The capacitor in a microwave serves as a reservoir of electricity which can hold over 2000 volts.
This has a value in Farads (F) but usually indicated in microfarads (mF) or nanofarads (nF). If the measurement of the value gives a number different from that indicated by the manufacturer, the capacitor is defective.
This part can intervene for the following symptoms:
- The microwave does not start
- The microwave does not heat
- The microwave is tripping
You can also replace it if you notice that it is in poor condition, swollen or burned.
The capacitor is located at the rear and bottom of the device. To access it, it is necessary to remove the microwave cover.
Microwave ovens rely on several components to function correctly, one of which is the capacitor. The capacitor stores electrical energy and releases it during the cooking process, helping to power the magnetron that heats your food. Over time, a capacitor may fail and need replacement. This article will guide you on how to safely replace the capacitor of a microwave.
Please Note: The capacitor in a microwave can store a lethal amount of electricity, even when the microwave is unplugged. If you’re uncomfortable with or inexperienced in handling electrical appliances, it’s safer to hire a professional.
Tools You’ll Need:
- Screwdriver set
- Insulated pliers
- A new capacitor compatible with your microwave model
- Multimeter (optional)
Replacing the Microwave Capacitor
1. Safety First: Unplug your microwave oven before starting any repair work. Ensure you’re wearing insulated gloves for additional safety.
2. Discharge the Capacitor: Capacitors hold a charge even after the microwave has been unplarked. Using insulated pliers, touch both terminals of the capacitor simultaneously to discharge it. Be careful to not touch any metal parts of the pliers. A safer alternative would be using a resistor with a wire lead on each end to discharge the capacitor.
3. Remove the Microwave Cover: Using a screwdriver, remove the screws that hold the outer cover of the microwave in place. Remove the cover to access the inner components.
4. Locate the Capacitor: The capacitor is a large, metal, cylindrical component. It’s usually located near the side of the microwave, close to the magnetron.
5. Disconnect the Capacitor: The capacitor is connected to the rest of the microwave by a series of wires. Make sure you document or take pictures of these connections for reference when installing the new capacitor. Use your pliers to gently remove the wire connectors.
6. Remove the Old Capacitor: The capacitor is typically held in place by brackets and screws. Using your screwdriver, remove the screws and brackets, and then remove the capacitor.
7. Install the New Capacitor: Position the new capacitor where the old one was located, ensuring it is secure in the brackets. Replace the screws to hold it in place. Reconnect the wires, using your previous documentation or pictures as a guide.
8. Reassemble and Test: Reattach the microwave’s cover and plug in the appliance. Test it to make sure it operates correctly. If there’s any sign of malfunction, immediately unplug the microwave and consult a professional.
In conclusion, while replacing a capacitor in a microwave is a doable task for those comfortable with appliance repair, the risk associated with handling capacitors should not be taken lightly. Always prioritize safety and remember, hiring a professional is a reliable and safe option when dealing with such components. Regular appliance maintenance and repair ensure the longevity of your microwave, allowing it to serve up warm meals for years to come.