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Why Is My Whirlpool Microwave Start Button Not Working?

In my experience, there’s nothing more frustrating than a Whirlpool microwave start button not working. If you’re facing a similar problem, I will help you understand the causes of the problem and show you exactly how to fix each error.

Your Whirlpool microwave start button is not working because the door is faulty, the touchpad and control panel are malfunctioning, or the microwave’s app is outdated. Also, it could be that you locked the microwave. Or the device just isn’t working because it has already served its time.

Fortunately, these issues are easy to fix. In fact, you don’t have to spend any dollar in repair service because the solutions I’ve shared in the rest of this guide are quick yet effective do-it-yourself fixes.

whirlpool microwave start button not working

5 Reasons Why Your Whirlpool Microwave Start Button Isn’t Working

The table below is a summary of the reasons why your Whirlpool microwave start button isn’t working despite the unit seemingly being in good condition.

 ProblemQuick Fix
1.Microwave’s touchpad and control panel could be faulty Do a test – touch each key on the touchpad. Replace the touchpad & control panel if any key doesn’t respond to touch commands.
2.The child lock is ONWith the time off, touch and hold the CANCEL key until the LOC or lock sign appears on the screen
3.Your microwave’s app is obsolete (out of date)  Bugs are available on the old version of the app. Heat to the Apple or Google Play Store to update the app on your phone, and then try using the start key again.
4.The microwave has a problem with the door Check if the door latch is broken and replace it.
5.Your microwave has probably served its time Get a new microwave if you’ve already used it for more than 7 years already.

1. Your Whirlpool Microwave Is Outdated

The start key/button on your Whirlpool microwave may have stopped working because the appliance has severed its time. 

Under normal use, your Whirlpool microwave should serve you for about 7 years. It is also possible for the Whirlpool microwave to serve for less than 7 years with hefty use and poor maintenance.

I’ve had friends and colleagues share their experiences on the shelf life of their units. While some seemed to last past 7 years, the longest duration was close to 9 years give or take.

Even with proper maintenance, your Whirlpool microwave will wear, tear, and stop working altogether.

So if you’ve had your unit for 7 years or so and you notice that it isn’t working as expected anymore, get a new microwave.

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2. Your Whirlpool Microwave’s Child Lock is Active

A locking feature on the Whirlpool microwave is included to ensure your child’s safety whenever he or she is near the appliance.

With this feature active, the microwave won’t pay attention to any touchpad request. All the keys on the touchpad will remain disabled for as long as the child lock is active.

The child lock being active isn’t a mechanical problem, so it should take 30 seconds or less to fix.

  • Turn off the timer.
  • Long press the CANCEL button for about 3 seconds.

A tone will sound twice and a lock or “LOC” sign will show on the control panel to signify that you can now start using the microwave to heat your food and warm your liquid.

3. Your Whirlpool Microwave’s Door is Faulty

The most likely reason why your Whirlpool microwave start button is not responding is that the system thinks the door is still open.

I can think of at least two reasons why Whirlpool microwave has to be in the closed position for the unit to work:

  • Whirlpool wants to ensure you are safe from radiation energy.
  • Heating food inside the appliance requires the chamber to be airtight, which explains why the door has to be in closed position.

So if the door isn’t closing:

Check for any food particles. You can also use a clean nonabrasive cloth to clean the area around the door.

If you just bought the microwave, ensure you remove all the wrapping materials especially around the door. If there’s a cloth preventing the door from closing, remove them. 

Inspect the hinges, door latch (hooks), and the torsion spring to ensure they are still as tight as they were when the unit was new.

You can fix the door by tightening all the loose door screws and replacing the torsion spring and hinges.

Before replacing the torsion screws, it is important that you inspect them and here is how you will run the check:

  • Switch off the power and unplug the power cord from the socket to avoid electrocution.
  • Unscrew the appliance from the kitchen cabinet and place it on a sturdy surface.

The torsion springs are located somewhere near the microwave’s door bottom. So you will need to unthread the front access panel to gain access to the springs.

  • Check for any corrosion, wear, or damage.
  • Replace both springs if you see corrosion, worn out sections, or damaged parts.
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If this fix doesn’t work, it’s likely the door is faulty. In such a case, the best thing to do is to replace the door with a new one.

To replace the door:

  • Unplug the microwave from power and take it out of the kitchen cabinet (if you have it mounted there).  
  • Remove the screws securing the vent in position, remove the vent grill, unthread the screws holding the door starting from the top, and pull out the door.
  • Prepare the new Whirlpool microwave door for installation by completely removing all the packaging materials on it.
  • Install the new microwave door.
  • Reposition the vent grill and hold it into place with screws.
  • Reorient the microwave and plug it into power.
  • Test the start button to see if it is working.

4. The Touchpad and Control Panel May Be Faulty

Instead of coming with buttons, Whirlpool microwaves feature touchscreen touchpads that respond to presses. You will touch a given toggle on the microwave’s touchpad to initiate a given function.

While Microwave touchpads are responsive, their responsiveness wears out with time – and they eventually fail to respond.

Consistent handling of the touchpad with wet hands is the number one reason why the touchpad fails to work. That’s why I strongly recommend ensuring your hands are dry before handling the microwave.

Testing whether the control panel and touchpad are faulty isn’t difficult. You don’t need a multimeter here. Simply press all the keys, note which ones respond and which ones don’t.

If the keys are all responding to touch, it means that the touchpad is okay and the problem is somewhere else within the microwave.

If some of the keys, such as START, don’t respond to touch and others, such as STOP/CANCEL, number 1 to 0, and time cook do, it means the touchpad is faulty and therefore requires a replacement.

To replace the touchpad:

  • Ensure that there is no power running through the microwave to prevent shocks and the appliance shorting out.
  • Remove the front grill. Usually, the grill is secured using clips instead of screws. Release these clips to remove the grill.
  • Turn the Whirlpool microwave around and, with the help of a screwdriver, unthread the screws securing the rear panel, and discharge the capacitor by connecting both terminals with the screwdriver.
  • Unscrew the front panel to access the touchpad, and release the tabs holding the touchpad control panel.

For remembrance take a picture or sketch the wire connection. There are many wires in the system, and reconnecting them could be stressful without some reference.

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If necessary, depress the locking tabs to disconnect the wires. Free the hinge tab from the front panel and unthread the screw holding the washer and grounding wire.

  • Once the control panel is out, release the ribbon connector and unthread the screws holding the main control board and its housing to the control panel.
  • Push the retaining tabs and pull the control board housing out.
  • Remove all of the protective coverings from the new touchpad housing, align the control board housing in the new touchpad and snap it into place.
  • Reconnect the ribbon connector to the control board and screws to hold the main control board to the new control panel.
  • Thread the grounding wire and washer then use the snap/sketch to reconnect the wires to the appropriate ports.
  • Now insert the hinge tab into the front the panel, insert the front panel tabs into the front panel slots, push the panel, and thread the screws to secure.
  • Place the grill back and hold with screws.

With the repair complete, plug the microwave back into power and test if the new start button is working.

5. Your Whirlpool Microwave’s App is Outdated

Users with smart Whirlpool microwaves can access their microwave remotely using the Whirlpool App. What connects the app to the appliance is the Scan-to-Connect technology.

Of course, you don’t have to be an expert to operate the app.

If you have a smart Whirlpool microwave, and you notice that the start button isn’t working, there’s a high chance the app is out of date. Quite too often, the touch key will be less responsive and more likely freeze because of the presence of bugs on the old version of the app.

To fix this problem, update the app whenever there is a new update.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Is My Whirlpool Microwave Door Not Closing?

The reason why the door on your Whirlpool microwave is not closing is that either the torsion spring is bad, the door latch/hook is faulty, food particles are preventing the door from closing completely, or the door hinge is faulty.

Fortunately, all the problems associated with the microwave door are fixable.

2. How Do I Rest My Whirlpool Microwave?

A hard reset is the best way to troubleshoot a Whirlpool microwave with button issues.

  • Press and hold the START button to ascertain the button isn’t working.
  • Unplug the appliance from power once you have confirmed the start button isn’t working.
  • Wait for 1 to 2 minutes to let the microwave reset and clear errors.
  • Plug the microwave back to power and test if the start key is now working.

3. Is Whirlpool a Good Microwave?

For the most part, a Whirlpool microwave is a good unit. In my view, Whirlpool is an awesome microwave, high-end, well know and reviewed, and user-friendly brand.

Perhaps the only reason you wouldn’t buy the microwave is it tends to be pricier than other brands.

Final Words

I hope this guide has helped you to learn why your Whirlpool microwave start button isn’t working and what you can do to fix the error.