A microwave is an appliance of convenience. Its purpose is to offer quick and easy food options in a fraction of the time and effort. But when the microwave is on the fritz, the added effort required to throw together a quick snack or a meal on the go becomes an incredible inconvenience.
If you’re lucky, you will have a home warranty plan that protects against the cost of replacing or repairing the microwave. But don’t assume that the microwave is included in the home warranty coverage terms. Before attempting to engage the problem on your own, check to see if your microwave is covered and be sure you are not nullifying the warranty by trying to correct the problem. Once you’re sure it’s safe to proceed, try these fixes to get your microwave back in working condition.
1. There’s No Power
It may seem like an obvious fix, but sometimes it’s overlooked due to the power cord for most microwaves being hidden within the cabinetry. Locate the plug and ensure that it is securely in the socket. Next, check to see if the latch on the door is correctly registering when the door is closed.
2. Door Won’t Close
For older microwaves, there’s a possibility that the door is not closing correctly. If the hinges have become bent or loose, the failure of the door to close properly will cause the appliance not to function. If you can diagnose this as the problem, try tightening any loose screws or replace any bent or damaged hinges.
3. Door Is Stuck
There was a time when microwaves were designed with a push button to release the door. That door opening method can become damaged and make it difficult to access the appliance due to a faulty release mechanism. In most cases, the microwave will have a manual overdrive option. Both the door handle and the release mechanism can be easily replaced if the manual option is not an acceptable long-term option.
4. Continuous Function
This failure can cause more than frustration. If the appliance does not shut off in an appropriate time frame, it can create a safety issue. This could be the result of a problem with the microwave smartboard. It is the unit that drives the computer component of the appliance. You might consider a replacement part, but it may be cost-prohibitive.
5. There’s No Heating
Over time, the strength of the microwave may diminish to the point where the appliance cannot cook the food. Aside from the possibility of a faulty door latch communicating to the appliance that the cooking time is underway, the other likely issue is a failing voltage diode. Again, correcting this issue is probably best accomplished with a new appliance.
6. Internal Plate Won’t Turn
The internal rotating plate inside the microwave is required to ensure that the food is being evenly cooked. The mechanical pieces that coordinate to allow the plate to spin may be hampered by something stuck within rollers. If not by debris, there could be a faulty screw causing the rollers to stick in place. Finally, check the coupler, which sets in the center to position and turn the plate to determine if there’s a breakage or crack.
7. Loud Noise During Use
The microwave should not create a loud noise when used. If yours is noisy, there are several possible source issues. It could be the drive motor or magnetron. It may also be related to problems with the high voltage diode or the cooling fan.
8. Exhaust Fan Not Functioning
For those appliances found above the stove, the microwave will also house the exhaust fan for the stovetop. The problem could be related to the air filter. If replacing the air filter doesn’t solve the problem, remove all the pieces and clean them.
All homes have nuances. When it comes to appliances, most homeowners want to make every attempt to repair them before purchasing a new one. While most microwaves are a minimal expense, the fix may still be cheaper.