Top FAQs about Microwave Testing & Tagging

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Every day we come into contact with numerous appliances starting from a coffee maker in the morning to microwaves, hair dryers, straighteners, computers and much more. These appliances have become inherently embedded in our lives and we would be pretty much handicapped if we were required to fare without them.

This alarming dependency on appliances raises the question of safety for users. Appliance testing services are utilized in order to ensure the safety of appliances that are used by us at home and/or at work.

While testing and tagging are necessary, it is but natural that people, in general, have questions regarding it. If you feel you have some unanswered questions regarding testing and tagging of microwaves, check out the top FAQ’s and their answers below.

Appliance testing services

What appliances need to be tested?

Generally, there are two classes of appliances:

Class I:  Earthed appliances such as kettles, irons, and toasters

Class II: Double insulated appliances such as electric drills and hair dryers.

New equipment does not normally need to be tested.

What is meant by testing & tagging?


Testing and tagging of appliances refer to the process whereby appliances around us are deemed safe/unsafe for use.

The testing and tagging of appliances are done by professionals certified and trained for the purpose. The test involves both visual and electrical aspects. Visual testing refers to the observation of equipment whereby any defects visible to the naked eye are noted.

These may include frayed cords for instance. The second part of testing is electrical testing, which is performed through the use of portable appliance testers. Pursuant to the evaluation of results the appliance is then tagged.


Why does a microwave need to be tested?

All appliances, specifically those that have been in use for some time, ought to be tested. Microwave testing holds special significance in the retail food industry; where the heating and re-heating of food is done in abundance.

Since microwaves utilize emissions for the heating of food, it becomes necessary that the conditions of microwaves be monitored regularly in order to ensure that both the end user of meals being prepared in microwaves as well as the person operating it is safe.


What is involved in microwave testing?

As with other appliances, microwave testing is also done in broadly two parts; visual inspection and electrical inspection.

For a comprehensive assessment of the visual condition of the microwave, it is important that the door be closed and sealed properly and that the power cord is secure. For that matter, completely moving the microwave would ensure even better evaluation.

Electrically inspecting the microwave again refers to two aspects; power output efficiency and microwave radiation leakage i.e. leakage of emissions of the microwave during use.


What is microwave radiation?

Microwaves function with the help of radiation. Radio waves are utilized in order to agitate water molecules. These agitated water molecules vibrate and produce heat, which warms up food.

This radiation can leak through and penetrate living tissues, producing negative effects in the long run. Through the performance of tests, microwaves can be used in a safe and secure manner.


What causes microwaves to “leak”?

As is the case with all equipment, microwaves to need maintenance, as they can be damaged by regular use.

In particular, wear and tear occur through rough handling such as slamming the door when in a hurry. Furthermore, the accumulation of dirt, dust and food particles in the hinges will cause the seal to lose effectiveness and thus enables radiation to leak.

What tests are performed?

Microwave testing aims to decipher both radiation leakage and power output efficiency. The former refers to the leaking of radiation from the appliance while the latter refers to the level of efficiency of the microwave in terms of utilization of electricity being supplied.

The specified limit for radiation around a microwave is 5mW/cm2. Any reading above this level can be potentially harmful to persons in contact with the microwave.

In order to check the radiation levels, a microwave leakage detector is used. This measures the radiation levels in the vicinity of the microwave while it is being operated by running it parallel to edges, seal as well as the glass window.

Once a reading for radiation levels has been obtained, the second stage of the test is to tag the microwave. This tag includes information such as the name of the practitioner performing the test, radiation levels and power efficiency and re-test date.

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