Microwave Turntables Not Turning? Try These Fixes

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Your microwave is an appliance in your kitchen that helps to warm, defrost, and cook food for you when you’re not bothered to leave it out or cook it using a stove. It can really be a time saver and chances are you used it every day which is why it’s important to keep it in good condition. There’s a plate in your microwave that turns as soon as the door is shut. Once the door is shut, you’ll see the lights in the microwave come on and the table will start to turn. The plate turns so that each area of the food gets a good distribution of heat to it.

If the turntable isn’t turning, then some parts of the food will remain cold and this will take longer to melt in your microwave. The table may be turning, but it may not be a smooth turn, or it may be grinding or jolting around in the microwave. There are many reasons why the plate won’t turn, and you can look at the solutions down below to get your plate turning again.

Drive Motor

If the turntable in your microwave isn’t turning smoothly or you can hear it grinding, then the problem is likely to be able to grind motor that turns the table. Most microwave ovens have a drive motor that’s used to turn the table around consistently. The drive motor is located below the table on the microwave floor. The turnplate is attached to the motor through grove at the bottom of the plate and this stops it from sliding off motors.

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The motor is held in place with a screw and it’ll have two wires attached to the bottom of it. If it is making a grinding noise, then you’ll need to replace the drive motor (View on Amazon). If the drive motor isn’t working which is stopping the plate from turning, then you’ll need to check for resistance, voltage, or continuity using a multimeter. To do this, you’ll need to turn off any power to the microwave and remove the bottom panel of the microwave – this will allow you to access the motor. From here, you’ll need to locate the motor and unplug the wires that are connected to the motor. You need to get a multimeter (View on Amazon) and set it to the high settings. Touch the terminals of the wires with the probe and test for continuity. If you receive a reading of zero, then the motor is working properly.

Coupler

If the plate in your microwave doesn’t rotate, there’s a chance it could be the drive coupler. The drive coupler is the solid plastic located in the center at the bottom of the turn play that turns the table around. For some microwaves, the turntable will be round, and it’ll hook onto a triangular piece a plastic through a groove at the bottom and this will stop it from sliding off. For some microwaves within a rectangular tray, there will be an offset center roller that’s used to drive the table from side to side. For either of these tray styles, you’ll need to remove them and to inspect the coupler.

For most microwave models, there will be a 3 sides coupler that you can pull off the motor shaft. Other models may require you to remove the bottom from the bottom panel of the microwave before you can pull off the coupler from the motor. On most couplers, there’s a d-shaped opening that fits onto the motor shaft. If this opening is worn down, cracked or damaged, it’ll need to be replaced. If the opening at the bottom of the coupler and fit snugly on the motors, it won’t be able to turn as the motor turns. You’ll need to replace the coupler with one that will fit snugly on the motor.

Roller Guide

If the microwave plate doesn’t rotate, then it could be because of the roller guide. The roller guide is usually the go to thing to check when the turntable stops turning. If your microwave has a glass turntable, then it’s likely to have a motor guide underneath it. Motor guides can come in different shapes. Some motor guides come with 3 long spokes and look like a triangle whilst other guides are just circular. All motor guides have wheels that allow them to turn the turntable when the motor is rotating.

The guide is there to support the tray and help rotate it along with the motor. To inspect the tray, you need to remove the turntable and inspect the roller guide. You should check the roller guide for any signs of wear, cracks, and damage. You should also check the wheels – you’ll need to check if any of the wheels are stiff, broken or missing. If so, you can check if you’re able to get them turning again. If you notice anything wrong with the roller guide that you weren’t able to fix, then you need to replace it. In a lot of cases, the roller guide can be misplaced under the play by accident and this can stop the play from turning properly. Try and place the plate properly under the grove and shut your microwave door to check if the plate will turn.

Clean the Microwave

If your microwave plate isn’t turning, then it could be because of dirt. Dirt can build up in your microwave after you’ve used it for a long time. If you use your microwave many times during the day, it can build up with dirt pretty quickly. Sometimes your microwave will look clean even though it’s dirty and you may not even consider this a factor when your microwave isn’t turning. If you can notice a build-up of dirt in your microwave, you’ll need to unplug the microwave and turn off the power. Remove the glass tray and the turntable guide underneath it.

You need to wash both of these parts and get rid of anything that could stop them from moving properly. Whilst you’re here, you need to get rid of anything that could be obstructing the turntable. Sometimes particles can build up and this can stop the tray from turning. Once you’ve cleaned them, clean the inside of your microwave and the area under the turntable. When you’ve finished cleaning, you can turn your microwave back on and check if the turntable is turning smoothly.

Shut the Microwave Door

If your microwave’s turntable doesn’t turn, it could be because the doors not shut. When you turn on your microwave and plug it to the power, the microwave won’t start heating up your food if the door isn’t shut. Sometimes you can set the timer on the microwave’s panels and realize that the microwave doesn’t start, and the turntables aren’t turning. If you’ve done all this, you should check that the door isn’t fully closed. Sometimes the door can look closed but inst. In this case, you need to push the door closed properly to make sure that the latch is caught inside the catch.

The latch is there to keep the door secure, the food remains sealed, and that the micro-waves are all concentrated on the food. The door latches are fitted with a switch which allows them to control the microwave when the door is closed. The switches will stop working once the door is opened. If you want the switch to be triggered when the door is shut, then you need to make sure the door is closed firmly. The door switches have terminals and over time they can corrode. If they’re damaged, the tray won’t turn, and your microwave won’t start. This will require you to replace the microwave.

Can You Still Use the Microwave if the Turn Table Doesn’t Spin

Yes, you can continue to eat food that you cooked in your microwave even though the turntable doesn’t spin. As long as the microwave still heats up your food and the food is cooked, you can still eat it. The purpose of the turntable is to make sure that the food is cooked from all different angles. The microwave emits micro-waves which heat up the molecules inside the food that’s in the microwave.

For food items that are too big, or are irregular in shape, it’s possible that some sides of that food will be cooked more than the other. Some micro-waves only have the microwaves come from one panel of the microwave and this can lead to one side of the food that’s closest to the panel being cooked, leaving the rest of the food uncooked. That’s why turntable are needed – they rotate the food and make sure that every side of the food gets heated by the microwave. If you have food that’s too big, the plate could still rotate, but then stops turning as soon as the food touched the side of the microwave. If this is the case, you need to cut up the food until it’s small enough for the plate to rotate and then warm up both batches of the food.

If your microwave turntable doesn’t turn, you can stop the microwave and turn the plate manually every 2 minutes to ensure that each side of the food gets cooked properly.

Replace Microwave Turn Table

If you don’t want to use the turntable after it’s stopped spinning, and you weren’t able to fix this problem, then you can replace your microwave. If you don’t know how to replace things like the turntable (View on Amazon), the coupler or the motor, you can replace the microwave as a whole. Replacing the microwave will provide you with a new working turntable and it’s your job from here, to keep it maintains. You can buy a premium microwave from Amazon that will do a much better job than your old one.

You Need to Know This About Your Microwave!

If you’re always having problems with your microwave, you need to know what’s causing the issue and if you’ll need to get the microwave repaired or replaced. Having a working microwave is crucial for any home, and fixing it is just one form of home improvement, but there are many more.

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Bottom Line

Now that you’ve fixed your microwave and the turntable is now spinning, then you can continue to use your microwave like normal. This time make sure to check It regularly that the tray and roller guide is connected properly. Be sure to also clean and remove any debris that could be under the tray. If you fail to maintain the microwave properly, this could lead to the same problem that you were experiencing before.