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Old 03-07-2014, 09:18 PM   #1
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2nd microwave broken in 2 year old RV

Last year we bought a 1 year old RV and during the final walk through at the dealership the mechanic turned on the microwave just to find it not working.

He was genuinely surprised, and insisted that it had worked before. He replaced it with a new microwave from a new RV.

We took the RV south for 2 weeks and used the microwave about 30 times or so.

During our last night on this trip the microwave failed. It would not come on. Dead as a door nail.

When I connected our RV to the outlet electricity would not flow. The microwave was always our indicator that we are connected. Instead the surge protector flashed through various error coding. Mostly that the voltage is too high (if I remember correctly). It wasn't that new to me. That surge protector seemed overly protective and sometimes it needed time to let the juices flow.

This occurred at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington. I remember that I had some trouble at this park on the way down south as well. But ultimately it came on.

What happened is not quite clear but I had the feeling it connected first and then broke down. My wife heard a popping sound from the microwave and that was it (my wife was inside). After that nothing would work as long as the surge protector was connected.

After switching outlets and reconnecting again and again, I finally got fed up and removed the surge protector and plugged our RV directly to the 30amp outlet without protection. All came on and was fine, the fridge, the water heater and the lights, except for the microwave.

I always first connect the cable to the outlet via our super-duper and expensive surge protector and then switch on the circuit breaker.

---

I did look around the internet to see if other RVers have similar problems with their microwaves, instead I find that most microwaves seem to outlast the RVs they are installed in.

Back at home, before bringing the RV back to the storage place, I plugged the RV into one of the garage outlets, and used the surge protector again. Everything was working: the surge protector, the lights, the fridge - but not the microwave

Summary:
The microwave doesn't work. Not even over outlets in our home. This is the second unit that broke after light use.
The microwave has always been protected through our surge protector only after it was already dead did I remove the surge protector.

Do we have an electrical problem or just bad luck with the microwaves?

I'm about to buy a new unit within the next weeks, since I couldn't find a circuit breaker on the microwave and I can't imagine an easy fix.

The electrical world is almost magical to me. I have no clue how you can put the sun into a bottle. So better use small words when you reply.

Thank you for your time and help.
Martin

PS 50 AMP 5th Wheel, 2012 Jayco Superlight 31.5 RLTS. Surge protector from Progressive Industries, EMS-PT50C

BTW> Do I have to contact Progressive Industries and sent them the surge protector to do something to it before setting out again? Like having them reset it? It was working fine from the garage on low amps.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschuchert View Post
Last year we bought a 1 year old RV and during the final walk through at the dealership the mechanic turned on the microwave just to find it not working.

He was genuinely surprised, and insisted that it had worked before. He replaced it with a new microwave from a new RV.

We took the RV south for 2 weeks and used the microwave about 30 times or so.

During our last night on this trip the microwave failed. It would not come on. Dead as a door nail.

When I connected our RV to the outlet electricity would not flow. The microwave was always our indicator that we are connected. Instead the surge protector flashed through various error coding. Mostly that the voltage is too high (if I remember correctly). It wasn't that new to me. That surge protector seemed overly protective and sometimes it needed time to let the juices flow.

This occurred at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington. I remember that I had some trouble at this park on the way down south as well. But ultimately it came on.

What happened is not quite clear but I had the feeling it connected first and then broke down. My wife heard a popping sound from the microwave and that was it (my wife was inside). After that nothing would work as long as the surge protector was connected.

After switching outlets and reconnecting again and again, I finally got fed up and removed the surge protector and plugged our RV directly to the 30amp outlet without protection. All came on and was fine, the fridge, the water heater and the lights, except for the microwave.

I always first connect the cable to the outlet via our super-duper and expensive surge protector and then switch on the circuit breaker.

---

I did look around the internet to see if other RVers have similar problems with their microwaves, instead I find that most microwaves seem to outlast the RVs they are installed in.

Back at home, before bringing the RV back to the storage place, I plugged the RV into one of the garage outlets, and used the surge protector again. Everything was working: the surge protector, the lights, the fridge - but not the microwave

Summary:
The microwave doesn't work. Not even over outlets in our home. This is the second unit that broke after light use.
The microwave has always been protected through our surge protector only after it was already dead did I remove the surge protector.

Do we have an electrical problem or just bad luck with the microwaves?

I'm about to buy a new unit within the next weeks, since I couldn't find a circuit breaker on the microwave and I can't imagine an easy fix.

The electrical world is almost magical to me. I have no clue how you can put the sun into a bottle. So better use small words when you reply.

Thank you for your time and help.
Martin

PS 50 AMP 5th Wheel, 2012 Jayco Superlight 31.5 RLTS. Surge protector from Progressive Industries, EMS-PT50C

BTW> Do I have to contact Progressive Industries and sent them the surge protector to do something to it before setting out again? Like having them reset it? It was working fine from the garage on low amps.
Hi,
AC power isn't that complicated if you understand the basics. Your coach has a two 50 AMP circuits at 125VAC to neutral and 250VAC from each hot leg to the other. Many things can be wrong with park AC power such as:
High voltage on either leg (over 130 VAC)
Open neutral
Low voltage on either leg (less than 100 VAC)
Reversed polarity i.e. neutral and line swapped
Unexpected high voltage surges

Your EMS-PT50C can detect and protect against High voltage, low voltage, reversed polarity and unexpected surges. How it works is by cutting off power to the coach if it detects an unsafe condition.

In some cases when you plug in the coach the inrush current causes a momentary voltage sag depending on what you have on in the coach and what other park users are doing. Resetting the unit will cause it to recheck for safe power and may allow power to flow if safe. What may have happened is you had encountered high voltage which burned out the microwave. Trust the power protection you paid for and don't plug into the pedestal if it is unsafe. Talk with park management if you need to.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #3
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Michael,
Thank you for your reply.

What I don't understand is that the microwave burned out WITH the surge protector connected.

But I don't think the surge protector is at fault, because it happened at the dealership as well. (or something happened there -)

I'm about to order a new microwave and my question is, will it last through this year or even a month of camping?

You wrote: "Resetting the unit will cause it to recheck for safe power and may allow power to flow if safe. "
I assume this means, I have to send it to Progressive. It's nothing I can do myself, like a reset bottom at the computer.

Thanks again,
Martin
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:52 AM   #4
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My microwave is plugged into a 120VAC Receptacle up on top of my kitchen cabinet. It is also shared with the refrigator fan...

You problem almost sound like a GFCI problem maybe with the rece[tacle.

Can you find where your microwave unit is plugged into a 120VAC receptacle and make sure that receptacle has 120VAC coming out of the contacts...

Might be as simple as resetting a 120VAC GFCI type receptacle in the kitchen area.

My microwave has the standard 120VAC cord on it and I can plug that into an extension cord comming from a good 120VAC source for a check.

Roy ken
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:01 AM   #5
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My father had an issue with microwaves in his last TT.... he actually had 3 microwaves burn in the span of 2 years.... they were all replaced under warranty... but no one could explain...one day he started looking at it.... he found out that his enclosed microwave was getting the cabinets really warm.

So he drilled a hole inside the cabinet to the side of the microwave and installed a computer fan which he would plug in the microwave electrical outlet each time he would be using it... he never again had to replace a microwave!
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschuchert View Post
Michael,
Thank you for your reply.

What I don't understand is that the microwave burned out WITH the surge protector connected.

But I don't think the surge protector is at fault, because it happened at the dealership as well. (or something happened there -)

I'm about to order a new microwave and my question is, will it last through this year or even a month of camping?

You wrote: "Resetting the unit will cause it to recheck for safe power and may allow power to flow if safe. "
I assume this means, I have to send it to Progressive. It's nothing I can do myself, like a reset bottom at the computer.

Thanks again,
Martin
I would reset the surge suppressor by switching off the breaker at the pedestal and then turning it back on. Momentary partial contact of the pins can cause low voltage depending on what you have turned on in the coach. From reading your story above I thought you said that you bypassed the surge suppressor and plugged directly into the pedestal when it did not work.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:15 PM   #7
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You can buy a cheap 120 v.a.c. test meter at lowes for around 10 to 15 bucks.
I would test that outlet to see if MW is getting 110 to 120 volts.
Remember that low voltage can burn something up as well as to much voltage.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:25 PM   #8
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Several thoughts

1. I don't own a surge protector, but I do carry a voltmeter and a voltage detector with us wherever we go. Before connecting to any power supply on a trip, I first check polarity of the receptacle with the detector and then the voltage. I would not connect if the polarity was reversed or if the voltage was out of range (115-125). I've never encountered a problem in 2 years, but it pays to be safe.

2. We know of several campers that had "microwave" problems that turned out to be the plug had simply vibrated loose during transit.

3. Microwaves are notorious for tripping GFIC outlets. If your camper has one, on the microwave circuit, that may be the problem. Your microwave probably plugs into an outlet buried in the cabinet, so try connecting the plug to an extension cord to a known good power source.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:00 PM   #9
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I have seen low voltage in many parks I have plugged into.
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Old setup:
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:12 PM   #10
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The word "coincidence" doesn't exist in my vocabulary. The surge protector will protect you from voltage problems with power coming into the trailer, but after that does nothing. Something is taking out those microwaves. I would suspect a loose connection at the converter(circuit breaker creating an arc(voltage spike) and taking out the electronic board if the MW has one, a loose connection at the outlet where it plugs into, or a misfired outlet. It is not a bad ground. Electrical equipment will run fine without one.
The MW is not going to be wired to a GFCI. That is only for outlets that are located outside or in close proximity to a water source. Low voltage is a possibility and unless you have been pugged into only one power source for two years, I would look for a trailer related problem. Check the prong end of your shore power cable. if it is burned, that can drop voltage creating a high current condition.
At any rate, I would not install another microwave until the problem is fixed.
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