There is also a legal issue here. The manufacturer of the microwave, blender, etc., that is made for household use does not have to stand behind their products use in the lab. When you use equipment (or chemical products) off-label, it is the school that is liable. And in an interesting twist of the law, in many states a worker injured by equipment or chemicals used other than the manufacturer directs can sue their employer rather than accept workers' comp if the lawyer uses product liability law in which the employer is actually the "manufacturer of record" for the off-label use.
In a message dated 2/1/2012 11:41:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, wayne.wood**At_Symbol_Here**MCGILL.CA writes:
We do not allow domestic microwaves for lab work, they must be rated for commercial work. This is because we had 2 fires in the past resulting from domestic microwaves being (over)used for processing samples. Domestic microwaves were just not built for a heavy duty cycle and if you run them too long the microwave can overheat the circuitry and cause shorts.
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