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How to fix some common problems with a microwave oven DIY style?

Microwaves are an essential kitchen appliance when it comes to modern Pakistani homes. We cannot imagine working in the kitchen without these convenient countertop appliances. They make our lives so much easier not only by allowing us to reheat foods quickly but also allow us to whip up some quick & easy recipes. Now, if you enjoy fixing things around the house & bring your inner electrical engineer to the surface, you have come to the right place. We have put together a list of some of the most common problems with a microwave that you normally encounter. We will help you diagnose the cause of the problem & recommend some fixes too.

PS: You can reach out to us if you need professional help in any case ;).

1- Why the microwave light is not working?

We all love to take a peek inside the microwave when it is in operation.


Therefore, we feel blindfolded if the microwave light is not working. You need to check the following things to identify the source of the problem & then do the needful accordingly:

  • Bulb
  • Light Socket
  • Wiring
  • Control board or Switch Board

It is best if you make the checks in the order mentioned above. A fused bulb or faulty socket can be replaced easily. For the control board, you will need professional help.

2- Why the microwave turntable is not moving?

This is also one of the most common problems with a microwave when the microwave plate refuses to budge. First & foremost, check if the glass plate is placed correctly on the rollers. You will hear sounds like grrr if the microwave plate is not fixed within the grooves properly. Next, you might need to check the rollers beneath the glass plate. If they are broken or have food/debris stuck in them, it will hamper their movement. Therefore, clean them up in case they are dirty or replace them if they’re broken.

If the problem still persists, the motor drive coupler might be broken. In this case, we suggest contacting a professional for help.

3- Why the microwave won’t heat food?

Imagine you’re waiting for hot piping food to come out & greet your empty, growling stomach. But all you get is the same cold frozen plate coming out of the microwave. You’re wondering maybe the universe is signaling you to start the long-promised diet. Let us clarify that this is no signal from the universe.


In fact, it is your microwave telling you that its heating elements are either fused or broken. Microwaves have diodes & magnetron in them, which serve as heating elements. Simply get them replaced & enjoy your cheesy pasta once again piping hot, straight from the microwave.

4- Why the microwave won’t start?

Do you know that feeling when you’re all excited about showing off your Qurbani ka Jaanwar, which you got after a long bargaining session? But your excitement gets dampened when you find out that your neighbor got a fatter animal for a much lower price.

The feelings are pretty similar when you’re all set to try a new dish in the microwave but, the damn machine won’t start? You can’t do anything in the 1st situation but, you can certainly fix the 2nd one.


Before you go all ninja, check out if the microwave is not working because it has heated up. If that is the case, just let it cool down & it will begin to work on its own.

If overheating is not the cause of the microwave not working, you need to perform a series of checks that will help you identify the problem area:

Check the plug! Is the plug or the cord working? Try plugging the appliance into different sockets to verify that your kitchen socket is not the problem. While examining the microwave cord, make sure it is not entangled, damaged, or chewed at any point. As, this will cause a disruption in the current flow, thus yielding the machine inoperable.

The next step is to check the door & the door hinges of the microwave. Are they working correctly? Do you see any debris or gunk lurking in crevices? Clean it & check if the appliance begins to function. Don’t forget to check the area where the door is connected to the microwave frame. 

5- Why is my microwave making weird sounds?

You will be surprised to hear that you can actually gauge which part of the microwave is faulty but the types of weird sounds that your appliance is making. If you hear a buzzing sound, then the capacitor is most likely the problem. But if you hear a grinding noise, then the exhaust fan motor or the stirrer might be the source of the problem.

In some cases, you might hear growling sounds, don’t worry, it is not your stomach but the magnetron that needs to be replaced.

6- Why are my microwave buttons not working?


This is perhaps one of the most frustrating problems when the microwave buttons don’t seem to work. The reason for this issue could be either a faulty membrane switch or damage to the control board. Membrane switches tend to be worn due to continuous use & therefore do not read signals from the touchpad.

7- Why is my microwave sparking/arcing while cooking?

If your microwave likes to give you a little firework show every now & then, you don’t need to panic. A simple check will help you determine if the issue is complicated or can be tackled easily.

Sparking can occur if the walls, vents & inlet covers of the microwave are covered with food particles. These particles get carbonized over time & then result in sparking or arcing. Therefore, we recommend cleaning the microwave thoroughly at least once a week.

Avoid using metal cookware in a microwave as it can easily cause arcing. If you’re using aluminum, kindly make sure that there are no exposed corners or edges & cover it with a napkin or lid.

Another cause for sparking to occur is chipped paint on the walls or racks. Check for any chipped paint particles on the bottom surface.

Arcing or burning smell can also occur if the transformer of the microwave stops working.

A final check should be done of the waveguide cover. Inspect it for damage & replace it with a new one.


We have listed down almost all common problems with a microwave that you normally encounter. If you have encountered a problem other than what is mentioned above, feel free to share.