Why Are Microwaves So Loud? Answered!

Are you one of those folks that wonder why are microwaves so loud? and considering what to do to lessen the noise? One of the most frequently used household appliances is the microwave oven. A loud microwave is one of the few things that might be more bothersome in your kitchen. A loud microwave may overpower all other sounds when you’re cooking, conversing, or listening to the radio or TV. So, why are microwaves so loud?

A loud microwave cannot be fixed in a single step. The noise might be coming from the microwave’s several high-powered or moving components. However, the nature and features of the noise, along with any simple fixes, might help you figure out what’s wrong and perhaps even solve it. Let’s examine the potential causes of your microwave’s unwelcome noise.

What Makes A Microwave?

You may be startled to learn that the fundamental technology needed to operate a microwave is a relic of the past, even though the ability of microwaves to thaw frozen food quickly frequently seems like a tool of the future. Electric current flowing between electrodes in an evacuated environment is managed by a vacuum tube, such as the kind used in vintage radios (no oxygen).

The specific vacuum tube used in microwaves is known as a magnetron, often found behind the microwave’s rear panel. The component of the microwave called the magnetron is what generates the energy that ultimately warms the meal. A tiny divot or angled section of the microwave wall known as the waveguide, the second major component, is responsible for directing the energy from the magnetron to the food. 

The chamber, enclosed and insulated to keep the microwaves within, is the last component of any microwave. The diode, capacitor, transformer, and stirrer are less significant factors (the blade moves back and forth to distribute the microwaves evenly, so your food cooks evenly). 

Now, microwaves enable us to dramatically speed up that process compared to conventional ovens or frying pans, which typically cook our meals by first heating the exterior of the food before waiting for heat transfer to cook the inside. The magnetron’s microwave emissions immediately impact the water molecules in our diet. 

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These water molecules have a positive and a negative charge on one end. Still, the microwaves emitting from the magnetron contain electrical and magnetic fields that rapidly swap back and forth. As the microwaves go through the meal, guided by the waveguide, the water molecules will make every effort to remain in alignment with them.

The molecules move extremely fast, vibrating and raising the temperature due to their drive to blend in with the magnetic fields of the microwaves. Compared to typical cooking on a conventional burner or in an oven, this cooks the food incredibly quickly, often 10-15 times faster. 

The waveguide directs the microwaves towards the food to cook it, and the metal screen inserted in the glass stops them from exiting the cooking chamber. The microwaves can’t reach your eyes while you hungrily watch your meal cook since their wavelength is far greater than the size of the tiny holes in the screen.

Why Are Microwave So Loud

Faulty Magnetron

The microwave’s magnetron creates the high-frequency electromagnetic waves that cook the food. You may often hear the magnetron turning on and off when it cooks the food at a low setting in your microwave. This lowers the microwave frequencies. If the noise coming from your microwave is similar to the magnetron but louder, the magnetron is likely malfunctioning.

A malfunctioning magnetron may also produce a loud, irritating sound, a sign that the magnetron tube is deteriorating from wear and tear brought on by use and aging.

If the microwave noise decreases or stops when the magnetron switches on and off while cooking at the low setting, you may have a magnetron problem that needs additional investigation. A burning odor is another sign that something is wrong with the magnetron.

To identify and repair a defective magnetron, follow these steps:

  • Remove the microwave’s plug from the power supply.
  • To reach the magnetron, remove the top microwave cover.
  • Remove the capacitor’s charge.
  • Check the magnetron for continuity with a multimeter. Each reading ought to be below one ohm.
  • Remove and replace the magnetron if it is broken.

Faulty Turntable Motor

The turntable motor is another source of microwave noise. Typically, a malfunctioning turntable motor may produce a clicking or grinding noise. In most types, the microwave’s bottom may be used to reach the turntable motor. You must remove the microwave’s shell if you can’t reach it from beneath.

To identify and repair a malfunctioning turntable motor, follow these steps:

  • Remove the microwave’s plug from the power supply.
  • Remove the turntable plate and support roller from the microwave to access the turntable motor.
  • Remove the turntable motor panel’s screws.
  • Use a multimeter to check the continuity of the turntable motor. It will need to be replaced if there is no continuity.
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Faulty Cooling Fan

Another cause of microwave noise is an issue with the cooling fan. On occasion, debris may get stuck in or displace the cooling fan. This can produce a rattling sound or cause the fan to clip on another microwave component.

The cooling fan motor may also need to be replaced because of wear and tear. While the microwave is working properly, you may hear the cooling fan. However, if that sound becomes louder or the microwave starts buzzing, generally from the back, the cooling fan motor is malfunctioning.

To access the cooling fan, other microwave components may need to be taken out. It is suggested that you discharge the capacitor carefully.

To identify and repair a malfunctioning cooling fan, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect the microwave’s power supply.
  • Remove the capacitor’s charge.
  • Remove any objects obstructing the fan if required.
  • Check to determine if the fan is whirling freely. The fan motor will need to be changed if the fan is not blocked yet is not spinning freely.
  • Using a multimeter, check the cooling fan motor for continuity. A functioning cooling fan motor should register 280 ohms, depending on the type.
  • Replace the fan motor if it is broken.

Stirrer Motor

The stirrer motor propels a metal blade reflecting microwave radiation throughout the microwave. The stirrer guarantees uniform cooking of food in the microwave. When a stirrer motor malfunctions, it typically grinds as it tries to keep up.

To identify and repair a damaged stirrer motor, follow these steps:

  • Remove the microwave’s power cord.
  • Access the stirrer motor inside the microwave cavity on top of the turntable plate.
  • The Stirrer motor cover should be removed.
  • Verify that the stirrer blade is not damaged or coming loose. You might be able to turn off the stirrer motor and use the microwave to determine whether it still makes noise.
  • Replace the stirrer motor if it is damaged.

Faulty Diode

Along with the magnetron and capacitor, the diode is a component of the high-voltage circuit. It generates the high voltage required to power the magnetron by converting alternating to direct current. A defective diode usually emits a loud buzzing sound.

To identify and repair a defective diode, follow these steps:

  • Make sure the power source is turned off before using the microwave.
  • To reach the diode, remove the top microwave cover.
  • Remove the capacitor’s charge.
  • Check the resistance of the diode with a multimeter. A healthy diode will register between 50,000 and 200,000 ohms, depending on the type.
  • By flipping the meter leads, you may check for continuity in the other way. There should only be one path of continuation.
  • It will be necessary to replace the diode if it is faulty.
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Why Does My Microwave Sound Like It’s Going to Explode?

When malfunctioning, microwave magnetrons and diodes may emit incredibly loud sounds that can make your appliance seem ready to blow up. In particular, if you see your microwave sparking or smoking, it is best to cut off the power source and rectify it before using it again. Although they may harm internal components, sparks within the microwave aren’t usually a symptom of a serious issue.

What Does a Bad Microwave Magnetron Sound Like?

Bad microwave magnetrons may produce a variety of sounds, and these sounds are often quite loud. Malfunctioning magnetrons often produce a high-pitched screaming or screeching sound. A magnetron may also emit a loud buzzing or humming sound depending on the problem.

How Loud Should a Normal Microwave Be?

While operating, most microwaves emit a faint buzzing sound. However, typical microwave noises ought to be undetectable and silent. One of the components has a problem if the noise is loud enough to disturb you or if you hear grinding, clicking, or screaming noises.

How Do I Stop My Microwave From Making Noise?

Your microwave may sometimes cease generating noise if you switch it off and give it a thorough cleaning. The only method to stop your microwave from producing noise if that doesn’t work is to identify the problematic component and fix or replace it. Occasionally, cleaning the cooling fan might resolve the issue if the noise is brought on by debris or blockages blocking the fan blades.

It is often advisable to contact a qualified contractor for a microwave diagnosis and repair. Using a multimeter to test the parts and replace them yourself is doable, but it might be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. If your microwave is integrated, it could be difficult to get to.

Even after being disconnected for a while, microwave capacitors may still hold a lot of energy. If you unintentionally contact active components, this charge may be strong enough to provide a possibly lethal electric shock. If you wish to attempt to repair your microwave yourself, it is crucial to discharge the capacitor before you begin thoroughly.

Conclusion On Why Are Microwaves So Loud

Your microwave could be producing loud noises because of a faulty magnetron or turntable motor. You can follow the steps in this article to solve the problem or contact a professional repairer to help you out. I hope you can now answer why are microwaves so loud?