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Kittish
08-23-2008, 12:22 AM
One of the last calls I had yesterday was from a woman who was just a *bit* freaked out. Here's what happened....

Me: Thank you for calling <company>, this is me, how can I help you?
Lady: I was heating some water in my microwave and it exploded!
Me: :eek: Um... the microwave or the water? And are you all right?
Lady: The water. I had a cup of water in there and now there's less than a quarter of a cup left. It sounded like a bomb going off, it just exploded all of a sudden! *somewhere in that response she did assure me that she hadn't been hurt, the microwave door had been closed when it blew up*
Me: *thinking: Yep, superheated water will do that* Well, I'm glad you're ok. Can you tell me how long you had the water heating?
Lady: I put it in there for 3 minutes, and it stopped and I turned it on for another minute and then it exploded.
Me: *nodding to myself* Ah, I see ma'am. What just happened is a phenomenon called superheating. Sometimes when you heat water or other liquids in a microwave, they can get boiling hot, but not bubble. Then, when they get moved or something put in them, it can 'tip the balance' as it were, and they bubble very suddenly, sometimes explosively.
Lady: *still sort of babbling, poor woman had obviously been scared half out of her wits, and no wonder* Yes, it exploded! There's water all over inside the microwave and just a little bit left in the cup.
*Several minutes of soothing her down and assuring her that in all likelyhood no permanent damage was done to the machine and instructions to unplug it, wipe out the inside thoroughly and leave it standing unplugged with the door open for a day or so, and instructing her on how to boil water in her microwave so it doesn't explode again*

She wasn't the least bit sucky, and was in fact very relieved when I was able to tell her just what had happened. Maybe I'm a bad person, but I found the situation somewhat amusing (after I knew she hadn't been hurt); things like superheating (and supercooling for that matter) frequently take people so utterly by surprise when they're encountered.

Nashida
08-23-2008, 09:54 PM
We needs to make a comprehensive list of thing that should not go in a microwave, which include (but are not limited to):

Eggs
Whole, Frozen loaves of bread with the twist-tie on
Marshmallow Peeps
Whole Squash
Water in a non-microwave safe cup

mattm04
08-23-2008, 10:03 PM
Eggs
Whole, Frozen loaves of bread with the twist-tie on
Marshmallow Peeps
Whole Squash
Water in a non-microwave safe cup

But is is fun to put peeps in the microwave. CD's look kinda of cool too.:devil:

Kittish
08-23-2008, 10:25 PM
We needs to make a comprehensive list of thing that should not go in a microwave, which include (but are not limited to):

Eggs
Whole, Frozen loaves of bread with the twist-tie on
Marshmallow Peeps
Whole Squash
Water in a non-microwave safe cup


Not to get nitpicky, but a couple of those need to be amended =)

Eggs still in the shell (they microwave just dandy in a bowl without the shell, either scrambled or not. Though you do need to kind of keep an eye on them so as not to cook them too long and get yolk splattered all over the inside of the microwave.)
Any fruit or vegetable with a thick skin that has not been pierced clear through prior to cooking
Water in a smooth walled container (cups/glasses/bowls with a textured interior won't do the superheating effect)

Um... I'm guessing that the combination of the twist tie heating up, and steam from the thawing bread expanding inside a closed plastic bag makes ungood things happen?

Agreed, the peeps in the microwave thing is fun! Stinky, but fun!

Broomjockey
08-23-2008, 10:53 PM
Most twist ties have a metal wire inside the paper.
Metal+microwave=rave party.

Chanlin
08-24-2008, 12:30 AM
Metal+microwave=rave party.

Thanks for the dandy advice Broom, I'll keep it in mind the next time I want to have a rave party at home :lol:

My favorite was at work. One of my CW's got a package of grandmas best chocolate chip cookies. Basically its two soft cookies wrapped in a plastic wrapper. He sticks them in the microwave. After the first two seconds you could hear this whooshing and crinkling sound. He pulled out of the microwave a pair of cookies with a plastic wrapper quite literally fused to the surface of the cookies. I couldn't help but laugh.

Dave1982
08-24-2008, 05:30 AM
But is is fun to put peeps in the microwave. CD's look kinda of cool too.:devil:

Yeah, it looks cool to put a CD in the microwave, except it's dangerous. I did it once (in a dorm room, of course) and the CD caught fire. :eek:

Luckily I had a bottle of water nearby and was able to quickly douse the flames before they got far, and all that ended up happening was I needed to clan the turntable glass, and the room was stunk up. Thankfully, the smoke detector didn't go off. :o

crazylegs
08-24-2008, 07:49 PM
Most twist ties have a metal wire inside the paper.
Metal+microwave=rave party.

Only when there are sharp edges, if you were to put a sphere (or related) into a microwave nothing would happen.

Think about it, the walls of the microwave oven are made of metal yet nothing happens...

The 'sharp edges' thing is why you get such a spectacular result from foil that's been scrunched up.

Broomjockey
08-25-2008, 12:37 AM
Only when there are sharp edges, if you were to put a sphere (or related) into a microwave nothing would happen.


Considering it's just a wire inside, it's got two points (aka ends), plus whatever bends you've placed in it. Therefore, light show! :p

SnarkyPie
09-02-2008, 01:37 AM
One particularly interesting discovery from middle school...

Some of my schoolmates would put those individual-sized chip bags (empty) in the school microwaves for like 10 seconds. Pretty sparks occured, and you were left with a tiny miniature of said bag, complete with intact logo. Dangerous, yes, but they didn't know that at the time. I'm suprised nothing ever blew up or shorted out.