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Why Is My Microwave Not Heating Food



A microwave oven warms up your food after a long day of work within a few seconds or minutes. However, it can encounter problems if not maintained. A common microwave problem is the oven not heating the food. So, let’s take a look into what are the causes of the issue and how you can fix them. Some problems are easy to fix, while for others, you need an appliance repair technician.

Burned-Out Diode

The diode is an important component of a microwave oven. It is designed to double the voltage to the magnetron to heat the food and if the diode turns out to be faulty, the magnetron won’t be able to heat the food as well. The good news is that there are several ways of ensuring that you have a burned-out diode.

To begin with, a burned-out diode is easily spotted. It will be damaged all over. If it seems to be fine, you can use a multimeter and a 9-volt battery for checking the continuity of electricity. If there is a distortion, it means the diode is problematic.

Defective Door Switch

This is a commonly overlooked problem leading to microwave ovens not heating. Every microwave oven has around 2 to 3 door switches that ensure the door is properly closed before the oven can begin heating the food. These switches act like a safety feature not allowing the machine to operate until they sense the door is properly closed.

So, if the door switch happens to be faulty, it won’t inform the microwave that the door is properly closed and the unit in return won’t heat up. Faulty door switches need to be replaced over time as they have a limited lifespan. However, this problem is mainly common amongst older ovens and not new ones.

Malfunctioning Magnetron

Another reason your microwave oven might not be heating is if the magnetron is faulty. Then again, you can check it by using a multimeter. For a working magnetron, the multimeter should show a reading of less than one Ohm. Plus, the magnetron should not short to the ground. If the magnetron comes out to be defective, you will need to replace it.

Keep in mind that you will need a professional to replace the part. It’s a complicated process so you shouldn’t try it yourself.

Faulty High Voltage Capacitor

The capacitor is responsible to send current to the magnetron with the help of the diode. If the capacitor happens to be faulty, do not be surprised if the oven fails to heat up. The problem here is that a faulty capacitor will impede the entire electrical circuit. This usually happens due to a leak or bulge.

In some cases, the capacitor may look perfectly fine from the outside but you will need to test the capacitor to ensure that the component is working fine.

Microwave Error

Sometimes, microwave ovens simply fail to work due to our own mistakes. Nowadays, ovens have become increasingly smart and come with all types of features that can easily confuse the user. If your microwave oven comes with a delay timer, you might want to see if the timer was set for the oven to function at a later time. As embarrassing as it is, this has happened to many out there. If nothing else works, try unplugging the oven for a while and then re-plug it to reboot the system.

Power Problems

If your microwave oven fails to heat up, it might be that there is a problem with the power. Make sure that your oven is receiving the proper current. Sometimes, electricity fluctuations can prevent the oven from performing normally.

It might also be that there is a problematic fuse or an issue with the circuit breaker. Try switching the power sockets or check for a blown fuse. If the problem persists, you will need to consult an expert.


A microwave oven not heating can be due to several reasons as mentioned above. However, the diagnostic is relatively simple and you can get your oven working in just a few minutes. And do not try fixing everything on your own, especially if you are not aware of the basics. So, for safety and proper repairs, hire an oven repair Northern VA expert.

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