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Microwaves - Why Don't They Blow Up?


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#1 Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 17:04

So, I was asked by a colleague at work today why don't microwaves automatically blow up?

 

We all know that putting a metal object in a microwave will cause sparks and eventually a BOOM, but the inside of the microwave is already metal, so why isn't this happening anyway?

 

Is it because the inside of the microwave is earthed?

 

If so, are you saying if I got a metal spoon, attached it to a wire and then to the side of the microwave, it would be okay?




#2 Xilo

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 17:13

Heavy metal inside the microwave acts as a mirror and can stand the electrical currents generated. Thin metal or metal that isn't flat/smooth can't withstand the currents, so they end up exploding or generate sparks.



#3 vcfan

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 17:21

im pretty sure if you put a spoon in the microwave, you will be just fine. now if you put a fork in there, that's a completely different story. its not that you cant put metal in the microwave, hell the inside of the microwave is all metal. its the size and shape of the metal. pointy edged metal objects(like forks) can act like wires or electrical contacts,and arcing can occur. those are the sparks that you see,and that's how you can set your oven on fire.



#4 srbeen

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 17:22

They are making micro-waves to heat the food. the holes are made so the waves created cannot escape when in use but allows you to see in. Glass would just radiate on you, instead of the food. Not sure of the frequency it uses, but it works based off a magnetron radar system, which I did learn about but forget. Read up on it and see how the functional design works and you'll get your answer.

 

Metal in the cavity of the magnetron, connected to itself (shorted/grounded/metal touching metal creates a host of huge issues causing things to spark and burn as everythings thrown out the window. If the metal is NOT touching anything in the microwave its OK. I had an over-the-range hood that had a metal rack in it. It worked great until a plastic rack clip broke off and arced to the metal casing and left a nice burn mark.. Also the frequency it uses would relate to pointy metal objects like forks or twist ties, which may act like an antenna and try to pick up that 1000W or 1500W transmission your micro-wave is essentially making.



#5 Rohdekill

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 17:27

Your cell phone or tablet has no problems in a microwave, either.



#6 +D. FiB3R

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 17:34

 

Not answered directly, but it seems obvious that you don't wan't those waves bouncing all over the place.



#7 HawkMan

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 18:02

, which may act like an antenna and try to pick up that 1000W or 1500W transmission your micro-wave is essentially making.


1000-1500W? That's one industrial size microwave ;)

#8 rfirth

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 18:14

1000-1500W? That's one industrial size microwave ;)

 

What? No... that's correct.



#9 NightScreams

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 18:15

You know the little piece of metal colored cardboard on the right hand side, inside the microwave? there is a hole underneath of it that tunnels towards the back. I have had sparks and popping right there before with burn marks on the cover piece, my previous MW got so bad with it doing that constantly that I had to throw it out. Got a new one and it happened one time so far. It pops loud enough that I thought it was gonna blow.

Anyone know what the problem is with that?



#10 HawkMan

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:34

What? No... that's correct.


Microwaves are generally 600-700W, 800 for the extra powerful ones, though you should never need more than 700.

#11 rfirth

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:44

Microwaves are generally 600-700W, 800 for the extra powerful ones, though you should never need more than 700.

 

According to Wikipedia... the average consumer microwave is 1100 watts, to produce 700 watts of microwave power.

So, do you mean input, or output?



#12 HawkMan

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:59

According to Wikipedia... the average consumer microwave is 1100 watts, to produce 700 watts of microwave power.
So, do you mean input, or output?


Maybe you should read the post I replied to ? The one claiming it's making a 1000-1500W "transmission".

#13 Hum

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 22:02

Mine always does when I add Nitroglycerin. :huh:



#14 +tonyjr

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 22:29

According to Wikipedia... the average consumer microwave is 1100 watts, to produce 700 watts of microwave power.

So, do you mean input, or output?

Mine is 1100W output. Always have to calculate the required time as most food has times for 800W on the instructions.



#15 rfirth

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 23:00

Maybe you should read the post I replied to ? The one claiming it's making a 1000-1500W "transmission".

 

In that case you are, of course, absolutely correct.





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