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Changing microwave turntable motor
Old 10-16-2010, 11:18 PM   #1
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Changing microwave turntable motor

Turntable of my microwave oven is not working. First, is it really important to rotate food in the microwave, I remember that one of my old did not have the turntable, internet told me that I have to rotate food 180 degrees for even heating half way through cooking?

I have now the motor removed from the microwave and circuit is open (good design, they have a cutout in sheet metal at the bottom, remove the cover and then reattach with a screw). I further dismantle the motor, lots of reduction gears, a tiny rotator and a coil. One option is the get same AWG insulated wire and re-wire the coil? I don't have access to 10$ ebay motors here.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:34 PM   #2
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Importance of turntable: "Depends". About 75% of our microwave use is heating water (no turntable required). Most of the rest is heating up leftovers (which usually have to be stirred/moved around anyway even with a turntable) or heating frozen foods (turn once or twice while cooking). Lots of industrial microwave ovens don't have turntables, it's just a minor convenience feature that does help to heat the food more evenly.

If our turntable stopped working, I'd probably keep using the oven until it died.

New countertop microwave ovens are fairly cheap, and they seem to rarely last longer than 7-10 years. If yours is old, it might soon be time for a new one anyway.

PS--if you've breached the integrity of the RF shielding while exploring the guts of your microwave, be sure to button everything up tight before operating it.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by landover View Post
First, is it really important to rotate food in the microwave,
I don't think it's essential, but the designers probably skimped on the generator's dispersion pattern expecting it to be compensated for by the rotating table. So you may get some hot spots.

Easiest answer: try a few cups of water in a few different locations and see how long they take to heat up.

I don't know anyone who bothers to rewind motors today, unless it's the last one in that time zone or for a hobby.

Buying the replacement motor off the Internet or from a parts store will cost a substantial portion of the price of a new microwave. Buying a decent used microwave off Craigslist will probably be cheaper than the cost of a new motor.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:00 AM   #4
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I used to deliver to an appliance repairman and he told me that most microwaves don't really "die", they just blow the fuse when someone slams the door too hard!

Good luck with the turntable landover.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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Our local Habitat ReStore has a boatload of microwaves for less than $25.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:56 AM   #6
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I have the same problem with my microwave, the wierd thing is that sometimes the turntable still turns, but most of the time it doesn't. No idea why it is intermittent.

The problem with just buying a new microwave for me (and maybe the OP) is that ours is built into the cabinet, so replacing it means also replacing the "frame" that sits flush with the cabinet. So it's more of a hassle than you might think.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:18 AM   #7
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Ok, reading this thread made me take a closer look at the microwave, whose turntable has been broken for the 3 years we've lived here. Turns out, the inside of the plastic nub that turns the glass plate had worn down, so the slot from the motor shaft (which is shaped like a "D") was just turning free inside the plastic. Looks like the fix is as simple as getting a new plastic part.

Update: I found the part, and it is a $0.05 cent piece of plastic, but they want $32.50 for it. Geez. Maybe I can just squirt some epoxy in there and let it set up...
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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Maybe I can just squirt some epoxy in there and let it set up...
That's what I'd do. If the epoxy will be exposed to the microwaves, you might want to make sure it won't itself get hot due to the microwaves. Maybe let a small blob of it set up on some wax paper, then put it in the microwave with a small cup of water. If the epoxy gets hot after a minute or so, experiment with some other glues (maybe a polyurethane glue like Gorilla Glue, etc).
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