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sawdust123

Kenmore/Whirlpool/KitchenAid Microwave/Hood Recall problem

7 posts in this topic

Several years ago Whirlpool recalled 1.8 million microwave-hood combinations sold under their name and Kenmore and Kitchen Aid names (serial numbers begin with XC). The old units could catch fire when grease splattered into the waveguide cavity and overheated. Most units were serviced in the home. The fix involved sealing the waveguide opening and adding a thermal fuse above the waveguide opening. Fixed units will have a green square on the inside of the door openings.

I had one of the affected units. A year or two after my unit was "fixed" the new thermal fuse blew. It took me quite a while to diagnose and fix the problem. The new thermal fuse isn't shown in the schematic that came with the oven. Furthermore, it is not listed on Sears' own parts website. I had to make many calls to finally get the right part. But that is not the reason for this post.

When my thermal fuse went, it nearly caught fire. I still have the heavily charred parts (fuse, plastic insulator on connector, some cardboard piece). I tried to warn Whirlpool that their fix created another hazard. I even offered to send them the charred remains for examination. They weren't interested in hearing about it since my unit was labeled a Kenmore. The Sears people weren't interested in my story either since the unit was manufactured by Whirlpool. I got sick of their fingerpointing and went out and bought a GE.

I am just writing to warn people that a potential hazard exists with your "repaired" units and that the manufacturer and retailer don't seem to care.

If you have had thermal fuse problems with these "XC" serial numbered microwave/hoods, post your experiences.

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I've seen many unit's have the same failure. I would blame the quaily of the wire terminals and the rivits that hold the thermal fuse terminal on.

Also, I think whirlpool was MEGA STUPID to add that part. If they just fixed the wave quide cover, they wouldn't have had to pull the units off the wall, and they would not have this new problem. When they did the rework, they were supposed to put a new wire diagram into the tech sheet packet.

They all have their heads buried in the sand, they don't want to hear any of this.

Nick

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Thanks for the headsup. I, along with my parents, have a Kenmore branded microwave/vent combo. Can't wait for the fix to fail! :?

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[user=2510]sawdust123[/user] wrote:

I had to make many calls to finally get the right part.

Forgot to ask. Would you mind sharing the part number of the new part you needed and where you purchased it? That sure would save all of us a lot of time with hte same problem.

Thanks in advance!

Chris

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I can't remember what the part number was. It came as part of the "recall service kit" along with the other items that were part of the recall fix.

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I spoke to my mother about her microwave. She had heard of the failure as well. Her recolection was that the failure was becuse of misuse of the machine. She heard that the machines/fix failed because they were left to run too long. (ie trying to cook a turkey or roast for 6 hours, etc.) Anyone else hear about this?

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My Kenmore micro-wave hood combo started to be intermittent. It would work OK, then the display would flicker and go out. Then it would come back on.  I thought it was a thermostat or control board problem, but didn't have a schematic to verify. I finally took it apart and found the schematic inside.

There was an extra schematic and wiring diagram showing an added thermostat, obviously part of some design change. I finally dug down to the stirrer motor. It looks exactly like the picture in the recall pamphlet, except for the cardboard over it. The terminal of the thermostat connected to the original wire was severely melted and had charred one side of the thermostat. The other side (the added wire) looked like new. The original wire was loose in the crimped terminal and caused extreme heat when under load. It was high enough resistance it wouldn't even run the controls. If it happened to make contact, it would operate the whole oven, but get very hot.

I noticed that the original wire was coiled up like the picture, so I removed the plate with the thermostat, replaced the terminal, and stretched it back to the original location at the other thermostat. Basically taking out the "fix".

Unfortunately, I had to remove the motor mounting screws to remove the plate, and didn't know the stirrer fell off when I did that. When I tried to use it, I heard noise and the stirrer cover inside got hot. I pulled off the stirrer cover ( I wondered why it was sealed with RTV) and put the stirrer back on. It's a very loose fit. The cover keeps it on the shaft.

Basically, the problem was caused by the original wire harness because that's the terminal that got hot. After looking at the recall pamphlet I understand what's going on and will make sure the stirrer cover gets sealed well.

Thanks for  your input.

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