Faulty microwave

Hi Phil,

Just got back from spending family time. I’ve kept a diary of dates and times I’ve interacted with the manager after a phone call, and I’m good with remembering conversations. I also took my son with me each time I went into the store, so I have a backup for recall. I will take your advice and write it all down from the very beginning to the next phone call. The third time I returned to the store was to return the ‘repaired’ microwave was 4/6/20 at 11am. Have not heard back yet. Believe I should give them a call tomorrow,as 2 weeks should be enough time, and Friday is his day off.


It’s certainly sounding like enough is enough @helenws. You may find asking for the managers work email so you can confirm your requirements is helpful. You may already have it. Perhaps the manager’s memory is perfect but different.

It’s only my experience to go by but, some business managers will say what ever is necessary to spin out resolution. Many of us just give up. The store wins. There is plenty of great advice from others. Until you place a written document (email) per the previous advice on how to follow the ACL you have less chance of success.

I will not bore you with consumer tales. We have most recently (<10yrs) dealt with for warranty, in order of increasing pain - Hervey Norman, a Water Treatment Supplier, Bunnings, Westnet, Apple, Godfreys, Myer/FitBit, Lighting/Fan Supplier, and the fabulous NBN Co.

There may be surprises in the order of the list, or not.

There is no need to speculate on what might be Technically causing the fault with the microwave. If it is noisy compared to a store display model, and it trips the power at home should be enough. This assumes that the circuit breaker and or earth leakage at home is not faulty. A light dimming noticeably during operation is as others have commented potentially symptom of a serious fault. If it is just dimmer all the time there may be a different issue.

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Thank you for your advice Mark. The store’s website provided an email address, which the manager had read and responded to by phone.

Also, to clarify, I had stated the light was dim. You said it may be a different issue. Can you clarify please, as I’m stumped as to why a good brand of microwave I’ve used in the past would behave this way?

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It could be a faulty power supply providing insufficient voltage to the light (hence dimmer than the norm), or without seeing it another possibility is the original observation may have been with a faulty power supply providing too much voltage (hence brighter than the norm), hence the light may have been brighter than it should have been and now it is right?

There are myriad electronics parts that can affect it such as bad resistors or capacitors that are part of the microwave’s internal power supply and control board, as well as regulators and other ‘chips’. Sometimes the repair replaces the symptoms but never identifies the underlying cause. Years ago a TV manufacturer kept replacing parts until the warranty expired (in the USA); they refused to troubleshoot why it kept failing; I eventually learned from others it was almost certainly a power supply ‘killing’ the part they kept replacing. Over there at the time there was no way around them. Post warranty it went to the tip when it broke yet again :frowning: Even now out of warranty TV repairs are usually not cost effective, and sometimes not even possible.

It would most likely be because something in it is not functioning as it should. eg it is broken and needs repair or replacement.

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Hopefully this latest repair solved the problem


I hope so too and they give it a good once over and it comes back as good as new. A good microwave should give a user many years of service life. …I would expect around 10+ years for a mid-range brand of reasonable quality.


Without having further technical details of how the model of microwave has been designed it is an open question. For example the light may be supplied directly off the household 230V or be a low voltage light connected to a power supply. Two very different scenarios.

The microwave will have a low voltage supply (a few Watts) for the display and controller. It will also have a high voltage generator (Thousands of volts and high power hundreds of watts per the nominal microwave power rating) for the magnetron. The two may have some components in common. The light bulb as I said before may not rely on either.

There are a list of possibilities for the observed condition and just not those discussed so far. It should not make any difference what we think is wrong technically. Some explanations are more likely than others.

Our range hood goes dim. It’s easy to fix. It has two bulbs. It says one has failed. I’m not suggesting that is your cause. It is just an illustration that until we have 100% of the details and facts, there is a risk we are jumping to the wrong conclusions. The dim light may have a cause related to a fault elsewhere in the microwave. It may be a “red herring” and have nothing to do with any genuine fault. EG perhaps the first repair found the bulb failed and replaced it with one to hand that was a lower wattage.

The Microwave also has a small motor for the turntable and another for the exhaust fan. Either of these could be faulty, causing noise and your power to trip on earth leakage. Modern houses can have a circuit breaker in each circuit that integrates overload and earth leakage protection.

I’ve added some technical content that may not be complete or reliable in your instance. It is not relevant to resolution unless you have an alternate competent microwave repair technician provide an independent assessment.

I’m politely suggesting it is best to relate to what you can prove.

It has been suggested previously. Take return of the microwave at the Good Guys store. You could also insist they put it on the counter or tech bar bench and use it to boil a cup of water. If it is still faulty you can all see the nature of the fault, including if you notice, the dimness of the internal lighting. The Good Guys repairer should have advised what fault was found and how the microwave was repaired.

If it is not right you have the ACL on your side.

Hi guys,

Its a while since we last chatted, however, I have good news regarding the last repair.

When I finally spoke to the manager, he said the microwave was ready for pick up. When I arrived he had a huge grin on his face and stated the problem was with the light unit being faulty and not providing full voltage to the light, subsequently causing the sparking noise as well.

He plugged it in, the noise was gone, and the light worked properly. I thanked him, returned home, and have used the microwave as usual since then without a problem.

There was an ‘smell’ for the first few weeks when I used it that reminded me of a replacement part in a car, for example, when it was first used. The smell finally went and I have waited to see if there was any problem with the new part, but it seems to have settled in OK, so I am writing to say a huge thank you for all the time you have spent with me on this. Fingers crossed, I hope it continues to behave like it should.

You have been a huge help to this consumer, and I greatly appreciate it.

Keep up the good work, and thanks again.

Cheers, Helen