Due to the high heat waves that a microwave uses to heat your food, all microwave models require the protective door to be closed before the microwave will begin operation. If your microwave door will not close, your microwave is effectively useless because it will not start. At times, your microwave door will close, but if it is not latching your microwave still will not run for your own safety. If your appliance has been rendered useless by a door not closing or locking, here is what you can check in order to make the right repair.
Check For Debris
Before looking into what repair you need to make, you need to make sure you actually need a repair. Overuse, especially if you don’t clean your microwave often, food particles and grease can build up in your microwave. If your door won’t close, you want to make sure there is no obstruction in the parts that need to close. Check around the hinges, the door, and the part of the cabinet where the door meets the appliance. You may also want to look at the door latch and the assembly just in case something got pushed into those areas while cleaning.
While other causes are more likely, you may want to check the hinges for damage. If the hinges are loose, damaged, or rusty, they may prevent the microwave door from closing in the exact position that it needs to. Typically, you will be able to see the damage that prevents the door from closing or you may notice a wobble when you move the microwave door. Luckily, microwave door hinges are quite easy to replace.
Door Latch Assembly
If your microwave door won’t close or the latch isn’t engaging, it is most likely a problem with the door latch assembly. In most microwaves, the door will have a latch or two that enters an alcove on the cabinet and activates a switch. Once this switch is met with the door hook, it will allow the microwave to receive power. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems that can occur here.
The first issue is that the door hooks and the springs that attach to them do not have enough tension. This means that the hooks will not actually meet the switch in order to activate it. Next, there is always the possibility that the switch itself has gone bad. This means your door may actually latch, but the switch prevents anything from happening.
As there are a lot of different parts that can fail here, there are a lot of potential different repairs that need to be made. You should start by testing the switches to see if they are at fault. This can be done by unplugging your microwave and remove either the outer cabinet or back panel depending on your model of microwave. The switch is attached to the edge of the cabinet. You do not need to discharge the capacitors to test it, but you will want to be very careful around the appliance if they are still loaded with stored electricity.
If you test the switch with a multimeter and it checks out, it is then time to go to the actual latch. You will need to remove the inner panel of the door where the door latch is held on by plastic tang. If the switch is working, you will most likely want to replace the latch. There is not much you can really test for faults and it is a very cheap part to replace anyway. Whether it is a broken hook or a loose spring, a replacement will fix the issue.