details about breakdowns and how to fix them



The microwave oven works on the prin­ci­ple of scat­ter­ing a small amount of microwave radi­a­tion in the cham­ber, which caus­es the water mol­e­cules to vibrate.

And fol­low­ing the law of ener­gy con­ver­sion, a large amount of heat is released, which heats up food. That is, it is the liq­uid con­tained inside the food that is heat­ed.

But if you vio­late the rules for oper­at­ing a microwave oven, soon­er or lat­er prob­lems arise with it. The most com­mon are spark­ing dur­ing switch­ing on, as well as a decrease in radi­a­tion pow­er.

Is it pos­si­ble to repair a microwave oven your­self at home? What can you do with your own hands, and when is it bet­ter to con­tact ser­vice cen­ters for help

Do-it-your­self microwave repair step by step from A to Z in this arti­cle.

It’s important to know

The main ele­ment of a microwave oven is a mag­netron, which is a trans­former that con­verts cur­rent into high-fre­quen­cy volt­age. And that is what is extreme­ly dan­ger­ous for humans.

Accord­ing­ly, when dis­as­sem­bling equip­ment or per­form­ing any work, it is required to care­ful­ly observe safe­ty pre­cau­tions.

Basic require­ments:

  1. Be sure to de-ener­gize the microwave before repair­ing.
  2. Be sure to use ground­ing.
  3. Do not dis­as­sem­ble the mag­netron with­out prop­er expe­ri­ence and with­out the use of dielec­tric gloves.

Microwaves are also emit­ted when the microwave oven is oper­at­ing. They can also harm a per­son!

A shield is pro­vid­ed inside the microwave hous­ing, which pre­vents the pen­e­tra­tion of microwave radi­a­tion to the out­side. And it is for this rea­son that the oven can­not be turned on when the door is open — this is a kind of pro­tec­tive mech­a­nism pro­vid­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er itself.

But dur­ing dis­as­sem­bly, it is pos­si­ble to close the door lock mech­a­nism. In no case should you turn on an open microwave oven!


Microwave device

Con­ven­tion­al­ly, the microwave can be divid­ed into the fol­low­ing key nodes:

  1. Frame. Acts as a shield to pre­vent microwave radi­a­tion from pen­e­trat­ing out­side the microwave oven.
  2. Mag­netron. A trans­former that gen­er­ates microwave radi­a­tion when volt­age is applied.
  3. Wave­guide. A hol­low pro­file of a rec­tan­gu­lar cross sec­tion that directs the flow of microwave radi­a­tion direct­ly into the cham­ber, where the food is heat­ed.
  4. Capac­i­tor. It is used in the pow­er sys­tem of the mag­netron. Capa­ble of stor­ing elec­tric­i­ty. There­fore, even if the microwave is dis­con­nect­ed from elec­tric­i­ty, this does not elim­i­nate the like­li­hood of receiv­ing an elec­tric shock! Dis­re­gard­ing the safe­ty rules is strict­ly pro­hib­it­ed.
  5. Elec­tri­cal engine. Respon­si­ble for turn­ing the plate of the microwave oven dur­ing switch­ing on for uni­form heat­ing of food.
  6. Con­trol block. Reg­u­lates the volt­age sup­ply, and also allows you to set the microwave oper­at­ing mode, dura­tion, radi­a­tion pow­er.
  7. Con­trol Pan­el. A set of but­tons or knobs, with which the user pro­grams the oper­a­tion of the microwave oven, indi­cates the required heat­ing mode.

These nodes are among the most tech­ni­cal­ly sim­ple microwave ovens. But the func­tion­al­i­ty of each mod­el is some­what dif­fer­ent.

In mod­ern microwave ovens, for exam­ple, man­u­fac­tur­ers often add a heater ele­ment to enable the prepa­ra­tion of meat prod­ucts, as well as a ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem that dis­trib­utes hot air inside the microwave oven.


Power button not working

Pos­si­ble caus­es of the mal­func­tion:

  1. The microwave oven is not con­nect­ed to the pow­er sup­ply. It is enough to check whether the pow­er cable is con­nect­ed to the out­let, and whether there is elec­tric cur­rent in it (you can use a mul­ti­me­ter by turn­ing on the mea­sure­ment of AC volt­age).
  2. Fail­ure of the con­trol pan­el but­ton. Its replace­ment is required.
  3. Door not closed. Or the lock­ing mech­a­nism has failed.

Control panel button failure

As a rule, the dig­i­tal con­trol pan­el is attached direct­ly to the case with latch­es, some­times with 3 screws, and is cov­ered with a sil­i­cone heat-pro­tec­tive pad on top.

Quite often, due to inac­cu­rate use of equip­ment, grease, dirt, mois­ture get under it. That is, it is enough to remove the pan­el and wipe the pro­trud­ing con­tacts of the but­tons with an alco­hol wipe (it is not rec­om­mend­ed to use deter­gents).

If a microwave oven is used that does not have a pow­er but­ton, that is, for this you just need to turn the han­dle and close the door, then most like­ly the han­dle itself has failed. To replace it, you will need to remove the con­trol unit.

This is done as fol­lows:

  1. Remove the back cov­er of the microwave oven.
  2. Loosen the screws secur­ing the con­trol unit.
  3. Remove the pro­tec­tive cov­er from the front (if present).
  4. Remove the plas­tic han­dles (in most cas­es they are held only by latch­es).
  5. Remove the con­trol unit itself through the front part.

After that, it will be pos­si­ble to unscrew the fas­ten­ers of the han­dles and install new ones in their place.


The door is not closed or the locking mechanism is broken

First of all, you need to check whether the door clos­es tight­ly, whether there are any dirt, stains along its frame on the inside, and if nec­es­sary, clean it.

You can use either alco­hol or a spe­cial microwave clean­er.

If the prob­lem is in the lock, then you will need to remove the door. The lock itself is locat­ed near the con­trol unit.

Remov­ing the door is quite sim­ple, as most man­u­fac­tur­ers mount them on exter­nal pro­trud­ing hinges. That is, it is enough to unscrew just one screw (on top), after which — pull the door up.

But to remove and replace the lock, you will have to dis­as­sem­ble the microwave and remove its front part.

To do this, you must first remove the rear pro­tec­tive cov­er, unscrew the screws secur­ing the front pan­el, then unfas­ten it from the latch­es.

You can pur­chase a new lock direct­ly from the man­u­fac­tur­er (con­tact an autho­rized ser­vice cen­ter). It should be not­ed that a pow­er con­nec­tor is con­nect­ed to it (through which the con­trol unit mon­i­tors the lock is open or closed).

When you turn on the microwave oven, the switchboard switches off.

If, when the microwave oven is turned on, the machine works, that is, it “knocks out” elec­tric­i­ty in the house, then this indi­cates that there is a short cir­cuit in the pow­er sup­ply cir­cuit of the device. Most often — in the pow­er cable itself or in the trans­former.

First of all, you need to visu­al­ly inspect whether there are traces of burnout near the lead-in wire, as well as on the plug itself (which is insert­ed into the sock­et).

If noth­ing of the kind is found, then you will need to dis­as­sem­ble the microwave, remove the trans­former and check it for a wind­ing short cir­cuit. Nat­u­ral­ly, this must be done only if you have the prop­er expe­ri­ence and observ­ing the safe­ty rules.

The trans­former and mag­netron are locat­ed at the rear. That is, you need to remove the pro­tec­tive cov­er, the retain­ing plates (also fas­tened with screws), and then, in the “dial­ing” mode with a mul­ti­me­ter, check if the trans­former wind­ings are closed.


Sparks during microwave operation

If, when you turn on the microwave, sparks and some­times elec­tric arcs are notice­able inside the heat­ing cham­ber, then the rea­son for this may be:

  1. Get­ting on the walls of fat, water.
  2. Metal­lic (incom­pat­i­ble) uten­sils are used.
  3. Dam­age to the mag­netron screen (mica).
  4. Enam­el dam­age.

Grease, water on the walls of the microwave oven

The inner walls of the microwave are coat­ed with a dielec­tric coat­ing. Most often it is enam­el or ceram­ics (the same enam­el, but with the addi­tion of ceram­ic chips), as well as acrylic (in “bud­get” microwave ovens).

And if fat gets on them, it can burn, there­by dam­ag­ing the dielec­tric lay­er. That is, after that, microwave radi­a­tion hits the met­al part of the case, the microwave begins to spark and crack.

To fix the prob­lem, the screen will need to be replaced.

Used metal utensils

For heat­ing or cook­ing food in microwave ovens, you can only use food-grade plas­tic dish­es (the pack­age must have a label indi­cat­ing that it can be used to heat food in microwave ovens), as well as glass or ceram­ics.

Met­al — it is impos­si­ble, since it acts as a radi­a­tion accu­mu­la­tor, which caus­es spark­ing (cur­rent dis­charges).

Magnetron screen damage

In each microwave oven, the mag­netron wave­guide must be cov­ered with a mica screen. If fat gets on it, then there is a pos­si­bil­i­ty of burnout.

Check­ing this is not dif­fi­cult, just look at the plate (usu­al­ly locat­ed on the inside on the right). If it has signs of burnout, it will need to be replaced.


enamel damage

If the microwave has sparkled, then you should care­ful­ly con­sid­er the inner sur­face of the case. Even small scratch­es on the enam­el will cause sparks, as microwave radi­a­tion will hit the met­al part of the screen. It will need to be replaced.

REFERENCE! Some ser­vice cen­ters pro­vide enam­el restora­tion ser­vices in microwave ovens. But, as a rule, such a ser­vice is not cheap. About the same as installing a new screen.

Reducing the power of the microwave oven

This hap­pens in two sit­u­a­tions:

  1. Wave­guide burnout.
  2. Mal­func­tions in the pow­er cir­cuit of the mag­netron or con­trol unit.

Waveguide burnout

The wave­guide directs the flow of microwave radi­a­tion to the heat­ed food.

But it works prop­er­ly only if there is no fat or oth­er con­t­a­m­i­nants on its walls.

Accord­ing­ly, if the pow­er of the microwave oven has dropped sharply, then it is nec­es­sary to check its con­di­tion. If nec­es­sary, replace (locat­ed direct­ly next to the mag­netron, that is, you will need to remove the back wall).

Malfunctions in the power circuit

In most cas­es, it is asso­ci­at­ed with the fail­ure of the capac­i­tor.

Its replace­ment is required, since the sup­plied cur­rent to the trans­former is under­es­ti­mat­ed, there­fore, a small­er amount of microwave radi­a­tion is gen­er­at­ed than nec­es­sary.

Timer doesn’t work

The error occurs in the fol­low­ing sit­u­a­tions:

  1. Faulty dig­i­tal con­trol unit. Actu­al for microwave ovens, in which the oper­at­ing mode is set using the but­tons or the touch pan­el.
  2. The han­dle of the timer and pow­er selec­tion is faulty.

Faulty control unit

It will need to be diag­nosed and replaced.

It is rec­om­mend­ed to con­tact the ser­vice cen­ter, since in most cas­es the break­down is asso­ci­at­ed with the fail­ure of the quartz ele­ment on the board. Repair in this case will be inex­pen­sive.

Timer handle defective

It is nec­es­sary to remove the con­trol box and replace the dam­aged han­dles.

Microwave magnetron repair

A failed mag­netron, as a rule, is not repaired, but replaced with a new com­pat­i­ble one.


How to fix mechanical damage to the door

The door itself must be removed from the hinges. If the pro­tec­tive glass was bro­ken, it can be replaced. It is held, as a rule, only on latch­es (dis­man­tling should be car­ried out from the inside).

To replace the hinge (as a rule, there is only one, locat­ed at the top of the door), it is enough to unscrew it (it is held on by 2 — 3 bolts) and install a new one.

By the way, spare doors for microwave ovens in most cas­es are sold already assem­bled with hinges.

How to replace mica in the microwave

Mica is rec­om­mend­ed to be replaced after about 3 years of reg­u­lar use of the microwave oven, or when traces of burnout appear on it.

It is held in most cas­es with 1 — 2 screws, as well as latch­es. That is, first you need to unscrew the plate, then pry it with some sharp plas­tic object.


Mica should not be thrown away, as it can be cut into a new blank for instal­la­tion in a microwave oven. Or pur­chase a new one direct­ly from the man­u­fac­tur­er.

In total, the gen­er­al prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of a microwave oven is quite sim­ple. Most often, it is the mag­netron with the trans­former that fails (replace), the con­trol unit (mod­els with mechan­i­cal con­trol are more reli­able), as well as the door hinges.

And to sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the risk of any break­downs with a microwave oven, it is rec­om­mend­ed to clean it reg­u­lar­ly. And use spe­cial deter­gents for microwave ovens for this (they do not con­tain com­po­nents that can harm enam­el, acrylic or ceram­ics).

In total, most microwave mal­func­tions can real­ly be fixed on your own at home. Even if it is a seri­ous break­down, by the type of fail­ure of the con­trol unit.

Pur­chas­ing spare parts even for old mod­els of microwave ovens should not be a prob­lem, man­u­fac­tur­ers do not have inter­rup­tions in their sup­ply.

Useful video

How to inde­pen­dent­ly repair a microwave oven if it starts spark­ing is described in detail in the video clip:







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