When the microwave door is broken, several things can go wrong. For example, the door might not be closing, or it might not be opening instead. In some cases, the handle can also fall off.
If you are experiencing these issues with your microwave, the good news is that you may not have to buy a new one. In fact, fixing the microwave door might be easier than you think. Here we will discuss why your microwave door may not open and what you can do to fix it.
1. Is there food blocking the door latch or causing the door to stick?
Checking whether food is blocking the door latch or causing the door to stick might sound rather obvious. However, this is a quick problem you check without needing to take the microwave apart.
If your microwave has not been cleaned for some time, then it’s likely that spilled food is interfering with the door. For instance, the door will not work if there is food jamming the latches or causing the door to stick.
If the door is sticking and you cannot open it, you might be able to open the door with some extra force. Once the door is open, you can use a damp cloth to clean any food away from the area where the door closes.
Also, check the latches to ensure there is no food on them or in the areas where they click. This could cause the door to stick or not close properly.
If there is food jammed in where the latches click, you might be able to scrape it out with a toothpick. However, if you cannot access it, you will need to remove the surrounding microwave panel to clean it.
2. Is the handle broken?
If your microwave is old, the handle may eventually fall off. When the handle is gone, the microwave door will not open. Thankfully, the handle is one of the easiest parts to fix on a microwave.
To fix the handle, you can use epoxy glue to reattach the handle to the door. Simply apply the glue to the handle, and leave it to dry overnight.
You could clamp the door handle to the microwave while waiting for it to dry. However, you may find it helpful to turn the microwave over so it’s sitting with the door facing up. That way, you do not need to hold or clamp the handle while waiting for the glue to dry.
If you try gluing the handle back on, but it does not work, then you might be able to get a replacement handle for your microwave instead. You can look for the microwave’s model number and search for parts online. Or, take measurements (length between the screws) and buy a universal handle.
When installing a new handle, you may need to remove the door’s inner panel to screw it on.
3. Is the door button broken?
If your microwave door does not have a handle, it must open with a push button instead. In that case, the button could be broken or jammed, thus preventing the door from opening.
Assess the button by giving it a push. Does it push in with no resistance? Or does it appear to be jammed? If there is something unusual about the button, it’s most likely broken and will need to be fixed or replaced.
If there is no resistance when you push the button, something could be broken underneath. For example, a spring or clip could have failed and is no longer functional.
If the button feels jammed, the connection could be blocked. Again, a part inside the button could be broken, or something has fallen inside.
To inspect the problem, you will need to turn off the microwave and remove the side panel adjacent to the button. Once the panel is off, you need to disconnect the wires that connect the switchboard to the electrical components.
If you find out what is broken, you could photograph it and search for parts online or in-store. However, these parts are not always replaceable, and you may need to replace the entire mechanism.
To find a replacement, you will need to find the model number of your microwave and look for that part online.
4. Is the latch broken?
The latch on the microwave is a plastic lever that keeps the door closed. The latch is located on the inside of the door, and you can assess it easily by opening the microwave door.
The latch mechanism is broken if the latch appears too loose and is not catching when the door is closed. You may notice that the door is not staying shut or is not clicking into place when closed.
As a safety mechanism, most microwaves do not work when the latch is broken. Therefore, if you notice that your microwave is not working, the first thing you should check is the latch. If the latch is broken, then an electrical failure is unlikely.
To fix the latch, you will need to remove the microwave door’s inner panel. These panels typically snap into place and are not screwed or bolted down. To remove it, you will need a flat tool such as a flathead screwdriver or a butter knife to pry the panel off gently.
The most common reason behind a broken latch is a broken torsion spring. However, the good news is that you can easily replace these springs.
Remove the broken spring and take it with you to the hardware store. If you find another torsion spring with the same length and diameter, you can use it as a replacement part.
Or, you can buy a new torsion spring online. Measure the diameter and length of the spring to ensure you find the right one.
If the spring is fine, but the latch appears broken, you can buy a replacement part online. To find a new part online, you will need to find your microwave’s model number to ensure you buy the correct latch.