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Old 03-07-2014, 10:05 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 surprised and insisted that it had worked before. He replaced it with a new microwave from a new RV.

Recently we took the RV south for 2 weeks and used the microwave about 50 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. Our surge protector seems 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 to me anymore 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.
EMS-PT50C


---

I did look around the internet a little to see if other RVers have similar problems with their microwaves, instead I find that many microwaves seem to outlast their RVs.

At my garage, before bringing the RV back to the storage place, I plugged the RV into an outlet, and used the surge protector again. Everything was working: the surge protector, the lights, the fridge - but not the microwave.

I took the microwave out and tried an outlet at the garage and the house to see if this miraculously revives it. It didn't.

Summary:
The microwave doesn't work. 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 thank you for using small words in your reply.

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? I read that some people are doing this. I would prefer not to, due to the trouble, and it was working fine from the garage on low amps.

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

PPS I'm new to iRV2 and I'm not sure I hit the right forum with my question.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:09 AM   #2
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Hi Martin,

I suspect a low voltage problem. Here's why: Appliances run on POWER. Power is the combination of voltage and current. If the voltage supplied is low, the appliance will suck more current (amps) out of the supply to make up for the low voltage. (It wants to run on the same amount of power...not less). It is current that makes things burn out because too much current equals too much heat, equals burned out appliance. Check the voltage coming in. If it's too low, you will have your answer. Campgrounds are famous for providing sketchy power and strange wiring.
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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Full.Monte
Thank you for your reply.

The surge protector has a low voltage function. Shouldn't have that protected the microwave?

I'm not sure what to do next. I will buy a new microwave and I hope it will last longer than 6 months.

If this expensive surge protector from Progressive doesn't help than I don't know what would. Unless there is some indoor household protector that I could plug in where the microwave is plugged in.

Thanks,
Martin
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:02 PM   #4
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If I read your comment correctly...your EMS kept faulting and NOT allowing power to the coach as it detected problems, yet you turned it off and allowed the power in anyway??

If that's the case, there's your answer...allowing bad power, i.e., low voltage, high voltage, etc....fried the microwave...you're lucky that's all that fried...
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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Do you remember what fault code was flashing? I keep all codes on a plastic card in the compartment with the EMS. If you call Progressive, a tech can walk you through some diagnosis to see if the EMS needs service. They are very helpful.

Before springing for a new microwave, you might take it to a repair shop. The fuse is not always user accessible. Set a limit on what you'll pay for repair, if it exceeds it, then go buy a replacement.

By the way, compared to replacing all electronics in RV, the Progressive EMS is cheap insurance. Also, you can't beat their life time replacement and service. Mine had an issue and they paid for all service and only thing I paid was to ship it to them. They returned it fixed, no charge. Worth every penny!!
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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Progressive codes are printed on the outside of the EMS, at least mine are.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:37 PM   #7
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Bad luck with microwaves...the surge protector is set to open at 104V on the low side and 134V at the high side. They shut off for 136 seconds before it resets itself. I imagine your were plugging and unplugging during the 2+ minutes it was off.

I think the first microwave dying, and then this one, sent you on a wild goose chase. This microwave is dead, go find another.

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Old 03-09-2014, 11:36 PM   #8
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Here are some questions:
Do you have an inverter/converter/charger of any sort?
If yes is the microwave running thru it?
If yes then what wattage is the inverter?
What is the wattage of the microwave?
Check to make sure that you have enough wattage to run it if you are running it thru an inverter.

We lost both our inverter and our microwave due to the inverter being 1500 watts and the microwave wanting 1600 watts. We changed the 1500 watts modified wave inverter to a 3000 watt pure sine one. Then also had to buy a new microwave/convection oven.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:40 AM   #9
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Thank you all for your replies.

I asked my wife (brain) for a few more details about what happened that last camping night when our microwave died.
She said, we plugged the surge protector in. After about 5 minutes we lost power and went back on battery. I went out and battled it for at least 20 minutes and we thought about moving to a different site. But because I was tired after a long drive and cranky (her words) and reckless, I took the surge protector off and plugged the unit in directly without any protection.
Everything came on again and was fine all night and next morning. Only the microwave remained dead. It didn't even come on when I plugged it in without the EMS. It must have died when we lost power. The microwave was not running at the time but the timer was always our indicator that would tell us if we are plugged in.

@Kakampers
Yes I was without EMS protection but only AFTER the microwave already died. I don't plan on doing it again - as I said - I was cranky and reckless but that didn't kill the microwave (and, thank goodness, nothing else).

@PyrateSilly
I thought all RVs have converters? But maybe not...?
"..is the microwave running thru it?" Not sure that this answers it, but we have 2012 Jayco 5th wheel and no generator. And our microwave light never came on unless we would be plugged in somewhere.
As for the wattage: it's 900 Watt unit

@Timay
I like the simplicity of your suggestion: "This microwave is dead, go find another." I think I will go that route.


=========


I just looked closer at the microwave because of PyrateSilly's suggestion to check the wattage. I thought it was a special RV unit but it looks like some cheap microwave with a skirt or frame around it for installing it in the cupboard and a metal box on top for the air vent. It looks like I could remove the skirt and vent and buy another unit at any retail store around the corner, as long as the air vent is on top, and re-install it.
Which would mean I have to drill the skirt and vents back on and probably void any warranty.

Am I correct that I can buy any unit or do I have to buy some special RV-microwave?

Because it seems such a cheap unit I'd rather don't have it fixed. I attached a few photos of the unit


Thank you in advance for your reply.
Martin


PS
@ BFlinn181, I agree the Progressive EMS is a cheap insurance and I will contact them to find out if I need to have the unit send in. I think I even wrote down the error codes at the time...but WHERE????? (next time I let my wife write it down)
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:02 AM   #10
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Three things that I will never do:

#1 - Disconnect my Progressive Industries EMS system for anything or anyone. If it keeps giving me error codes with power problems the office gets notified immediately and either they correct the problem immediately or give me another site or I move on to a different RV Park.

(I always test the RV pedestal prior to backing into the site or setting up. That way if there is a problem, I can move on easily. With your portable EMS unit, that can be done quite easily)

#2 - I never run my Microwave using inverter power. If I'm not hooked to shore power I will start the generator, that's what it is there for, to use.

#3 - The last thing that I never do is to drive long days to the point that I am totally exhausted. I am off the road anywhere's between 3-5 pm.

BTW, my Sharp microwave is the original one installed in 2001. I have never had even one little hiccup with it ever.

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Old 03-10-2014, 11:32 AM   #11
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Pretty much all of our coach goes thru the inverter. So if we want power to pretty much anything the inverter goes on. It is the way it was built from the factory.

That being said ---- No you do NOT need a "special" RV microwave. We replaced ours with the same exact model just a few years newer from Best Buy. It was a drop and replace we had no modifications needed on it. We bought it at the same time we got 2 LED TVs to replace the old heavy, electric hogging ones. We also just replaced the RV fridge with a residential Fridgidaire, this time from Lowe's and not Best Buy, better deal on it there this time.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:47 AM   #12
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Since you don't have a generator, I doubt if you have an inverter to power the microwave unless you have a big bank of batteries. The box to divert the vent out the front could be attached with double sided tape for 90 days, but I don't think a couple of short screws into the case to hold it in place would void a warrantee. Check with the manufacturer if worried about it. Might be time to buy a better unit than the same model that's died twice. (Once on purchase, second replacement from other unit on lot) In addition, you could add a second surge protector at the outlet where the microwave plugs in.
I also wouldn't plug in my RV without the Progressive EMS. Campgrounds are often under wired for today's RVs. A/C in summer, heaters in winter can seriously distort and cause power issues.
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