Top Reasons Microwave Is Not Working

Erin Easley

Written By Clint Bird

Published 02/16/21
Top Reasons Microwave Is Not Working

It's easy to not appreciate the convenience of a microwave until yours stop working. Simple tasks, from making popcorn to reheating leftovers, become just a little more difficult.

If your microwave stopped working recently, read on. In this post, we'll review what causes a microwave to stop working. And while most microwave issues should be handled by a professional, we'll also share how to fix a microwave when the solution is something the average homeowner can reasonably do themselves.

As always, use the utmost of caution. Make absolutely sure your microwave is not connected to a power source before attempting to fix it. If a power cord is inaccessible, shut off power at your circuit breaker. And know that a microwave is one appliance that can deliver a lethal shock even after it's been unplugged.

It's also unwise to tinker with a microwave that it still covered by the manufacturer's warranty. It‘s standard for unauthorized repairs to void a limited warranty. Check your appliance's documentation to determine if its manufacturer's warranty is still active.

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How to Repair a Microwave

1. Your microwave won't turn on

There are a couple of explanations for a microwave that won't power on. First, you should confirm that the microwave is plugged in. This seems like a no-brainer, but we all have our moments. Maybe the power cord got nudged during cleaning, or an item fell behind the microwave and knocked it out of place. Confirming the device is plugged in is always a good first step.

If the power cord isn't the issue, it could be that the breaker was tripped. This is the likely explanation if your microwave shuts down while it's in use. Try resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse to restore power.

If you're still having no luck, the problem could be with an internal fuse. Like many other devices, microwaves have a thermal fuse to keep the appliance from overheating. If this fuse is blown, the microwave won't power on.

Microwaves also have a ceramic fuse. This is usually inside the rear panel, near the power cord. As with the thermal fuse, if the ceramic fuse goes, the device won't work. Look online for pictures of what these fuses look like. Once you've identified them, you can test both with a multimeter. If either shows no continuity, it will need to be replaced.

2. Your microwave won't heat

If your microwave turns on but won't heat food, a likely problem is a faulty door latch. The door has a safety mechanism built in to ensure the microwave won't run with an open door. Sometimes this mechanism fails. The failure could be electrical or mechanical. It's a good idea to enlist a professional's help. If you're determined to work on it yourself, contact your appliance's manufacturer or find the device schematics for more information.

A faulty magnetron, burned out capacitors, or a bad diode are other possible culprits. Replacing these parts takes a little more electrical know-how, and there's a risk of shock even when the microwave is unplugged. It's best to find a professional for help.

3. The turntable is stalled

If the turntable within the microwave won't spin, first ensure it's not a setting on the microwave. Most microwaves allow you to turn the turntable on and off, and it's possible to change the setting without realizing.

There could also be a physical obstruction. If you don't see anything in the microwave, you can remove the turntable assembly from the microwave floor to see if anything is obstructing it from below.

If that hasn't resolved the problem, there's probably a disconnected internal wire. A repairperson is your best bet.

4. The touchpad won't operate

A microwave not working properly could be caused by a faulty touchpad. Sometimes one or a handful of buttons won't respond. Sometimes the entire panel doesn't function. The required fix is likely a new control panel. It may require some soldering. If you're not comfortable with that kind of work, find a professional tech.

5. The door won't latch

If the microwave door won't latch, the entire microwave is effectively useless. Fortunately, the door latch is often a simple mechanical mechanism. If you're mechanically inclined, you can replace the necessary parts in the latch. Contact your device's manufacturer to find the precise components you need.

Protect All Your Kitchen Appliances with Liberty Home Guard

You don't need to break the bank just because you're dealing with a microwave not working. Microwave oven repair costs can set you back a few hundred dollars, but you can avoid these costs with warranty coverage.

Liberty Home Guard covers virtually all home appliances and systems, and this includes built-in microwave warranty coverage. Use our website to learn more. You can also talk with us at (866)-526-1752.

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