If you see sparks inside the microwave while it is running, turn it off immediately. Most likely, there might be a small piece of metal in the microwave. It doesn’t take much metal to cause a spark. Even a small piece of steel wool you might’ve used to clean it can cause sparking.
Also, the wave guide cover that goes over the magnetron (that’s what sends the heat out to warm up your food) might be damaged. If this is the case, simply remove the wave guide cover and replace it with a new one.
2. Turntable isn’t turning
This is another common problem with microwaves. The turntable keeps your food rotating to help it cook evenly. If the turntable isn’t rotating, then remove the turntable plate from the microwave and make sure the guides aren’t bent or brushing up against the edges. Sometimes food particles can get stuck in there and cause the turntable to malfunction.
3. The microwave doesn’t turn on
There’s a good chance this might be a problem with the outlet and/or circuit the microwave is plugged into rather than the appliance itself. Check to see if the circuit breaker has tripped. In some cases, your microwave might be plugged into a GFCI outlet to protect against surges in current. If you have one, check it as well.
If the outlet your microwave is plugged into works good, then the problem is with the microwave itself. This is probably one problem where it’s a good idea to either call an appliance repair technician or replace it with a new unit.
Basic Microwave Maintenance
One of the great selling points of microwaves is that they’re relatively maintenance-free. But there are a few easy steps you can take to keep your microwave running for years to come.
Here are a few simple microwave maintenance tips:
1. Keep your microwave clean
Scrubbing it out once a week will go a long way in preventing a lot of problems. The build-up of food particles, grease and grime can cause malfunctions and even fires!
2. Never run your microwave empty
If it’s empty, the waves will bounce around with nothing to absorb them. This can damage the magnetron and other components over time.
3. Use the preset cooking times
Instead of just guessing how much time it will take to defrost your chicken, use the microwave’s presets. This will do the job much more efficiently and probably save you electricity.
Microwaves are a great appliance because they make meals very easy to prepare. They don’t require a whole lot of maintenance and the newer models are becoming increasingly reliable. If you do run into problems with your microwave, assess the problem first and then decide whether you want to fix it yourself, call an appliance repair technician or buy a new microwave.