why is my microwave smoking

Why is My Microwave Smoking? Immediate Steps to Take!

Are you puzzled by the sight of your microwave smoking and wondering ‘why is my microwave smoking?’ This common kitchen conundrum can stem from food splatters, metal objects, or a malfunctioning component. If you worry about your own safety and your appliance’s longevity, this guide will be highly beneficial as we reveal the underlying causes as well as what to do when your microwave is smoky. So, you will learn the dos and don’ts of microwave maintenance and home remedies to get your microwave back to its best. With a clear focus on safety, efficiency, and prevention, let’s troubleshoot this smoky situation and restore the convenience of your trusty microwave.

Why is My Microwave Smoking?

Your microwave is smoking due to issues such as overheating, incompatible cookware and more. We have created a complete list of reasons for your reference. 

  1. Overheating: When microwaves run too long, especially without food to absorb the microwaves, they can overheat, and some components may begin to smoke. Moreover, if you overcook some food, the food itself can cause a burning smell and smoke. 
  2. Incompatible Cookware: Using containers not labelled for microwave use can lead to melting or burning, which produces smoke. Especially materials like metal and tin foil cannot go into the microwave. 
  3. Capacitor Malfunction: A failing capacitor can cause a short and lead to smoke or even a fire.
  4. Transformer Issues: The transformer in the microwave steps up the household current to a level that powers the magnetron. Problems with the transformer can lead to smoking and a potential electrical hazard.
  5. Aged Insulation: Over time, the insulation of the microwave’s wiring can break down. As a result, there will be smoke and potential sparks as the wires may become exposed.
  6. Blocked Filters: If your microwave has a grease filter and it becomes clogged with debris, it can restrict airflow and potentially cause smoking.
  7. Charred Waveguide Cover: The waveguide cover can become charred due to arcing or splattered food. This can cause smoking when the microwave is in use.
  8. Turntable Motor Failure: If the motor that drives the turntable fails, it can overheat and produce smoke, too.
  9. Ventilation: If the microwave’s ventilation systems are blocked or faulty, it can cause overheating and result in smoke. Actually, the ventilation system is a must to prevent smoke around the microwave. 
  10. Plastic Coverings: Leaving plastic coverings or wrappers on food can also lead to melting and smoking during heating.

What to Do If your Microwave is Smoking?

If your microwave is smoking, the first step to take is to turn it off and unplug it to prevent any electrical hazards. What step is the next? Keep reading!

  1. Open the Door: First of all, allow the smoke to clear by opening the microwave door, but be cautious of any fumes. It would be better to use a face mask, if accessible. 
  2. Inspect for Food Residue: Check for burnt food particles or grease that could be causing the smoke and clean them out thoroughly.
  3. Examine Cookware: Make sure there’s no metallic cookware inside, which can cause sparks and smoke.
  4. Check for Obstructions: Then, ensure the turntable can rotate freely without any obstructions that might cause the motor to overheat.
  5. Look at the Waveguide Cover: If the cover is damaged or has food residue on it, it may need to be cleaned or replaced.
  6. Evaluate the Electrical Components: If you’re experienced with electronics, inspect the components for signs of damage. If not, consult a professional.
  7. Allow to Air Out: Before plugging it back in, let the microwave sit open for a while to ensure any residual smoke clears out. If you suspect that there is a malfunctioning inner part, do not use the microwave until the problem is diagnosed. 
  8. Consult a Professional: If you can’t find the source or if the microwave continues to smoke, seek professional repair services or go for a replacement. 

Is a Sparking or Smoking Microwave Dangerous

Is a Sparking or Smoking Microwave Dangerous?

Yes, of course; a sparking or smoking microwave is dangerous because it signifies underlying issues that could lead to electrical fires or equipment failure. You should have an idea about why this situation is hazardous, so check the points below. 

  1. Fire Risk: Sparks can ignite any flammable particles or residues inside the microwave, leading to a fire.
  2. Electrical Hazard: If the sparking is due to faulty wiring or a malfunctioning microwave component, there’s a risk of electrical shock when touching the appliance.
  3. Toxic Fumes: Smoking in a microwave might produce harmful fumes, especially if plastic components start to burn, which can be hazardous to breathe in. 
  1. Equipment Damage: Continual sparking can damage the interior of the microwave, leading to costly repairs or the need for a replacement.
  1. Food Safety: If the microwave is smoking or sparking, it’s not functioning correctly, which could lead to improperly cooked food, and it can be unsafe to consume. 

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Video Credits – Dr Cool Auto Fix

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