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A microwave turntable is not turning

Updated February 21, 2017

Microwaves have a turntable that rotates to expose all sides of your food to heat, which helps evenly cook your food. This turntable sits on top of a carousel and the turntable guide. With proper maintenance, this turntable usually works without any issues. If you are experiencing a problem with your carousel or turntable, troubleshoot the issue to save money on repair fees.

Not Clean/Positioned Properly

One of the most common reasons why the turntable won't rotate is that the microwave isn't clean. The turntable guide and carousel can get sticky, preventing the turntable from properly moving. If you have built-on food particles or liquids, fill a bowl with 2 or 3 cups of water and 1 tsp of liquid detergent and lemon. Run the microwave for about 3 minutes. Clean the microwave with a cloth, including the base of the turntable, guide, carousel grooves and microwave base. Your microwave turntable won't rotate if the grooves on the base of the turntable do not sit right on the carousel. Also, check the position of the turntable guide. Place the guide directly under the turntable. Remove the turntable, and then reposition it into the carousel grooves.

Motor

The carousel motor is located beneath the base plate of the microwave. If the carousel isn't turning at all, check the motor. Disconnect the microwave from the power source, and remove the turntable, guide and base plate. Try turning the motor to see if it's just stuck. If it doesn't turn freely after a few seconds, examine the motor to see if it's burnt out or corroded. Use an ohmmeter to see if the motor has continuity. If not, you must replace the motor.

Bushings

The drive bushings are plastic components that sit underneath the cooking plate. Remove the plate, and examine the bushings. Use a magnifying glass if necessary to see if any debris is caught in the plastic. Clean the bushings, and reinsert the plate. Turn the microwave on to see if it rotates. If the bushings are extremely worn or if some of the plastic is broken off, you need to replace it, which is a complicated repair for consumers. Contact a service technician for assistance.

No Power

Your turntable won't turn if your microwave is not powering up correctly. See if the power cord is plugged into an outlet. Test the outlet with another appliance to see if it's live. Check your home circuit breaker, and reset if tripped. See if any of your fuses are blown, and replace them. Completely close the microwave door. Your microwave won't start if the door is even slightly ajar.

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About the Author

Misty Faucheux became a freelance writer in 1998 and has been an editor since 2004. She has written for a variety of websites and blogs, specializing in topics ranging from digital photography to computer systems to digital media. Faucheux received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Loyola University New Orleans.