Microwaves sometimes spark; but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is time to replace them. Sometimes it may be an inexpensive repair or just a maintenance. When microwaves spark most people panic. Yes of course, unless you are a kid looking to beat boredom, you would not appreciate the sight of fireworks inside of an electronic appliance. Well, here’s what you can do simply do; turn off the microwave and do not use it until you have it checked by a technician.
Sparking in microwave ovens is usually caused due to exposed metal. Even a small piece of metal such as a staple pin from a food bag or steel scrub wool left after cleaning; can cause sparks. In addition to this, parts of the microwave in itself can cause sparking if the paint on the inside chips or peels. If there’s only food inside the microwave when it sparked and you’ve cleaned it recently, check for any metal that may have slipped along with the food. If you’re re-heating food ordered from a restaurant, check to make sure there’s no staple in the bag.
If there wasn’t any metal in the microwave the next thing you should do is find out where the spark is coming from. Place a cup of water in the microwave, turn it on and watch to see where the spark is coming from.
When the paint inside a microwave oven chips or peels, exposed metal can cause the microwave to spark. The most likely parts to spark are the wave guide cover, turntable lugs and rack supports. You may be able to repair these parts with microwave oven safe paint. If the metal walls are sparking, you may be able to repaint them as well. Microwave ovens also spark when their magnetron tubes – the component that generates heat – go bad.
Reasons for microwave sparking :
Internal Cavity – Check the internal cavity of your microwave. Any food that has splattered or dripped into the microwave can continue to cook/ burn, causing sparks inside your microwave. This also applies to grease accumulating on the ceiling of your microwave. Give your microwave a thorough cleaning every fortnight.
Stirrer – Microwave energy could be concentrating in one area of your microwave instead of distributing evenly throughout the unit, causing burning and sparking. This will happen if your microwave stirrer is not working. There are two reasons why your stirrer would not be working: either the fan motor is broken, or the stirrer belt is broken.
High Voltage Diode – The high voltage diode could be shorted or opened. You will have to test it with your ohm meter, and if need be, replace it.
Microwave Turntable Lug – The microwave turntable lug is the plastic lug that turns the turntable. Sometimes this lug will cause a sparking microwave.
Changing the Magnetron tubes – The magnetron tube is the part that makes a microwave heat. Often when a magnetron tube is going bad it will spark and sometimes you can see the spark inside the microwave oven. On the right hand side there are holes in the sidewall of the microwave. If the spark is coming from there, the magnetron is most likely bad.
The above are few reasons why your Microwave could be sparking. It is prudent to keep an eye for such events and get it checked by a technician immediately.