Microwave Ovens Are Not Rodent-Ready

It happened again.  It took me four years to cope with, and now I have to start again from day zero.

(Insert 2 minutes of silence and grieving here)

Any device we use on a daily basis is designed for safety. You find hundreds of little logos near the serial number of the device which tell you things like

This has been tested according to the Ridiculous Bureaucratic Standard 42. It can safely be used by children aged 6-9,5 and 11-12 in the European Union.

or

This is hot. If you burn yourself don’t sue us, we have told you!!

or you might get useful advice on implementation and operations:

This needs to be mounted with screws of type NCC-1701. If you intend to use any other screws note that you cannot hold us liable.

But the engineers and quality managers concerned with the manufacturing of microwave ovens have neglected an important target group (and the marketers and important market segment). Mice are attracted by microwave ovens due to the following (This is a speculative theory, don’t hold me responsible): Vapor saturated with all kinds of stuff from convenience food leaves the microwave through the vents in the rear panel. Vapor condenses. Not even Mr. Monk would clean the inner surface of the rear panel.

So the smell of the rear panel inside is tempting, and it attracts animals that fit in the larger vents. They will slip in the oven through the slits.

And then they will be exposed to the meanest mouse trap ever invented: An electrical chair equivalent for rodents. Several junctions carrying electrical power are not properly insulated. If a mouse touches two wires  on different electrical potential it will literally be grilled.

The electrical wiring of the house remains safe due to the limitation of leakage currents by the fault-current circuit breaker (limited to 30mA based on updated safety standards. Some years ago the mouse would have been grilled with 100mA).

This happened to the beloved little mouse I have featured in my previous post 😦 

This time the photo shows my particular mouse, though unfortunately post mortem. The flow direction of the electrical current is in parallel with the spine of the mouse:

Pitiable mouse has dug its claws into the holes in the rear panel drawing its last breath:

And all this happened despite warnings in three languages:

And it happened again: In the same microwave oven four years ago, another rodent selected two different junctions right below the top panel.

By the way: In case you do not know yet what it means when the fault-circuit breaker breaks in the middle of the night and no appliance is running: You will notice the rodent invasion very soon due to bad smell originating from the microwave. Depending on the junctions picked it might be difficult to clean the microwave and get rid of the smell easily. But you could buy a new microwave and keep the old one just as a mouse trap.

So I have proved by statistically relevant data (sample: N=2) that the microwave oven type SHARP R-775 is not rodent-ready. I suppose this also applies to similar household appliances. The manual does not give any advice on dead mouse removal. The following is loosely related:

Never adjust , repair or modify the oven
yourself. It is hazardous for anyone
other than a competent person to carry
out any service or repair operation
which involves the removal of a cover
which gives protection against exposure
to microwave energy.

Obviously the mouse was not a competent person.

In passing, I am also able to prove my theory that anything you consider original has already been published somewhere: If you want to see a horrid video on how to detect and remove a smelling mouse from your microwave see here.

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3 thoughts on “Microwave Ovens Are Not Rodent-Ready

  1. Pingback: My Zen-ny Search Terms: Where Engineering Meets Art Meets Physics Meets Geekdom. (And Rodents, Sometimes.) | Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything

    • Writing paragraphs is fun indeed. I will do my best next time as I used mainly list items (li) in my last post which are not equivalent to paragraphs (p).

      I have unspammed this comment – not only due to the enigmatic nature of the message (which is in line with the weirder parts of this blog), but because to allow for some ads on “controlling mice” here.

      However, I need to disappoint you: I really like rodents. You hurt my feelings – I am grieving. We home owners should value mice more. In case of problems I would rather ask my neighbour to lend me his cat. But you never know if cats will act as expected: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a04HDLUbvig

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