Read these 14 Microwave Parts Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Appliance Repair tips and hundreds of other topics.
Microwave ovens are built to start only when the door catch has been engaged. If the door is open, the machine won't start the cooking process. If your microwave has a broken door catch, the unit will not cook. You will need to replace the broken catch with the appropriate Whirlpool microwave part, or whichever brand you own. The door catch microwave part catch runs under a dollar for some models. To install this microwave part, you will need to disassemble the door and replace the door catch. Pay careful attention to how you remove the faulty door catch and you should have no trouble installing the new one.
There are a wide variety of things that can go wrong with a microwave oven. Here is a small list of issues that are potentially serviceable with replacement microwave parts: 1. When pushing the start button, you hear a click, and the unit goes dead. 2. The unit cooks for a bit, makes a popping sound, then goes dead. 3. Uneven cooking or heating. 4. An electrical arc inside the unit. 5. Sparks flying out the back of the unit. 6. Oven doesn't start cooking. If any of these symptoms occur, it is possible to fix them with the proper replacement microwave parts. As always, use only the rated and approved replacement parts for that unit. A General Electric microwave should get GE microwave parts, etc. Remember your safety precautions and be sure to disconnect the unit from the wall socket before doing any replacement microwave parts installation.
If you are attempting to do repairs on your microwave but are missing the manual, you should order a replacement right away. You can do a Google search on your make and model along with the keyword "manual". Having the manual is just as important as having the right replacement microwave parts. You can also do a keyword search for "microwave repair advice" to find valuable help in the form of diagrams, instructions, and even web sites that can offer you advanced courses on microwave parts and repairs.
Fixing a microwave yourself requires an extreme amount of safety awareness. Microwaves use high voltage and thermal radiation as normal parts of the operation. Careless handling, disassembly, and installation of microwave parts can result in injury or death. Be very careful when installing microwave parts. Do not deviate from the owner's manual instructions and recommendations, and above all, be sure to disconnect the unit before starting! Do not attempt to install microwave parts when you are alone in the house. If you should become injured or incapacitated, you will need assistance. Follow the safety precautions laid out in your owner manual and you can keep the safety issues to a minimum.
There are microwaves that will develop a popping noise, then go dead because of a short circuit problem. If you have a unit susceptible to this, you may need to get a replacement microwave part called a high voltage capacitor. You will need to short across the old capacitor with a screwdriver with an insulated handle to maximize safety. Place the screwdriver across both terminals of the old capacitor. It's best to wear rubber gloves when doing this as an extra precaution. The replacement part can be ordered for under 20 dollars in many cases. When doing repairs such as these, make sure you find your make and model's specs, use GE microwave parts. If you own a GE microwave, follow the instructions to the letter, and do not skimp on the microwave parts!
Much unlike other appliance repair, a great deal of the work done on microwave ovens including replacing defective microwave parts is recommended only for a trained professional. There are many reasons for this including a hazard with improper testing, de-installation, and diagnosing a faulty part or section of the oven. The act of cracking open a microwave oven, in most cases, voids the warranty unless done by a trained professional. You should know that many consumer repairs on these machines will result in you having to assume full responsibility for the cost of repairs should anything go wrong in future operation of the machine. Read your owner manual carefully, and only use replacement microwave parts approved for use in your particular oven. If you have a GE microwave, only use General Electric microwave parts. Don't try to cut corners or skimp on areas of the repair--follow the recommendations to the letter for maximum safety.
Some models of microwave ovens develop a problem where they make a clicking noise then go dead. If you experience this problem, the replacement microwave part may be nothing more complicated than a fuse.
In this particular case, your model may be in need of a replacement in-line fuse. You will need to locate the in-line fuse in your unit using the manual or a schematic of the unit, and replace it. When installing this microwave part, be sure you have it securely in place, otherwise you will be doing the same repair all over again soon. These in-line fuses sell for under five dollars, so you won't have to worry about breaking the bank to get the replacement microwave parts you need.
There is a secondary cause of uneven cooking in some models of microwave ovens. If your microwave oven has an old air gasket, it can contribute to uneven cooking by preventing good air flow to the chamber where the microwave antenna is located. This microwave part is blown around by the air flow to give an even stream of microwaves over the cooking area. If the gasket is bad, the air flow is affected, and the antenna won't rotate properly. You can replace this microwave part with simple weather stripping. Check your owner manual to find the location of the gasket in your particular unit and replace accordingly. Often times you must also replace the grease shield at the same time as these two microwave parts can fail concurrently due to age. When replacing the grease shield, be sure to use brand-specific microwave parts. Do not attempt to replace a Whirlpool microwave part with a Sharp microwave part, etc.
Some models have a part called a grease shield, which starts to droop after a few years of operation. If the shield droops or sags, it can interfere with the even dispersal of microwaves as the unit cooks. You can order this microwave replacement part for under 20 dollars. Follow the instructions in the manual for your particular unit and do a safe install with the power plug disconnected from the wall socket. A more detailed list of steps isn't possible here as many units have differing features and requirements for installation. One feature common to all microwave replacement part installations; to buy replacement microwave parts, you will need to have your model number handy before ordering. Some websites require you to search by model number or name brand at the very least to find your microwave parts.
When repairing a microwave and replacing microwave parts with General Electric microwave parts or Sharp microwave parts, you may wonder about the safety factor. Many do-it-yourself websites warn against trying to repair a microwave without proper training and expertise. The reasons for this are many, but one of the biggies is the microwave part known as the high voltage capacitor. This microwave part can store a potentially lethal dose of electricity. It must be discharged properly to avoid a dangerous incident. There are far too many instances of accidental electrocutions to list here, but one in particular bears mentioning. A man was attempting to work with the speaker cable on his television set, when his face came in contact with a metallic part of the set. He was killed instantly because his body completed an electrical circuit between the seemingly harmless speaker wire and the television. It is extremely important to respect the power of electricity when dealing with a high voltage unit such as a microwave. If you are uncertain in any way as to how to proceed with a repair or replacement of a microwave part, do not attempt the job yourself. Put safety first!
GE microwave parts, Sharp microwave parts, and other brands may require you to open your microwave and access the internal workings of the unit. If so, you must follow very specific precautions to avoid being electrocuted by accumulated electricity in the capacitors of the unit. 1. Unplug the unit. This is a critical first step. Do not proceed without unplugging the unit or electrocution will occur. 2. Make sure you are wearing rubber soled shoes, and preferably some rubber gloves. 3. Get a large screwdriver with an insulated handle. You will need to touch the non-insulated end of the screwdriver to the microwave's capacitor(s) across both terminals. This will discharge any remaining electricity in the capacitors and make a safer work environment. 4. Repeat step three just to be certain all power has been discharged from the capacitors. Microwave parts may be simple to replace once you have accomplished these steps, but if you are unsure about how to safely repair or install microwave parts; it is much better to leave the job to a pro. If you know where to find a capacitor or what it looks like, you are most likely at least competent enough to diagnose your microwave problem.
Electrical sparks coming out the back of your microwave is a serious problem. This is caused by food buildup, which causes an arc from a microwave part called the high voltage capacitor. The arc goes from the capacitor terminal to the "ground" of the microwave. Chances are, you now have some burned connections that will need to be fixed. You should also clean the food debris, and make sure you stay on top of cleaning in the future. If the sparking problem persists, you run the risk of causing greater damage to the machine.
Arcing inside the unit is most likely caused by a buildup of food particles inside the cooking area and in some models, inside a section called the front cavity lip. You will need to clear all food out of the microwave, including the front cavity lip. For models that have the cavity lip, there is a microwave part you should invest in called a front cavity lip protector. Installing this microwave part can prevent future arcing inside your microwave.
This microwave part is inexpensive, under ten dollars for some models. Be sure to unplug the unit, clean it completely, and install the lip protector while wearing rubber-soled shoes.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|