Why does a Microwave turns on by itself

Nowadays, microwaves have become must-have kitchen appliances in many homes; it’s rare to find a home without such an important unit. Based on quality or size, a microwave can serve you for many years before opting for a replacement.  However, it is annoying to realize that your microwave starts itself after using it.

A microwave turning itself on can scare you, thinking about the possibility of having ghosts in your house. Well, if you are a victim, I urge you to continue reading our article for answers. I want to assure you that such a problem is fixable through our research.

I have received the same complaint from different homeowners, claiming that their microwave turns on unnecessarily. For such reasons, I thought it was good to come up with an informative article to help my friends. You will therefore learn some common reasons that make a microwave start itself and how you can pin the problem down.

Why a microwave turns on by itself

Microwave turns on by itself

Whenever a microwave starts turning itself on without being switched on, the user not only becomes annoyed but also scared. Therefore, whenever you experience such, a replacement or immediate repair is required to contain the issue. In situations where you’re unable to do it yourself; meanwhile, you can disconnect it from the power socket and open its door even if it’s not in use.

If you decide to use the problematic microwave, it’s advisable to pay much attention, it can cause a fire. I am sure you would wish to understand some reasons that can make the oven turn on by itself. These causatives include;

Heat sensor panel: For digital microwaves, their switches are more sensitive to warmth. Therefore, if the unit is subjected to high temperature, it can power itself on. Pressing it sometimes might be unnecessary because it can sense your finger’s warmth. You should therefore avoid placing your microwave over the stove model.

Stuck switches: This problem is common in situations where the appliance monitor and light run on, but there’s no heat. Besides, the turntable might refuse to rotate may be due to the stuck interlock switch. Additionally, it could be a clear indication that the control panel’s interlock relay is sticky.

Problematic switches and board: Here is another culprit that might be making your microwave to start itself on when not in use. It depends on the model you are using because some homeowners have complained about models from specific manufacturers; I don’t know what you are using. When operating with a faulty board, pressing the ‘cancel’ button might not help; the unit will start itself without your consent.

If you experience such a problem, contacting the manufacturer for a replacement can be a good idea.

Control panel: You may have even tried to unplug the microwave from the power socket, tried to reset it, but it keeps on powering itself on. Maybe the issue is emanating from the control panel; why don’t you want to check it. For this case, the control panel’s touchpad might be defective. The control board must be problematic.

Alternatively, in situations where the control supplies power to the unit when it’s not commanded by a person, then the microwave’s control panel might be problematic. With such a faulty component, the appliance will keep on starting itself.

User negligence: Your microwave may also power itself on due to a dirty door. Also, it can behave this way, when its door is halfway closed. To handle such a challenge, you should make sure the unit is clean and in good working condition.

Faulty membrane keypad: Microwaves can feature a membrane keypad that if not in good working condition, the normal functioning of the unit is interfered with. However, you don’t have to worry about this complication because it is fixable, although the membrane keypad doesn’t come separately. You can still replace it by ordering a control panel unit.

You can do it yourself since you only have to remove the current control panel frame assembly from the microwave and replace it with the new one.

Fixing a microwave that turns on by itself

There are several actions that you can put into place to ensure your microwave works properly for convenience in your kitchen. Some of the actions are practical since they involve day-to-day care and maintenance practices. Without wasting much time, let’s explore some of these tricks;

Solution 1: Clean your microwave’s door

Since a half-closed door can make your microwave turn on by itself, I would recommend cleaning the door. There might be food remains or foreign objects accumulated in the door of the unit. Before doing anything, you should start by correcting such an issue. A damp cloth can give you good company when cleaning this part. Alternatively, you can deal with the issue by closing the door properly.

Solution 2: Checking the latch

If the above solution fails, don’t worry because you can initiate this one. Alternatively, you can combine the first solution and this one by taking extra precautions. Doing so is excellent as it ensures the door is shut all the way. Just give it a trial, if the first one never impressed or solved the problem.

Solution 3: Replacing control panel or keypad

If after confirming that the issue is emanating from either control panel or keypad, opting for replacement is the best idea. Enquire for spares either from online platforms or contact the manufacturer for more information. If you already have the necessary spares, follow these steps;

Start by dissembling your microwave oven

Take out the current control panel from the unit. There might be a few screws; use a screwdriver to have the job done perfectly.

After removing the old or faulty control panel, it’s now time to install the new one. There’s nothing much under this step because you only need to do the opposite of disassembling; assemble the components and screw them back.

Solution 4: Changing the door interlock switch

You should only initiate this action after confirming that the part is problematic. Changing the switch of the door interlock can be the best idea to enhance the normal performance of your microwave. You never know, maybe the issue is emanating from the door interlock switch; try to replace it and be observant.

Tips when changing the door interlock switch

Why a Microwave turns on by itself
  • While taking out the problematic switch, be careful not to confuse wire terminals; sometimes you are even allowed to jot the terminals and their specific wires for easy remembrance.
  • When changing the door interlock switch, you need to ensure that the spare switch is compatible with the existing one. The new one should possess excellent electrical and the same specifications. Additionally, the current rating and terminal configuration should match that of your replacement switch.
  • The markings of your old switch should guide you to achieve correct switch alignment. Alternatively, you can choose to rely only on location since the replacement switch can feature carrying arrangements.
  • To confirm whether the replacement switch is in good working condition or possesses required electrical specification, I urge you to use ohmmeter. Doing so will help you to understand whether the new model carries correct specifications.
  • Remember to properly align the new switch. Failure to do so may result in another issue or the current (turns on by itself problem on your microwave) will be persistent. Actuating mechanism is a technique that can help you achieve this.
  • Discharging the microwave before trying to configure its problems is highly advisable because it can give you electrical shock even when detached from the power source. Discharging it will therefore keep you plus your unit off injuries.

Containing the problem before opting for a repair

It’s possible to contain the issue, but you must work on it immediately. Troubleshooting it is the best action and straightforward since you only have to disconnect the appliance from the power socket when it’s dormant. Doing so is not only significant to enhance the lifespan of the microwave, but also to be sure you will leave and find the house safe.

Alternatively, unplugging your microwave and waiting for around 20 minutes for the next plug can be the best reset solution. Even if the actions won’t fix the issue completely, they will offer a temporary solution.


Is it abnormal for microwaves to turn on by itself?

You should know that these are must-have kitchen appliances and anything wrong with it can result in poor performance. Occasionally, cheap microwaves can serve you for extended periods without displaying negative effects. However, when it starts to turn on by itself, you should work on the issue immediately. It’s abnormal, indicating the machine requires some checkups.

What switch type should I buy for my kitchen microwave?

Buying a replacement switch requires much attention. Seek the help of an expert if you’re not sure about the switch type you should buy for your microwave’s model. You can either go with LONYE W10727360

Final words

Microwaves feature several components that may malfunction, forcing them to turn on by themselves. The issue might grow bigger when you don’t respond quickly. Our guide should therefore help you handle such situations at their tender state and replace the faulty components.

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