How to Fix a Microwave Turntable That’s Not Turning

D3 Appliance
June 13, 2023
Microwave Repair

A microwave is an important kitchen appliance for every household because it can help you cook, reheat, or defrost food items in a matter of seconds. One of the key components of a microwave is the turntable, which rotates the food items so that they are heated evenly. 

If you notice that your microwave turntable is not turning, it can be a frustrating experience! The good news is that there are several reasons why your turntable is not turning, and they are easy to fix.

To spin or not to spin

So you’ve noticed that your microwave plate isn’t spinning? It’s not the end of the world. If you’re not a frequent microwave user or don’t mind getting up to stir your food halfway through heating, a stationary tray can work just fine.

But it can definitely be an inconvenience! If you’re finding that your food is heating unevenly with cold spots, it might be worth looking into getting repairs or even purchasing a new microwave. After all, some small appliance repairs are definitely worth it in the long run. 

The most important thing is to make the choice that works best for your lifestyle and needs.

Make sure the plate is supposed to spin

If you’ve picked up your microwave from an online marketplace or yard sale and the plate doesn’t spin, you may have a model that is stationary by design.

Have you ever noticed that not all microwaves have a spinning plate? Maybe you have an older model, or perhaps you’ve seen one in a commercial kitchen. Surprisingly, microwaves without spinning plates are not uncommon and have been around much longer than you might think. 

In fact, spinning plates weren’t invented until the 1980s, so many older models naturally didn’t include this feature. 

Additionally, commercial microwaves often forego spinning plates altogether for a variety of practical reasons, like easier cleanup and the ability to microwave larger or irregularly shaped dishes. 

So if your microwave doesn’t spin, don’t worry—it’s not necessarily a sign that something’s wrong. In fact, no-spin microwaves are often designed with durability and efficiency in mind and may even include features like a stirrer or convection function to ensure even heating.

If you’ve decided that your microwave turntable is definitely meant to spin—and that’s something you really need to happen—read on to find out how to fix it in five easy steps. 

1. Clean the turntable and roller ring 

Another reason why the turntable is not turning could be due to food particles or debris stuck on the turntable and roller ring. You can clean them by taking them out of the microwave and using a soft cloth and warm soapy water. 

Make sure to dry them completely before reinstalling the turntable and roller ring. 

2. Check the turntable support

It might be time to take a closer look at the support underneath it. Typically, this support is made up of three triangular spokes or a circular frame with spokes and wheels to guide the plate along its track. You can easily remove the support by pulling the microwave tray out and lifting it off of the coupling. 

Once you have it in your hands, take a moment to inspect it for any cracks or wear, especially on the wheels. If you notice any damage, it’s time to replace the support. However, if everything looks good, give it a quick cleaning and ensure everything spins smoothly.

3. Check the turntable motor

Do you hear a strange grinding sound or see your plate turning in jerky motions when you turn on the microwave? The most likely culprit is a faulty drive motor that needs to be replaced. Luckily, it’s easy to inspect the drive motor with just a few simple steps. 

Firstly, make sure the microwave is completely disconnected from power and remove the bottom panel. Secondly, find and disconnect the two wires attached to the bottom of the motor and touch them to the multimeter. 

If continuity is zero, the drive motor is likely working fine, and you can reassemble your microwave. Otherwise, the drive motor should be replaced. Call a microwave repair professional to do this.

4. Inspect the drive coupler 

When it comes to repairing a microwave, there are a lot of different parts to consider. One of the most important is the coupling. This small piece of hard plastic may not look like much, but it plays a crucial role in making sure the microwave’s plate and support spin correctly. 

If you’re experiencing issues with your microwave not turning, it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at the coupling. Depending on the style of your plate, you may need to examine the three-pronged triangle version or the offset center roller. 

Make sure to pull the tray and support out of the microwave before inspecting the coupling for wear or damage. If it’s not attaching snugly to the motor, it’s time for a replacement—and that’s where you will need to call in for backup.

5. Call a professional 

If you have tried all the above methods and your microwave turntable is still not turning, it’s time to call a professional. They can help you diagnose the issue and fix it quickly and efficiently. 

Microwaves can be very dangerous to repair yourself, as they contain parts that use a hazardous amount of radiation. Be sure to call a professional, and do not attempt to repair your microwave by yourself!

Final thoughts

In conclusion, a microwave turntable that’s not turning can be fixed easily. You can check the turntable motor, inspect the drive coupler, clean the turntable and roller ring, check the turntable guide, and call a professional if necessary. 

However, it’s important to remember that safety should always be your top priority when working with any appliance. Make sure to unplug the microwave before attempting any repairs, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re unsure about the repair process.

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