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7 of the Most Common Microwave Problems & How to Fix Them!

by Ann Ferguson

Microwaves are a staple appliance in most households, making it convenient to heat leftovers, cook a quick meal, or defrost frozen foods. However, they can encounter problems just like any other appliance, and they become most inconvenient when they do.

But don't worry; you don't have to deal with it for too long. Most of these common microwave problems are very fixable — and we'll show you how!

1. Plate Not Turning

Closeup of someone pulling out the microwave plate

Probably the most common issue of any microwave is when the plate doesn't turn. The turning plate helps cook and reheat your food evenly, so it's a major headache when it's not working. Usually, the problem could be from something obstructing the spinning assembly.

So, first, check that the plate isn't broken, the guide rollers run smoothly, and the plate is correctly placed on top of the rollers. If those are okay, you'll need to double-check the pronged coupler in the microwave center, see if it's cracked, and check the drive motor. For these two issues, you'll need to contact our service team to help fix them!

2. Turns, But There's No Heat

The second most common microwave problem is when the plate turns, but the microwave doesn't produce any heat — oops. Several things can cause this issue, including a faulty magnetron, which produces heat, or something wrong with the high voltage diode, which gives power to the magnetron.

Either of these could be at fault, but in both cases, you'll need the help of our team to fix them!

3. Touchpad Not Working

Closeup of someone pulling out the microwave plate

Have you ever had to push the same microwave button more than once? That means your microwave touchpad is becoming unresponsive, usually caused by a faulty membrane switch or control board. Without these parts, there's no power going toward the touchpad.

If that's the case, it's a complicated fix — but nothing our team can't handle!

4. Door Doesn't Close All The Way

Another common microwave problem is when the door doesn't close all the way, which can be a real pain. Repeatedly slamming it shut isn't good for your appliance, so it's best to check the hinges and springs. If these are loose, you'll feel heat escaping the microwave and smell food odors more strongly.

So, tighten any loose screws you see, which should help the door close more smoothly!

5. Weird Noises

Alarmed woman turning off microwave after hearing weird noises and seeing smoke

Strange noises from your microwave are never a good sign, especially if you're overcooking your food. But if the noises aren't from that, they can be from other things. The noise could be from the microwave plate not fitting on the rollers or something more severe like the drive motor, magnetron, or cooling fan.

In the latter cases, like with the drive motor, you won't be able to fix those on your own — contact our team instead!

6. Door Doesn't Open

Does your microwave door keep sticking? You most likely have a microwave with a push-release door switch, so you'll need to check the latch assembly and the button release mechanism for wear and tear. If you see lots of damage, they'll need to be replaced soon.

If you don't have a microwave with a push-release door, you'll need to use a manual override to open the door, so double-check the user manual!

7. Exhaust Fan Troubles

All over-the-range microwaves require an exhaust fan to vent away the fumes, but sometimes these will stop working as they should. If the fan isn't working, it means there's a problem with the charcoal or grease filter, which can get clogged.

But if you open it up and the filters are clear, the problem might be with the fan motor. In this case, that's where our service team comes in!

What's the Problem?

Service repairman fixing built-in microwave

As you can see, several problems can occur with your microwave. But luckily, most of them are fixable! And our service team at Culligan of Le Mars has the skills and years of experience to make it work like new! So, if you're having issues, don't wait — call us today, and we'll set up your service appointment.