Microwave safety question

  Pineman100 18:50 16 Jan 2008

I suppose this isn't strictly a digital question, but does anyone know anything about microwave ovens?

My daughter recently bought a new microwave. Today, she was microwaving something in the oven for about 5 minutes. After it had finished she opened the bread bin which stands on top of the microwave, to find that the loaf of bread was warm and a bit crisp - giving every indication that it had been affected by the microwave radiation.

The top surface of the microwave was not warm, so this clearly wasn't radiated heat.

Do you think the microwave radiation is leaking dangerously?

  Stuartli 19:50 16 Jan 2008

You shouldn't put anything on top of a microwave.

The case can/will get hot and some models, especially those with a built-in grill, have ventilation slots on the top of the machine as well as on the sides.

Any outlet able to repair microwaves has to have a device which can read any unwanted radiation levels (it has to be recalibrated on an annual basis), so it could be worth having the microwave checked out.

However, if it's new, probably better to change it for a different model rather than waste money on such a check.

  BT 07:50 17 Jan 2008

Micrtowave leakage detector from Maplins far £4.49

click here

  Pineman100 08:40 17 Jan 2008

Thanks for that advice. Are you really telling me that all microwaves should be checked and calibrated annually?

If so, I think ours may be a little overdue - we've had it for 12 years and it's never been done.


BT - thanks for the link.

  Pineman100 08:41 17 Jan 2008

Having re-read your post, perhaps you were saying that the radiation detector has to be recalibrated?

  Stuartli 10:40 17 Jan 2008


The check, in fact, ensures that any readings taken are accurate and, if necessary, the meter is adjusted. A certificate is issued by the test centre to prove the device's worthiness.

Compare it to a car's MOT certificate.

  Pineman100 14:26 17 Jan 2008

Thanks for that confirmation!

Just referring back to my daughter's situation, I note your comment that nothing should be put on top of a microwave. That being the case, would you regard what happened to her bread as normal and acceptable?

  keef66 16:01 17 Jan 2008

most of the heat coming out of our microwave seems to be as hot air out of the back; could the bread bin have been heated this way?

  Stuartli 16:35 17 Jan 2008

Most likely to occur if the microwave has ventilation slots in the top of the case; mine has them because it has a grill feature.

The important thing is to keep all ventilation slots clear - modern microwaves are pretty powerful...:-)

  Pineman100 17:12 17 Jan 2008

Your help and advice is much appreciated. I'll have a stern chat with daughter!

  amonra 17:19 17 Jan 2008

Microwave radiation does not travel through sheet metal, so it is virtually impossible for any radiation to leak from the oven and then into the breadbin. If there was enough energy to do that then the kitchen and it's occupants would start to glow in the dark !!!

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