Microwave is now an important part of almost every household and it has many advantages. A microwave serves to be a savior in many situations, especially when you want to reheat something in some minutes. However, just like other appliances, a microwave can also undergo problems and malfunctions. In some situations, it gets difficult to diagnose the issue when your microwave stops working properly. So, if your microwave oven stopped working recently and you don’t how to diagnose and fix it, this post will help you a lot.
Microwave Oven Problems and Their Solutions:
Microwave is one of the most popular appliances and the best thing about it is that it has a very simple operation. Sometimes repairing a microwave oven gets very difficult because most of us are not able to diagnose the exact problem. To save you from being stuck in a situation where you have no idea how to repair this useful appliance, we have made a list of the most common microwave problems and their solutions.
We have also mentioned the reasons or causes of the respective problems so that you care for your microwave in the best way you can. Following are the list of microwave problems that you may encounter:
#1. Microwave Light is Dim or Not Working:
Some people complain that the microwave light is very dim or is not working at all, even if the microwave is heating properly. The microwave light is located inside the microwave and it turns on whenever you open the door or start the heating process. The microwave light-bulb plays an important role as it makes you have a look on your food properly so that you can decide whether it is done or not.
Reasons: If the bulb doesn’t work at all, it might have fused. If the light is flickering then there must be an issue with it and if it is dim, there is a problem with the microwave setting. However, in some cases this issue may arise due to bad wiring or a fault in the control board. The light bulb is located near to the capacitor and sometimes it gets difficult to fix them.
- If there is a fault with the microwave light bulb, you can easily replace it with a new one.
- However, when the light bulb is located near the capacitor and there is a danger of damage to the parts connected near to it, you must contact a qualified repairer.
- If you think that your microwave light bulb is dim for no reason, we must tell you that sometimes it gets dim when you run it for low power tasks such as defrosting or reheating.
- To check this, you can use a cup of water and run it on maximum power and see whether the light is bright or dim
#2. Microwave Doesn’t Heat:
Microwave not heating is one of the most common issues that the microwave owners face at least once in a lifetime. Most of the microwave ovens have a high voltage diode that converts the AC power to DC. The voltage reaches its highest peak capacity so that the magnetron heats up the oven uniformly.
The microwave not heating problem occurs sometimes even when the light is on while the operation. The microwave doesn’t heat and the light remains on and there may be many reasons attached to it.
- If your microwave doesn’t heat, the most common reason behind it is the magnetron failure.
- If the diode fails it doesn’t provide sufficient voltage to the magnetron and thus the microwave doesn’t heat properly. There are multiple indications that a diode has burn out but to make sure, you can use a volt-Ohm meter to check whether it is working or not. Sometimes the magnetron stops working even if the diode is properly functional.
- This can happen when the magnetron is damaged due to any reason.
- A magnetron also gets damaged if you run the microwave empty.
- Sometimes a defective capacitor can also cause failure in heating up. Also, if any of the door switches of the microwave door becomes faulty, it can result in failure to heat.
- Any damage to the diode or magnetron results in the microwave not heating issue.
- Microwave magnetron replacement can solve this issue and for this purpose, you’ll have to contact the microwave manufacturer or a professional person who can replace it because it can’t be repaired.
- A professional technician or repairer can check whether there is a capacitor burn issue, faulty diodes, or a defective door switch that is causing the heating failure.
#3. Microwave Oven Shuts Off in Between:
If your microwave oven shuts off during the heating operation. In such cases, the microwave runs for a brief moment and then shuts off. If your microwave stopped working after running for some seconds, this can irritate you a lot as it won’t be able to complete the task in the desired period.
- The main reason associated with this issue is a faulty door switch.
- A defective door switch can cause this problem and you may notice that your microwave shuts off after 3 seconds.
- A faulty fan motor, failed transformer and a defective touch pad can also cause this problem.
- This can be due to old parts such as the switches and capacitor which get damaged due to frequent use.
- To have this problem fixed, you’ll have to contact a technician who can repair the faulty door switch or replace the capacitor.
- The capacitor is one of the riskiest components of a microwave and it can produce enough current even when the microwave is unplugged or turn off. So, if you are thinking to replace it yourself, you must first discharge the capacitor and then test it for its functionality.
#4. Microwave is Running But isn’t Heating The Food:
The microwave not heating issue can occur in many types. Sometimes the light will switch on but the microwave will not heat or run. Sometimes the light will switch on and the plate will move too, but the food won’t heat. Microwave not heating food is also a common issue and can be due to the reasons mentioned under heading 2.
However, sometimes there may be other reasons associated with this problem too.
- A faulty thermo-protector can sometimes lead to this problem when everything seems to work properly except that the microwave is not heating.
- The thermo-protector controls the amount of heat in a microwave and it is present in the form of a switch.
- If the temperature in the microwave oven exceeds a certain point, the appliance automatically cuts off the power and the microwave stops heating. Sometimes the microwave stops heating because the fuse trips down.
- If the heating is due to the fuse tripping issue, you don’t need to do anything except resetting the microwave.
- A faulty thermo-protector however, has to be replaced so that the microwave can resume its normal operation.
- Sometimes incorrect cooking time selection or power setting can also cause this issue of not heating, so you need to do the setting again before heating the food.
- If these things don’t work, you’ll have to contact a skilled technician to check whether there is a circuitry fault or a magnetron damage issue.
#5. The Microwave Turntable Doesn’t Rotate:
Some microwave ovens stop rotating which makes it impossible to heat the food. The microwave operates when the turntable rotates properly and this way the food is heated evenly. The rotating motor is located below the plate and it causes the plate to rotate. The microwave turntable or plate stops moving when there is a fault with the motor.
Reasons: The most common reason that causes the microwave plate to become immovable is the motor. If the motor has burned out or is worn out, it will make the plate jammed. This problem is not common and there are lesser chances that a motor burns out or gets worn out.
- When the motor isn’t defective, there may be a problem with the control board or the display board.
- If the oven has a switch or microwave button to control the turntable, there can be an issue with it too.
- Sometimes dirt gets accumulated below the turntable and for this, you know how to clean your microwave oven. This dirt can also make it jammed and immovable.
- If there is a fault in the motor, you must have it repaired or replaced by a skilled technician. You can also check the coupling between the turntable and the motor and make sure it is sitting properly so that it rotates smoothly.
- The motor can easily be replaced but if there is a problem with the control board, you’ll have to check the control panel or microwave keypad to solve the issue.
- Microwave plate replacement is also recommended if it is broken from the part where it is attached to the motor, as this can also cause hindrance in the rotation process.
#6. Microwave Sparking Issue:
Sparking inside the microwave is often experienced by the microwave owners and this is also a common problem. Microwave sparking doesn’t indicate that there is something seriously wrong with your appliance. However, it is necessary to turn off the microwave immediately and do the necessary inspection to solve the issue.
- The reasons that are mostly associated with microwave sparking are damaged rack support, diode burn, worn out paint, or damaged waveguide cover.
- The exposed metal edges such as food bag ties, metal foil, utensils, and containers etc. are responsible for such sparking.
- Sometimes carbonized food, which is already present on the door or in the heating chamber can also cause sparking.
- If the sparking is produced during the microwave operation, it means that there is some problem with the waveguide cover.
- Sparking can cause damage to the microwave walls and cavity and it should be repaired.
- If you have diagnosed the reason behind sparking, you must fix it first. For example, the waveguide cover should be replaced to avoid more damage to the microwave due to sparking.
- If the sparking occurs along the walls it means that the paint on the walls have been chipped and the heat waves are causing sparking when they strike them.
#7. Microwave Power Failure:
When a power failure occurs the display panel starts showing an ‘8888’ or ‘PF’ message. The ‘PF’ stands for power failure and 8888 is also a code indicating power failure. If any of these messages are displayed on your appliance, you must now that it is indicating a power failure.
Reasons: The power failure occurs mostly during power outages. The microwave LCD panel starts displaying this message when the power is lost.
- The microwave power failure error is a minor one and you don’t need to panic because it can be fixed immediately.
- You don’t need to consult a skilled technician for this because it is a temporary one.
- To fix this error message, you just have to press the clear button and the error message will go away.
- After removing the error, you can reset the clock so that it gets easier to set the time for operating.
#8. Faulty Door Switch:
If you have diagnosed the exact problem, that’s a good news because now you can easily find its solution. Many of the people don’t even know how to diagnose issues related to electrical appliances and thus they get stuck in between.
Microwaves have normally around 3 to 4 door switches which activate the operation and allow the appliance to start heating. If any of the switches is faulty, the microwave will not work. An easy way to identify a faulty door switch is that, when you close the door the light still remains on.
Reasons: The microwave door switches can get worn out as time passes. These switches can also get faulty due to rough use such as slamming the door etc.
- Replacing a faulty door switch is very easy and you can do it yourself too.
- However, if the door switch has been damaged due to an electrical issue, you’ll need to consult a technician for fixing it.
#9. Faulty Capacitor:
If you notice a buzzing sound while your microwave runs, it may be because of the faulty capacitor. Defective capacitor causes damage to the microwave and it doesn’t operate normally. A faulty capacitor should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Reasons: A capacitor can get damaged with time and wear and tear of use. If the capacitor gets old it is most likely to get damaged.
- Only a skilled technician can remove the capacitor and check it to analyze the situation.
- If the capacitor is completely damaged, it needs to be replaced otherwise it can be dangerous.
- A faulty capacitor always needs to be replaced but first the technician should test it to make sure whether it is the source of problem or not.
#10. Microwaves Buttons Don’t Work:
Sometimes the microwave buttons start creating problem. You may notice this when you try to press them but the settings don’t come up according to your will. Sometimes all the buttons stop working at the same time and sometimes only some of the buttons seem to be faulty.
Reasons: The microwave buttons stop working if there is a problem with the touchpad that is present behind the control panel of the buttons. A defective main control board can also cause the buttons to be non-functional.
- A skilled technician can remove the damaged touch pad or check the control board if there is a problem with it.
- If you have some technical knowledge, you can do this task yourself too because replacing a damaged touchpad is not a difficult task.
#11: Faulty Triac:
A triac is a semi-conductor device having three terminals and it can work in two directions. When the triac is damaged, the microwave will only cook food on full power and not on low power settings.
Reasons: A faulty triac is the result of a faulty controller switch.
- Faulty triac is not a common problem and it occurs rarely. However, if the main control board is defective, it can cause this problem.
- It is possible that this is a microwave manufacturing fault because you can’t reach your desired settings.
- To fix this issue, you should consult the manufacturer or the dealer of the microwave.
Some of the microwave problems are major while others can be solved using DIY methods. Since Microwave is an electrical appliance, most of the faulty components should be repaired or replaced by a skilled technician because it can be dangerous. These days the price of microwaves has become very affordable and you can also consider buying a new one if the problem is a big one. For this, you should know most important 5 things before buying a new toaster oven. If your microwave doesn’t get fixed using DIY methods, we recommend buying a new one instead of paying a technician to fix the issue.
The microwave problems and reasons vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but we have listed the most common ones in this post. The reasons of these issues are more or less same in all the microwaves, and to fix them, it is necessary to first inspect and diagnose the cause.
Tim Yaotome says
I never knew that a dim microwave means that there is something wrong with its wiring or control board. In case this happens to the one I have in my apartment, I will find a microwave repair service. That way, they can restore it back to normal. Also, their help can lower the risk of starting a fire from it too.