Before I purchased my new microwave, I attempted to repair my current one. The issue began when a few of my buttons on my microwave stopped working. Eventually, the program grew so that only the 2 for express cooking worked.
I decided to look at a few YouTube videos to see if the microwave could be fixed. The issue is common with this microwave brand. The problem is with a tiny strip that connects the buttons to the rest of the microwave.
So, one day after work I took apart the front of my microwave in an attempt to push this strip back in. After hours of attempts, the microwave still did not work. Now I must decide whether to have a repairman attempt to fix this
To answer the question: “can microwave ovens be repaired?” The answer is yes, microwave ovens can be repaired. Depending on the issue, you could repair the microwave yourself or you can hire a professional to repair the microwave. If you decide to hire a repairman, expect to pay an hourly rate and the cost of replacement parts.
In this post, I am going to discuss who can repair broken microwaves, the cost to repair
Finally, I will conclude this post with different ways to find a repairman, tools required if you plan to repair the microwave yourself, and similar questions.
Who Can Repair Microwave Ovens?
Depending on your comfort level and the issue you can attempt to repair the microwave yourself, or you can choose to hire a technician to diagnose and repair the microwave.
Do It Yourself
If you are 100% sure you know what the issue is, or you have a background in fixing home electronics, fixing a broken microwave yourself maybe a viable option for you.
There are a few of advantages to fixing the microwave yourself. These advantages include: saving hard earned money, getting the microwave fixed a lot faster than a service call, and the satisfaction of completing a task that most people would even think to start.
As we will see later in this post, hiring a microwave tech can be very expensive. You have to pay an hourly rate and pay for the cost of the part. Also, depending on the reason the microwave is broken, it may require multiple tech visits.
Another issue with hiring a professional are you have to do it on their time. Usually, hiring a repairman means scheduling a tech to come to your house during business hours, forcing you to take a vacation day.
While there are advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages. Those drawbacks include: wasting your time, buying the wrong parts, fixing one problem but creating more, voiding your warranty, and causing a fire.
I experienced the frustration of wasting hours attempting to fix my broken microwave resulting in it not being fixed. Watching and rewatching YouTube videos, attempting the fix, plugging the microwave back in, only to have it continue to not work drove me crazy. That time could have been better spent working on other tasks, or playing with my kids.
Hire a Professional
I recommend hiring a professional to fix your microwave if you have any hesitation working with wires or electronics. While no special licensing or training is required, some states or countries may require that the repairman pass an exam given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In many cases, repairmen complete special training through their employer, local community college, or on the job training via an apprenticeship. The Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) and Professional Service Association (PSA) can provide guidelines and certifications for people interested in gaining knowledge and experience.
There are many benefits to hiring a professional. By hiring a certified pro, you can be confident that the problem will be fixed and won’t result in additional problems. Another benefit of hiring a professional is you will save an incredible amount of time. Usually, the repairman has seen and repaired everything so it will take him much less time to find and find the problem.
How to find
a Microwave Repairman
There are 4 basic ways to find a microwave repairman including:
- Asking friends and family
- Contacting the store you purchased the microwave from
- Checking your owners manual
- Web search
Next, I will explain the benefits of each way of finding a repairman.
Asking friends and family is usually the best and first step I take when I need something repaired. This is my first step because you can get valuable experience from a real person, and not “reviews” that can be posted by anyone. Your friends and family tell you if the person showed up on time, if they fixed the problem, and discuss how they were treated.
If you can’t get reliable information from a friend or family member, try contacting the store where you purcahsed the microwave. Usually these stores have a list of contractors that they’ve used in the past. In addition, some of the store employees will provide recommendations based on other customer experience.
If the first two options don’t work, look in the back on your product manual. Usually the manual will have a toll free number or website of repairman that can fix your microwave. Usually, the repairmen that make this list have been vetted is come way.
The final way to find a repairman is to simply open a webpage, go to a search engine and type “microwave repairman near me.” Next, you should receive a list of microwave repairmen in your area. Only try this method if the previous three yield no results.
Which Parts of the Microwave Can be Repaired?
Most of the parts of a microwave can be fixed, repaired or replaced. Here is a short list of the parts that can be repaired or replaced.
- Door switch – lets your microwave know that it is closed, and can start cooking functions
- Ceramic Fuse – this is a fuse that shuts down if an internal electrical short circuit occurs.
- Thermal Fuse – this fuse prevents the microwave from overheating
- Cooling fan – this fan helps to keep the microwave from overheating
- Door latch – this is the hooks that connect the door to the rest of the microwave
- Magnetron – This is the most important part of the microwave because it generates the heat that cooks your food.
- High voltage diode – This diode supplies power to the magnetron.
What is the Cost to Repair a Microwave?
The cost to repair your microwave consists of two parts: the hourly rate the repairman charges, and the cost of the replacement part. Some companies may charge a service call fee, but this isn’t typical.
On average, the hourly cost for a repairman is between $50 and $350 per hour.. This will depend on a number of factors including region, country, microwave brand, and the company you contract to do the work. For example, the cost to repair a microwave in Chicago can be $125 per hour, while the cost in Los Angeles can be $300.
The second part of the cost is the parts required to repair your microwave. Like the repairman, the cost of the parts can vary greatly. Also, the cost of the replacement parts can vary based on the brand, microwave age, and its importance to the microwave. In addition, the price for parts can vary between the same parts within a brand.
Here are a few costs of commonly replaced parts:
- GE Magneton and Diode Kit: $62.99
- LG Electronics Microwave Oven Magnetron: $35.99
- Frigidaire Magnetron for Microwave: $116.35
- Panasonic Magnetron: $101.54
- Whirlpool Magnetron for Microwave: $126.14
If you decide to repair the microwave yourself, you can replace the cost of hiring a repairman with the cost of buying tools you may not already have.
What Tools are Needed to Repair a Microwave?
If you choose to repair the microwave yourself, you will need a few tools to get the job done. Just to get into the microwave, you will need a Phillips head screwdriver. Once you may it inside, you may need a volt-ohm meter, fuse pullers, and needle nose pliers.
A Phillips head screwdriver is the screwdriver that looks like a cross or plus sign. These screwdrivers come in various shapes in sizes, but any small or medium sized screwdriver should work.
A volt-ohm meter simply measures the voltage, current, and resistance of the microwave and its components.
Needle nose pliers can be used for both
Before diving into the microwave repair, review your product manual for additional tools.
Where to Buy Replacement Parts?
There are a number of places to buy replacement parts including Amazon, the manufacturers’ website, and third-party sites like eBay and Craigslist. There are benefits and drawbacks to using each of these methods.
As I mentioned there are positives and negatives to buying replacement parts on Amazon. Some positives are: the product may be cheaper than buying it through the manufacturer, You may receive the product faster, and can buy new or used on Amazon.
In addition to the positives, there are a few negatives. These negatives include mislabeled parts or part numbers, unsure of the parts history, and you still need to pay for installation. In addition, it is possible that you are buying a part based on poor information.
Another option is purchasing replacement parts through the manufacturer. The benefit of this is you know you are getting the correct part and part number, you know that his part is new or certified refurbished.
One drawback of buying through the manufacturer is that the price may be higher than buying through Amazon or eBay. Manufacturers tend to place a higher price tag for the confidence of their product.
The last option is to buy replacement parts through a
When to Repair VS When to Buy New
This answer will vary by person and situation, but consider these factors when buying new vs repairing an older microwave:
- Cost of repair vs cost of a new microwave
- Microwave age
- Microwave issue
- Microwave type
Let’s take a closer look at each of these points
Cost of Repair VS Cost of a New Microwave
A brand new microwave can cost anywhere between $50 and $500, while the cost to repair a microwave a cost between $50 and $350. To get an idea of the cost, contact the product manufacturer as they should be able to give you an idea. Be aware that they will first try and sell you a new microwave.
As I’ve mentioned, the average life span of a microwave is 9.5 years. Where is your microwave, if it is less than 4 years, consider having your microwave repaired, however, if the microwave is older than 4 years, consider buying a new microwave. Here are a few of my recommendations.
The microwave issue is another thing to consider when deciding repair vs buying new. If the issue is a blown fuse, then consider replacing the part. However, if the issue is a Magnetron, then consider buying a new microwave.
In my opinion, solo countertop microwaves are cheap enough that you can buy a new one if the old one breaks. However, if you own an over-the-range or built-in microwave, you should consider repairing your microwave.
Common Microwave problems
In general, there are 7 or 8 common problems microwaves experience. Those problems are:
Microwavewill not heat food
- Microwave turntable not turning on
- Broken door hinge
- Broken door handle
- Microwave touchpad
- Microwave interference from radio tv, or phone
Below are these problems in greater detail, as well as possible solutions.
Microwave will Not Heat Food
Problem: You place food in the microwave for 2 minutes. When the microwave beeps to let you know it’s finished, it is still as cold as before.
Possible solution: First, check the door switch for damage. Next, check the high voltage diode. Finally, check the magnetron.
Microwave Turntable not Turning
Problem: You notice the turntable is not rotating as expected.
Possible solution: First, check to make sure you do not have a setting to turn the turntable on and off. Second, make sure the turntable hasn’t fallen off track. Next, inspect the drive motor and coupler. Finally, check the roller guide.
Microwave Oven Door Hinge
Problem: Your door isn’t closing completely, or the door is stuck closed.
Possible solution: Inspect the door latch and door hinge. Also, make sure there isn’t anything obstructing the door and door hinge.
Microwave Oven Arching (sparks)
Problem: The microwave arches (sparksP when the microwave is on.
Possible solution: Clean the corners of the microwave using one of the methods listed here. Also, remove the cooking rack and cooking rack supports.
Microwave Oven Touchpad Repair
Problem: Some buttons on the touchpad stop working. Eventually, all buttons stop working
Possible solution: In my experience, the connector from the touchpad to the control board had become loose. To fix this issue, I had to detach the touchpad from the microwave, find the connector, and push the connector back into the touchpad.
Other possible issues include a faulty membrane switch or control board.
Interference from radio, TV, or phone
Problem: Radio, TV, or phone are distorted when the microwave is on or running
Possible solution: Move the microwave, TV, or radio further away from the microwave. Also, make sure the microwave oven door is clean and free of dirt.
To answer the original question, yes microwaves can be repaired. However, when you decide to repair it depends on a number of factors, including microwave age, and cost to repair.
Also, microwaves can be repaired by yourself or by hiring a professional. Personally, I recommend that you hire someone that has experience in repairing microwaves. As I mentioned, the cost to repair your microwave can vary between $50 and $350 depending on your region, the amount of time it takes to repair the microwave, and the problem/ solution.
There are a number of guides available online to assist you if you choose to repair the microwave yourself.
Can You Reset a Microwave?
There are two types of resets: hard and soft. A hard reset is when you disconnect your microwave (or any electronic) from its power source. That power source can be wall outlets, batteries, etc. Usually, a hard reset will erase all programmed or saved settings.
Soft resets involve pressing a holding a combination of buttons for a few seconds. These buttons will vary by manufacturer so check your product manual to see if your microwave has a soft reset option. Soft resets are most often used to exit a setup process. Soft resets do not erase saved settings.
What Would Cause a Microwave to Stop Working?
There are a few different reasons why a microwave can stop working. These reasons include the following:
- Blown household fuse or circuit breaker
Depending on the issue, this may be a simple fix, or a fix that requires a service call.
How Many Years Does a Microwave Last?
On average, microwaves last 9.5 years, The length depends on the usage, assembly, wear and tear, and the environment.