Microwaves are convenient appliances invented in 1947, quickly reheating food for hungry Americans. Now, over 90% of American households own a microwave.
But what happens when the microwave plate won’t turn to reheat your food evenly? Here are seven reasons why your microwave plate won’t spin and solutions to fix these problems.
- Microwave Safety Tips
- 1. The Drive Bushing is Blocked or Broken
- 2. The Turntable Motor is Malfunctioning
- 3. Broken Support Ring
- 4. Debris Under the Microwave Plate
- 5. The Glass Microwave Plate is Damaged
- 6. Microwave Plate Not Installed Properly
- 7. The Microwave Door is Open
- Is It Ok If My Microwave Plate Doesn’t Spin?
- Troubleshoot Your Microwave Plate Spinning Problem
Microwave Safety Tips
Before discovering why your microwave plate won’t turn, let’s highlight some microwave safety tips. When troubleshooting these possible issues, you will want to test if your changes worked by heating something in the microwave.
When you are ready to test your microwave, correctly install the support ring and glass tray every time. Heat any food when you try if the microwave plate will spin. Do not test your microwave without food because this can cause a fire hazard.
1. The Drive Bushing is Blocked or Broken
One reason the microwave plate won’t spin could be a broken or blocked drive bushing, which is the plastic, sprocket-looking attachment that helps the microwave plate to move.
Sometimes, when you have not cleaned your microwave for a while, food debris could get stuck near the drive bushing, preventing the microwave plate from spinning. To solve this problem, unplug your microwave, and remove the glass tray and round plastic support. Use a natural cleaner, such as vinegar mixed with lemon juice, with a paper towel to clean around the drive pushing.
Let it dry for a few minutes before testing it out. If the microwave plate still does not turn, you may need to have an experienced appliance tech replace the drive bushing for you. Alternatively, you can pick up a couple on Amazon if you are comfortable replacing the part yourself.
2. The Turntable Motor is Malfunctioning
If the motor responsible for moving the turntable is malfunctioning, this is another reason why the microwave plate won’t spin. Therefore, you must use a multimeter to test if the turntable has continuity or not.
First, we recommend grabbing the AstroAI Digital Multimeter from Amazon to properly test the turntable motor for continuity. Follow this procedure to troubleshoot this issue:
- Unplug your microwave.
- Take out the microwave plate and support ring.
- Take out the screws and access the microwave’s back.
- Squeeze the plug to access the wire harness.
- Retrieve the lower panel and put this in a safe, accessible spot.
- Remove the terminals from the wires connected to the turntable.
- Use the multimeter by having its terminals connect to the multimeter’s terminals to conduct the continuity test.
If the turntable has no continuity, it’s time to invest in a new turntable motor. Be sure that whatever motor you need is compatible with your microwave by checking the owner’s manual. However, if the turntable does have continuity, there may be another reason that your microwave plate won’t spin.
3. Broken Support Ring
The support ring is the round plastic part that keeps the microwave plate on track as the motor makes it move. Sometimes the plastic portion of the rubber rings can become cracked with repeated use.
Take out the microwave plate and set it to the side. Remove the support ring. Inspect it thoroughly for any cracks. If the plastic portion is completely separated from one another or the rubber is coming off one of the three wheels, it’s time to get a new one.
We recommend this two-pack from Cystarry so that you have a backup unit in case of the support ring malfunctions again. Check the measurements of your microwave plate to get the correct-sized support ring.
4. Debris Under the Microwave Plate
Sometimes when you heat food with a higher water content in the microwave, particles will explode on all sides of the unit, including even under the microwave plate. Check to be sure there is no food debris accumulated underneath the microwave plate that could be stopping it from turning.
Follow the general safety precautions of unplugging your unit before removing the glass and try and support the ring to clean out the debris. Reinstall the pieces and plug your microwave back in to test it. If your microwave plate doesn’t spin after trying this, then there could be another issue at hand.
5. The Glass Microwave Plate is Damaged
The glass microwave plate must be in pristine condition for the drive bushing and microwave motor to properly turn it to reheat your food. Take out the glass plate and thoroughly inspect it to be sure there is no damage to it.
If you see any cracks or other signs of damage on the microwave plate, it’s time to invest in a new one. Here is a glass microwave tray compatible with Kenmore, Samsung, and GE microwave models from the Calpalmy store on Amazon.
6. Microwave Plate Not Installed Properly
If you do not place the microwave plate level with the coupler, it will not spin properly. You may hear a clunk noise when attempting to heat food which could be a good indication that the microwave plate is not correctly lined up with the coupler.
Stop the unit and open it. Take out the microwave plate and reinstall it. The plate should be angled to where it sits right on top of the coupler.
7. The Microwave Door is Open
The glass tray will only rotate and heat your food when the microwave door is shut all the way. If you attempt to push the door closed and do not hear it click shut, then there may be something stuck inside the door mechanism, or the overall connection is jammed for another reason. If you cannot fix this independently, consult a professional microwave appliance specialist.
Is It Ok If My Microwave Plate Doesn’t Spin?
While it is safe to cook food in the microwave even if the microwave plate doesn’t spin, the issue is how unevenly your food will cook. If there is no spinning microwave plate, your food will not be as evenly heated as if there was a rotating plate inside the unit.
Troubleshoot Your Microwave Plate Spinning Problem
When you troubleshoot why your microwave plate won’t spin, was it because of one of these problems or a completely different one? Let us know in the comments!