Your microwave is one of the most encapsulated appliances in the home. For most appliances, you can see how the parts would come apart and go back together. Microwaves, however, are built in a way designed to disguise disassembly. This is one of the reasons why microwave repairs seem so daunting or don’t even occur to us at all, even when the microwave malfunctions.
Many people assume that once a microwave is damaged or doesn’t work properly, then it must be replaced. This simply isn’t true. Like any machine, damaged parts can be replaced and even a damaged cabinet or mounting structure can be repaired. There are many ways to repair a microwave that almost anyone handy with a screwdriver can do. There are many more things an experienced technician can do to get your microwave back into ship-shape.
Whether the light is out or it’s cooking unevenly, we’re here to share some of the lesser-known ways to repair your microwave.
Clean or Replace the Glass
The glass or plastic window of a microwave has two layers and somehow, food particles always seem to wind up on the unwashable in-between surfaces This can be maddening for anyone who likes a tidy kitchen because the microwave looks dirty no matter how spotlessly polished it may be.
The secret is to take apart your microwave doors. Open the door, then reveal and disassemble the hinges. Then very carefully pry the tabs open, releasing the inner-panel from the outer-panel. Now you can clean the inside of each window and access some things that are not accessible unless the door is separated. You might find yourself opening the microwave door, for example, to change the handle.
Replace a Cracked Handle
The microwave handle is one of the most at-risk plastic forms in the kitchen. In some households, the microwave handle is tugged on and slammed closed an over a dozen times a day. So it should come as no surprise that they sometimes break. Microwave door handles are also sometimes impacted by horseplay or swung upon during horseplay. So if your microwave handles breaks or cracks badly, it can be replaced by disassembling the door.
The microwave handle is usually embedded in both panels of the door so will need to be released when the repair takes place. The most likely best solution is to fully replace the handle, rather than trying to glue the old one. But with the right glue, you can put a plastic element back together.
Level the Feet
Being level matters a great deal to appliances. Big or small, the level determines a great deal about function and efficiency. Your microwave is the same way. When the feet (and surface underneath) are level, the cabinet and internal components are level as well. Not all microwaves have self-leveling feet but if yours does, simply screw them in or out to raise or lower each foot until the whole microwave is level.
If you don’t have self-leveling feet, use small furniture pads or other thin layers you can add to the underside of each leg until it is appropriately level.
Change a Light Bulb
The light in your microwave is darn useful. It shows you when soup is exploding and when oatmeal is boiling over. Or it shows you when your food is steamy and ready to eat. When the microwave light is out, you get none of this information. It’s easy to take a quick look to see if there’s an obvious latch on the light bulb cover. Don’t be discouraged if there is no latch, you can find a way in. There might be a screw or a small clip to release the cover on the inside. Some microwaves access the light bulb through the cabinet.To change the light bulb through the cabinet, unplug, then remove all screws from the back panel. Unwrap the aluminum cabinet from the front and back of the microwave. Inside, you should see a plastic cover housing the light bulb. Remove it, change the bulb, and reassemble the microwave. Now you will have light inside the microwave for only the cost of a small bulb.
Make the Plate Spin
The plate in most microwaves is designed to spin. This helps to distribute microwave-based heat throughout the dish. But you don’t have to put up with a rattling, irregular, or stuck microwave plate. Not with several easy fixes at your fingertips. Start by making sure the plate, roller-guide, and drive-coupler are all clean and free of scunge. If one of these three elements is cracked, replace it. If the guide is rattling along the microwave floor, scrub it. If the pieces don’t fit together, adjust until they doo or buy a replacement set.
You can, in many cases, make your microwave plate spin smoothly again with some attention to detail and the right part numbers.
Repair an Unresponsive Control Panel
The last and most complicated repair we’d like to mention is the control panel. It’s very common for touch-pad microwaves to eventually develop problems with the pad or display. These elements can be replaced, with a new pad or display installed into the control-board of the microwave. This kind of electric work is best done by someone experienced. If you are not confident (and safe) with a screwdriver and wires, then call for an appliance repair technician to replace the control panel of your microwave in your stead.
—Keeping your appliances in good condition is more approachable than most people realize. You do not have to buy a new microwave if your current appliance begins to malfunction. Often, these problems are easily solved with cleaning, part replacement, or just a spot of glue. Unless the central and most costly parts are the ones damaged, it can be much more effective to repair an appliance rather than replacing it. Whether you are a DIY handyperson, a trained technician, or an everyday appliance owner, we can help. Contact us today for more appliance repair insights, guides, and services in your area.