Is it allowed to run a microwave empty?

Again and again, the wisdom arises that you must not let a microwave run empty. Whether this is true, and why this warning has, you can read in detail in this post.

Basic note

Basically you should have a microwave No way run without content. This may cause serious damage to the microwave. The reason for this comes from the radiation prevailing in the microwave.

Radiation inside the microwave

To heat food, the microwave generator (in the case of old appliances a so-called magnetron) sends microwaves into the oven. These are usually waves with a wavelength of 12 cm and a frequency of around 2.4 GHz. (Read more about the exact functionality of a microwave in this article).

If food is in the oven, the rays are absorbed by the food. The power regulation is almost always clocked, that is, to achieve lower radiation, the power for a few seconds and then switched off again. You can hear that too.

Radiation without contained food

If the output from the microwave generator power is not absorbed, the rays remain in the oven. Due to the law of conservation of energy, this radiation can not simply "disappear".

Part of the energy is also reflected from the interior of the cooking chamber, and then can hit the microwave generator. In principle, this component is able to dissipate even larger amounts of energy, but it can still happen that this part is overheated and then destroyed. In many cases, the (not cooled) antenna of a magnetron can also melt.

A repair is rarely possible, and if so, then only at high cost, which usually does not pay.

Tips & Tricks

Under no circumstances should you try to repair a microwave yourself, or replace parts. The high voltage used in the microwave is very quickly lethal if something is installed incorrectly, also must be carried out after a parts exchange compulsory so-called leakage radiation, which is not possible as a home improvement anyway.

Video Board: Will I Destroy My Microwave If It Runs Empty?