• Posted by CERC India
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10 microwave oven problems you shouldn’t ignore

Take quick action for safety reasons and to ensure your oven is not beyond repair


The microwave oven has become an indispensable kitchen appliance which has simplified cooking and heating food. While it has a life of seven to ten years, it may develop problems earlier like any other appliance.

It is advisable to be aware of what can go wrong with your microwave and set it right with technical help. Described below are some of the common problems you may face.

Sparks: You could see sparks if you have accidentally put a metal object (including foil or enamel coated crockery) in the oven. Sparks, especially if accompanied by smoke and shaking, should be looked into immediately, as they could be the result of an electrical issue and may result in a fire.

What do you do if your oven catches fire?

If it is safe to do so, turn it off and unplug it immediately. If there is a fire inside do not open the door as the fire could spread.  Wait for the fire to get extinguished inside (due to lack of oxygen) before you open the door.

Burning smell: If you get a burning smell immediately turn off the oven and unplug it. While it could be just caked-up food (or a teabag tag) burning, it could be an electrical issue that could cause a fire.

Weird sounds: If your microwave is making funny sounds – buzzing, clanking, rattling or scraping – something is amiss and needs to be checked by a technician.

Door does not close: Ensuring that the door is sealed tightly is vital so that the radiation stays inside. The door may not be closing because of a loose screw or food which is stuck that is  preventing closure.

Revolving tray does not turn: This could be because food residue is making it jam or the ‘roller guide’ beneath is broken.

Heating takes longer: This is usually because of a faulty magnetron (the part that generates the microwaves to cook food).

Food gets cooked very fast: This too could be a sign that your microwave is not functioning properly. Or, it could be because you are using cookware which is not recommended and absorbs too much heat.

How to clean your microwave oven


Food residue inside can shorten the life of your microwave by turning hard and burning the walls of the appliance. It could also keep air from circulating inside the machine.

Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Add the lemon pieces along with half a cup of water. Heat the mixture for three minutes till it starts to boil. Without opening the door, let the lemon water stand for five minutes. Remove the bowl and take out the revolving tray to clean it separately. The ‘lemony’ steam would have broken down the dirt inside making it easier to clean. Wipe the top, bottom, sides and door of the microwave well.

Touchpad does not work: If the microwave buttons do not work it indicates that the touchpad, ‘membrane’ switch, or control panel are damaged.  If your microwave display screen flickers or blinks it may be a circuit board issue.

Light goes off: This is a problem as you can’t see what’s happening inside the oven. The bulb may be fused. It could also be due to a faulty bulb socket or bad wiring. Another minor problem is if the timer does not make a sound when the heating is complete. Check if you have accidentally silenced the alarm function.

The oven starts and then stops: The most likely cause is a broken door seal – unless the door is sealed shut, the microwave will not function. If the oven shuts down after a while it could be because of overheating.  Microwaves heat food by targeting water molecules and if there is no moisture in the food, it can cause overheating. A faulty fan may also result in the microwave getting overheated.


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