Microwaves cook food in a fraction of the time needed to cook with a conventional oven. Today, the microwave is an essential part of household cooking for most people.

The microwave was not initially invented for the purposes of cooking. In 1946, during a research project, a Raytheon Corporation engineer noticed something unusual while testing a magnetron, the candy bar in his pocket melted. After many more food experiments and refinements for practical use, Raytheon Corporation filed a patent proposing the use of microwaves to cook food.

The first microwave hit the market in 1947, standing over 5 feet tall, weighing 750 pounds, and included plumbing installation to water-cool the magnetron. Initial sales were dismal due to the hefty cost of $5,000. The microwaves found limited consumer acceptance until further improvements produced a more reliable, affordable alternative.

Later that year, the "Radarange" was introduced by Raytheon, it was housed in a refrigerator sized cabinet and cost around $2,000. Around 1952, Tappan's first home model hit the market, priced at around $1295. Two years after Raytheon acquired Amana Refrigeration in 1965, the first countertop, domestic microwave oven was introduced at under $500.

Over time Americans overcame the fear and myths surrounding the dangers of cooking with microwave ovens and by 1975, sales of microwave ovens exceeded those of gas ranges. The next year, they gained the title of the most commonly owned kitchen appliance.

The most common repair problems include the microwave not working at all, not heating and intermittent cooking problems. For almost all microwave repair problems we recommend contacting a qualified repair technician. Here are a few items you can repair yourself, always remember to unplug the microwave before you attempt any repairs.

Turntable Motor- The turntable motor needs to be replaced if the glass tray is not turning at all or you hear a grinding or clicking sound.

Door Switch- The door switch prohibits the microwave from turning on when the door is open. If the door switch has failed, this may be the reason your microwave is running intermittently or not at all.

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