Thursday, July 11, 2013

Doggone Electrician

My microwave died.

I tried all the old tricks to get it going again. It's from 1993 and still plowing along even though it needs a new lightbulb that one of these days I will get around to procuring.

It seems like the prior owners quit washing it out. Or maybe they never used a splatter guard. Or both. I've tried loads of products to get it clean and sanitized. The outside looks lovely, but the inside is not so pretty. But it works.

Well, it used to.

I reset the GFI breaker for the RV, which is curiously located in the bathroom.  Oddly enough, this has fixed the microwave before. Now everything worked but the microwave. Sometimes when you take something out close to the end time, the number display goes blank instead of telling time. Usually I can push a few  buttons and it springs to life again. I tried to set the time. Nothing. I tried to cook. Nothing. I opened and shut the door. Nothing. The screen was blank. With the lightbulb dead, there is no way to tell if it has electricity or not.

Even though I avoid junk food, I rely on my microwave heavily. It steams fresh vegetables retaining far more nutrients than any other cooking method. It boils pasta perfectly without making a mess. It also boils water for my endless iced green tea I love. I can make delicious iced green tea for only 37 cents per gallon. The microwave poaches eggs exquisitely and even makes boiled eggs without the shell.  It also heats up my leftovers. Since I live alone, I often cook up extras, so I have leftovers that only require reheating.

Click Here to Look Inside
Not Your Mother's Microwave Cookbook: Fresh, Delicious, and Wholesome Main Dishes, Snacks, Sides, Desserts, and More

In the summer, it's especially nice to avoid the propane stove and the heat it generates.  So all in all, I find it a tad difficult to live without my microwave. Besides, when I workamp, my electricity is provided for me, where as my propane is not. So it's another budget consideration. Ditto in the winter, my electricity is generally included in my rent.

So far I have not found any winter workamping in a warmer climate that doesn't require heavy labor. Last year my winter workamping just about did me in completely. If it hadn't have been for the help of angels, I would have never survived.  Their idea of "light housekeeping" around the campground turned out to be heavy duty labor fit for an 18 year old body builder. But I digress...

I was miffed my microwave wouldn't magically spring back to life in spite of the brand name mocking me in the face.  It's a "Magic Chef" going strong 19 years.

Always check everything before considering the worst.

A friend of mine was nearly hysterical one day because he came home to a dead computer. This was back when they were frighteningly expensive and few people had one in their home.  He immediately found a technician to come to his home. A large repair bill later he found out his computer was merely unplugged.

He had no idea how his precious computer became unplugged. So his playful dog and cat were blamed for this mystery.

Today, I asked my dog:
"Harley?  Did you unplug the microwave?"

He stared at me and didn't say a word.

I can't check the outlet the microwave is plugged into, because it is hidden behind the microwave which is built-in so it doesn't go flying around when I drive. I would have to figure out how to remove the microwave from the wall to check the plug, so I rechecked the breaker box again just for good measure.

I was puzzled because I had not used the microwave to trip a breaker. But the breaker was off. Very strange. Even stranger because I was sure it was on earlier.

It was off, and I wondered how and why. Then I remembered.  The dog did it.

Blame it on the dog.

The electric panel box is vertical with bottom hinged door. It's below the dinette booth. Harley dog likes to hop up and sit on the booth seat. He, like most dogs, has not forgiven me for removing the wall to wall carpet. So he sits on all the furniture. Since he is less than 7 pounds, this is safer all around as he doesn't get stepped on or tripped over.  He doesn't shed and I try to keep him clean or at least smelling nice. I wipe his feet when we come back from a walk.

The first time I checked the breaker, it was ON. But I left the breaker box door dropped down in the open position.

At some point Harley dog flew up on the booth and missed, landing back in the floor. I thought that meant his bladder was overly full, so I took him for a walk. He usually flies up on the furniture effortlessly as if he has invisible wings.

At the time he missed, the electric panel box was still open. But I took him for a walk, figuring the microwave would magically repair itself in my absence. We had a nice walk but Harley wasn't in a hurry to water the bushes. I was puzzled about why he missed his leap up on the settee.

As I now discovered, his little back foot must have kicked the microwave breaker off when he was trying to leap up on the seat while avoiding the open breaker box door.


I flipped the breaker back on.

Whew! The microwave works fine now thanks to my doggone electrician.


  1. Couldn't happen without him :)))))) Glad you figured it out.

    The Troutman

  2. Glad Harley fixed it for you! For cleaning out the inside, the best trick I ever learned was put a small bowl with 1 cup water and 1/4 cup lemon juice inside, microwave it for 5 minutes and let it sit with the door closed for another 5 minutes or so, most all the crud will wipe right out with a damp cloth, and it leaves it smelling pretty fresh as well.

  3. Oh thank goodness! I use my microwave a lot too! Did you know they have fuses in them somewhere? I didn't know that till I put one out to the curb one time & someone stopped & told me about it. Do you use a surge protector on your RV? Mine has saved my RV quite a few times. I wonder if you can get a Harley Surge protector? ;-)


Life is goof!