I began this microwave journey because my microwave stopped working over time. As I began researching the ends and outs of microwaves, I realized, I knew nothing about the appliance that is in 90% of US homes. Without looking at the below list, how many parts can you name? My guess is less than 10.
In this post, I briefly look at every part of the microwave. I will cover everything from the access panel to the wire shelf. This post will describe each components role in cooking your food.
By the end of this post, you will be an expert in all things microwave, you’ll even have the ability to quiz friends and family. This post will also help if/ when you have a repairman looking at your microwave and uses industry jargon to diagnose the problem.
Finally, some products have multiple/ different names based on the brand, type, and location of the microwave (countertop, built-in, over-the-range).
The access panel is a piece that surrounds built-in microwaves. The access panel is also called a trim kit and is made of metal and plastic. These panels vary by the size of your microwave and built-in location.
An actuator moves and controls other parts and systems in a microwave. You may find multiple actuators in a microwave. For example, you may find an actuator at the door latch, motor, and magnetron.
This adhesive is a glue that is approved for microwave use. The adhesive has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and can withstand extreme temperatures. These adhesives can be used on just about anything inside of the microwave, including o-rings, and turntable rings.
An air, also known as air damper, and it is responsible for directing air through the vent duct. The air baffle attaches to the outer cabinet
An air diverter (also called air deflector, air cavity guide, or air reflector) simply directors the flow of air in one direction. An air diverter is a frame or plate that can be used to help move air in and then out of the microwave cavity and into/ through the vent.
A microwave air duct is a system that provides ventilation for the microwave. It moves used air from the microwave cavity to another location. Air duct systems are used with built-in and some over the range microwaves.
Just like an air filter for you car, a microwave air filter filters air moving into and out of the microwave cavity. Air filters help your microwave work efficiency and reduce particles in the air.
An air grille, or vent grille, covers the microwave intake and exhaust duct. This part is found on built-in microwaves only. The air Grille is an outlet for air that is left in and around the microwave cavity.
A bake element is a metal coil used to grill or bake foods in your microwave. This part is made of metal and make look like a “W” or “O.” Usually, you will find this part in grill or convection microwave ovens. This part is also found in conventional ovens.
The baking pan is a cooking tray that can be used in microwave ovens. Solo microwaves cannot use metal cookware as metal causes arcs (sparks). These baking pan are considered microwave safe and may come with your microwave.
The base (plate) assembly attaches to the bottom of the microwave and contains the lower microwave components. Also, this part is the sealing plate for the microwave.
The base panel is the outer panel of the microwave. This panel may be metal or ceramic or metal with a sealer.
Depending on the brand, this part may refer to one of two parts: the turntable or base assembly. See base assembly or turntable for more information.
Also called an upper blower motor or fan motor, the blower motor is a vent motor for over-the-range microwaves. This motor can be adjusted to blow through the vent, back, or front of the microwave.
The blower wheel is used in the
This is a standard bolt used for over-the-range microwaves. These bolts are used to secure the microwave to the cabinets. These bolts may be secured via anchors.
The bottom hinge(s) are used for opening and closing microwave doors. The bottom hinges are most commonly found on built-in microwaves and are made of metal.
The bottom panel is the panel at the bottom of over-the-range microwaves. This panel connects to the microwave with standard screws and houses the range/ night light. This panel may also include a charcoal filter.
The microwave bracket is used to secure the microwave to the wall. This part is made of metal, and designed to both support the weight and secure the microwave. The bracket may also refer to bracket support for other locations including: the vent, glass, cooking auxiliary, and light lens
The broil element is like the bake element mentioned above, but it is designed to broil, not bake, the food. Broil elements are most often found in conventional ovens, but may also be found in convection microwaves.
A broiler pan is a two-part metal system that cooks the food and catches in grease runoff. The top part of this system has slits for the grease to fall down to the second part.
A bumper is a small piece that is designed to provide cushioning between two parts. This bumper can be used to cushion between two parts, the door, and the
A button is used to open the microwave. Usually, the buttons are located at the bottom of the keypad and are spring loaded. Pushing this button should result in the microwave door opening slightly.
Microwaves use either a button or door handle to open and close the microwave.
The button spring is attached to the microwave button. This spring is responsible for the buttons return to its original spot. This spring is made up of think metal and coils and
This is the part that notifies you that your microwave has completed the cooking cycle. This part starts when the microwave reaches 0, and usually, stops when the microwave door is opened.
This clip can be found inside the microwave and is designed to prevent movement of one or more components. The part can be snapped into place, rotated and adjusted as needed.
The cabinet wrapper is a metal sheet that surrounds the components of the microwave. Usually, this sheet is composed of three sides and is connected to the main microwave with a few screws. There are holes and spaces in the cabinet wrapper for the filter, power cord, etc.
The microwave cap may refer to a few different components. The cap may refer to the fuse cap, knobs, or another part within the microwave.
Also known as a high voltage capacitor, this part holds the electricity in the microwaves high voltage circuit. The capacitor can store electricity for long periods of time, even with the microwave unplugged. The high voltage held here eventually moves to the magnetrons to convert to microwaves.
Charcoal filters are used in over-the-range microwaves and are designed to catch grease and reduce odors from cooked food. While most microwaves include a charcoal filter, your microwave may not have one if it vents to the outside. Depending on the brand, it is recommended that this part is replace twice per year.
While this may not be a microwave part, cleaners are a very important part of microwave maintenance. Microwaves must be cleaned regularly and failure to do so can lead to arcing, smoke, and fire. Follow your manufactures recommendations for cleaning your microwave.
Also, microwaves can be cleaned with commercial products, or home remedies that can be found here.
Microwave connectors connect to pieces together. In most cases, connectors connect two components together via a set of wires. These wires usually have a plastic male/ female clip where one plugs into another.
In this instance, containers refer to cookware that is microwave safe. These containers are designed for steaming vegetables, chicken, and shellfish. These containers are preferred because they are made of hard plastic and are dishwasher/ microwave safe.
The (main) control board, also know as the control panel is the brains of the operation. Following directions from the control panel, the control board configures the power level, cooking time, and any other features included with the microwave. Depending on your microwave, the control board may also save settings and the current time.
While many microwaves include a digital control board, there are some microwaves that use a control knob. This knob manually adjusts or configures settings. These settings include cooking time, cooking power, and one-touch settings.
Also called a keypad, the control panel is how the user communicates with the microwave. This is where the user will set the cook time, power level, or any other settings for the microwave to execute, The control panel will also display the time, and any additional settings necessary.
This part is used for convection cooking. Microwaves have three cooking types: microwave, grill, and convection. Convection microwaves cook like conventional ovens, but in less time. This part is only required for microwaves that have the convection feature.
The convection motor is the motor used when the convection setting is enabled. With convection cooking, the microwave box is heated to a preset temperature. The convection motor is responsible for getting to that temperature.
The cooking tray may refer to several different parts including crisping tray, turntable, or the
This fan helps to attract air from the cavity and through the venting system. The venting system may be above or below the microwave oven. This part is found mostly on over-the-range microwave ovens.
The (turntable) couplet is the piece that centers the turntable. This part ensures that the turntable does not move while rotating. Usually, this part consists of three prongs and match with prongs on the turntable.
A cover can refer to a number of different parts including a plate cover, canopy, lamp, or inlet cover. You will need to review your manufacturer’s website or owners manual for more information.
This part works in conjunction with the duct and venting system by pushing air in one direction. The diffuser helps to push air into a larger space for disbursement.
This part moves the current in one direction. This part os small in nature, but has a huge responsibility. This part helps to prevent arcs, smoke, and fire in your microwave.
As the name suggests, the display board displays information to the user. It will display numbers entered, countdown timer, and the time.
The microwave door opens and closes via a handle or button. The door is just the frame and does not include the glass. The door should include insulation or rubber lining. Usually, this does not include the kit needed for replacing the door latch.
This is the complete replacement for the door. This includes the door, glass, catch, handle, hook, and film.
The door catch is the system that secures the door and microwave. The door catch is the part connected to the microwave cavity. The door latch is the part that connects from the door.
Door film is the seal that is placed on the microwave’s glass. This film helps to ensure that no microwaves escape from the microwave. Usually, the door film is tented or has a square pattern. This part may also be called door liner.
The door frame is the door without the handle and glass. The frame may include the door choke cover. This part may also be called the door body.
The door gasket is the seal that surrounds the glass installed on the door. This seal helps to prevent microwaves from escaping the microwave.
This is the glass that allows you to see into the microwave. This glass is designed to withstand the intense heat that emits from the microwave. The microwave glass must be installed into the door frame with the gasket and film. Refer to the owners manual for installation instructions.
This is the handle that connects to the microwave. This part allows you to open and close the microwave door. The door handle is connected to the microwave door via screws. Not all microwaves require door handles.
This part connects the microwave catch. The hinge moves up and down as the microwave door opens and closes. This hinge and catch system is required for the microwave system to work. The door hinge may also be called the door hook or door latch.
Door Lock Motor and Switch Assembly
This is the complete assembly for the door latch and hinge. This system includes the latch, spring, and hinge needed to open and close the door.
The door panel is the part that sits between the door and the microwave. This part helps to keep the door lock, glass, and gasket in place.
The door screen also allows you to see in the microwave. In addition, the door screen helps to reflect microwaves the bounce around the microwave.
This the part that notifies the rest of the microwave that cooking can begin. When the microwave is closed the switch sends power to the microwave. When the door is open, the switch is open.
The door trim sits above the door latch and the door glass. This part helps to secure the other aspects of the door.
The drive motor is responsible for turning the turntable. This part can be accessed by removing the cabinet and the bottom of the microwave. This part turns the turntable coupler.
The drive pullet works with the drive motor and drive belt to move the turntable.
The duct assembly refers to the duct that sends air outside on your home. The duct assembly may also refer to ducting in and around the magnetron.
The exhaust duct, also called a damper, is the system used to vent to the outside. The exhaust duct can be either round or rectangle and is used with over-the-range microwaves. Also called air duct
Exhaust Fan Motor
See blower motor
See cooling fan
The fan motor is responsible for circulation in the microwave cavity. This part may also be called a cooling fan.
The fan shroud is the cover/ case for the motor. This case offers additional protection for the motor.
The term filter may refer to a few different types of filters including air, charcoal, or choke filter. Consult your owners manual or the product’s website for more details.
The flange is a plate that surrounds the damper motor. A flange can also be found in other parts of the microwave.
Foot, or feet, are supports for the microwave. The feet are attached to the bottom of the microwave and have some nonslip properties. The feet
See door or glass frame.
The front panel may refer to the door panel or chassis. For more information on door panel see door panel or frame. Chassis are the support for the door or front panel.
There a few different fuses in a microwave including a time delay and a 12 amp fuse. In general, a fuse is a safety feature for electrical devices. A fuse will melt or break when too much current flows through it.
A fuse holder, also called a pole fuse, fuse block, or line fuse holder, holds the fuse in its location while in use.
See door or seal gasket.
Depending on the microwave type, the glass panel may replace the door panel. The glass panel may also refer to the piece of glass between the door and door frame.
The glass tray is the place where food sits while it’s being cooked. This tray, also known as a turntable, is removable and usually dishwasher safe.
Glass Tray Drive Coupling
This piece is responsible for rotating the turntable. This part is turned by the turntable motor, then turns the glass tray.
Glass Tray Support
This part helps to turn the turntable. Usually, this part is on wheels and helps to ensure the turntable doesn’t slide while in motion.
See door glass
As the name implies, the grease filter helps to catch the grease that results from cooked food. If not changed according to product recommendations, this filter may be responsible for lingering smells in your kitchen and microwave.
See air grille
This part assists with ventilation in your microwave. This part usually features a screen made of wires or metal bars.
This lamp (or bulb) shines a light on the microwave interior or on the range (over-the-range microwaves).
See door handle
The handle fastener is the way the microwave is screwed into the door. Usually, a screw and washer kit.
The hardware kit is the parts required to mount an over-the-range microwave.
Heat Probe or Gauge
A heat probe is responsible for taking the temperature reading. In most cases, the read will be of cooked food.
The heating element is a general term for how the microwave heat food. The heating element may refer to a bulb-light, convection, or grill heating elements.
High Limit Thermostat
A high limit thermostat is responsible for shutting off the microwave if the microwave gets too hot. This is to help prevent a fire or other emergency.
High Voltage Capacitor
High voltage capacitors store energy to be converted into microwaves. This capacitors are extremely dangerous and can shock you even when the microwave is unplugged.
High Voltage Transformer
High voltage transformers convert the energy that is stored in the capacitor. In addition, high voltage transformers transform lower voltages into higher voltages.
See door hinge.
See door switch
See door hinge
The microwave hook holds the metal rack in the microwave.
The housing is the outer casing for the microwave. The housing covers both sides and the top of the microwave.
The humidity sensor checks the humidity in the microwave. If the sensor is open. The sensor will trigger if humidity is detected for a period of time.
Inlet cover reduces the amount of debris that may enter the other parts of the microwave.
Inner Door Glass
See door glass, or glass panel
Inner Door Panel
Door panel for built-in microwave.
Inner door for built-in microwave.
The kit for installing over-the-range microwaves. The installation kit will vary depending on the size of the microwave.
The insulation is to cover the components of the microwave oven.
See Door Lock Motor and Switch Assembly
The inverter board regulates power to the magnetron.
Knob to control to timer, and other settings.
See control knob
The leveling leg ensures that the microwave glass stays in place while cooking. Usually, the leg can be adjusted by screwing and unscrewing.
This lever controls the door switch and door release.
Base that holds the light bulb
The light bulb can be for over-the-range or in the microwave.
The magnetron is responsible for creating radio waves. The magnetron is a high-powered vacuum tube that generates the microwaves used to cook your food.
Main Control Board
See control board
See heat probe
See humidity sensor
A motor may refer to a few different motors included in a microwave. See your owners manual for specific examples.
See glass tray coupling
The mounting bracket that is placed between microwave and wall. The bracket has preconfigured holes and spacing.
Oven Control Board
The oven control board controls the bake, grill, and convention settings.
Power Supply Board
Board the controls the electricity that comes in from the outlet.
Push Button Switch
See door switch
Metal rack for cooking food on a second level.
See meat probe
The rectifier is used in conjunction with the high voltage power supply.
A resistor is used to reduce current flow and divide voltage
A retainer is a clip or harness that holds a group of wires in place.
A rocker switch is used to control power coming into the microwave. Rocker switches are most commonly found on some countertop microwaves.
In microwaves, a seal is used to prevent water or moisture from entering a location. For example, the turntable motor has a seal that will prevent water from entering the motor.
See mounting bracket
See mounting bracket
Used with built-in microwaves, the side panel is the metal or plastic part that sits between the microwave and the cabinet or drawer.
Silicone sealant is an adhesive that is used in and around the microwave. This sealant is rated for microwave use.
Stirrer blades help to provide even cooking by distributing the microwave evenly throughout the microwave. This part sits at the top of the microwave and is covered by a microwave save cover.
Stirrer Blade Cover
The stirrer blade cover protects the stirrer blade from food splatter and other damage.
This stirrer motor spins the stirrer blade
See rack hook
A microwave switch is a general term that may refer to a buzzer, door, or rocker switch. Consult your owners manual for more details.
The switch holder provides support for the interlock, latch board, or door switch. The switch holder holds the part in place to maintain functionality.
The synchronous motor is used to rotate the turntable while the food is cooking. The turntable is used to evenly cook the microwaved food.
The temperature control thermostat is responsible for setting the temperature on some microwaves. Usually, the temperature control thermostat is controlled by a control dial the user sets.
The temperature sensor monitors the sensor of a specific part or location. Typical locations for temperature sensors include oven, light, and magnetron.
A terminal block is an electrical connector that allows multiple circuits to connect to another circuit.
Terminal and Wire
The terminal and wire is the ground wire assembly used with the terminal block.
A thermal fuse is like an electrical fuse that uses a one-time fusible link. This part is a single-use device that must be replaced when the device fails.
A thermistor is a resister for temperatures. This part is used for control and measurement based on heat or heating.
See temperature control thermostat
The timer knob is an adjustable knob for the food timer. The timer knob is most often found on the keypad.
The top hinge is a hinge for drop down doors. The top hinge is also called the upper hinge.
The touchpad, also known as a keypad, is used to control the microwave. The user communicates with the microwave via the touchpad. The touchpad includes numbers 0-9 and one-touch buttons.
Touchpad and Control Panel
See touchpad or control panel
A transformer transfers electrical energy between two circuits. These transformers are very dangerous and should only be handled by trained professionals
A triac is a semiconductor device that conducts energy in either direction. The device will direction is based on the positive or negative signal at the gate electrode.
User Control and Display Board
The user control and display board is used to send and receive messages from the user. This board is responsible for displaying the cooking time, countdown timer, etc.
The valve, also called solenoid, is a cylindrical coil of wire acting as a magnet when carrying electric current.
A vent damper shuts down the flue pipe when not is use.
Vent Fan Motor
Also called an exhaust fan motor, the vent fan motor is the motor behind the venting system for over-the-range microwaves. This motor either sends air to the duct system or re-circulates air through the room.
The vent Grille is the cover for the vent fan. This part is made of plastic and allows for air to escape.
The waveguide cover transmits radiation and prevents particles from reaching the electrical components of the microwave.