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Do I Need To Test Microwaves?

Yes, for electrical faults and for radiation leakage. The electrical tests are:

  • Visual
  • Earth Continuity
  • Insulation at 500Volts DC
  • Leakage (Electrical)

To perform the test, once the visual test is successfully completed, the microwave is plugged into the 240Volt socket on the tester. The earth bond lead is clipped onto the bare metal at the back; the start button on the tester is pressed and the test is performed.

In the IEE Code of Practice 3rd edition on page 80 it is recommended that the door seal and ventilation grills are checked for radiation leakage. The leakage must not exceed 5mW per cm2. For this you will need a radiation tester.

To perform the test you place a cup of water into the tester as a load, select the highest setting and start the microwave oven. Having switched the microwave detector on, you hold it approximately 5cm from the door seal and proceed to move it around the complete door seal making a note of the highest reading. Any ventilation grills should also be tested. The final test is to open the door while it is running to prove that the door interlock is working correctly and the oven stops operating.

The highest reading is entered onto the Radiation test label with the test date etc so the microwave should have two test labels; one for the PAT test and one for the Radiation test.

All of the details of microwave testing can be found on page 106 section V.1.5 of the IEE Code of Practice 3rd edition.

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