Microwave vents are great things. They turn on when you get the cooktop below hot and turn off automatically when everything cools down. Sometimes, they fail to work and that can be an aggravation. Steam and heat build-up and there isn’t a good way to cool the kitchen down unless you open a window or bring in a fan.
What should you do if your Samsung microwave vent not working? There are a few fixes including cleaning your charcoal and grease filters, checking your damper assembly, and also your fan motor. The problem will typically lie with one of those things.
It could also be your microwave thermostat or the control board but those aren’t as likely a culprit for causing the vent issue.
Read further to know which item to look at first and how to remedy the problem.
Charcoal filters are popular to put in over-the-range ovens because they are awesome at soaking up pollutants and smells that come from cooking food. All of this absorbed material builds up and can create a clog in the filter. Charcoal filters should be replaced regularly as a part of a home maintenance schedule.
Inspecting the Filter
You usually won’t need any tools to look at the charcoal filter. If you do need a tool, it will be a screwdriver.
You will need to look behind the exhaust air outlet grill to find the charcoal filter. It will require you to take out the grill to get to the filter. Different models have different grills and how to remove them but how to remove your grill is typically explained in the owner’s manual.
Remove the filter so you can look at it for debris, damage, or other items that may be causing it problems. A damaged or severely clogged filter will need to be replaced. Your owner’s manual also tells you when you should replace the filter. If this filter has been in the microwave longer than recommended, it should be replaced.
A filter that doesn’t look damaged or too clogged can be cleaned by brushing it off with a paper towel or clean rag. Put it back in and next look at the grease filter.
Every microwave with an exhaust fan has a grease filter that collects the icky stuff as it brings in the air to be pushed outside. These fats and oils get trapped and that keeps the exhaust system clear. These filters will clog after a lot of kitchen cooking, especially if never cleaned or replaced.
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Inspect the Grease Filter
Just like the charcoal filter, you don’t need any tools to look at the grease filter. It is an easy inspection.
You will need to find the grease filter. they are usually in the microwave’s bottom and have spring clips holding them in place. Once you remove the filter, you can look at it.
See if there is any damage and how much garbage is in it. A damaged or unusable filter will need replacement. However, you can clean a grease filter with mild soap and water and keep using it as long as it isn’t damaged.
Once you complete that inspection, move on to the damper assembly.
The Damper Assembly
The damper makes your exhaust vent a one-way system so air can go out but outside air can’t come back through the system.
The damper is a metal or plastic flap that opens the exhaust duct when the fan is running and seals it when the fan is off. The flap is usually spring-loaded but can operate off of gravity too.
Inspecting the Damper
First, make sure your microwave is disconnected from power. Inspecting the damper may require you to remove the microwave as well as the cabinet to get to the damper assembly. You will need to check on your model and how it is installed to do that properly.
Once you get to the damper, check for anything that could prohibit the damper from opening or closing. Also, see if there are any visible signs of damage, wear, or cracking.
If your damper is damaged, it will need replacing.
The Fan Motor
The fan motor is one of the more common reasons for an exhaust fan not working. Sometimes, it works but is weak. A way to test it is to put a paper napkin up to it. A working exhaust fan should be able to hold a paper napkin without it falling.
Check for Working Fan
An easy way to check to see if your fan works are to see how it functions on every speed setting. A fan that works in every setting with limited, normal noise is functioning at optimum.
Fans that fail to work well on several settings, or all of them, and make strange noises need service.
Inspecting the Fan Motor
The fan motor is usually in the rear of the microwave and located near the top. You will need to remove the motor from the microwave to test it.
The first thing to do is try turning the blades by hand. Stiff-turning blades indicate a new motor is needed. Freely turning blades show the motor is likely good but you will need to test it with a multimeter to be sure there is continuity.
Set the multimeter to Rx1. Use the probes to touch the motor’s terminals to see if it has continuity. A reading of 0 shows there’s continuity. Other readings show there isn’t any continuity.
A fan where the blades don’t turn or that has no continuity must be replaced.
Other Potential Problems
There are a couple of other things that could be causing problems with the exhaust fan. If none of the other issues check out to be the problem, you would want to look at the thermostat or the control panel.
A thermostat turns on the fan when it senses the air temperature is too hot. A faulty thermostat means the fan won’t turn on. You should run a test on the thermostat with a multimeter.
Usually, the control board isn’t the problem but it can be the issue if power isn’t getting to the exhaust fan. It could be one part of the control board is at fault if the rest of the functions work.
Even so, the control board is faulty, you will need to replace the entire board.
Does an over-the-range microwave need to be vented?
There isn’t a code requirement that an over-the-range microwave be vented to the outdoors. these ovens can also be set up to bring air back into the kitchen, recirculating it to bring the temperature down. You can vent a microwave for your kitchen.
Is it better to have a microwave exhaust vent to the outside?
Most experts said microwave vents should be exhaust to flow outside rather than an interior space like an attic. Local building codes may include regulations regarding the distance allowed between the vent and a window or do.
How do I know if I have a self-venting microwave?
You can look in your cabinet above the microwave oven to see if there is a duct that moves air outside. Sometimes, the vent is located on the wall behind the microwave. Your microwave will also contain intake vents. They are located on the bottom.
What is a microwave convertible vent?
A convertible vent operates for both the cooktop and the microwave. It removes smoke, grease, and steam from the kitchen. While it’s located behind the microwave, it turns on automatically when the temperature in the kitchen reaches a level where sensors detect it.
The Importance of Ventilation
Microwave ovens need ventilation but the type of venting is different from traditional ovens. You need good clearance around the microwave in the cabinet and the best ventilation option is to have the air flow outside.