In some households, the microwave is the primary clock and source of quick food. In others, the microwave is the purview of only one or two family members. No matter how the microwave fits into your weekly recipes, it’s still a problem when the microwave stops working. It may be be a sticky latch, a light that’s gone out, a broken turning plate, or something more hidden inside the cabinet or control panel.
Whatever the problem, there’s an important decision to make: Repair or replace? While microwave repairs are often possible, microwaves have become so streamlined and basic that it’s often more affordable and practical to buy a new microwave. So are you dealing with a quick-fix issue worth a little DIY or a handyman call, or has your microwave suffered a fatal blow?
Let’s find out with a deeper exploration into when it’s right to repair or replace your microwave.
When to Repair Your Microwave
The first question is whether your microwave can be repaired and how much effort it will take to repair it. IF the repair seems easy, simple, or straight-forward, then a repair is likely your better option. If a repair seems involved, dangerous, or requires multiple stages of repair, then repairs might not be worth your time. Expense of replacement parts should also be considered when deciding whether to enact a repair.
When your microwave problem involves a single component, it’s often worth making the repairs to fix that one thing. A broken microwave door handle, the glass plate or roller guide, for example, are common aspects that break and can quite easily be replaced. Any single component can usually be replaced, especially if you can see where that component is and how it fits into the microwave design. A burnt out lightbulb is also a common one-component repair.
Another easily fixable problem is issues with the surface of your microwave. Scratches in the paint, cracks in the door, and other visible problems are often easier to repair than you might think. Surface-level repairs are often easier because they are easy to reach. You don’t need to dive into the microwave cabinet to replace or repair the broken piece.
A Small Malfunction
The smaller the problem, the less likely the repair will be an issue. A little wobble in the roller guide, for example, can often be fixed with cleaning or a quick swap-out replacement. A stiff door latch can be fixed the same way. What you have to watch out for is problems that relate to deep integral systems.
An Installation Issue
For mounted microwaves, sometimes your problem isn’t related directly to the appliance at all. If your door falls open or closed, if there’s an occlusion with the cabinet, or if the microwave rattles in its brackets, these are installation problems that can be easily solved without getting a new microwave. At most, you may need a few new bolts or a small sanding tool to make the installation right.
When to Replace Your Microwave
Of course, not all microwave malfunctions were meant to be fixed. The low cost of a new microwave combined with the potentially stacking cost of replacement parts and repairs can often make it more practical to just buy a new one. The microwave is the only necessary home appliance that follows this rule, but it’s important to know when you can save time and money by making the right move.
Microwave is Over 6 Years Old
The first indicator that your microwave is better off replaced is the five-year lifespan. Microwaves can last a long time, but they have the shortest lifespan of household appliances. If your microwave is over 6 years and especially if it’s approaching 10 years old, you’re likely better off with a new microwave. Upgrade your features and don’t worry about keeping a dinosaur running.
Multiple Stacking Problems
Another indication that you should replace your microwave instead of replacing a part is if you have more than one problem to tackle. The more issues stack up. the more repairing there is to do. The cost of replacement parts will also begin to stack along with the hours necessary to fully repair your microwave. In addition, stacking technical problems usually indicates that there are more problems to come. Systematic failure is the symptom of an old, badly damaged, or very poorly designed microwave.
The Magnetron is Damaged or Burned
Finally, there’s the magnetron. No matter how new your microwave or if there’s only one problem, if the magnetron is out then you might as well replace the entire appliance. The magnetron is the heart of a microwave that actually makes the micro-waves. Replacing it is about equal to the cost of buying a whole new microwave, sometimes even greater. If the magnetron is busted, microwave replacement is a part of your future.
Consulting with a Microwave Technician
Of course, you don’t have to know for sure immediately which option is better for you. In many cases, there’s no way to know the real cost of an appliance repair until you’ve had an inspection and consulted with a technician. Appliance repair technicians now how to quickly and safely take apart an appliance and test each of the essential components. They also often carry common replacement parts or can give you a quote on parts that need to be ordered.
With the help of an experienced appliance repair technician, you can quickly determine whether your microwave needs to be replaced or repaired. From there, you will either agree on a plan to repair your microwave or start on a quest for a new one. Use this opportunity to think about the kind of features you might like in a new microwave and how to improve on your current kitchen experience.
Our appliance repair team is happy to answer any questions you might have regarding your microwave or any other home appliances you may be concerned about. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find your appliance solutions.