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How to Service and Maintain a Microwave Oven

Skill Level: Beginner

Introduction

Microwave ovens are a modern day kitchen appliance that has made remarkable contributions to fast and healthy cooking in the home. The microwave oven is a bit of a wonder really, the ultimate fast food 21st century appliance you might say.

 

Microwave ovens have established their place in the modern kitchen. Today it is a multipurpose kitchen appliance used for defrosting or reheating food: for baking, roasting, toasting and grilling food.  Microwave ovens are healthy, utilising a

fat free cooking process, and by far the healthier option for the majority of people. 


Like many appliances and items of equipment around the home, the microwave oven will need a little care and attention from time to time, a bit of maintenance.


Undercooked food, however cooked, is a serious health hazard, so check regularly that the turntable rotates freely. This is necessary in order to ensure the food is heated evenly during the cooking cycle. Actually, the turntable motor in a microwave oven is one of the very few parts that can be repaired by the user.

Cleaning your microwave oven

Microwave ovens often become splattered with food during cooking, resulting in a disagreeable smell whenever you open the door; when this is the case, then it's time to get the Marigolds out and give it a clean.

 

Clean the inside of your microwave frequently. Food particles can absorb microwave energy while the oven is in heating mode and could cause burn damage to the inside of the oven. You don't need toxic cleaners on the inside of the oven, simple washing up liquid, mild oven cleaner or even vinegar will do the job just fine.

 

Exterior cleaning

Touch pad controls, door hardware and handles, and other exterior trim areas will last much longer when they're cleaned regularly.

When you need to replace the turntable motor

This is a common problem with microwaves, but relatively straightforward to put right: the first thing to do before fiddling around with any electrical appliance is to unplug it from the mains. Next, remove the turntable and ring from inside the oven. Carefully up end the oven and lay on a towel, on a flat work surface. Remove the holding screws from the motor housing and lift off.

 

Take note of the positions of the different electrical wires and where they came from, unscrew and lift off the old motor, install the replacement turntable, and secure with the holding screws.

Reconnecting the electrical wires

Using an electrical screwdriver, reconnect the wires as per your diagram, and refit the motor housing and screws. Finally, sit the oven back upright, plug in, and switch back on.

Microwave oven fault diagnosis

Never operate a microwave oven when empty! Microwave ovens heat food by bombarding it with super-high-frequency sound energy. When empty the oven absorbs the microwave energy: energy that can feed back on itself, and can result in serious damage to the internal microwave antenna.

When the oven won't heat up

If your microwave's diode has become defective, the microwave will not heat up and you’ll hear a continuous buzzing sound. If this is the case, you must test the diode to determine if it is defective, in which case it will need replacing.

A defective magnetron is another possible cause as to why your microwave’s stopped heating up, but again, you can hear a buzzing sound, and it will testing.

Surge protection

Mcrowave ovens contain solid state circuitry; they're prone to damage from voltage spikes. It is recommended you plug your microwave into a surge suppressor to protect this circuitry.

Door safety

The microwave oven's door retains the microwave energy inside, safely where it belongs. When the door becomes damaged, or the seal doesn't fit correctly and is in poor condition it should be repaired immediately.

Seek Professional advice

Microwave ovens can be one of most dangerous kitchen appliances to repair. When faulty, the ovens high-voltage capacitor can store a potentially lethal electrical charge for an unspecified length of time. Specialized knowledge and equipment is essential to discharge it harmlessly: simply shorting it out could lead to explosion. Electrical wiring and components joined to the capacitor will present the same risks. For this reason its best not to get involved in trying to carry out repairs. Take your oven to a specialist, its safer!

Tools you will need:

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