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.
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:
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- Disconnect all power going to the microwave
- Remove all screws securing the bottom access panel
- Carefully lower the panel
- Disconnect the wiring harness from the turntable motor
- Remove the mourning screw and rotate the old motor clockwise to detach
- Install the new motor by inserting the shaft into the drive coupler
- Rotate the motor counterclockwise, and replace the mounting screw
- Connect the wiring harness
- Reposition the bottom panel and install the screws to secure
- Plug the appliance back in
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.
Here’s how to replace the broken glass tray drive coupling:
- Remove the turntable tray and the support ring
- Check the support ring’s wheels for cracks and see if they turn freely
- Remove the old drive coupling
- Line up the new drive coupling’s D-shaft with the motor underneath
- Make sure the part is securely in place
- Clean the surface area where the support ring goes
- Replace the support ring
- 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
- Replace the tray and your repair is complete
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:
- Disconnect the power
- Use a screwdriver to unthread all screws holding the grill in place
- Pull the grill forward beginning from the top to remove
- Open the door, and remove the mounting screw securing the control panel
- Lift up on the control panel to detach it
- Take a photo or note where all wire connections go on the control board, so you can reassemble correctly
- Depress the locking tabs and remove all wires
- Free the hinge tab from the front panel, and remove the ground wire
- Release the ribbon connector
- Remove the screws holding the main control board and its housing to the control panel
- Depress all retaining tabs to pull the housing out
- Prepare your new touchpad and control assembly by removing all protective coverings
- Align the control board housing with the new panel, and snap in place
- Install the screws to secure it
- Connect the ribbon connector
- Secure the ground wire with the washer and screw
- Reinsert the hinge tab into the front panel
- Reconnect the remaining wires to the corresponding terminals on the board
- Insert the control panel tabs onto the front panel slots, and push the panel down
- Replace mounting screw to secure in place
- Realign the grill and snap it back into place, install screws to secure it
- Plug the microwave back in
Defective Main Control Board
Though, this is not a common problem, the main control board may be defective.
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:
- Unplug the power cord
- Remove the screws holding the grill in place, and remove this part
- Open the door and remove the mounting screw on the control panel
- Detach the control panel
- Note the placement of all wires before depressing the locking tabs and removing
- Free the hinge tab from the front panel, and remove the grounding wire
- Release the ribbon connector
- Remove the mounting screws holding the control board in place
- Remove the old control board
- Line up the new board in its correct position and install the mounting screw
- Reconnect the ribbon connector
- Secure the grounding wire
- Insert the hinge tab back into the front panel and connect all wires to the new board
- Insert the control panel tabs into the front panel slots and push down on the panel
- Install the mounting screw
- Replace the grill and snap it back into place, install the screw to secure
- 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.