Common Microwave Oven Problems That Can Happen to Anyone

Microwaves certainly make our lives easier in the kitchen. But when they start to develop problems and need some form of repair, the issue becomes more of a problem than a source for help.

In this guide, we are going to list some of the common problems of microwaves and how you can go about fixing the problem yourself.

Before digging in though, we want to make sure the capacitor is turned off to avoid a shock, even if unplugged. See this guide for more details, and grab the following items for your evaluation:

  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Volt-ohm Meter (VOM)
  • Alligator Clips
Problem #1: Microwave Won’t Turn On At All

First of all, make sure it’s the microwave that won’t turn on instead of the outlet being what is not working. Unplug the microwave and inspect it’s wire for burn marks. If you haven’t already from done so after reading the tutorial above, also remove the outer shell of the microwave.

From here, it’s possible to determine one of the following issues:

  • Bad Fan Motor –  Locate the fan and set your VOM to RX1 to probe the terminals. If you get a reading of infinity, the microwave needs to be replaced.
  • Blown Fuse – Remove the fuse using fuse pullers or your pliers, are carefully set the parts to the side so the don’t roll away from the area. Set your VOM to RX1 and perform another terminal probe. If the reading isn’t a normal 0, replace the fuse with a similar one.
  • Bad Door Switch – Locate the door switches and set your VOM to RX1 again. Normal readings indicate with the microwave door open the reading should be infinity, and 0 with them closed. If you get different readings on either, these may need to be replaced.

Problem #2: Microwave is Cooking Slowly and Unevenly

To see why your microwave isn’t fully cooking, check the voltage of the outlet first. If it is anything lower than 115 volts, the problem most likely lies in your breaker or electric service.  Next, check out the motor of the turntable. If the reading is infinity, the motor needs replacing.

If neither of these work, the problem could be with the wave guide or magnetron, and further diagnosed by a professional.

Problem #3: Microwave is Running , But Isn’t Cooking

To dissect why the microwave isn’t cooking, we need to take a look at the thermal cutoffs, which are small disc-shaped devices that are connected by a wire. Check the terminal with your VOM at a RX1, and look for a reading of a zero. Anything different suggests that the thermal cutoffs need to be replaced.

Other problems could be located in the magnetron, diode, or capacitor, which can be test with your VOM as well.