When Microwave Ovens with Keypads Die

Fujidenzo microwave oven When you live in the tropics where heat and humidity wreak havoc on electronics, a keypad isn’t a good idea. My Whirlpool microwave oven, purchased in October or November of 2006, died in July of 2008 after months of strange keypad behavior. It was replaced about a month later with a Fujidenzo microwave oven.

Our First Microwave Oven

Actually, the first microwave oven we owned was made by Goldstar (which became LG Electronics in 1995) and I bought it while stationed on Okinawa in 1988 for about $95.00 (in US dollars). It still worked when we gave it away in 2006, just before selling our house in the US.

After our house in the Philippines was built in 2006, my wife bought a Whirlpool microwave oven at one of the Olongapo appliance stores. I told her not to spend too much and the Whirlpool brand was one of the more expensive ones, costing well over P10,000 (or more than USD $200), but she didn’t listen to me. I asked her why she didn’t pick one of the Panasonic microwaves and she said she wanted something that would last. It didn’t last.

In October of 2007, the keypad stopped working until I unplugged it for several hours and then plugged it back in. I’m no electronics genius and I can only guess there was a faulty capacitor that needed to be drained. I kept it unplugged when not in use and managed to be able to use it until just before my wife came back in August of 2008, when it would no longer work at all.

If I knew where to get it fixed at a reasonable price for parts and labor, that’s what I would have done. Chances are that I could get it fixed in Manila, but I refuse to go to Manila for anything except trips to the airport and that’s only when I have no choice.

Our Second Microwave Oven

While my wife was here in August of 2008, she bought a replacement microwave oven. I told her to stay away from keypads and thankfully, she did. I also told her to see if she could find Sharp microwaves or even Daewoo microwaves, anything but Whirlpool microwave ovens.

One of my nephews worked at Ocampo’s, a local appliance store. He swore he could get her a good deal. She ended up buying a Fujidenzo microwave oven for about P4000 (about $85 USD). It was just slightly smaller than what we had before. Since I never heard of the brand before, I looked up Fujidenzo on the Internet. Lo and behold, Fujidenzo is distributed by Exatech, Inc., a Filipino corporation.

The Whirlpool brand is also distributed by Exatech, so I was curious to find out where the Fujidenzo microwaves are made. I pulled the microwave forward and looked at the back where I spotted the tag: Made in PRC. That’s “People’s Republic of China”, for the uninformed. Oh well, it’s still working and it works as well as the more expensive brands. It doesn’t have a keypad. It has three push buttons that cycle through the options on every press.

I don’t know how long this microwave oven will last, but I feel a lot better about it knowing that it isn’t an expensive model to replace.

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37 Responses to “When Microwave Ovens with Keypads Die”

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  1. Ryan says:

    Hi,

    Thank goodness I live in a temperate climate and haven’t experienced this before. We only get a handful of very humid days a year here. I keep my microwave unplugged just to save on my electric bill, and have increased its shelf life considerably.

    Ryan

  2. hari says:

    Electronic keypads should be easy to replace without throwing away the whole oven. They shouldn’t be too costly either.

  3. Did you try drying it out before throwing to see if the moisture problem dries up. My wifes phone had a similar problem, stopped working from moisture in the phone, we turned it off and left it in the airing cupboard for 2 days then It worked again luckily.

  4. Bali Private Villas says:

    Gracias pare, for your info.I hope you can keep it for many years.

  5. Spot@nikon says:

    Do you know if they make microwave ovens with keypads resistant to humidity? Or use some sort of input (like a dial?) that doesn’t depend on a keypad? Seems like it would be a smart business idea to sell something like that.

    My latest blog post: Nikon D80 vs D90 vs D300

  6. Jack@computer feezes says:

    I live in a warm but dry climate so I never even think of these kinds of problems! I also realized the other day that I almost never see bugs because they cannot survive in the environment I live. This is a far cry from a few years ago where it was a lot more humid and they could thrive anywhere.

  7. Bob@Maine Real Estate says:

    Well I think appliances should be chosen according to your place and made exclusively for a specific place. I really need microwave at home and I can’t afford to have one who is very rich in maintenance.

  8. I bought an old panasonic microwave that has worked continuously for 7 years now.

    My latest blog post: DirectoryBrand.com – Brand directory (Directories)

  9. I’m sure you can live without a microwave. Microwave ovens are quite dangerous to your health anyway.

    My latest blog post: Toxic Additive in Shrimp May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

  10. paul says:

    i love my old microwave actually lol but hopefully when we dont have touchpads any longer, the remote for your microwave can still be found.

  11. The simpler the things, the better they are. This is true for microwave ovens, cars, cameras and a lot of other stuff.

    My latest blog post: Profumi Donna: Come Usarli Efficacemente

  12. analysisfxblog@Forex Trading Easy says:

    now i know LG formely known as GoldStar

    My latest blog post: April 03 Market Commentary and Technical Levels

  13. I just came across this site for the first time. And I also just bought a microwave this morning. It is nice when life fits together like that.

    Spot mentioned microwaves with dials. My new (and very cheap) microwave is this exactly! You twist it to select the cooking time. Living in Boston humidity isn’t much of an issue for me, but such a microwave might help you in the Philippines.

    My latest blog post: New York City – Kennedy | JFK

  14. klublok says:

    I decided to replace my microwave last week. It did the “keypad didn’t work” thing about 2 months before. Then it started to short circuit the powerboard. When that happened I thought it was a good time to replace before it blew up in my face

    My latest blog post: Assets that can be passed in a Will

  15. naida says:

    I live in Cusco’s climate is cold and work in Cusco Directory. We only have hot months of the year. I take off my microwave just to save electricity, and contribute to my country.

  16. I would be lost without my microwave oven it does everything you can grill on it and it also has a normal oven mode, for foods that you can’t micromave.
    But the best thing about it is the price I paid for it. It retails in the shops for 125 quid and I was lucky enough to win mine on a ebay auction for only 5 quid.
    Bargain!

    My latest blog post: Weekly Weigh In April 3rd 2009

  17. Wisp says:

    Heh… microwave ovens are doing harm to our health.
    Everybody knows, that heat the food in microwave oven is obtained by accelerating vibrations of water molecules in food, what hurts the molecule structure of our food. This causes the problems with health, etc.

    So we need to limit our using of microwaves :(
    Good luck.

  18. Hey RT,
    I remember as a kid when we got our first microwave, but back then we called it a “radar range”. And I remember nuking marshmallows to make s’mores… yum… can’t image life without a microwave today, since I use it to heat up my coffee when it gets cold. I also boil water to make individual cups of tea. :)
    ~ Steve, the microwave-addicted trade show guru

    My latest blog post: Trade Show Zombies, Spammers, and Tadpoles

  19. My parents have had their microwave (no joke) for over 20 years! It looks like an antique..but still works great! It’s a Kenmore, and it actually says “radar range” on it and opens from the top down like a real oven. Crazy!

  20. JonB@Prams and Pushchairs says:

    We have an ancient old microwave with a wind switch and timer that kind of ticks down. It’s hard to be very accurate with the timings, but on plus side it’s lasted us for years!

  21. Dennis says:

    Richard, we have a very expensive Smeg microwave. The internal light went a while ago and there was no little access window to get to it like most microwaves have. So I had to pull it apart, inside everything was branded Daewoo – yep a cheap Korean made product. I will never buy Smeg again.
    In fact the light is still faulty because you can not just replace the globe, it is soldered into a special plastic mount that you need to buy as well!

    My latest blog post: A Bonus For Boozy Teens

    • RT Cunningham says:

      I haven’t been paying enough attention to brand names. I really don’t have a choice, given my location. All I can tell you is that the Japanese brands are overpriced and that the Korean brands are junk. Chinese brands tend to go either way.

  22. BurnThat says:

    Don’t use a microwave. Regular oven makes a lot more delicious foods!

    My latest blog post: Burn Fat: How To Accelerate Fat Burn Easily!

  23. Murb@lamin x says:

    I feel your pain. I live in a humid climate, and my microwave was originally mounted right above my stove. It took us two microwaves to figure out that moving the thing was part of our solution. Heat + Steam + summer = Let’s just eat out anyway.

  24. Magazine says:

    there is something called a quick oven which i personally enjoy

  25. Acai Berry says:

    it is a little slower than the microwave, but the food comes out tasting much better and it is much healthier. but on plus side it’s lasted us for years!

  26. Archer says:

    I am sure you miss the days of the 300lb microwave with the wood grain finish that lasted for 30 years! Yes my Momma still has one, haha…

    • RT Cunningham says:

      No, not really. I had one of those heavy ones sitting in a barracks room in 1996. I couldn’t even move it from one place to another without help.

  27. Dian Bua says:

    That’s awesome!!! I look for microwave oven for new house.I saw many web about this but your web is the best for me.Thank you.

  28. Devin T. says:

    I’ve stopped using microwaves, but the best microwave ovens seem to be the GE ovens. They last forever.

  29. Roy says:

    Haha i used to have the same problem with Sharp microwave ovens especially with those flat panel keypads. After i switched to GE brands of ovens everything was history!

  30. Mrs. Loriena Oliva says:

    ATTENTION:

    I wish to submit a complaint letter. Where and to whom should I address it?

    This is with regards to the FUJIDENZO Glass Top Chest Freezer
    Model FD-8A which I bought six months ago.

    I own a Scooping Ice Cream Station at one of the university here in Cebu City, Philippines and yesterday, August 17, 2010, my customer who was with her other two friends who witnessed what happened have had accidentally found a metal in her ice cream when her tongue had felt something in her ice cream and when I tried to check what was the problem, I found this little screw in her ice cream. And this screw happened to be a part of this chest freezer to lack it up. The screw fell down to my ice cream gallon and unaware I scoop it with the ice cream.

    I believe the maker of this chest freezer, PRC (Peoples Republic of China) should be responsible to this incident. My customers were mostly children from the primary grades though adults would buy ice cream also.

    We are dealing with lives of people here. What if my customer happened to swallow that little screw and got internal problem later?
    I would be sued and my business would be stopped.

    I expect for your quick response on this urgent matter before I will file a complaint with an international lawyer.

    Thank you.

    • RT Cunningham says:

      You need to contact the dealer where you bought it. I don’t have that information.

    • Cheyenne Chua says:

      fujidenzo brand is owned by the distributor of whirlpool in the philippines exatech. i found this out when a exatech sales person told me that fujidenzo is manufactured by whirlpool usa and is cheaper compared to whirlpool, so i bought their chest freezer. after a few days, there were so many problems with the unit that i wrote whirlpool and asked them why i can’t find it on their website. whirlpool told me that they do not own or know about fujidenzo brand.

      after further research, it seems that the local distributor is just sourcing from the cheapest factories in china then slapping the fujidezo brand. and since they are the distributors of whirlpool, they have their sales people claim that its manufactured by whirlpool! what a load of crap.

  31. MrCorey says:

    Hmm. A screw loose…