A Free Microwave Oven
Sent: Thursday, 17 November 2016 11:51 AM
To: Facilities Management
Cc: Get it on Record
Subject: Old Microwave
Hi Facilities Management,
Could Get it on Record please take the old microwave that was replaced on Level x - as he is a technician and highly interested in the technical aspect of disassembling for a project of his.
From: Facilities Management
Sent: Thursday, 17 November 2016 12:18 PM
Subject: RE: Old Microwave
Sent: Thursday, 17 November 2016 12:19
To: Get it on Record
Subject: FW: Old Microwave
Samsung MW123ST Microwave Oven
Consumption 1550 W
Output 1000 W
Made in Malaysia
Oven Cavity Dimensions 368 (W) X 239 (H) X 396 (D)
= 34.828992 litre cavity
The other day I noticed one of two microwave ovens in my workplace lunchroom was missing. A day or two later I spotted it sitting on a chair in a corner with a note from a colleague who is the Health & Safety representative taped to the top, minus the later ball-point annotation (See left).
I checked it out and found it was indeed peeling paint from the top of the chamber. I didn't think it would take much to clean it up, and resolved to see what happened when a new one arrived.
It took Management about a week or so for the complicated task of buying a replacement unit and installing it. I noted the remaining machine was getting a bit of a work-out, and felt quite hot to touch when I grabbed it once to re-align it on the shelf.
A few days after the new machine arrived, the old one was still sitting forlornly on its chair. My guess for situations like this is that eventually someone would need the chair, and the unit would go on the floor. Then a cleaner would bash it with a floor polisher or someone would trip over it and dent or break it. Then someone would ask, "What's this piece of broken junk kicking around here for?" and to the dumper it would go.
To forestall this unnecessarily wasteful outcome, I approached Reception and asked if they could tell me who was responsible for the microwaves in the lunchroom, as I was interested in recovering the old one, even if only for some interesting parts, like the magnets from the magnetron. The receptionist was really on the ball, and fired off a creatively worded email. I annotated the notice, and awaited a reply, which was prompt, brief and welcome. (See Left)
I gleefully moved the unit to sit by my desk, and a few days later when I was able to park in the same building, transferred it to my car for carriage home.
Once I got it home I did a bit of internet research on whether the chamber lining was particularly special, and found that although you can get paint sold especially for the purpose, there is no problem with just using ordinary paint. You can test a small patch by putting a few cups of water in, and running it on high for 5 mins or so. If the paint gets hot or browns, it is not suitable.
The paint is not even necessary, it is mostly just cosmetic, to give that nice shiny white appearance people have come to expect for kitchen appliances.
I confirmed no harm is done if you invert the unit to make it easier to clean the top of the chamber.
I managed to find and download the not-very-surprising User Manual.
I also learned you can map the hot and cold spots in the chamber, caused by the way microwaves bounce around and distribute the energy unevenly: - Map Your Microwave Oven.
Even better, I learned you can even Melt Glass In A Microwave!
(Don't try this at home, folks!)
A few searches also confirmed the technique for cleaning gunk from the chamber is boiling some water, adding vinegar or lemon juice if you like, for a few minutes, leaving a while before opening. The steam softens everything and you can just easily wipe out with a sponge.
After the boiling water trick, I made a little scraper from a wooden ice-cream stick, and cleared off all the paint not firmly attached. The wood is hard enough to do this, but not hard enough to damage the underlying metal.
After a good general clean, I stopped to photograph the results. After a bit of deliberation I decided there was no real need to do more. The missing paint is not visible, and I don't think it really matters. I will keep an eye on it and maybe reconsider paint if there is further evidence of more peeling.
I think that unlikely as, unlike the original culprits who caused the damage by using the oven without covering stuff, I always cover things, and seldom need to clean my existing unit.
A perfectly usable 1kW 34 litre Microwave Oven, for free!
A new Samsung 1kW model costs about NZ$ 270!
I asked my daughter if she could use the oven, she suggested donating it to the Women's Refuge. Dropped it off today, with a printout of the User Manual pdf I downloaded.