Microwave is sparking (reasons)

Microwave is sparking (reasons)

Sparking in the microwave is a common thing. Liquid spilled inside the appliance of a microwave or grease accumulating on the interior sides of your microwave is believed to cause sparking in the internal cavity. This occurs when you subsequently cook with your microwave in the same condition. When microwave energy accumulates in one area of your oven due to a faulty fan motor, high voltage diode could develop problem causing microwave sparking.

When microwaves were introduced to people, several amateur experiments were done to see how different foods reacted to this new technological method of cooking. The tests showed that microwave could cook all types of food when instructions are well followed. They also revealed that careless handling of the microwave could cause sparking and hence can void your device.

Cleaning microwave to avoid sparking

Microwave ovens should be cleaned after every use to avoid build-up of food residue which causes sparks. Most microwaves are fitted with glass turntables that can be easily removed, soapy water cleaned, dried and replaced. Microwaves have an internal cavity which should be cleaned with a moistened cloth. This ensures that your microwave is in good condition which is recommended by manufacturers. It is advisable that you should cover your microwave with waxed paper or with a microwavable plastic cover before cooking to reduce spills and splatters that are known to cause sparks.

Reasons of sparking in a microwave

Sparking inside a microwave is common and does not show your microwave has a problem. Most people panic when their microwave sparks. When your microwave sparks you are required to switch off your microwave and do necessary inspections. Below are possible reasons for sparking of your microwave:

  • Scarp of metal inside microwave

A small piece of metal is enough to cause sparking inside your microwave. This mostly occurs when you clean your microwave with steel wool and leave behind a metal scrap from the wool. Also, the food you heat may be covered with foil that catches fire easily. If your dish is not microwave safe, sparking may occur. Making sure that there is no metal scrap in your heating dish makes it microwave safe and its safe for you to start heating with your microwave.

  • Having a damaged waveguide cover

Waveguide cover is found over the magnetron and is used to guide or convey the heat waves to the central area where you keep food in a microwave. The cover also prevents food particles from entering the magnetron which may be dangerous. It is believed that during cooking food particles and grease escape and stick to the waveguide. The food particles are burned by heat from the magnetron and sparks out. These sparks damage the waveguide cover making it cause frequent sparks from the microwave. This can be solved by replacing damaged waveguide cover with a new one and taking great care to avoid its damage.

  • Having damaged rack support

Rack support is a hook-like instrument that is used to support microwave. Most of the time microwave sparks near this support tool making its paint to worn out. It is advisable that you remove the support and immediately replace it with a new one to avoid future unpredicted sparks.

  • Burned diode

Microwaves have high voltage diode which causes sparks inside microwaves when burned or shorted. This can be prevented by ensuring that you use correct switches and recommended sources of power when cooking with a microwave.

Next time you see sparks inside your microwave never get scared instead switch it off and perform a necessary inspection before calling your technician.

Burn spots

Burn spots inside your microwave are clear indication that sparking has occurred and ignoring them may cause a damaging fire inside the appliance. Calling a technician is the best option since he can locate the situation and discover the immediate reasons for burning. If there is any damaged part requiring replacement, the technician will locate what is needed and perform the recommended replacement service. It’s advisable always to call a technician if you are not familiar with all the components of microwave oven because it can give you a severe electrical shock.

How to repair a sparking microwave

If you see sparks while running your microwave, it’s advisable first to check its internal cavity of your device. If you notice any splattered food into the microwave, you should continue to cook but be read to notice some sparks inside. This can also apply when grease accumulates on the ceiling of your microwave oven. We recommend that you stop cooking and thoroughly clean the internal cavity of the microwave oven.

Inside a microwave, there is a stirrer which ensures even heating inside your microwave as well as ensuring even distribution of energy created by the appliance. If the stirrer is not working well, the created energy will concentrate in one area instead of being distributed to all areas in a microwave, and this is believed to cause sparking or burning. The reasons why the stirrer may fail to work is when the stirrer belt is broken or when the drive motor is broken. Replacing these faults will prevent sparking hence ensuring safe heating.

Inside a microwave, there is a diode which works together with the capacitor and the magneton to provide the heat needed by microwave to work well. When attempting to access the diode, it’s advisable for you to unplug the microwave as well as discharging the high voltage capacitor to avoid getting an electrical shock. After removing the diode, you can test it for continuity using multi-meter and if there is low resistance in one direction and high resistance in the other direction the diode is correctly working. If you do not notice any resistance the diode, it’s not working and should be immediately replaced by a technician to avoid sparks.


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