A few months ago, a friend of mine who happens to be a home inspector, showed me this little gadget. The sole purpose of the gadget was to test the function of microwave ovens. Now, fact is, as a home inspector, the obligation for inspecting appliances in this state is pretty minimal -- we don't have to do so if we don't want to, per the state standards of practice.
From a marketplace standpoint, most of us do take a look at appliances as a service. It is basic: We check that range burners come on, that dishwashers don't seem to be leaking and are properly plumbed. We might look in the refrigerator but, even my certifried assistant, Nutsy, is not allowed to try anything from the fridge to make sure that it is cool and goes down smoothly. As for testing microwave ovens, well that is kind of over the top. At the inspector's choosing, he or she might heat a glass of water to see if it gets warm.
But, what if doing that microwave test can provide a great thrill and hours of fun and enjoyment for the home inspector, his assistant and the inspector's clients (especially kids)? Now we are talking aren't we? Excitement and fun is what life (and home inspection) is all about!
The device that I bought to do my own theatrical version of this test is called Magic Lights. It is battery free and, casually eye-balling the test bar, it simply looks like a small Plexiglas bar.
But looks can be deceiving. Wait till you see it in action. You put Magic Lights in the microwave, along with a "load" -- a cup of water. Then when you push the oven's "on" button -- it is a great thrill -- fireworks erupt in your own, or the seller's, kitchen. Take a look at this live video.
The flashes occur when the device is being zapped by the microwaves. So, if the bar does not light up, then the inspector knows that the magnetron in the oven is DOA. Of course, an inspector might suspect that anyway if the water in the cup does not heat up. Per the manufacturer of Magic Lights, a person really into microwave oven testing, like a service professional, can determine from the flashes if there are dead spots -- not nukin' where it should be nukin'. And, in theory, you can determine if the power settings are providing the proper intensity, but that is well beyond my area of interest or expertise. Heck, I like the show. I am just "nukin" for fun and my clients, and my certifried assistant, find it quite thrilling and unusual to watch the flashing lights.
If you want to own your own Magic Lights "nuke-tester" one will cost you a hefty $9.95 Online. Therefore, only the most successful among us can ever hope, or afford, to buy one of these specialized devices. See the official endorsement below.
I, Nutsy S. Wallenda, master chef, endorse this product
Nutsy S. Wallenda, master chef