3 Reasons Microwave Turntable Turns When Door Is Open!

You expect a microwave turntable only to spin when the door shuts, right? What if the microwave turntable turns when door is open? What explains that?

In most cases, the microwave turntable turns when the door opens because of a malfunctioning door interlock switch. If that’s not it, it could be due to a damaged rotator or soaked turntable motor. 

But before you can check out all these issues, it’s essential to try and reset your microwave, and I’ll show you how to do it. I’ll also explain what happens when the microwave runs when the door is open, what to check if that’s the case, and how to fix it. 

So, regardless of the make of your microwave, this troubleshooting guide will enable you to fix the issue DIY. 

Let’s jump into it!

microwave turntable turns when door is open

In a hurry? See the quick fixes to the three reasons the turntable may turn when the microwave door opens in the table below:

Quick Troubleshooting When the Turntable in Microwave Turns When Door Is Open

Likely Cause Troubleshooting 
1.Malfunctioning Door Interlock Switch Test the interlock switch and replace it if it doesn’t produce the clicking sound when you press it 
2.Damaged Rotator Check the rotator more so the switch, for damage and replace it if that’s the case
3.Soaked Turntable Motor Clean and dry the turntable motor and all its adjacent parts 

Why The Microwave Turntable Turns When Door Is Open

It’s not normal for the microwave turntable to turn when the door opens. That’s likely to be the case if there’s a fault, which could be any of these three:

1. The Door Interlock Switch Could Be Malfunctioning (The most probable reason for the microwave turning when door opens)

Often the issue is with the door’s interlock switch when the microwave continues running after opening the door. This door switch may sometimes be pressed in and unable to return to its position. 

If so, the microwave will assume that the door is still locked and will continue running. Sometimes, however, the switch could be faulty, thus unable to respond appropriately to the power switch. 


Check the interlock switch to determine if it’s faulty. You’ll need to power off, unplug the microwave, and remove the keypad to access the interlock switch.

You’ll then need to take it out (or unscrew it) and test it by pressing it. If the switch does not produce a clicking sound, it’s faulty, and you should replace it. 

2. The Rotator Could Be Damaged 

If there’s an issue with the rotator, especially a faulty rotator switch, the microwave turntable will start to malfunction. Its fault may cause the turntable to continue spinning after opening the door, something that shouldn’t happen. 

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Inspect the rotator, especially its switch, for damage. And once you confirm that it’s faulty, replace it. If you cannot do it, talk to a microwave expert. 

3. The Turntable Motor Could Be Soaked Wet

If there’s water in the turntable motor, it may cause the motor to continue running, forcing the turntable to continue spinning even after opening the door. The water interferes with the communication between the motor and the turntable, causing the latter to malfunction. 


Unplug the microwave and disassemble it to access the turntable motor. Once you locate it, inspect it for any wetness and clean and dry it properly. Ensure you properly clean and dry all internal parts before putting everything back. 

What happens if a microwave runs with the door open

What Happens If a Microwave Runs with The Door Open?

Perhaps you are wondering if a microwave running while the door is open is dangerous. Well, probably not.

a) When a running open microwave isn’t dangerous

If the microwave only turns on the light when the door opens, that shouldn’t be a concern as long as it’s not heating. It’s also not a problem if the tray spins, but the microwave doesn’t heat. 

b) When a running open microwave is dangerous

An open microwave becomes dangerous when it starts heating. Remember, the microwave emits radiation which it uses to warm your food.

These radiations are retained within the microwave when the door closes. However, if the door is open, the radiation may cause harm to your body cells. 

Sometimes the effects are only felt years later. The radiation can burn the cells and damage the body tissues and should therefore be avoided. 

Mark you, the emission can damage the body cells and tissues. It can also damage nearby electrical appliances. 

How Do You Tell an Open Microwave Is Heating?

Since an open microwave only becomes dangerous when it starts heating, how do you know that’s the case? That’s by performing this quick test:

  • Put a glass of cold water into the microwave
  • Try closing the door slightly but don’t do it all the way
  • Wait for 1 – 2 minutes 
  • Check to see if the water is warm
  • If it is, your microwave is heating and therefore dangerous when the door is open. 

Microwave Won’t Turn Off When Door Is Open

Now, if it’s not just the turntable that turns when you open the door but the entire microwave, the reason could be any of these:

  • Normal operation (it is by design) – Most microwaves are designed to turn on their inner lights when the door opens automatically. That doesn’t mean the microwave is faulty unless the turntable starts turning. 
  • Faulty door switch – If the turntable continues spinning after opening the microwave door, the problem could be the door switch. You may need to inspect it (as shared earlier) and replace it. 
  • Firmware hitch – A problem with the firmware can cause the motor to turn on when the door opens, causing the microwave to continue running. Sometimes a reset may fix it, but if it doesn’t, then having an expert check the microwave is advisable. 
  • Wiring fault – The other issue is an internal circuitry problem. If there’s a problem with the wiring, the motor may run nonstop, causing the dryer to turn on after opening the door. That is also another issue that a technician should check.
microwave won’t turn off when door is open

How to Fix a Microwave That Turns When Door is Open?

Now that you know the most likely reason your microwave won’t turn on when you open the door, here’s how to fix that:

  • Soft-reset the microwave – Locate the reset button (sometimes labeled OFF) on your microwave and hold it down for 3 –5 seconds. You’ll hear a beep sound, or a message will appear on display to indicate a successful microwave reset.
  • Hard-reset the microwave – You can hard reset it if a soft reset doesn’t reset the microwave. Just unplug the microwave for at least 30 minutes. That will likely fix a firmware glitch and clear an error code. 
  • Inspect the door switch for fault and replace it – If the hard reset doesn’t fix the issue, you likely have a bad door switch. So, inspect it and replace it if it won’t work. 
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It may be the right time to call a technician if you still cannot fix your microwave after that. Let them inspect the microwave for a circuit or wiring fault. 

People Also Ask 

1. How Do I Stop a Microwave Turntable from Rotating?

You can stop a microwave turntable from rotating using the turntable switch if there’s one. Just locate the button on the control panel of your microwave and press it. You can also press this button to turn on the turntable. 

2. Why Is My Microwave Plate Turning? 

If your microwave plate turns when the door is open, the door switch is likely faulty, the drive motor needs replacing, or a wiring fault. An expert technician can help you identify the fault and fix it. 

3. Why Is It Important That a Microwave Oven Turns Off When You Open the Door?

When a microwave starts to heat, it emits radiation waves which can damage the body cells and tissues in the long term. Therefore, turning off the microwave (if it doesn’t stop spinning automatically) when the door opens is essential. 

4. Can I Run a Microwave Without the Turntable?

Yes, you can heat food in a microwave without a turntable. However, the food won’t warm up evenly because it doesn’t rotate. The turntable spins the food to allow it to warm up from all angles.

Also, food may get stuck under the ring when you warm it without the turntable. So, it’s better not to do it. 

5. Is It Really Unsafe to Stand in Front of a Microwave?

Unless the microwave runs with an open door, standing in front of it is safe. Microwaves are designed with a thick black glass wall that protects you from the emitted radiation. The dotted glass keeps the radiation inside the microwave. 

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6. What Happens If You Don’t Close the Microwave Door?

If you don’t close the microwave door, the radiation will escape, which can be unsafe. The emitted radiation can cause damage to body cells and tissues or even nearby appliances. But still, your food may take longer to warm up as the heat escapes through the open door. 

7. How Do I Know If a Microwave Turntable Motor Is Bad?

You can know if your microwave turntable motor is bad if the microwave produces a humming, grinding, grooming, or vibrating sound when running. 

The other sign is that the turntable may spin after opening the door. 

8. How Much to Fix a Microwave Turntable?

DIY turntable replacement may cost you $12-$34 for the cost of the turntable only and an extra $10-$15 to get the plate roller on Amazon. So, the turntable and the plate roller shouldn’t cost you more than $50.

However, if you pay a professional, you may have to pay an extra $50 for the labor, bringing the replacement cost to about $100.  

9. Can You Use a Microwave with a Broken Turntable?

A broken turntable doesn’t prevent the microwave from running. So you can still use it. But since it’s broken, the food may not warm up properly and may even overcook, something you would want to avoid. 

Closing Thought

Now you know the three likely reasons why your microwave turntable turns when door is open. Start by checking the interlocked door switch, and if it’s okay, inspect the rotator and turntable door switch. But before anything, it may help to reset the microwave. You may end up fixing it that way! 

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