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August 13, 2003 06:00 AM

Broken: Beeping microwave

Laurie Kalmanson writes that her new microwave oven has "affirmation needs":

The machine wants to communicate with me. When it finishes heating something up, it beeps... continually... until someone makes it stop.

This is an anoyance. This is a machine that is seeking affirmation for, what, doing a good job? My old microwave politely beeped once when it finished, and then left me the heck alone, so I could decide if I wanted my tea hot, cold or not at all, depending on my other needs, and/or the baby, the phone, the two dogs, and, oh yes, my significant other. The last thing I need is a machine that wants to interact with me.

I happen to have the same microwave - the GE Spacemaker - and I can attest to how annoying this "feature" is. When the microwave finishes, it beeps once a minute, forever, until you open the door. Totally broken.
Update 8/14/03: Will Welch writes in to say:
As a counter to that annoying beep, the GE Spacemaker has a truly amazing feature. Like many devices in my home, the Spacemaker thinks it needs to know what time it is, and blinks madly after a power outage to get its clock reset. *However*, if you just ignore it for awhile, it will decide you don't really care that your microwave doesn't know what time it is, and the display will go black. I love that. Truly, not broken.


I actually like this feature, in fact I LOVE it, because I'm usually doing 15 other things at the same time and am very likely to forget what's going on in the microwave. I need a constant reminder until I'm ready to deal with it and take it out (or whatever).

Posted by: Leonard Bick at November 3, 2003 10:13 AM

I like this feature as well. I wouldn't call it broken, as much as non-configurable. Perhaps the microwave should have a switch on it somewhere to turn off the "reminder" feature if you don't want it.

Posted by: Josef at November 6, 2003 03:56 PM

You want to know how broken this thing really is? Not only does it beep forever once you've pressed 'add 30' to reheat your coffee, but when the power goes out or daylight savings time changes the hour, you have to enter the date in a frustrating and unintuitive way.

Other than that, we really like it, but my vote? Survey says... "broken."

Posted by: Chris at November 6, 2003 11:45 PM

P.S. Part of my point was this: does anybody really set their microwave exhaust hood to cook something on a future date? The date doesn't display, so why does it care?

Posted by: Chris at November 6, 2003 11:47 PM

This page in the website is unnecessary. Why are we talking about endlessly beeping microwaves?

Posted by: Jenny at May 12, 2004 08:00 PM

I'm confused. Is this all?

Posted by: Jenny at May 12, 2004 08:02 PM

I used to have an answering machine that beeped whenever there was a message. I worked nights at the time, so slept in, and got a lot of calls in the morning...but I couldn't just ignore the phone and let the machine pick up because it would beep! I had to let the machine take the call, then get up and play the message so the damn thing would stop beeping, by which time I was awake anyway.

This was a white Radio Shack cordless phone/answering machine combo that I bought in 1998.

Posted by: daisy at May 22, 2004 11:40 PM

Jenny: To some people, an endlessly beeping microwave oven is broken, and this site is about broken things. Not everybody thinks a microwave should beep endlessly. I actually do think it's a good idea. I wish my oven did the same thing. I've left stuff in there while I've gone off and forgot I had food cooking and created lots of smoke.

Posted by: Jaycatt at May 28, 2004 06:49 PM

What I find most annoying about that &*^%$#!! beep is that it doesn't beep a minute later; it's that it beeps on the minute. So, if it's done at 11:20:55, it will beep at 11:21:00. 5 seconds went by and the &*^!! thing is already reminding me?!!

Also, some products state to "let stand for 5 minutes after cooking". Ok, fine, but my microwave is somehow smarter than me and the manufacturer of my food. It KNOWS that I must be reminded instantly of impending loss of heat.

Not really broken, just the result of a short-sighted programmer who I would gladly accost if given a moment alone with him or her.

Granted, I could program the cook time, then the timer... but why should I have to? I have 20 million other options... why can't I turn off that beep?!!?!!?!?!?!?

Posted by: yep at June 20, 2004 03:51 AM

I hate that microwave too. Fortunately, I discovered that you can go into the Settings or Options menu and by pressing the right buttons, disable all the sounds entirely. Now personally, I would prefer it to beep once or twice when done. But given a choice between silence and neverending beeps, I choose silence.

Posted by: J. Scott at July 2, 2004 05:43 PM

I maintain a 106 unit apartment building. The GE jvm 1600 series modles have a little problem with the magnetron tube burning out. I have had over 40 of them fixed so far, guess what! GE will have the part installed for just $90. They know that all of them will go bad but they still charge for the labor. Ok, I am not paying the bill personaly so that is fine. Will they come and fix all of them so I don't have to make another 60 phone calls? Nope! I have to wait for each one to drop dead! Arrg!

Posted by: jake at November 22, 2004 03:23 AM

This beeping drives my crazy, as well. That's how I found this page, looking for a solution. Can't turn it off on my model. I WILL GET MY MONEY REFUNDED ON THIS PRODUCT. Imagine if the toaster, the dishwasher, the answering machine, the washer, the dryer, the coffeemaker, etc. all beeped 3 times every minute forever on, when their jobs were finished - until you stopped what you were doing and attended to them.

Posted by: David at November 23, 2004 08:50 PM

I cannot stand it myself. I just broke the handle on the door when I slammed it to make it stop. I'll use that as an excuse to get another. Any recommendations on non-beeping microwaves?

Posted by: Jeff at April 5, 2005 08:47 PM

To Leonard Bick and Josef,

You may like the beeping feature on your own machine, but pets cannot turn this beeping off….

The only thing I can think that MAY be a good beeping is the seatbelt in your car…

But seriously, there are TOO MANY things these days have this beeping reminder bullshit…

Why don't you hit yourself over the head a couple times and wake and smell the coffee…

These Chinese Water torture like functions are highly ABUSIVE to animals at home all day…

This is serious shit, wake up please…thanks…

It’s dumb morons like you that help hypnotize this country into vulnerable, in-defensive positions-then there’s the 9/11 attacks…

Thanks for just makes people realize how WEAK your position is on this subject...

I am sure everyone else who posted notes on this site would agree with me, so don't get cocky.....

The rest of you are to busy to realize that this microwave is NOT's got a function BUILT into the damn thing called

"cooking complete reminder" or "reminder beep"

or whatever the name is.

Please y'all go to my website to have an

array of NON beeping products to solve this

issue...but for now just the beepless phones. Thanks for the postings!



Posted by: Andrew Wyndham at April 16, 2005 11:29 PM

My microwave went out and when the repairman came, he said he had started the week with 3 magnetrons on his truck, but he had used them all, so he'd have to come back. A week or so later, he put it in. $90. Two weeks llater it went out again. Again none on truck. Reinstalled. Two months later after we were gone 30 days of the time, it went out agin. They wanted another $90 to put in another one because it had been more than 30 days. What kind of bleep is this? I bought a new microwave and the touch pad only works intermittently.

Posted by: elinor at April 17, 2005 05:47 PM

Andrew Wyndham, you are an asshole.

Posted by: Tom at June 24, 2005 01:29 PM

Yeah, sure Andrew Wyndham, we're going to listen to you totally flame this innocent (and pertinent to many) post, and then go buy something from your website?!

I agree with you on the beeping, but you have serious problems-- appreciating appliances' features leads to terrorist attacks?! IDIOT.

Posted by: matt at February 18, 2006 11:26 AM

Microwaves are designed poorly. How do the sightless manage with a touchpad. But mostly I don't like the number of beeps my GE makes. Of course the solution would be to follow the example of cell phones, and let everyone have their own ringtones on the microwaves. I would settle for a volume control. More helpful would be an association of manufacturers to write to with suggestions. Even Consumers Reports couldn't help with my ideas. I think, but can't prove that most brands and sets, are built in China using standard parts.

Posted by: Bob Cummins at May 14, 2006 05:15 PM

Same problem. Sunbeam.

Posted by: clark at June 18, 2006 01:42 PM

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