Often overlooked and under-appreciated, the microwave truly is an essential appliance in most kitchens.
Although it doesn’t do much that your stovetop or oven can do, it’s capable of heating foods, drinks, or thawing frozen goods in matter of mere minutes, much quicker and more conveniently than these other appliances.
So whenever your microwave oven breaks down, you’re often left inconvenienced, frustrated, and longing to have it up and running once again. Below, we’ll take a look at how to troubleshoot and diagnose this common problem, as well as when to seek help from a qualified appliance repair technician.
Although your microwave might still have power, and it might even function properly when you hit the start button, if the door won’t open, you’ll be hard-pressed to use the appliance for its time-saving benefits.
With that being said, there are a number of reasons why your microwave door might not be working properly. Let’s take a look!
More common on newer, more modern models, many microwaves have a button that you press, rather than needing to pull the door open manually, which is perfect for being able to easily open your microwave door when your hands might be full.
This button works in conjunction with the door latch and spring.
So if either the button, latch, or the spring are broken or damaged, you’ll likely experience a door that doesn’t spring open, or a door that seems to be jammed shut.
Often, this is caused by rust or corrosion inside the door latch, which may prevent the components from moving as freely as they should.
You’ll want to start by cleaning these parts of your microwave to ensure that they’re not simply dirty with food residue.
Sometimes, especially if you haven’t given your microwave a good cleaning in a while, food, grease, or other types of residue can build up on the door button, latch or spring, which may prevent them from working properly.
When you press the door button, it causes the door latch to open, which in turn, allows the spring to push the door open for you.
However, if the door latch is broken or damaged, it may not spring the door open properly.
If you’re able to get the door open, carefully inspect the “female” part of the latch for any signs of damage, or anything that may be blocking the hook from latching properly.
If there’s nothing visibly preventing the latch from working properly, you might want to try spraying a bit of lubricant, such as WD-40, into the latch opening. Ideally, this should penetrate through any dirt or corrosion that may be present, and can help get things moving again.
On the other hand, if you’re unable to open the door, do not try to pry or force it open. Doing so will likely cause more damage to the appliance, which means that repairing your microwave will be more expensive than it needs to be.
As mentioned, once the button is pressed and the latch is released, the door spring is the part that actually opens the door for you. This small part does tend to get a lot of wear and tear, which means that it’s not uncommon to see a microwave’s door spring wear out.
Sometimes, the spring might actually break, but other times, it might still appear intact, even though it no longer has the same amount of stored energy.
Regardless, if you’re able to open your microwave door without it being stuck, but it doesn’t spring open the way it once did, you’re likely dealing with a broken or damaged door spring.
Fortunately, repairing and replacing this component is inexpensive and easy to do.
The button, latch and spring are the three most likely culprits that will cause this type of problem. But if you’ve recently moved, or possibly even have dropped your microwave, it is possible that the door itself has been broken.
If this is the case, a bent, dented, warped, or otherwise broken microwave door might either be jammed shut, or you might simply no longer be able to close it properly.
Regardless, if your microwave door is damaged, it will likely need to be replaced rather than repaired.