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How Do I Repair a Microwave?

Alex Tree
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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To repair a microwave, first assess the situation and determine what exactly is wrong, whether it is the turntable, the microwave fan, or something else. Next, have your microwave manual or the company’s website on hand to order parts. Finally, only actually fix a microwave if you are confident in your ability to complete the project in a safe manner. Microwave appliances can be dangerous if put together wrong and then used; for example, they can shock people or start a fire days after the repair.

If your microwave is sparking during operation, either the microwave is dirty or the stirrer is not working. When the microwave is dirty, the food splattered on the walls of the machine continues to cook, which can cause sparks. This is easily fixed by simply cleaning the microwave according to the manual. The stirrer is the fan usually located on the ceiling of the microwave. If the stirrer is not moving, some part of it is probably broken and must be replaced.

Sometimes it takes less than 30 seconds to repair a microwave, like in the case of a misaligned turntable. If the turntable is not working, adjust it to ensure it is sitting on the guide properly. Occasionally the carousel cooking tray, the plastic piece the turntable sits on, is blocked or broken, and clearing out debris or replacing this piece fixes the problem. In some cases, a turntable that does not turn means the carousal tray motor has burned out. To repair your microwave in this case, it is a bit more complicated and depends on your microwave model.

Microwaves have a fuse that must be in working order for the machine to operate. Sometimes slamming the microwave door can blow this fuse. To repair a microwave in this case, just replace the fuse or have a professional do it for you. While the expense of some microwave repairs are such that you might as well buy a new microwave, replacing the fuse is usually not one of those repairs. Whenever your microwave stops working, the fuse is the second thing to check, right after whether or not it is plugged in.

To repair a microwave with a broken turntable, simply buy a new turntable. You can usually do this by calling a number in the microwave’s manual or visiting the company’s website. Do not use the microwave without the turntable, unless the microwave is a type that specifically allows this.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon962784 — On Jul 25, 2014

My microwave is not working properly. It stop many times during while I use it. How can I fix it?

By BabaB — On Nov 14, 2011

It seems like repairs to a microwave are either very simple to do yourself, involve a phone call and a trip to the store to order a part, or they are serious and would have to be repaired by a professional.

I've done all three. I've just fiddled around to get the tray back on the grooves, and just cleaned the oven. I've ordered parts that have broken. And I've called a professional when the microwave stopped functioning, got an estimate for repair, and decided it wasn't worth fixing. I've tossed several out and bought new ones - the cost isn't much more than fixing a serious problem.

By sunshined — On Nov 14, 2011

I bought a cheap $20 microwave that I use just for camping trips every year. We tent camp in the mountains, but have access to electricity, so I like to take the microwave along with us.

Because I have used this same microwave for many years, and it seems to take a lot of abuse, I am always happy when it keeps working from year to year.

This past summer there was a huge rain and wind storm that came up when we were gone for the afternoon. When we got back to camp, it looked like a tornado had come through and destroyed the camp.

That cheap microwave was about 10 feet from where we had left it, was turned over and had about 3 inches of water in it. I thought for sure I would be buying a new microwave after that.

I knew it wouldn't be worth repairing, but thought it would at least be worth drying it out to see if it would work again.

Much to my surprise, the next morning I plugged it in, and it worked fine the rest of the week!

By LisaLou — On Nov 13, 2011

I have owned several different brands of microwaves and haven't found one that is any better than the other.

I never spend very much money on a microwave, because all I ever do is heat something up or use it to defrost something.

I don't need one that has a lot of fancy gadgets or programs. Of all the microwaves I have owned, I don't remember ever repairing any of them.

They seem to last forever, and I have never had one quit on me. I have either moved or just replaced them with a different size or color to fit the kitchen where I am living.

My sister had a General Electric one, and after she called the GE microwave repair place, she decided it would be cheaper to go buy a new one than to worry about getting it repaired.

By Sara007 — On Nov 13, 2011

If you look online there are some really good forums where you can find microwave repair tips. I wanted to try and try my own Panasonic microwave repair, and with the model number and a few pictures of the problem, the people on the repair forum I was on walked me through a quick fix.

I was really impressed with how eager people were to help me. I think that before you pay someone to fix your microwave, it is a good idea to ask online for some tips. I found that repairing a microwave oven just took a bit of time and a little patience. Plus, a good guide.

By backdraft — On Nov 12, 2011

I am all for doing things yourself and making things last. But it seems like more trouble than its worth to fix your own microwave. You can go into almost any store and get a new microwave for $20.

Most microwaves last seemingly forever too. I have had more than a few in my lifetime but I have never had one break.

By lonelygod — On Nov 11, 2011

@popcorn - You can probably go into the phone book and look up appliance repair for microwaves in your city and see if anything is there. I had my GE microwave repaired at a local shop and it cost me $20 just to get a fuse changed (I would have done it myself had I known how easy it was).

I think if you don't know how to repair a microwave, and if you think it is badly damaged it would be better to just get a new one. Nowadays you can easily pick up a brand new microwave for under $100. If you need a lot of things done to fix your old microwave, you may find it cheaper just to get a new one.

By popcorn — On Nov 11, 2011

Where would you go to repair a Sharp microwave oven?

Our microwave is currently not working and is just refusing to cook anything. I don't feel confident enough to try to fix a microwave by myself, so I would definitely prefer a professional to do it.

My microwave is also long past its warranty end date, so I doubt I can get anyone from the actual manufacturing company to help me out. I am also thinking that it may be cheaper to just buy a new microwave instead of repairing this one, as it is a bit of an antique now. It's going on 6 years old.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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