I recently purchased a house with an over-the-stove microwave and discovered the two lights under the microwave (above the range) were blown out. When I went to change the light bulbs, I found the light bulbs were gone but the bases were still in the sockets. The plastic covers for the sockets also were broken. After removing the hardware, taking out the metal light bulb bases from the sockets and looking up the replacement parts based on the microwave model number, I found the replacements sockets are like $84 each! (A new, same-model microwave is $300.)

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After getting the light bulb bases out of the sockets, I put in new 40W appliance bulbs, wrapped the sockets in electrical tape and re-installed everything. It works fine, but it does get hot, and I'm worried that the tape will melt if the lights are left on too long. Is that a legitimate concern? If it is, is there any way of fixing the sockets that I have? Or should I bite the bullet and buy new sockets? The microwave itself works fine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  • 3
    Can't speak to the issue of the sockets, but don't use 40W bulbs. Use LED bulbs - should be around 4 W (10% as much heat, 100% as much light). Dec 30, 2020 at 3:25
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    Safe? You mean electric fire safe or food poisoning safe from the fumes of the tape? Dec 30, 2020 at 5:43
  • Thanks for the advice! Worried about fire hazard, not food poisoning. Dec 30, 2020 at 15:25
  • The original problem was aluminum sockets with aluminum bulb threads. Aluminum on aluminum is the worst case for metal galling = microwelding. Use only brass . If one component must be aluminum ,apply graphite or moly sulfide to the threads. Dec 30, 2020 at 16:14

1 Answer 1


Instead of the tape (or on top of the tape) add a couple of nylon cable ties. Speaking of microwave bulbs, years ago my Kenmore microwave had a burned-out small halogen bulb that was integral to a similar base as yours - no threads, just glued in. No replacement was avaiIable. I broke away the bad bulb and soldered in a standard small halogen. Has worked well for years.

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