Your microwave is always a godsend when you have to cook or heat a pre-cooked meal when time is not on your side. With the click of a few buttons, your food will be ready in only a few moments, and you won’t have to clean so many dishes. So, if yours broke and you are not ready to replace it, here is how to repair a microwave oven at home.
Best At-Home Microwave Repair Tips
When you put your food in your best microwave oven, and nothing happens, you have first to diagnose where the problem could be. In some cases, it could be you forgot to plug it in, select a setting, or did not close the door properly. These are easy fixes you can do in a minute.
However, when you are certain the problem is deeper such as microwave power issues, there are four ways to fix them at home.
1. How to repair microwave ovens that run but do not heat food
It is heartbreaking when you plug in the microwave, place your food inside, select your cooking time, and it starts running but won’t heat your food. When this happens, you are looking at possibly eating cold food or not, in which case you will waste it. To prevent food wastage at all costs, you need tips to repair the damaged microwave.
The problem is usually with the high voltage diode, magnetron or door switch. A magnetron is what produces the heat required to cook, while the high voltage diode powers the magnetron. Unfortunately, when any of these parts are broken, the easiest way to repair your microwave is to replace them. Here is how to do it:
a) How to replace a high voltage diode
Step 1: Unplug the power cord to safely discharge the high voltage diode to prevent electrocution as you proceed. Remove the oven accessories and the microwave casing to access the inner parts when you unplug the microwave.
Step 2: Locate the high voltage diode and use a multi-meter to test for electrical continuity. If present, discharge it using screwdriver blades at the end of each of the capacitator’s terminals. This step is vital because the diode stores power even after unplugging the microwave.
Step 3: When you discharge it, confirm it is physically damaged, remove it, and replace it with a new one. If the high voltage diode looks fine, you may need a technician to determine whether enough power is supplied to the high voltage circuit.
b) How to replace a magnetron
As mentioned, the magnetron produces the heat necessary to heat your food. If, after the attempt to replace the diode above, you suspect the problem is with the magnetron, here is how to replace it:
Step 1: Empty the microwave oven, then unplug it from power. Next, remove the cabinet and discharge the high voltage capacitor.
Step 2: Locate the magnetron near the capacitor. Disconnect the two attached wires, then attach the leads to your multi-meter to test for electrical continuity. No continuity will indicate you need to replace the magnetron with a new one.
However, if you get any electrical continuity, it could be best to get a technician to troubleshoot issues.
c) How to replace a microwave door switch
Your microwave might need new door switches if it is running but generating no heat. The door switches are interlock switches that produce heat to various components when your microwave is in a closed position. If broken, you might still notice that the fans and other features are working, but your food will still be cold after the timer.
Here is how you can tell if a door interlock switch needs to be replaced;
Step 1: Remove the glass plate and other accessories from the oven, then unplug the microwave from power and discharge the capacitator. Open the cabinet and locate the wires connected to terminals C and NO.
Step 2: Use your multi-meter to test for a continuous electrical path between these terminals. If there is no continuity, you will need to replace the switches. When replacing, ensure you have the exact door switches to guarantee they will line properly with the actuation mechanisms.
2. How to repair a faulty control panel
If your microwave’s touchpad does not respond, you cannot use the microwave. This is because the touchpad needs to communicate to the control board through a conductive coating. If the conductive coating wears out, the touchpad will not communicate to the control board, meaning you cannot select any preset.
If you need to replace the control board, here is how to do it;
Step 1: Unplug the microwave from power, and remove all accessories in the oven cavity. Remove the microwave casing to expose the inner components.
Step 2: Discharge the capacitor using screwdrivers or pliers with insulated handles. Then, access the control board on one side of the microwave. The control board is located at the back of the control panel. Remove the control panel, noting where each connection wire should go. When you’ve removed the panel, lay it on a table to access the control board.
Step 3: Now, unscrew the control board screws, remove the main control board, and replace it with a new one. Reinstall all the screws to test if your control panel works.