Knowing how to troubleshoot a microwave oven can save you much time and money. You may be able to make simple repairs yourself, but even if you can't do the repair, you will at least know what the problem is when you take it to the shop. This prevents any repairmen from charging you for unneeded repairs.
To learn how to troubleshoot a microwave oven, you will need the following.
- Gentle cleaning solution, such as dish detergent mixed with warm water.
- If the control buttons are not working this could mean they became too wet during cleaning. In that case you may need to wait a few days before they dry out before trying to use the oven again.
- If there seems to be no heat when in use try cleaning the walls, floor, and ceiling of the microwave. Also make sure the turntable is clean while you're at it. A terribly dirty microwave could interfere with the induction of waves. Troubleshooting your microwave could mean just giving it a good cleaning! If that doesn't fix the problem, it could be the magnetron itself. If you don't hear the familiar buzzing or humming sound of the magnetron, you will need to take it to the repair shop. Depending on the cost of that repair, you could be better off just buying a new microwave oven.
- If the turntable isn't working make sure it is fitted perfectly onto the tray guide. Most microwaves have a roller mechanism under the turntable. This must also be fitted perfectly into its' track. If that is all as it should be and the turntable still won't turn, it could be you are trying to fit too large of a dish into the oven. If it touches the sides, it will interfere with the turntable rotation.
- If you see sparks when trying to cook or heat something, check to make sure that there is no metal on the container you are using. Metal trim on coffee cups, metal utensils, and aluminum foil will cause sparking inside the microwave. Immediately remove the dish as this can damage the oven. If that isn't the cause perhaps food has spilled and is burning or sparking. This should be cleaned off before trying the oven again. Finally, troubleshoot the microwave by checking inside the oven for any damage to the walls or ceiling such as chips or scrapes. This can also cause sparking and must be repaired.
- The obvious solutions are that the microwave isn't plugged in or the door isn't closed all the way, so be sure to check those. Make sure the outlet the oven is plugged in to actually works. Sometimes the simplest fixes can solve the biggest problems. Also when trying to troubleshoot a microwave, be sure to read the owners manual for solutions as well.
Tip: Never remove the cover or touch exposed electrical parts when troubleshooting a microwave oven. You can receive a shock from a microwave oven even when it's unplugged.