One startling problem that can arise with microwaves is when they suddenly making a loud popping noise and stop working. The clock won’t light up, the buttons don’t make noise or light, and the microwave stops spinning if it’s in the middle of a cycle. That is a sure indication that something within the electrical workings of your microwave broke, and the first thing you’ll want to do is power off the microwave as soon as possible.
WARNING: Microwaves are high voltage products, with voltage going as high as 2000 volts. If you do not have any training on working on these products, we strongly urge you to call an appliance repair company near you. Be sure that you unplug the microwave before you start to work on the product.
Here are common procedures for finding the culprit behind a spark inducing and nonfunctioning microwave if you have a Frigidaire Electrolux (PLMV169DCD):
- Check the power source: Check the voltage for 120 volts. With your voltmeter, you’ll be testing it three ways: the connection between neutral and hot (where the two parallel prongs are inserted) and the connection from hot to ground should each have 120 volts, and the connection from neutral to ground should have no voltage.
- Check the cord: Make sure there are no breaks or tears. You can also use an ohm meter to verify.
- Check the inline fuse: In order to access the inline fuse, you will need to remove a lot of parts in the way. In most cases, the microwave will also need to be uninstalled from the cabinet. Reference the unit’s installation instructions. Start with the entirety of the outer casing; remove the screws along the back to release the three-sided metal pan and then maneuver it around a front tab to remove it. Carefully remove the power harness for the power cord; all you need to do is release the white tab to pull the entire cord free. Next, discharge the capacitor. VERY IMPORTANT. This is for your safety as the capacitor is holding approximately 2000 volts. Then you can discharge it by touching it with two insulated screwdrivers and crossing the two screwdrivers so they touch each other; this will disperse the voltage. Now you can check the inline fuse: perform a resistance continuity check by disconnecting one end of the fuse and touching each end with your digital multimeter. This test is audible, so if you can hear a pitch, the fuse is in working condition; if it stays silent, then your fuse is broken and you have found the source of your problem! The tricky part is determining what caused the fuse to blow. Could be a major component, a power issue, or an installation issue that can cause the fuse to blow. If the fuse blows again, we strongly recommend contacting an experienced appliance repair company to help you narrow down the issue.
Accessing the interior parts of your microwave can be tricky and even frustrating. Make sure you always follow the safety steps and use insulated tools to protect yourself, and go to Appliance Express for more tips and ways to diagnose common electrical problems in your appliances.