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My Neff microwave turntable keeps turning when door is open and light goes off, when door is closed it starts without me pressing any buttons, food does heat up. Any ideas what’s wrong with it or at least how to diagnose it?

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  • is it worth getting repaired? ... that is entirely up to you ... such a question is off topic here because both answers are correct
    – jsotola
    Nov 27, 2022 at 6:24
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    @jsotola However the question "What's wrong with it?" is on topic here. There is also the opportunity to answer the unspoken question "Is it still safe?" Nov 27, 2022 at 10:16
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    It's a good question. Not worded very well but it's a new contributor. Could we apply a reasonable interpretation to the question, answer THAT, and help OP improve rather than applying a heavy dose of interpreting the rules and shutting it down? "Is it worth" comes down to time, cost and danger. Some of those things are answerable and make good answers. Then OP can decide for themselves. Why jump so hard on a newcomer?
    – jay613
    Nov 27, 2022 at 15:05
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    I would be worried that the microwave generator is still operating while the door is open.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 27, 2022 at 17:58
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    I don't like the immediate start when door is closed. That strikes me as an "if you have to ask, you shouldn't be the one trying to fix it" behavior. I know I'd be hesitant to muck with it.
    – keshlam
    Nov 27, 2022 at 20:36

5 Answers 5

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  1. If any part of the microwave keeps working with the door open, you need to assume it might be emitting microwaves with the door open. Unplug it and don't use it.
  2. Depending on the age and make of the machine, you may be able to get parts at a good price. First look for an online parts list and prices for your microwave. Look at the door switches, circuit board, and other things that might cause this problem.
  3. If parts are available at significantly less than the cost of a new machine, and if you feel comfortable diagnosing and repairing it yourself, it is probably worth trying.
  4. If parts are not available, or if you can't make this repair yourself, it is probably not worth it. Most new microwaves cost less than the typical callout charge for an appliance repair service before they even do any work.

If you live in a country where the economics are different, for example a new machine costs much more than a few hours work by a skilled person, you might decide differently but the logic should be the same and should lead you to your own conclusions.

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  • I'm curious so I'd test it with the door open, by switching it off at the wall, putting in a jug of cold water, shutting the door as much as possible without it clicking, then switching on at the wall again. In the absence of other signs of it heating, I'd have enough confidence to do that. The microwave emission is required to be interlocked to the door, and the ways to achieve that are generally independent of the other control systems. Combined with the unexpected starting, I'd suggest the main board rather than the switch. High voltages inside would make me very wary of trying to fix
    – Chris H
    Nov 28, 2022 at 13:29
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    @ChrisH little to no value in performing a dangerous test. The turntable should not turn, therefore something is broken. Is it necessary to do a dangerous test to know if the magnetron is also alive?
    – jay613
    Nov 28, 2022 at 14:05
  • Necessary no, helpful, yes. And not really dangerous. There's far more danger in trying to work on the electrics if inexperienced. Like you, I make a point of not assuming that the economics are the same for everyone, but I think I might go a little further
    – Chris H
    Nov 28, 2022 at 14:13
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Any ideas what’s wrong with it

Clearly the circuit, switch, or sensor that controls the turntable is malfunctioning and needs to be repaired or replaced. It could be a simple as a broken switch or as complex as needing a new circuit board.

is it worth getting repaired

That's a question that only you can answer. Right now you don't know what's wrong and therefore you don't have any idea what the cost to fix it is. You also didn't mention how much a replacement unit costs.

If this were mine, I'd try to fix it myself and failing that, I'd replace it. Paying for a service call, assuming you can even find someone who works on these things, is likely to cost a significant percentage of the cost of a new unit.

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    Does not seem safe right now to leave it powered up/plugged in, if it is heating/working with the door close and no buttons pressed(struck button). With the turn table turning with the door open, it might still be working putting out microwaves(door sensor).
    – crip659
    Nov 27, 2022 at 11:57
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This answer is based on actual events: Recently had a minor problem with a micro that was under warranty. (less than 6 month old) The manufacturer opted to send me a new unit rather than send a tech to even look at it.

My sister had problems with a unit a few years old, but had a home warranty on all appliances. The Warranty company sent a tech, who advised on replacement.

Bottom line; Looks like those that know tend to replace rather than repair.

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As already noted, this is a potentially dangerous situation. Nothing should be active on a microwave oven when the door is open except the light and the control panel. Turntable, fan or any humming noises are absolutely a cause for concern. The microwaves themselves make no noise, so it is impossible for an ordinary user to know definitively whether any microwaves are being generated except by results - heating of body parts (not good), melting of food placed nearby, etc. Don't take a chance with this.

All microwave ovens are designed with failsafes to prevent microwaves from being generated while the door is open. Otherwise known as door switches. These switches are generally hidden (e.g., microswitch set by a piece of plastic attached to the door that has to go into the frame of the oven to activate the switch) as opposed to easily accessible switches (e.g., the plunger switch on a typical refrigerator to operate the lights). I believe, but am not 100% certain, that at least two switches are required on a microwave oven due to the seriousness of the dangers.

It is possible that one switch activates the obvious but not dangerous stuff (e.g., turntable, light) and another switch activates the microwave generator, but you can't take that risk. Unplug until resolved.

Now the question comes to solving the problem. In my experience, a countertop microwave - i.e., a big box you plug in and that's all the installation that is required - is currently a throwaway item. For most people, at least currently in the US, that means a box anywhere from 700W to 1200W and < 1 cubic foot to ~ 2 (possibly as large as 2.2) cubic feet, and for $200 or less (2022 pricing). There are some that cost a lot more - most are either "commercial"/"heavy duty", and hopefully designed more like major appliances (see below) or are "super fancy" (special features and/or designer looks - not my choice, your mileage may vary).

The second group are the microwave ovens designed more like major appliances (built-in ovens, large refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.). This includes "commercial" microwave ovens and also, generally, those designed to be built-in (either like a wall oven or combined with an exhaust vent to be installed over a cooktop). The key is that (a) these are designed in a way that they can be repaired by a technician or savvy DIY (i.e., outside of a factory) and (b) they include a schematic/wiring diagram. The schematic is key - it will show the location and part numbers of relevant switches, fuses (electric and thermal) and other parts that commonly fail and need to be replaced. If you have a microwave oven of this type, which generally costs a lot more than a typical countertop oven, then repair is often a viable option. I have repaired this type for a relative, though to be honest if it was my own oven I probably would have replaced it (due to a complicated situation, it was far better to repair it and I was compensated for doing so).

Age is also a factor. A lot varies by make and model, but I would typically say a countertop microwave oven more than 3 years old or a built-in microwave oven more than 8 years old, don't even bother trying to repair unless there are specific extenuating circumstances. That is not because the new stuff is any better (the technology is quite mature at this point) but rather because of the likelihood of something else breaking in the relatively near future.

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I agree with most others. I'm all for repairing things - but I'd be hesitant with a microwave. I understand NEFF is a European brand - based on the age I would get the manufacturer's opinion. This may be a known issue. A tech may say they've seen it a lot and a simple replacement switch assembly fixes it. But if they say hmmmm, "we'll send a tech to look at it" I would consider replacing it.

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