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Repair and disassembly guides for Kenmore Microwaves.

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Can I use a higher wattage bulb 20W vs.50W

Kenmore Elite (over the range) Microwave (model 721.88512900. Can I use a higher watt bulb ? Original bulb I believe was a 20W. Kenmore could not answer the question. Wanted to sell me a $26 bulb + shipping

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Hi @bh99 ,

I wouldn’t risk it.

The lamp has been selected to work at the temperatures that may be present in the microwave.

Also using a higher wattage globe means that more current is needed and this may cause problems with the lamp’s power supply circuit on the control board if it has been designed for a 25W bulb e.g. lamp relay contacts may have a maximum current rating limit below the current required for a 50W bulb. I don’t know if this is applicable in your model but you would need the wiring diagram to find out if there is a relay or if it is powered some other way. Again it’s a risk which may end up with no lamp working at all.

The lamp is available from here at a cheaper price. Just search for LG 383EW1A077D to find other suppliers that suit you best. Your model is a rebadged LG microwave (or a made to order for Kenmore by LG) as all the parts in it are made by LG.

Also the lamp is a halogen type so make sure that you handle it using gloves because when you touch a Halogen light bulb with your fingers, you leave behind a residue on it which can in time cause the bulb to heat up unevenly, and even cause the bulb to shatter as a result.

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Thank you jayeff. Your advice is much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to find the exact part number. I should of added to my original post, the bulb I needed to replace was under the microwave (stove top light) and not the interior light. Either way, I'm going to use the 25W bulb and return the 50W bulb that I had purchased at Lowes. Better safe than sorry.


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