Is A Buzzing Microwave Dangerous?


Sometimes your microwave may rattle, grind, or screech. A low buzzing microwave is a normal operation, so it shouldn’t scare unless it is too loud. Listen to the pitch to determine your oven safety.  

But is a buzzing microwave dangerous? When a usually quiet microwave begins to rattle or grind, it’s a sign that all is not well. Besides the intrusive noise, it may turn out that your oven’s cooling fan, magnetron, diode, turntable motor, and stirrer motor are failing. That could be dangerous.

Using a broken microwave is a hazard due to radiation exposure. Also, the gadget may spark and cause a fire. You must determine the cause of any unusual buzzing sound before your oven becomes a hazard.  

Why Does My Microwave Make A Buzzing Noise?

Though microwaves groan, a louder buzzing noise is a cause for concern. It could signify a clogged cooling fan unit or other broken components. You must observe your gadget for any change in the sound. For instance, a hum that changes to grinding, clicking, rattling, or screeching noise. 

If you aren’t sure of what’s happening to your machine, call an expert to inspect the following;

1.    Cooling Fan

Microwaves have fans to cool the magnetron and other interior components that may become hot. The component may break and cause a grinding noise. If the fan isn’t functioning well, your machine can overheat, cause a shut-off, or permanently break some components.  

So, if you have a buzzing microwave than unusual, you may need to inspect the cooling unit. You or your tech can locate it in the cabinet, but you must disconnect the power for your safety. Once you remove the cover, examine the fan assembly for wear and tear. 

Also, remove any foreign objects and dirt that are blocking the blades. If there are breakages, a new fan replacement is cheaper than replacing the entire unit. A new fan will rejuvenate your machine.

2.    Coupler

The drive coupler rotates the glass tray. If your microwave is buzzing loudly, the problem could be with this component. Remove the tray and check if the coupler is intact. Sometimes, it may be the roller guide that slid out, hence the buzzing noise. The major damage may be spilling your food and destroying the magnetron, so you must ensure the coupler components are intact. You can replace a damaged coupler from the stores around you.

3.    Drive Motor

The drive motor is the power behind the rotating turntable. If it stops, the turntable won’t spin. The major sign that the drive motor is breaking is an unusual buzzing from the oven’s bottom. That’s where the motor lies. Access the unit from the bottom of your microwave (you may need to overturn the oven). Unscrew the cover and examine the motor for any damages. With an ammeter, you can check the continuity. Also, black or brown powder indicates burnt motor components. You have to replace the unit to clear the buzzing noise. 

4.    Magnetron

Microwave magnetrons are usually loud, but the noise should not be irritating. If your machine groans loudly, the problem could be the magnetron. Usually, this is a high-voltage organ in your microwave. It generates electromagnetic heat to cook your food. If it breaks, you can expect a loud buzzing noise, indicating that it could be discharging higher power than normal or struggling to generate heat. Whatever the situation, you must remove the damaged magnetron and replace it with a new one. The unit works with the diode and capacitor, so you need an expert to solve the issue.   

5.    Diode

The high-voltage diode supplies magnetron with DC power to generate electromagnetic power. So, the diode is adjacent to the magnetron. With mere observation, you may not judge if the loud groan is from the diode or magnetron. So you have to use the correct device, a multimeter, to test the continuity of these two components. Due to these two elements’ high voltage power discharge, you must be careful not to get electric chock. Ask your tech to inspect you and replace the damaged components.  

6.    Roller Guide

A broken roller guide can gride on the bottom of the microwave and cause a buzzing sound. Due to inclination and friction, the contents in your bowl may spill and cause popping and smoking. If you notice an unusual noise in your oven, it is wise to disconnect the unit from power.

Open the door and remove our food. Once you raise the turntable glass, you can pluck the guide and inspect if all the rollers are intact. Broken or worn-out wheels grind your microwave cavity and peel off the paint. Soon, your microwave begins to rust and spark. Replace the roller guide for smooth rolling.  

To help you distinguish various microwave sounds, look at the table below.

Microwave Sounds

 Type of soundIndicationFix
Humming  Faulty diode
Worn out diode  
Replace diode  
Clicking  Faulty turntable motor  Replace motor  
GrindingFaulty turntable motor
Obstruction under the turntable.  
Clean the oven.
Replace motor  
ScreechingWorn-out magnetron 
Broken turntable motor Defective stirrer motor  
Replace magnetron and motors.  
RattlingLoose fan components
Broken fan parts
Clogged fan  
Tighten the fan components
Clean the unit
Replace broken fan   
PoppingSparking Food popping.  Determine the cause for sparking and resolve. E.g., Metallic objects, rusty interiors, and electrical faults.  

How Do I Fix A Buzzing Microwave Noise?

Besides irritating your ears, a buzzing noise from a microwave oven is a wake-up sign that all is not well. You can do a few things to ascertain the cause of the noise. Some issues you can fix, but others require a professional. Let’s see;

  • Clean Your Microwave

Sometimes, a buzzing microwave requires cleaning to fix the issue. Remove all the turntable components, clean them, and dry them. A greasy coupler may be causing a slow rotation. Ensure water doesn’t get into the motor by wiping the dirt with a clean cloth. Occasionally, you can have an expert do an intensive cleaning of the internals of your oven. Unclogging the cooling fan will solve a buzzing microwave. Also, you can take that moment to inspect the blades and other features for breakages.

  • Insert The Roller Guide Correctly

If your roller guide doesn’t sit well in the coupler, you can expect a tilt and a groan. Fit the unit in the slot and run the microwave to see if you solved the issue.   

  • Maintenance And Replacing Broken Parts

Most of the buzzing noise from your microwave is due to faulty components. Earlier, I outlined the magnetron, diode, fan, capacitor, etc., as significant parts that may break down and signify you with a horrible noise. The parts work for as long as you use the unit.

One of the best treats you can offer your microwave is maintenance. That includes cleaning, inspecting the unit, and replacing broken components. Such processes increase your machine’s efficiency and lifespan. Do not ignore groans, grinds, rattles, and buzzes from your microwave. You can save many dollars by fixing a cooling fan in your oven. Failure to fix the fan can damage the magnetron, which is more costly to replace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Microwave That Does Not Buzz?

You will rarely get a microwave that does not buzz. The only difference is the noise magnitude, as some groan louder than others. This noise comes from the magnetron and diode functionality. Some brands promise quieter functionalities but are not noiseless. Also, as your microwave grows older, the magnetron hums louder, so a quiet microwave is not guaranteed. 

Why Does My Microwave Sound Like It’s Going To Explode?

Your microwave sounds as if it will explode because of the magnetron and diode. These two can make horrible noises when they’re defective. If you are experiencing such an episode with your oven, disconnect the unit from power and call a professional to assist you. Watch out for signs like sparking or smoking, as these can damage your oven permanently.

What Sound Does A Bad Microwave Make?

A faulty microwave is easy to single out. It will make a high-pitched grinding noise, rattle, and buzz louder than usual. These noises depend on the problem, so it is easy to resolve if you observe your machine and the noise source. 

How Loud Is A Normal Microwave?

Standard microwaves have a low humming and consistent noise. There is no high pitch screeching noise that annoys you. If there is a grinding, rattling, popping, or clicking sound, disconnect the oven and call your tech to address the issue.

Final Words

So, is a buzzing microwave dangerous? It depends on the cause for buzzing. We have analyzed the causes. If your gadget is buzzing because of a misplaced roller guide or worn-out wheels that’s not dangerous. once you rectify, the oven runs smoothly. What if it is malfunctioning diode, magnetron or capacitor? You cannot ignore such errors. More so, it is dangerous to operate your microwave if major components are broken. Take caution and stay safe by informing your tech.

By Shawn Roberts

Shawn Roberts is a renown culinary enthusiast with a deep love for food and cooking. He has decades of experience in the kitchen. In his career, Shawn Roberts shares his expertise, recipes, and insights to inspire and guide you on your own culinary journey. Together with his team of kitchen décor experts, you can make your cooking space a little heaven. Get ready to explore a world of flavors and creativity with Shawn Roberts