If your microwave is broken and needs repair, can you do it yourself? Although it may be the least expensive of all your kitchen appliances, a microwave oven should last an average of nine years, according to the National Association of Home Builders. This guide can help you troubleshoot and perform simple microwave repairs when needed, as well as when a professional appliance repair is necessary.
Before starting repairs
While the lack of a working microwave repair can cause many to dive into the repair process as soon as possible, first research the model number of the appliance. Finding your owner’s manual can help you identify the parts. If you cannot find the manual, go to the manufacturer’s website and see if it is available as a free download.
Check to see if a blown fuse may be the cause of the problem. The fuses are designed to protect the appliance from a sudden blackout. Also, check the circuit breaker feeding the outlet and make sure it hasn’t tripped. Be aware of the risk of electric shock and contact an appliance repair professional if none of the options offer a solution; the problem may be faulty wiring.
An important microwave electrical component, a diode, facilitates electrical flow in one direction while obstructing reverse electrical flow. Diodes can open or short circuit, causing heat loss in both cases. Unplug the appliance and discharge the capacitor, the component that stores electrical energy, before replacing the faulty diode. Otherwise, you could receive a dangerous electric shock.
Sparks inside the appliance
First, make sure the appliance is clean. Grease and food adhering to interior walls or ceiling can generate occasional sparks during a high energy cycle. Another possible cause of sparks is the malfunction of the agitator, the component responsible for distributing energy evenly. The belt that feeds the agitator or motor may need to be replaced.
Open the rear exterior panel to view the interior mechanical operation. The agitator belt can be easily removed and examined for signs of wear. If it is loose and does not retain its tension, simply put on a new belt. This is one of the easiest microwave repairs to do. Examine the fan motor and check for a blockage before calling a repair professional; Connecting a new fan motor requires the experience and training necessary to meet the challenge of wiring.
Maybe the light bulb has burned out. Consult the manual to identify the exact location of the bulb and replace it. If it stays off, the main electrical panel may need professional attention. This is also the case if the digital display and keyboard are faulty.
If the microwave turntable does not turn, first remove all parts and clean them thoroughly. Accumulated food debris could be inhibiting the turning motion. The unit brushing, the part that the turntable sits on, may have cracked. The turntable motor could also have failed. It is advisable to let an experienced professional disassemble the appliance to replace a brush motor or turntable; There are many steps involved that require a thorough understanding of the electrical processes of the appliance.