Microwaves are a convenient appliance most everyone depends on. They get used so much that it’s easy to understand why some wear out or have problems more quickly than expected. One of those problems is when the keypad doesn’t work. Pressing the buttons does nothing.
There are several reasons for an LG microwave touchpad not working. It could be the membrane behind the touchpad, the touchpad itself the user control panel, or the main control board. Any of these things should be replaced if they go bad.
Read further to decide how to best fix the touchpad on your LG microwave.
Problem 1: The Membrane
The touchpad buttons have two layers of mylar plastic membrane behind them that connects with relays. Those send messages to the control board to carry out the microwave functions. The relays are sent through soft electrical switches. The membrane will wear out over time with use and that can mean some buttons won’t work.
You will get a hint it’s the membrane causing the issue when the display lights up upon touching the keypad but the oven won’t turn on.
A sign the membrane is going bad is if you have to press the keypad buttons extremely hard to get them to work.
How does this membrane work?
The touchpad membrane is made up of two thin layers of plastic that have a conductive substance on the inside of each. A gap lays between the two surfaces that separate them until you touch the keypad.
The two layers then connect causing an electrical current to be sent as a signal to the control board. This inner coating wears out with repeated use and the two surfaces won’t be able to make a good connection.
If some keypads work and others don’t, you may have to test each individually to find out which ones are worn out. However, you can’t replace individual touchpad button membranes and will have to replace the whole thing.
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Problem 2: The Touchpad
Many refer to the touchpad when they mean the membrane because it usually is considered one unit. However, there is a membrane switch that should be tested also as well as different control options. Any of these things can be faulty, causing the problem.
Problem 3: User Control Panel
Pressing keypad buttons and getting none that are responding correctly indicates the problem is with the user control panel. This panel is connected to the display board and relays messages to both the display and the main control board.
Usually, the display board should be replaced if the user control panel has gone bad because it could be either one causing the problem.
Problem 4: The Main Control Board
This solution is less common than the other issues but it can fail too. A faulty main control board typically causes more problems than the keypad not working. You may also get an advanced sign something is wrong before it blows.
Signs that the control board is going are if the microwave stops cooking in the middle of a program, if it fails to turn on unless you reset it or if different programs become less functional.
What Else Can It Be?
There is one incredibly simple explanation as to why your LG microwave touchpad isn’t functioning.
Your child lock may be on.
The child lock feature is part of the LG microwave design to prevent children from using the appliance by themselves. However, this function can sometimes be accidentally triggered when you are pressing the keypad to program cooking for other things.
The process for activating and de-activating the child lock switch is the same. Hit the stop/clear button and then press the start/enter button for at least four seconds. The letter “L” will show up if the child lock wasn’t activated. You will now need to deactivate it by repeating the process.
You may see the “L” disappear when you hold down the start/enter button. That means the child lock was activated, causing your keypad to lock. It is now deactivated and your keypad should now work.
Fixing Touchpad Issues
Microwaves are some of the simplest appliances to fix. Most of their parts are inexpensive and it doesn’t take long to diagnose and replace parts.
A touchpad will cost between $100 to $300 to replace including parts and labor. A control board will cost between $100 and $500 to fix with parts and labor. The exact cost of the repair depends on the exact brand and model of the microwave as well as the per hour labor charge.
Should I fix my microwave?
It may be more cost-effective to repair newer, more expensive microwaves. The LG brand is solid so you likely won’t have many other repairs. You will need to examine the cost of repairs versus the replacement of a microwave to make a decision.
The decision of whether to fix a microwave depends on the age of the appliance too. Microwaves have a lifespan of a maximum of 10 years so it would be best to ditch a failing, aging microwave for a new one if it starts giving you problems.
How do I find someone to fix it?
You should start with the LG support center. Representatives have lists of qualified, licensed service technicians close to you to fix your microwave. You should also get your warranty out before you call them and discuss whether any of the repairs would be covered by the warranty.
Customer support representatives generally will walk you through some common fixes before sending you to a technician. One of those is going to be to reset your microwave.
Resetting Your LG Microwave
Anytime you call the support center, the representative is likely going to ask if you’ve tried a hard reset on your microwave. That’s because a hard reset can fix many ongoing issues. It resets the control board and that resolves some problems, at least temporarily.
You reset the microwave by unplugging it. Wait a few minutes, usually three minutes, and plug it back into the outlet. That will clear all error messages if you have them on the display as well as get your microwave functioning again in many instances.
Can I replace my worn keypad on my microwave myself?
Those who have worked on other appliances should be able to replace a worn microwave keypad. Touchpads have no moving parts so they are easy to replace if you can figure out how to remove them.
That seems to be the problem as some can’t see how to properly and safely remove it. You should call a service technician if that leaves you baffled.
How do I clean my microwave touchpad?
Keeping your microwave clean is one way to help it last longer. That is particularly true of the handle, touchpad, and vents. All those areas attract dirt and grease.
Use a grease-breaking dish soap like Dawn with warm water to clean the touchpad. Use a sponge to wipe it down on the doors and the microwave’s an outside area too. Wipe clean with fresh water and then dry with a clean rag.
Significant grease and dirt build-up require some extra time, effort, and maybe a different solution. You can mix baking soda with water to get really nasty areas.
How can you clean a microwave with little scrubbing?
There is a trick to cleaning the inside of a microwave with little effort at all.
Take Dawn dish soap and put some in a microwave-safe bowl and add warm water to fill it. Put the bowl in the microwave. Program it to cook on high for five minutes. Then, let the bowl of soap and water sit in the microwave for five more minutes.
All you have to do then is take the turntable out and wipe it off with a damp sponge. Dry with a paper towel. Wipe out the rest of the inside with a paper towel.