Your microwave might be dying; here's how to tell

Here are some signs your microwave may need to be replaced.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
Heat Map Microwave concept

If your microwave is sparking or the door is broken, get a new one.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Oh, trusty microwave. What would we do without you? You warm our leftovers, defrost our frozen foods and heat our convenience meals. Unfortunately, this love isn't a forever thing, and eventually all microwaves die. According to Consumer Reports, these magical appliances typically last around nine years. That number can vary, depending on how often you use it and the brand.

Though microwaves can be repaired, it's often more cost effective just to get a new one and send your old one to be recycled. Here are some clues that will tell you if your microwave is on its deathbed.

  • If you need to push, re-push and then push some more on the buttons to get them to work, chances are your keypad is going out.
  • A dying microwave often takes more time to heat foods.
  • If the latch on the door is broken -- and you need to use duct tape to keep it closed -- it's time to get a new microwave.
  • When food stops rotating, that means the motor on the turntable is broken. This is a major component when it comes to heating foods evenly, so it's kind of a big deal.
  • Loud noises or an unusually loud humming noise can mean that the parts in your microwave are having a hard time doing their job. There's a good chance it will be defrosting its last meal, soon.
  • Unless you have put these items inside, sparks or smoke is a sure sign that you should stop using your microwave. Unplug it right now and get a new one.

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