Microwave Keeps Running When Door Is Open: 3 Reasons Why!

  • Ever had the unsettling experience of your microwave continuing to run even with the door wide open? It’s like a car that won’t turn off when you take out the keys. This persistent issue can be both confusing and concerning, not to mention potentially hazardous. In this post, home guru, we’ll delve into why microwaves sometimes keep running with the door ajar, uncovering common causes and practical solutions for this perplexing problem. From faulty interlock switches to malfunctioning control boards, we’ll explore the inner workings of microwaves to understand what might be causing this burst of unexpected activity.

    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 at home, 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 at home, 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 at home 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 at home, 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 at home 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 home 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. 


    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. 

    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. 

    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! 

    Also Read:

    Understanding Microwave Functionality

    Microwave Basics

    Microwaves are a common kitchen appliance used for heating and cooking food quickly. They work by emitting microwave radiation that causes water molecules in the food to vibrate, generating heat. This process is what heats the food inside the microwave.

    When you press start on a microwave, it should only run when the door is closed. However, if your microwave keeps running when the door is open, it could be due to several reasons. One possible cause could be an issue with the safety mechanisms or door interlock system.

    Safety Mechanisms

    Microwaves are equipped with multiple safety features to prevent accidents and ensure safe operation. Among these safety mechanisms is an interlock switch located inside the door latch assembly. When you close the microwave door, this switch signals to the control board that it’s safe to start cooking.

    If your microwave continues running with its door open, there may be a problem with this interlock switch or another related component like a faulty control board or wiring issues. It’s important not to ignore this issue as it poses serious safety hazards.

    Door Interlock System

    The door interlock system consists of switches that communicate with each other and with the control board whenever the microwave door opens or closes. These switches play a crucial role in ensuring that power supply to the magnetron (the part responsible for producing microwaves) is cut off when the door is opened.

    A malfunctioning interlock system can lead to dangerous situations where microwaves continue operating even when they shouldn’t be. This can expose individuals to harmful levels of radiation and increases risks of burns or electrical shocks.

    Common Reasons for Continuous Operation

    Faulty Door Switch

    If your microwave keeps running when the door is open, a faulty door switch could be the culprit. The door switch is a safety feature that prevents the microwave from operating when the door is open. If it malfunctions, it can lead to the microwave continuing to run even with the door ajar. This poses a significant safety risk and should be addressed promptly.

    The faulty door switch may need to be replaced by a professional technician. Attempting to fix this issue without proper knowledge can result in further damage or injury. It’s essential to ensure that all repairs are carried out by qualified individuals to maintain safety and functionality.

    Misaligned Door

    Another potential cause of a microwave running with an open door is a misaligned or warped door. When the microwave’s door doesn’t close properly due to misalignment, it can trigger the internal mechanisms, causing the appliance to continue operating as if it were closed.

    Inspecting the alignment of your microwave’s door can help identify any issues in this area. If you notice gaps or irregularities when closing the door, there may be an alignment problem that needs attention from a professional repair service.

    Control Board Issues

    Control board problems are also known culprits for microwaves running with doors open. The control board serves as the “brain” of your microwave, regulating its various functions including heating and timing cycles. If there’s an issue within this component, such as electrical malfunctions or sensor errors, it can lead to continuous operation despite an open door.

    Repairing control board issues requires specialized knowledge and expertise due to their intricate nature. A certified technician will have the skills and equipment necessary to diagnose and resolve control board-related problems effectively.

    Troubleshooting Your Microwave

    Initial Safety Checks

    When your microwave keeps running when the door is open, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Start by unplugging the microwave to avoid any electrical hazards. Check for any visible damage to the door, hinges, or latches that could be causing the issue. Make sure there are no obstructions preventing the door from closing properly. Inspect the control panel and keypad for any signs of wear or damage.

    Before attempting to diagnose or fix the problem, always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific safety instructions and guidelines on troubleshooting issues with your microwave. It’s important not to attempt any repairs beyond basic maintenance if you’re not familiar with appliance repair procedures.

    Sometimes, a simple reset can resolve minor electronic glitches in microwaves. Unplugging the microwave for a few minutes before plugging it back in might reset its internal systems and solve temporary malfunctions related to continuous operation with an open door.

    Identifying the Problem

    If initial safety checks don’t reveal any obvious issues, you may need to delve deeper into identifying potential problems causing your microwave to keep running when its door is open. One common cause could be a faulty interlock switch – a component that signals whether the door is closed or open. If this switch is malfunctioning, it can lead to continued operation despite an open door.

    Another possible culprit might be a defective control board, which regulates various functions within your microwave including managing power levels and timing settings. A malfunctioning control board could disrupt normal operations and result in unusual behaviors such as continuous running even when the door is opened.

    In some cases, debris or food particles stuck in sensitive areas around the door latch mechanism can interfere with proper functioning and cause irregular behavior like persistent operation without proper closure of the microwave door.

    When To Seek Professional Help

    If initial safety checks fail to identify any visible issues and basic troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the problem, it’s advisable to seek professional help from certified technicians specializing in appliance repair. Attempting complex repairs without adequate knowledge can pose risks of further damaging your microwave or compromising personal safety.

    Steps to Fix a Faulty Microwave

    Replacing the Door Switch

    If your microwave keeps running when the door is open, one potential cause could be a faulty door switch. The door switch, also known as an interlock switch, is responsible for preventing the microwave from operating with the door open. To replace this component, you’ll need to unplug the microwave and remove its outer cover. Once exposed, locate the door switches – there may be multiple switches depending on your model. Carefully disconnect the wires and remove the old switches. Install new ones in their place, ensuring they are properly aligned and secured. After replacing them, reassemble the microwave’s cover and plug it back in to test if the issue has been resolved.

    Another common reason why a microwave keeps running with an open door could be due to misaligned or damaged doors. If there’s any damage or warping that prevents proper closure of the microwave door, it can lead to malfunctioning of safety mechanisms designed to stop operation when opened.

    Adjusting Door Alignment

    To address issues related to misaligned doors, start by inspecting all components involved in securing and aligning the door – hinges, latches, seals etc., looking for signs of wear or damage that might impede proper alignment or closure. If everything looks intact but misalignment persists when closing it shut then try adjusting hinge screws which can often fix minor alignment issues.

    In some cases where visible damage is present (such as bent hinges), replacement parts may be necessary for restoring proper functionality.

    Repairing Control Board

    A malfunctioning control board can also contribute to a situation where the microwave keeps running even when its door is open; however diagnosing such an issue generally requires professional expertise given complexity involved in identifying faults within electronic circuits.

    The control board governs various functions including managing power levels and timer settings so if these features appear erratic alongside ‘door-open’ anomalies then there’s likely fault within control board necessitating repair/replacement.

    Potential Dangers of a Malfunctioning Microwave

    Radiation Exposure

    A microwave that keeps running when the door is open poses serious dangers, one of which is radiation exposure. When the microwave continues to operate with the door ajar, it can emit harmful electromagnetic radiation. This type of radiation is known to have adverse effects on human health, including causing burns and potentially leading to long-term health issues. Even brief exposure to this radiation can be harmful, making it crucial to address any malfunction promptly.

    If the microwave’s door isn’t properly sealed due to a faulty interlock switch or other issue, there’s a risk of ongoing radiation leakage even when the appliance isn’t in use. This continuous emission of radiation can pose significant health risks over time and must be addressed without delay.

    Fire Hazards

    Another peril associated with a malfunctioning microwave that remains operational when its door is open pertains to fire hazards. A microwave oven relies on an intricate system of safety features designed to prevent overheating and ensure safe operation. If these mechanisms fail due to a persistent running cycle caused by a faulty component or sensor, there’s an increased risk of overheating and potential fire outbreaks within the appliance.

    Furthermore, continued operation with an open door may lead to food particles or spills being exposed directly to the internal components such as the magnetron or high-voltage capacitor. These elements can become extremely hot during normal operation and are not meant for direct contact with food residues. As such, this scenario elevates the likelihood of ignition and subsequent fires within the microwave unit.

    Electrical Risks

    In addition to posing threats related to radiation exposure and fire hazards, a malfunctioning microwave that doesn’t cease operating despite an open door presents substantial electrical risks. The prolonged activation under such circumstances places undue strain on various electrical components within the appliance.

    The sustained electrical load resulting from continuous operation beyond intended parameters increases susceptibility towards short circuits or electrical arcing within sensitive parts like wiring harnesses or control boards. Such malfunctions not only compromise overall performance but also heighten chances for electric shocks if individuals come into contact with exposed wires while attempting repairs or inspection.

    Moreover, extended periods of unintended activity could lead to excessive wear on critical electrical connections throughout the device—potentially resulting in damaged wiring insulation—and ultimately culminate in hazardous conditions such as sparking or even full-scale electrical fires.

    Preventative Measures for Microwave Safety

    Routine Maintenance

    When your microwave keeps running when the door is open, it’s crucial to be proactive with routine maintenance. Regularly clean the door and its surrounding area, ensuring that there are no food particles or debris stuck in the hinges or latches. Wipe down the interior of the microwave to prevent any interference with its proper functioning. Check for signs of wear and tear on the door seal and replace it if necessary to maintain a tight seal.

    Furthermore, ensure that you only use microwave-safe containers and avoid placing metal objects inside as they can cause arcing, which might lead to malfunctioning of the appliance. When cleaning your microwave, use mild soap and water rather than harsh chemicals that could potentially damage sensitive components within.

    Proper Usage

    To prevent issues such as a microwave running when the door is open, always follow proper usage guidelines. Never operate the microwave empty as this can cause damage to the magnetron tube. Avoid slamming the door shut as this can misalign components over time, leading to safety hazards like radiation leakage. Encourage everyone in your household to handle the microwave with care by gently closing its door after each use.

    It’s important never to tamper with safety interlocks or override them in any way since these mechanisms are designed specifically for user protection. Educate yourself about how these safety features work so you understand their importance in preventing accidents related to microwaves.

    Regular Inspections

    Regular inspections play a vital role in maintaining safe operation of your microwave oven. Periodically examine all parts of your appliance including but not limited to:

    • The condition of seals around doors

    • The functionality of control panel buttons

    • The cleanliness of air vents

    If you notice any unusual behavior such as lights flickering when operating or strange sounds coming from within, unplug your microwave immediately and seek professional assistance before using it again.

    When to Consider a Replacement

    Age of the Microwave

    If your microwave keeps running when the door is open, it could be a sign that it’s time for a replacement. The age of your microwave plays a crucial role in determining whether you should consider replacing it. Over time, microwaves experience wear and tear, leading to malfunctions such as the door not triggering the safety switch properly. Older microwaves may have worn-out components that can cause issues like this one.

    Replacing an old microwave with modern safety features can provide peace of mind and ensure that you have a reliable appliance in your kitchen. Newer models are equipped with advanced safety mechanisms to prevent hazardous situations like the microwave continuing to run with an open door.

    Another aspect related to age is technological advancements. Newer microwaves come with improved designs and better-built materials, which contribute to their overall durability and functionality.

    Cost of Repairs

    When evaluating whether to replace your malfunctioning microwave, consider the cost of repairs versus purchasing a new appliance. If repairing the issue causing the microwave keeps running when door is open proves expensive, it might be more practical and cost-effective to invest in a new unit.

    Repair costs can quickly add up if multiple components need fixing or if specialized labor is required for intricate repairs related to faulty safety switches or control panels. In some cases, spending money on extensive repairs for an aging microwave might not be financially sensible compared to investing in a newer model with enhanced safety features.

    Older microwaves might require parts that are no longer readily available or compatible due to discontinued manufacturing lines or outdated technology standards.

    Advanced Malfunctions

    Advanced malfunctions involving critical safety functions such as interlock switches could indicate serious underlying problems within your microwave’s internal systems. If basic troubleshooting methods fail and advanced malfunctions persist despite attempts at repair, replacing the unit becomes imperative.

    Malfunctions related to essential safety features pose significant risks not only in terms of personal injury but also potential fire hazards within your home.

    Manufacturer’s Warranty

    If your microwave keeps running when the door is open, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s warranty. Most microwaves come with a standard warranty that covers parts and labor for a specific period. If your microwave is still under warranty, you may be able to get it repaired or replaced at no extra cost.

    However, it’s essential to carefully read through the terms of the warranty. Some warranties may not cover issues related to user misuse or unauthorized repairs. In such cases, attempting self-repair might void the warranty altogether. Contacting the manufacturer or referring to the product manual can provide clarity on what is covered under the warranty.

    It’s important to note that if you attempt any DIY fixes while your microwave is under warranty, you could risk voiding its coverage. This could mean having to foot all repair costs yourself if something else goes wrong down the line.

    Repair vs. Replace Decisions

    When dealing with a malfunctioning microwave, deciding between repairing and replacing becomes crucial. While fixing an issue like a microwave running with an open door might seem like a simple solution, consider factors such as age, overall condition, and cost of repair versus replacement.

    Repairing might be more cost-effective for newer models still within their expected lifespan but could end up being just a temporary fix for older units nearing their end-of-life cycle. On top of this financial decision-making process comes safety concerns; after all, having appliances in good working order promotes household safety.

    Consumer Rights

    As consumers experiencing issues like microwaves running when doors are open should understand their rights regarding faulty products. In many regions across different countries worldwide, consumer protection laws exist to safeguard against defective products. These laws often stipulate that manufacturers must rectify faults in products within certain time frames without additional charges. Understanding these rights can empower consumers facing problems with their appliances.


    Understanding how your microwave operates and the potential reasons for its continuous running when the door is open is crucial for your safety and the longevity of the appliance. By troubleshooting and taking necessary steps to fix any faults, you can prevent potential dangers and ensure the overall safety of your kitchen. Remember to consider legal and warranty aspects before making any decisions regarding repairs or replacements.

    If you’re experiencing issues with your microwave, don’t hesitate to take action. Your safety and peace of mind are worth the effort. Stay informed about microwave functionality and safety measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from any potential hazards. Now, go check on your microwave and ensure it’s in top-notch condition!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why does my microwave keep running when the door is open?

    This issue can occur due to a faulty door switch or control board. It’s essential to address this immediately for safety reasons and prevent further damage to the microwave.

    How can I troubleshoot my malfunctioning microwave?

    First, check if the door is closing properly. If it is, then inspect the door switches and control panel for any signs of damage or wear. Ensure that the power supply is stable.

    What are the potential dangers of using a malfunctioning microwave?

    A malfunctioning microwave poses serious risks such as electrical hazards, uneven heating leading to foodborne illnesses, and even fire hazards. It’s crucial to address any issues promptly to avoid these potential dangers.

    When should I consider replacing my microwave instead of repairing it?

    If your microwave has frequent malfunctions or shows signs of significant internal damage, it may be more cost-effective and safer in the long run to replace it rather than continuing with repairs.

    Always refer to your product warranty before attempting any repairs yourself. In some cases, tampering with certain components may void the warranty. Also, ensure compliance with local regulations regarding appliance repair for safety and legal reasons.