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My microwave door slacks down and I have to lift it up a bit before shutting it. I sent this picture to Frigidaire and asked what I should do:

enter image description here

Their support emailed me back saying:

I'm sorry, there is no screw that goes in the hole. that actually is a broken spot weld for the hinge. The hinge cannot be repaired.

Here's a short video of the issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMWu6HFAwN0&feature=youtu.be

I want to fix the issue without replacing my entire microwave. Anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this?

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Looks like the door still works to me. So what is the problem? –  getterdun Feb 11 at 0:27

2 Answers 2

Don't do it.

Microwaves, while safe, emit a significant radiation that is controlled, in part, by a carefully designed door interlock system. If it is compromised, there is a risk of radiation leakage.

You don't fix microwave doors, you send it back for them to fix or you replace the entire unit.

Period.

SUPPLEMENT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has this to say about microwave oven safety.

Microwave safety: The design of microwave ovens ensures that the microwaves are contained within the oven and can only be present when the oven is switched on and the door is shut. Leakage around and through the glass door is limited by design to a level well below that recommended by international standards. However, microwave leakage could still occur around damaged, dirty or modified microwave ovens. It is therefore important that the oven is maintained in good condition. Users should check that the door closes properly and that the safety interlock devices, fitted to the door to prevent microwaves from being generated while it is open, work correctly. The door seals should be kept clean and there should be no visible signs of damage to the seals or the outer casing of the oven. If any faults are found or parts of the oven are damaged, it should not be used until it has been repaired by an appropriately qualified service engineer [emphasis added].

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says this

Checking For Leakage: There is little cause for concern about excess microwaves leaking from ovens unless the door hinges, latch, or seals are damaged. If you suspect a problem, contact the oven manufacturer, a microwave oven service organization, your state health department, or the closest FDA office [emphasis added].

The problem described is not just tightening a screw or putting a seal back in its track. The door is misaligned and poses a risk. Trying to realign and weld parts of the safety system seems very ill-advised.

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Can you describe the interlock system and why there is risk of radiation leakage? –  Edwin Feb 11 at 5:41
1  
the microwave enclosure acts as a faraday cage, isolating the inside RF radiation from the outside –  ratchet freak Feb 11 at 10:16
    
@ratchetfreak, If I understand you, you are saying that the hinge mechanism is not important to the safe operation of the microwave, so long as the door is closed flush to the opening? –  Edwin Feb 12 at 2:50
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@Edwin Respectfully disagree. I am pretty game to try projects involving a wide range of risks. Also don't think that we have to follow a manufacturer's admonition of no user serviceable parts . Some things carry risks that just aren't worth it if an error can be catastrophic (e.g. serious gas installations by someone with no experience). Microwaves have been largely tamed, but a leak would be bad. The cost of replacement is often less than $100. I think the risk/reward ratio is poor. Also, i think that this site should not advocate activities that are high risk to a non-expert audience. –  bib Feb 12 at 21:01
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@bib What I don't understand is why you think that fixing the hinge on a microwave would be dangerous. What is the underlying danger here? I have done a little research into the matter and see little risk, especially in comparison to a mundane and common risk like driving a car. –  Edwin Feb 13 at 6:34

It's hard to tell from your video how the hinge works. It probably works like the top hinge. If it is simply attached to the front like the "broken weld" suggests, then your goal would be to reattach it. My go-to for this would be a steel rivet. If you don't have a handheld riveter, I highly recommend getting one. They come in handy. Though, if there is no existing hole in the hinge part, it might be impractical to make a hole to accommodate the rivet while the microwave is assembled. Bare in mind that disassembling the microwave would make some on this site uneasy. I say use your common sense. If you feel uncomfortable or that you're not up to it, don't do it.

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