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Appliance RepairMicrowave Repair Help

Microwave Repair Help

Warning! To avoid personal injury or death, always unplug the appliance or disconnect the power before attempting any repairs. Always turn off the gas at the source before repairing any gas appliance. Always wear safety glasses when using tools. Keep loose clothing and hair away from any moving parts. Safety is of major importance when performing any service or repair on any electrical appliance. Please, read our disclaimer before proceeding.
You can also get repair help based on your problem at our free Repair Forum.
It won't run
  1. Inspect the power cord
    Unplug the power cord and check for voltage at the outlet. Also inspect for damage, shorts, or burn marks that can be a possible safety hazard.
  2. Bad door switch
    If your microwave does not work at all and you know everything is plugged in properly and the outlet is functioning, then also check the door hooks and the door release button. Using a volt-ohm meter on RX1, check your terminals. When your microwave door is closed you should have a reading of zero. Once the door is open the reading should change to infinity. If these readings do not match up, replacement of the door switch is necessary.
  3. Blown fuses
    To determine if your fuse has blown out, which may attribute to your microwave not running, you need to pull the fuse out using a pair of fuse pullers. Lay it down and using a volt-ohm meter on RX1, check both ends of the fuse in question. If you do not get a reading of zero, then you will need to replace the fuse.
  4. Bad fan motor
    Locate the fan and remove the leads. Again using the volt-ohm meter on RX1, check the terminals. If an infinity reading is displayed, it means that the fan has gone bad and requires replacement.
It doesn’t produce heat
  1. Check the power diode
    This electronic component is responsible for transmitting current in one direction. If the diode becomes defective it will cause your microwave to not heat. Test the diode and replace it if necessary.
  2. High voltage capacitor
    Responsible for storing electricity, this part is a key component in any microwave. Remove, discharge, and test the capacitor to determine if it requires replacement.
  3. Damaged magnetron
    Responsible for generating waves and producing heat. When your microwave is no longer heating properly, replacement will be required.
  4. Thermal Cutoffs
    Examine the thermal cutoffs on both the magnetron and the oven itself. Take off one of the leads and using a volt-ohm meter on RX1, check the terminals. If you get a result other than zero, replace the thermal cutoffs.
Unable to adjust power levels
If you are unable to adjust the power level, there may be a defective triac or a problem with the circuit board.
Touchpad control panel doesn't work
  1. Controller is confused
    A power surge or random non-reproducible action of the universe may have resulted in the controller's program ending up in an infinite loop. Pull the plug for a minute or two to reset it.
  2. Defective Interlock switches
    This can result in the controller thinking the door is open and ignoring you.
  3. Cleaning
    Cleaning solutions (spray cleaner) may have gotten inside and shorted out the touchpad or controller. If this happens remove the touchpad, let it air dry for a few days, and then attach it back on the microwave.
Turntable won’t turn
If the carousel inside your microwave won’t turn when you run it, the small motor that operates it may be broken.
Light bulb doesn’t work
  1. Light bulb
    If your microwave light bulb is not working, perhaps it has blown. The first step is to replace the bulb and power on the microwave. If this does not correct the issue, the next step is to check the socket and wiring to verify if that is the problem.
  2. Light bulb socket & main control board
    If your microwave light bulb is not working after the installation of a new bulb, check the light socket as well as the wiring to ensure they are properly operating. If these sources are functioning properly, the next step is to check for a faulty control board as a possible root cause to your microwave light bulb malfunction.
It runs for a few seconds, then stops
  1. Main control board
    If your microwave runs for a few seconds and stops, the first thing to check is the main control board to ensure that a shortage has not occurred. If the part is defective then it will need to be replaced to prevent continual shut offs. If this is not the issue, the next step would be to check for a faulty touchpad.
  2. Touchpad/Control panel
    If the control board is not the issue and your microwave continues to shut off after running for only a few seconds, the next thing to check is your touchpad, which is also known as a control panel. Although uncommon for this issue, symptoms are usually that the display and some buttons are working properly; however, when selected some buttons are not functioning. If this is the case the touchpad will need to be replaced.
Display doesn’t work
  1. Main control board
    If the display on your microwave has gone out completely this is usually a sign that it is a malfunctioned main control board. To correct the issue the main control board would need to be replaced.
  2. Display board
    A display board can either malfunction completely or partially, causing two separate results. If the display on the unit has completely gone out, this can be attributed to either a bad main control board or display board. On the other hand, if the display has only partially gone out, this is usually a sign that the display board is defective and will need to be replaced.
It turns itself on
  1. Interlock switch
    If your microwave is turning itself on, the first thing to check is the interlock switch. This is usually the first thing to malfunction that could cause this issue. If the interlock switch is bad then it will need to be replaced.
  2. Main control board
    If your microwave is turning itself on and the interlock switch is still working, the probable cause is the main control board. If the control board is defective it will need to be replaced.
It is sparking or arcing
  1. Waveguide cover
    Sparking and arcing in a microwave can be caused by a damaged waveguide cover. Try removing the waveguide cover to see if the problem persists. Once removed, the waveguide cover can be inspected for burns, which will indicate if this is the issue. If the waveguide cover is burnt or will not stay in the proper spot it will need to be replaced.
  2. Cavity/Rack support
    If sparking or arcing in your microwave is near a rack support, any exposed metallic area can be covered with a microwave cavity support. It is also recommended to replace the rack supports in this situation to ensure the issue is resolved.
  3. Cavity paint
    If sparking or arcing in the microwave is visible on the side walls, the paint covering the metallic areas could have worn off or chipped. This can possibly cause pitting in the side walls or ceiling. If this is the case, it can be repaired with microwave cavity paint.
Door will not open
  1. Open lever
    Check your microwave lever to determine if it is damaged. If it is broken, simply replace the lever to get your microwave door fully functional again.
  2. Door spring
    Responsible for keeping downward pressure on the door hook, the microwave door spring can begin to malfunction. If this part is broken and prevents you from opening your microwave door, replacement is necessary.
  3. Door latch
    One reason your microwave door may not open properly is a broken door latch. Located inside the microwave, the door latch manipulates the door hook to keep the door closed for safety and top performance. If broken, the door could become stuck in the locked position.
  4. Door hook
    If your microwave door will not release properly, the door hook could be damaged. Located inside the door, the door hook is made of plastic and prone to breakage with extended use or age. As this part is unable to be repaired, the only option is to replace it.
  5. Button or button spring
    If the microwave door will not open, it could be an internal failure of the button or button spring. If it is determined that either of these parts is the source, both are replaceable and it is recommended that they be installed at the same time.
  6. Handle actuator
    If the microwave door will not open the plastic handle actuator could be broken. Connected between the door button and the door latch assembly, this plastic part could become damaged and brittle over time, which makes breaking inevitable. If this occurs, replace the handle actuator to get your microwave fully functional again.
Exhaust fan not working
  1. Exhaust fan motor
    If your exhaust fan motor is not running, there are a couple of things that you can check involving the motor to locate the problem. After removing the fan motor, you can manually attempt to turn the fan blades with your hand. If the fan motor is working properly, the blades should spin effortlessly. If this does not occur and the blades are taught, the motor will need to be replaced. Secondly, the fan motor itself can burn out due to time and usage. Using an ohm meter, the exhaust fan motor should read open for continuity. If it does not, then the fan motor has expired and will need to be replaced.
  2. Thermostat
    Another part that could cause the microwave exhaust fan to not work is a faulty thermostat. A thermostat gauges the air temperature, which activates the exhaust fan when required. If this part becomes flawed, the exhaust fan will not energize and the thermostat will need to be replaced.
  3. Main control board
    If your exhaust fan is still not working and the microwave fan motor, wiring, and thermostat are operating accurately, the root cause could be with the main control board. Replace the main control board.
It is loud or noisy
  1. Magnetron
    If your microwave is emanating high pitched or growling noises during operation, the magnetron could be going bad. Normally a nearly silent part, the magnetron uses high voltage and induces the frequency required to cook food. Although normally not a safety hazard to operate, this is a sign that the magnetron is failing and will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
  2. Exhaust fan motor
    If your microwave is making a very loud humming noise during operation, it could possibly be the exhaust fan motor. If defective the part will need to be replaced to silence the appliance once more.
  3. Stirrer motor
    Another leading cause of a noisy microwave is an expired stirrer motor. With use this part becomes worn and makes a loud grinding noise, which is usually a leading indicator that the part needs to be replaced. The stirrer is a metal blade that is slowly turned by the motor. This action disperses the microwave energy in a random pattern, which heats the food evenly. If the stirrer motor is determined to be nearing expiration, it should be replaced to halt the grinding noise.
  4. Turntable motor
    A very common cause for a noisy microwave is a worn out turntable motor. This is a relatively easy repair and will put an end to the noise once replaced.
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