should be ashamed.





Piece of Junk

Reviewer:    from


Had this for a year as well. Magnetron blew causing the inside to burn. Under warranty yes for magnetron but the labor is as much as a new unit. Stay away from panasonic microwaves. Not even worth one star as well





Do Not Purchase This Microwave

Reviewer:    from


My husband I bought this with all of our saved up gift cards and within eight months it had a burnt out fuse. 45 days after the 2 year warranty expired the magnatron blew up. We were charged $39.95 to be told the magnatron blew up then quoted another $198 plus tax to fix. Then another $39 to dispose of it. It is a lemon and not worth even one star.



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 Posted: Sun Apr 20th, 2008 02:55 am
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Changed too many of those boards in my long ago Sears days , never bought one ..Cheep G.E. with no bells will do just fine . Only want hot food and hot coffee as required...:)

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 Posted: Sun Apr 20th, 2008 11:02 pm
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Yes, as a matter of fact I have a NNT790SC which entered my world Sep 14, 2002, which makes it 5 years, 7 months and 6 days old. BUT...

A couple of weeks ago it lost some virility. I'd guess it is producing about 50% of normal power. And two or three times it has turned itself off a few seconds after starting. Also, it has a touch of droop. The top hinge has play in it and the door, when closed, is slightly raised at the right end. This renders the door open button ineffective unless one pushes the door down before pushing the button.

I think we are stuck with replacing like with like, because it is stainless and built into the cabinetry with a Panasonic stainless trim kit, steel tray and venting kit that I hope still fits a current Pana. I do not feel like buying another kit.

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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 01:08 am
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iceman
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Hi Grey Shrek,

Thanks for confirming the worst-case scenario.  I agree with you,  I bought a GE.  Don't tell Moostafa.  I just needed a countertop with a trim kit, and once you rule out Panasonic, very few large countertops fit the bill.

Hi Goosegog,

Don't do it man!   If you don't believe me, and Grey Shrek, read the litany of comments on this web page:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/3765/panasonic_12_cu_ft_inverter_microwave.html

Also, the Sears salesman just told me that Sears will no longer offer the "Extended Warranty Plan" for counter top microwaves.

Finally, check out the warranty on the top-of-the-line stainless Panasonic from Sears.ca.  Model 223 619 073 for $379.99:  One year!

Why do you think that is?

Heck I would rather ignore the sacred pearls of the Samurai:

"General appliance rule of thumb: Avoid GE like the West Nile Virus. If you read Consumer Reports and they recommend a GE product, crumple up that page and use it for toilet paper 'cause that's all it's worth. Despite horrendous quality problems, outrageous markups on repair parts, and a damn-near universal agreement among appliance servicers that today's GE appliances SUCK out loud, people keep buying GE and so the freak show continues. Ok, with that out the way..." (Found in http://fixitnow.com/2003/09/mailbag-appliance-brand.htm)

than buy a Panasonic Inverter Microwave!

Last edited on Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 01:09 am by iceman



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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 01:57 am
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Thanks for the response, Iceman. I take it to heart, especially as the salesman at Future Shop told me they take a lot of Panas back for warranty repair. But really, for $100-200 isn't all this stuff going to be crap?

 Anyway I took the thing apart and fixed the droop. The top hinge was bent, that was it. I had a good look inside for burnt connections or evidence of heat and found nothing. It is very clean. I removed and cleaned the ribbon cable connection to the controller board and reseated all other connections. We'll see if it makes any difference.

Re the cabinet kit: I have to stick with the same H x W opening or buy a new kit, and they are expensive (about the same cost as a mid-size microwave in fact.) The air duct part is sheet metal that guides cool air in through the front grille into slots on the left side. The air gets blown out the back by the fan and finds its way out through the rest off the grille. Not being a sheet metal worker I probably could not fabricate something for a different style of oven even if the front dimensions fit. But it's tempting.

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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 03:15 am
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iceman
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Hi Goosegog,

I wonder if the new ones just vent out a slot by the door. My old Jenn-air did that.  I am about to find out, becuase I bought one and a trim kit to go with it. Sorry, they don't come in Stainless.  Sears 223 619 472  GE PEBB206CDN

And yes, the trim kits are pricey.



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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 05:16 am
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Iceman, Pana's website shows what models (old and new) the various trim kits fit. There are two current stainless models that fit the 30" kit that I have.

Big Rock? I can guess where you are!

Last edited on Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 05:17 am by Goosegog

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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 04:18 pm
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iceman
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Hi GG,

OK, good luck with that dude.  BTW I used to drink XOS made with water fresh out of Cleveland Dam.  But that was a long time, and a continetal divide ago.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 04:02 pm
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jwj2357
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friend has one that slows and makes noise, told it is probably the magnetron, going to check that. not getting very good info on these. ive had microwaves stop working but normally its a melted connector on the magnetron.  this model is a nn-h665bf inverter written on outside of mocrowave. ughhh!  bugs me that a company would find this acceptable. another thing is how do they sell a microwave for under 200 bucks then it dies and you need say a transformer that sells for 300.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 22nd, 2009 09:09 pm
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iceman
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Marketing is slick
Product fire in the market
Keep on selling it!



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