6 Common Microwave Repair Problems

The stovetop and oven may be your kitchen’s primary cooking appliances, but no home is complete without a microwave. The microwave brings added convenience to your kitchen by allowing you to quickly cook pre-prepared meals or heat fresh ingredients, saving you time when you need it most. The microwave may seem like a simple cooking tool, but like all kitchen appliances, it can require maintenance and repairs.

There is no shortage of problems your microwave may face during its lifetime. To help you troubleshoot issues with your machine, we’ll run through some of the most common microwave repair problems.

Image of a person cleaning a microwave

1. Microwave Will Not Run

You obviously need a microwave that runs, and a unit that will not turn on can be the result of simple or complex problems.

This likely goes without saying, but if you have a traditional countertop microwave, you should first make sure that the appliance is plugged into an electrical outlet. You should also test that the outlet is providing electricity, either by using a multimeter, or by testing another electric device in the outlet. If the outlet is not providing electricity, it will require repairs from an electrician.

A malfunctioning door switch can also cause this problem in both countertop and built-in microwaves. The door switch signals when the microwave is closed, and when the unit can begin cooking. Faults in the door switch’s interlock system will prevent your unit from operating. A broken thermal fuse or ceramic fuse will also prevent your microwave from running. Be sure to contact a certified microwave repair service to resolve these problems.

2. Microwave Runs But Will Not Heat

You don’t want to finish a microwave cycle only to discover your dish has not been heated. A microwave that runs, but will not heat is basically useless, but can be fixed.

Issues with either the microwave’s high voltage diode or magnetron often cause this problem. The magnetron produces the heat a microwave needs to cook and heat dishes, while the high voltage diode provides power to the magnetron. Faults with either of these parts will prevent your microwave from producing heat, even if it’s receiving power. These parts can be replaced, but are tough to access within your unit. You may need to enlist assistance from a qualified appliance repair service to properly solve this issue.

3. Microwave Touchpad Does Not Respond

A microwave’s touchpad controls allow you to program a variety of cooking functions with the touch of a button. If the touchpad doesn’t respond, then you can’t use your appliance.

An unresponsive touchpad is likely the result of a faulty membrane switch or control board. The membrane switch signals the control board to power specific functions in the microwave, and a membrane switch that is worn out or faulty will prevent any response from the touchpad. Similarly, a faulty control board will be unable to power your selected functions. For many homeowners, these components are difficult to fix, and require assistance from an expert microwave repair technician.

4. Microwave Tray Won’t Turn

Most common microwaves feature a tray that steadily turns while in use, providing even heat to microwaved dishes. A tray that won’t turn can result in poorly cooked food, and definitely requires repairs.

A broken drive motor often results in a tray that won’t turn. The drive motor provides the rotating motion necessary to spin your tray, and replacing the motor will likely resolve the problem. You may also need to replace the drive motor coupler. If you face difficulty replacing these parts, be sure to contact a professional appliance repair technician.

Problems with tray movement can also be the result of a cracked or broken roller guide. A microwave’s glass tray typically sits atop a roller guide, which helps the tray stay on track while rotating. Over time, repeated use can damage the guide, impeding the tray’s movement. Replace the guide to get your tray back on track.

5. Microwave’s Exhaust Fan Does Not Work

Over-the-range microwaves are installed above your cooking range, and feature an exhaust fan on the bottom of the unit, combining the features of a microwave and range hood in one appliance. This design offers great convenience, but features its own unique set of repair problems.

If your unit’s exhaust fan is not working, there may be a problem with its charcoal filter or grease filter. These filters absorb airborne pollutants and grease that are created while cooking, and over time can become clogged. A clogged filter will prevent your fan from working, and cleaning or replacing the filter will likely fix your problem.

If your filters are clear, there may be an issue with the microwave’s fan motor. To inspect or replace the motor, you will need to unplug the appliance and remove it from its built-in position before disassembling your microwave to access the fan. This task is best left to a trusted appliance repair expert.

6. Microwave Is Making Excessive Noise

It’s natural for your microwave to make noise while in operation, but excessive noise can be an indication of bigger problems.

A noisy microwave can be the result of any number of issues, including a faulty drive motor, roller guide, magnetron, cooling fan, or high voltage diode. To diagnose this problem, you’ll likely need to disassemble your appliance to examine its internal components. Ultimately, it’s recommended that you enlist assistance from an expert microwave repairman to solve this problem.

It’s also worth remembering that most microwaves only last for around 10 years. If you’re experiencing problems with an aging unit, you may want to consider upgrading to a more modern option. You can begin your search for a new appliance with this online collection of microwaves.

Comprehensive Microwave Repair Service From Expert Technicians

The microwave is a small, but powerful appliance, offering convenient cooking features to the modern kitchen. There is no reason for you to deal with a malfunctioning appliance, and by educating yourself on some of the most common microwave repair problems, you’ll be ready to fix any issues that come your way.

For additional assistance with all your microwave repair needs, be sure to contact a professional appliance repair service.