Test Your Microwave, But Know When To Call The Experts

It’s easy to remember just how convenient and time saving your microwave can be—as soon as it stops working properly. It’s interesting how often we take for granted these marvels of technology. And sometimes, we’re not sure if we’re facing a minor oversight or a major mechanical problem. Let Toronto Refrigeration’s appliance repair team give you some pointers on what to look for and when to call the experts when dealing with misbehaving microwaves.

First, ensure that you actually have a situation—your microwave may have reverted to a low-temperature setting, which can easily happen after pushing the wrong button or after losing power. If you’re still using the highest power settings, test your appliance by heating a cup of water for one minute. If after several tries the water isn’t getting hot, you know (for sure) that you have a malfunctioning machine.

All microwaves contain circuitry that can be damaged by steam and condensation. If you have an especially steamy kitchen, or your microwave is closely situated to your oven, you may have a steam problem. Keep your microwave door open and avoid generating steam for a few days, then try using the machine again—this may do the trick. Another way to keep your microwave running smoothly is to always close its door slowly and gently—never slam it. Never open the microwave door while it’s running, even though this does turn it off—always push the stop or cancel button first. Any banging or opening-while-running could cause damage to the safety switch, which prevents the machine from operating if the door opens.

If you detect a burning smell, or your microwave begins to hum or buzz, you will most likely require a replacement to your magnetron, capacitor, or diode parts (or there’s something else that requires fixing). If you see sparks or smoke issuing from your microwave, turn it off and unplug it immediately! Obviously, sparks or flame can be caused by metal or foil, or by spilled food. Once you determine that there are no spills inside (and no aluminum foil or metal utensils), try your microwave again. If sparks or smoke still appears, you’ve got a major problem—time to call the experts.

While certain microwave electrical parts are certainly inexpensive, it’s always best to call a qualified technician to open up your machine and do the actual electric work. If parts require replacing, or a fuse is blown, you don’t want to start tampering with your appliance without proper training. Even unplugged microwaves have high-energy capacitors that require discharging, and if they don’t, they can cause serious harm via explosion or electrocution.

In the end, if your microwave has a serious mechanical problem, our electricians may recommend that rather than opening up and repairing your current machine, you simply invest in a new one. But let us help you make that decision—trust to a company that’s small enough to care, and big enough to cope with all your appliance needs.