How to Repair a Microwave Safely

Jul 29, 2023, 14:44pm

To heat your food, the microwave uses a magnetron. This needs to be powered by a very high voltage, well above 230 volts. The voltage circulating between the components can exceed 2500 volts, so it is very important to follow these steps before working on a microwave.

A first rule is to disconnect the microwave 24 hours before the intervention, to allow the capacitor to discharge. During handling, it is preferable to wear insulating gloves up to 5000 volts to intervene in complete safety.

Microwaves are incredibly useful appliances, but like any other household device, they can sometimes break down or not work as efficiently as they should. While it may be tempting to take a DIY approach to repair, it’s important to remember that working with microwaves can be dangerous due to high voltage and the presence of radiation. Here are some basic guidelines for safe microwave repair.

How to Repair a Microwave Safely

Safety First

  1. Unplug the Microwave: Before attempting any repair, make sure the microwave is unplugged to avoid the risk of electric shock.
  2. Do Not Disassemble: Microwaves contain high voltage capacitors that can store a lethal amount of electricity, even when the microwave is unplugged. For this reason, never attempt to disassemble your microwave unless you have specific training.
  3. Wear Protective Gear: If you’re changing a simple, user-friendly part like the light bulb, always wear safety gloves and eyewear to protect yourself from potential harm.

Simple Repairs

Some microwave repairs are simple and don’t involve disassembling the appliance or handling electrical components. These repairs are usually safe for most people to carry out.

1. Changing the Light Bulb

The interior light in your microwave allows you to check on your food without opening the door. If this light goes out, it can be safely replaced.

  • Unplug the microwave.
  • Remove the bulb cover, usually secured with a screw.
  • Take out the old bulb by unscrewing it.
  • Screw in the new bulb.
  • Replace the cover and plug the microwave back in.

2. Replacing the Turntable Motor

If your microwave’s turntable isn’t spinning, it could be due to a faulty motor.

  • Unplug the microwave.
  • Remove the bottom panel of the microwave.
  • Detach the faulty motor, typically held in place with a couple of screws.
  • Install the new motor and replace the panel.
  • Plug the microwave back in.

Complex Repairs

Complex repairs involving internal components are best left to professionals. These include:

1. Magnetron Replacement

The magnetron generates the microwaves that heat your food. A faulty magnetron can cause your food not to heat properly. This part carries a high voltage and should only be replaced by a trained technician.

2. Touchpad or Control Panel Issues

If the buttons on your microwave aren’t responding, it could indicate a problem with the touchpad or control panel. This type of repair is complex and involves dealing with the microwave’s electrical system. It’s recommended to hire a professional for this repair.

3. Door Repair or Replacement

If your microwave door is damaged or won’t close properly, it’s crucial to get it repaired as it could lead to harmful microwave radiation leakage. This is a job for a professional technician.

How to Repair a Microwave Safely


Before discharging the capacitor, it is necessary to discharge the noise suppression capacitor, also called the noise suppression filter. It is located on the board at the entrance to the microwave oven, right after the power cord.

To unload it, take a screwdriver with an insulated rubber handle. This manipulation is carried out on the electrical outlet of the device.

  • Touch the two pins of the connector with a screwdriver. This creates a short circuit between phase and neutral.
  • Do the same with the outlet hole (ground) and one of the two pins (live or neutral).
  • Finally, while keeping the screwdriver in contact with the hole, touch the other pin.


A capacitor located after the transformer also amplifies the voltage. It acts as a reservoir of electricity and can store over 2500 volts even when unplugged. Before touching the microwave, you must first make sure that the capacitor is discharged.

  • Remove the microwave cover to access the condenser by unscrewing the fixing screws on the back and sides.
  • Use insulated pliers with rubber bushings. Ideally, bring insulated gloves as well.
  • Connect the two leads of a capacitor to create a short circuit. Feel free to do this a few times to make sure it’s uploaded correctly.

This manipulation is also possible with a large insulated screwdriver. It is necessary to connect the two terminals of the capacitor, always creating a short circuit, being careful not to touch the metal part of the screwdriver.

In conclusion, while minor repairs like changing the light bulb or replacing the turntable motor can be done safely at home, most microwave repairs are best left to trained professionals due to the potential risks involved. Always prioritize safety when dealing with electrical appliances and when in doubt, consult with a professional.