5 Possible Issues When Microwave Turntable Is Not Turning

The microwave in your kitchen is used for quickly heating food.

It essentially bombards the food with microwaves that make dipole molecules of water and substances to collide and revolve rapidly which then manifests as heat.

Unlike other types of heating, microwave ovens heat food quickly and uniformly.

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While these appliances have been around for quite some time, they went from being in roughly 25% of American households in 1986, to over 90% by 1997.

Not only have they gained popularity over time, but they’ve also changed in function and style. Many of today’s microwaves are equipped with turntables.

This turntable spins while the microwave is in use to assist with uniform levels of heat reaching the food.

Yet, sometimes the turntable stops working.

If this is a problem you’re currently dealing with, keep reading for the five most common reasons this happens, and how to fix each issue.

List Of Issues When Microwave Turntable Is Not Turning

Defective Turntable Motor

This part is required to rotate the turntable, as it’s the motor that powers it.

To determine if this part is defective in your microwave, you can use a multimeter to test it for continuity.

If the motor tests negative for continuity, you’ll need to replace the part.

Here’s how to change this part:

  1. Disconnect all power going to the microwave
  2. Remove all screws securing the bottom access panel
  3. Carefully lower the panel
  4. Disconnect the wiring harness from the turntable motor
  5. Remove the mourning screw and rotate the old motor clockwise to detach
  6. Install the new motor by inserting the shaft into the drive coupler
  7. Rotate the motor counterclockwise, and replace the mounting screw
  8. Connect the wiring harness
  9. Reposition the bottom panel and install the screws to secure
  10. Plug the appliance back in

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Broken Glass Tray Drive Coupling

Another common issue that causes this problem is the drive coupling that rotates the glass tray can become stripped or broken.

You can gently pull the coupling off the motor shaft and inspect it for damage. If you find that it’s damaged, go ahead and replace the part.

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Here’s how to replace the broken glass tray drive coupling:

  1. Remove the turntable tray and the support ring
  2. Check the support ring’s wheels for cracks and see if they turn freely
  3. Remove the old drive coupling
  4. Line up the new drive coupling’s D-shaft with the motor underneath
  5. Make sure the part is securely in place
  6. Clean the surface area where the support ring goes
  7. Replace the support ring
  8. While you have the glass tray out, go ahead and check for chips and cracks. They are prone to breaking when these types of damages are present
  9. Replace the tray and your repair is complete
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Damaged Glass Tray Support

The glass tray support is the circular component that the glass tray sits on. This part is easy to check for damage.

Simply remove the glass tray and remove the tray support. Check the wheels to see if they spin freely, and look for other signs of visible damage.

Since the tray support simply sits at the bottom of the microwave, you just lift the old part out and replace it with the new part.

Faulty Touchpad and Control Panel

It’s also very possible that the button for your microwave’s turntable is malfunctioning.

Please note that some models have this button, and some don’t.

When the button begins to malfunction, the entire touchpad and control panel will need to be replaced.

This is the part that you use to set functions on your appliance, and is vital for operation.

Here’s how to replace the touchpad and control panel on a microwave:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Use a screwdriver to unthread all screws holding the grill in place
  3. Pull the grill forward beginning from the top to remove
  4. Open the door, and remove the mounting screw securing the control panel
  5. Lift up on the control panel to detach it
  6. Take a photo or note where all wire connections go on the control board, so you can reassemble correctly
  7. Depress the locking tabs and remove all wires
  8. Free the hinge tab from the front panel, and remove the ground wire
  9. Release the ribbon connector
  10. Remove the screws holding the main control board and its housing to the control panel
  11. Depress all retaining tabs to pull the housing out
  12. Prepare your new touchpad and control assembly by removing all protective coverings
  13. Align the control board housing with the new panel, and snap in place
  14. Install the screws to secure it
  15. Connect the ribbon connector
  16. Secure the ground wire with the washer and screw
  17. Reinsert the hinge tab into the front panel
  18. Reconnect the remaining wires to the corresponding terminals on the board
  19. Insert the control panel tabs onto the front panel slots, and push the panel down
  20. Replace mounting screw to secure in place
  21. Realign the grill and snap it back into place, install screws to secure it
  22. Plug the microwave back in

Defective Main Control Board

Though, this is not a common problem, the main control board may be defective.

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So, be sure the turntable motor is not getting power and all other components are intact before resorting to this repair.

If you determine it is the main control board, here’s how to replace it:

  1. Unplug the power cord
  2. Remove the screws holding the grill in place, and remove this part
  3. Open the door and remove the mounting screw on the control panel
  4. Detach the control panel
  5. Note the placement of all wires before depressing the locking tabs and removing
  6. Free the hinge tab from the front panel, and remove the grounding wire
  7. Release the ribbon connector
  8. Remove the mounting screws holding the control board in place
  9. Remove the old control board
  10. Line up the new board in its correct position and install the mounting screw
  11. Reconnect the ribbon connector
  12. Secure the grounding wire
  13. Insert the hinge tab back into the front panel and connect all wires to the new board
  14. Insert the control panel tabs into the front panel slots and push down on the panel
  15. Install the mounting screw
  16. Replace the grill and snap it back into place, install the screw to secure
  17. Plug the unit back in

Just remember that the high voltage and current used by microwaves can cause injuries or even death during disassembly.

Always be sure to unplug a microwave before making internal repairs. Yet still, the high voltage capacitor can retain a charge even after it’s unplugged, it’s recommended that you take extreme caution when working on any microwave oven.

Have you had a microwave turntable stop turning? What was the problem, and how did you fix the problem? We’d love to hear your thoughts, comment now and let us know.

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