9 Common Microwave Problems (and Solutions)

August 2, 2021
Microwave Repair

The humble microwave is one of the most used household appliances, so when it breaks down, it is annoying and means having to use other cooking techniques that take more time.

In this article, we will discuss the nine most common problems people have with their microwaves and what you can do about them.

Before we get into the main problems, I want to point out that microwaves are very hazardous to repair because they store thousands of volts of electricity in their capacitors even after you have unplugged them. This means there is a high risk of electric shocks occurring. If you don’t have the correct training, you shouldn’t try to repair some of these problems; instead, call a qualified technician.

Let’s get started.

1. Microwave Plate Stops Turning

The first major problem people have with their microwaves is when the plate won’t turn around correctly. When this happens, the food or drink that you put in the microwave won’t cook evenly or possibly even at all. When your plate stops working properly, it is usually because there is a problem with one of the components of the spinning assembly.

To fix it, you need to first check that the plate isn’t broken in any way and then check the guide rollers that sit underneath the plate. If either of those two components is broken, you will need to replace it, and if they are not faulty, then the problem might be caused by a broken drive motor. If the drive motor is broken it will need to be repaired or replaced.

2. Microwave Won’t Turn On

The next common problem people have with their microwaves is when the microwave won’t turn on at all.

The first thing to check is the power plug and make sure that it is plugged in and turned on; after that, you should also check the circuit breaker. You should also plug it into another power outlet and see if it works – if it does, then the power outlet is faulty and will need to be replaced.

If the problem isn’t the power, then you will need to test the door switch with a multimeter to see if it has continuity – if not it will need to be replaced.

Next, you will need to check that the door latch assembly is not faulty – you can do this by checking if the door closes properly.

If you still haven’t found the cause of the problem, you’ll need to check the thermal fuse and the ceramic fuse with the multimeter to see if they are faulty.

3. Microwave Door Doesn’t Close

If your microwave door won’t close, you probably have faulty hinges or springs that have come loose. To fix this, you first have to inspect the hinges and springs to see if they are damaged; if so, repair them or replace them. If those components are ok, then check the torsion springs and tighten any screws that have come loose in the door latch assembly.

4. Microwave Door Won’t Open

This problem most commonly occurs with microwaves that have a push release door switch. Most microwaves have a manual override to open the door – check your user manual for the manual override for your specific make and model of microwave. Once you’ve got the door open, check the latch assembly for any signs of wear and tear. If the latch assembly is not faulty, then check the button release mechanism, and if it is faulty, it will need to be repaired or replaced.

5. Microwave Won’t Turn Off

If your microwave won’t turn off, you will need to turn it off at the power. Once it is safely turned off, you should start by checking the door switch and the door interlock to see if they are working properly. If they are fine, check the smartboard, which controls the microwave, and if it is faulty, it might cause your microwave to not turn off.

6. Microwave Not Heating

As your microwave starts to get old, it might start not heating properly or not heat at all. To fix this problem, you first need to check the door switch with the multimeter to see if it has continuity, and if not, replace it. Next, check the voltage diode to see if it is working correctly, followed by checking the magnetron. If either of those components is defective, they will need to be replaced, or you might decide it makes more sense to purchase a new microwave.

7. Microwave Is Making Strange Noises

If your microwave is making loud or strange noises, start by checking the microwave plate which could be rattling around. You will need to check the plate itself as well as the guide rollers and the coupler, and if they are defective, they need to be replaced. Next, check the drive motor or magnetron, the cooling fan if you have one, and the high voltage diode. If any of those components are faulty, they need to be replaced.

8. Microwave Touchpad Not Working

The next most common problem is when a microwave’s touchpad becomes faulty or stops working completely. The best place to start is to check the membrane switch, as this will tell you which buttons don’t work. If numerous buttons don’t work, you will probably have to replace the whole unit. If the buttons work, then check the main control board, and if that is defective, you will be better off buying a new microwave instead of replacing it, as it is an expensive repair to make.

9. Microwave Light Not Working

The final problem is when the microwave light stops working. It is also the easiest problem to fix, as nine times out of ten it is a broken bulb that simply needs to be replaced. However, if it isn’t a faulty bulb, then it might be caused by the control panel being defective.


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