Microwave oven repair tips
A person might look at a broken microwave oven and see a lost cause. Microwave ovens seem to rely on technology that is more complicated than other things that can be fixed by do-it-yourselfers. However, there are many problems that can be fixed without calling the repairman.
Issue 1: Microwave Will Not Turn On
If the microwave will not even turn on, there are a number of issues that could be causing the problem. The power cord could be damaged or burned. Once the power source and cord have been examined and determined not to be the problem, a person can inspect the inside of the microwave. After the shell is removed (as above), the three most common power problems are the fuse, the door switch, and the fan motor. One will need a volt-ohm meter (VOM) set to Rx1 to inspect the sources.
The fuse can be removed from the fuse pullers and the VOM reading should be zero. With the door switch, the leads should be removed and the VOM should be used to probe the terminals. The reading should zero when the door is shut and infinity when the door is open. The same process can be used with the fan motor. Remove the leads; use the VOM to probe the terminals, and the reading should be zero.
Issue 2: Microwave Blows Fuses
A faulty door switch may be causing the microwave to blow its fuses. Other issues could be from the capacitor or diode. After discharging the capacitor as noted above, the leads can be removed and the capacitor can be probed with the VOM set to Rx100. Readings should start in the low ohms and increase toward infinity. To examine the diode, it should be disconnected from both the capacitor and the appliance. The wires should be probed with the VOM set to Rx100. One VOM reading should be infinity and the other in the low ohms.
Issue 3: Microwave Activates But Will Not Cook
When a microwave activates, but it does not cook anything, there is likely a disconnect in the internal mechanism of the microwave. Thermal cutoffs may be the culprit. They are disc-shaped devices that are connected via a wire. Both thermal cutoffs should be checked at the oven and the magnetron. The leads should be removed and the terminals probed with the VOM set to Rx1. The reading should be zero. If it is anything but zero, the thermal cutoffs should be replaced. Other issues such as the capacitor, diode, magnetron, or transformer would need be serviced by a professional.
Issue 4: Microwave Cooks Unevenly or Slowly
If the microwave cooks the food, but it is either too slow or very uneven, there may be a problem with the voltage at the outlet that is supplying the power. If the voltage is less than 115 volts, the problem is likely with the electrical service or breaker. Another potential problem is a bad turntable motor. To examine the turntable motor, the microwave oven must be turned over and the bottom grilled should be removed. Remove one lead from the motor terminals and probe the terminals with the VOM set to Rx1. The motor should be replaced if the reading is infinity.
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