Whirlpool Microwave Won’t Start: Open/Close Door Fix

Ever had your Whirlpool microwave refuse to start and flash the message “open/close door,” leaving you scratching your head in frustration? You’re not alone. This perplexing issue has left many users bewildered with questions, but fear not – justanswer has satisfied customers.

From potential sensor malfunctions to simple troubleshooting steps, we’ll unravel the mystery surrounding why your Whirlpool microwave won’t start and keeps prompting you to open or close the door. By understanding the historical context of similar issues with microwaves and exploring tried-and-tested fixes, you’ll soon be able to bid adieu to this exasperating error message once and for all.

Microwave Door Error

So your Whirlpool microwave won’t start and you have no idea what the reason could be? This troubleshooting guide is for you.

Your Whirlpool microwave appliance won’t start because the control lock is active, there is a problem with power supply, the line fuse blew, the door latch assembly is faulty, or the thermistor has an issue.

These issues aren’t difficult to fix. In fact, you can spend $0 in appliance repair service by fixing each problem based on a do-it-yourself approach.

Having dealt with most of appliance issue myself, I will show you exactly how to fix a Whirlpool microwave that won’t start.

Without further ado, let’s get to it. 

whirlpool microwave wont start

5 Reasons Why Your Whirlpool Microwave Won’t Start 

The table below is a summary of the possible reasons why your Whirlpool microwave won’t start as well as what you can do to fix each error. 

 Microwave Component  ProblemQuick DIY Fix
1.Power issueCircuit breaker tripped, wires not connected properly, detached power cordSwitch back the tripped circuit breaker to on position, ensure the wires connecting to the socket are in the correct position, reconnect the wire if it is detached or replace the cord if it’s faulty.
2.Control lockThe appliance control lock disabled all the keys on your microwave.You can fix the appliance problem by turning the control lock off. Press and hold the Start button on the appliance for about 3 seconds or until you hear two tones sound.
3.Line fuseThe line fuse of your appliance blew because too much electric current flew.Consider testing the fuse for continuity and replace the line fuse with a new one.
4.Door latch assemblyThe door latch assembly is broken.Replace the faulty door switch with a new one.
5.ThermistorThe thermistor may have lost continuity test an therefore failedTest the thermistor for continuity and replace it if it fails the continuity test.

1. Your Whirlpool Microwave Has Power Issues

As simple as it sounds, the likely reason why your Whirlpool microwave isn’t starting is that it is not receiving power.

Start by checking whether the breaker in your fuse box has tripped. Switch the breaker back on if it has tripped and try starting your microwave.

If the breaker is not the reason why your Whirlpool microwave is not starting, use a tester to test the pocket for power.

If the tester does not light, the socket is faulty. You will need to open it up and check if the socket wires are firmly connected. Replace the socket if necessary and try restarting your Whirlpool microwave.

You may also want to check the power cord because the wires may be defective causing power to fail to flow. In this case, you will need to replace the power.

To replace the power cord

  • Unplug the microwave from power and disassemble it.

  • Note the orientation of the power cord wires then disconnect them (the power wires are on the noise filter board).

  • Remove the screw and washer to release the grounding wire from the frame.

  • Remove the power cord.

  • Install the new power cord by connecting its wires to the appropriate terminals on the noise filter board.

  • Secure the grounding wire on the frame with the screw and washer.

  • With all the power cords connected, position the new cord in the bracket.

  • Reassemble the microwave and plug it back to power.

  • Press the start button to see if the microwave will start running.

2. The Control Lock Might Be Active

Your Whirlpool microwave may be refusing to start because the control lock (also referred to as the child lock) is on.

microwave control lock

The work of the control lock on Whirlpool is to disable any newly introduced operation to discourage your child from presses any key on the microwave touchpad.   

With that said, you might have forgotten to turn off the control lock on your Whirlpool microwave, causing the unit to fail to start.

The only fix here is to turn the control lock off. To do this

Press and hold the power key for about 3 seconds. Two tones will sound and the LOC or L symbol will disappear from the display to indicate that the child lock function is inactive

3. The Line Fuse Could Be Defective

The line fuse in a Whirlpool microwave is a component designed to protect the unit from excess current.

In the event of current overflow, the line fuse blows up to protect other microwave’s components from damaging.

And the unit stops working.

You need to check if the line fuse is faulty. And if it’s the problem, replace it with a new working fuse.

  • Unplug the unit from power and dismantle it

  • Locate the line fuse.

  • Use a multimeter to test the line fuse for continuity.

Replace the line fuse with a new one if the current one fails the continuity test. Then, reassemble the microwave and plug it back to power. 

Warning: Be extra careful when going technical on your Whirlpool microwave. That’s because microwaves store thousands of volts on their capacitors, which could be so hazardous.

4. The Door Latch Assembly Could Be Faulty

Another possible reason why your Whirlpool microwave won’t start is that the door latch might be having a problem.

Door latches on most Whirlpool microwaves are made of plastic hooks. These plastic hooks will stick to the door to meet the door sensors/switch when you close the door.

Upon contact, the electric signals go to the rest of the control to power the microwave.

But if the door latch is faulty, the Whirlpool microwave won’t start. In this case, the solution is to replace the door latch with a new one. 

  • Begin by unplugging the appliance from power.

  • Disassemble the microwave.

  • Find the door latch and remove it.

Keep in mind that if you notice signs of discoloration, cracking, and tear, it’s likely that the door latch is messy and needs a new one.

  • Fix the new door latch.

  • Reassemble the microwave

  • Plug it into power and restart the microwave

5. Your Microwave’s Thermistor Could Be Defective

The work of the thermistor is to ensure your Whirlpool microwave does not overheat.

microwave thermistor

In case the microwave overheats, the thermistor damages. Your Whirlpool microwave will not start if the thermistor is faulty.

You have to test the thermistor to determine whether it’s faulty and replace it if that’s the case.

To test the thermistor:

  • Unplug the appliance from power.

  • Disassemble the microwave, locate the thermistor, and disconnect the wires that connect to it.

Take the multimeter probes and touch the terminals. Your digital multimeter should read zero or a reading close to zero. 

If the continuity test fails to return a zero or a reading close to zero, it means the thermistor failed and need a replacement.

To replace the thermistor:

Consider discharging the capacitor since it retains power even after pulling the power cord out of power supply.

  • Use a screwdriver to unthread the screw securing the grill.

  • Pull the grill forward from the top to remove it.

  • Open the microwave door and remove the mounting screws holding the control panel.

  • Lift the control panel to detach.

  • Note the orientation of the wires connecting to the main control board and then depress the locking tabs if necessary to release the wires.

  • Free the hinge tab from the panel and remove the screws and washer securing the grounding wire

  • Next, unthread the screws securing the plastic control panel backing.

  • Release the control board wires from the channel and then detach the thermistor wires and set the backing aside.

  • Unthread the screws holding the thermistor to remove it.

  • Install the new thermistor and thread it with screws to hold it in place.

  • Secure the thermistor wire on the control panel backing then align the wire along with the control board wires in their respective channels.

  • Reposition the backing and hold it with screws.

  • Reinstall the control panel by first securing the ground wire with the washer and screw.

  • Insert the hinge tab into the panel and reconnect the remaining wire to the appropriate terminal on the control board.

  • Insert the control panel tabs into the control panel slots and push the panel down. Secure the control panel with mounting screws.

  • Realign the grill and snap it into place then re-thread the screws to secure.

With the repair complete, plug the unit back into power and restore power. Press the start button to find out if the microwave starts working.

Related Reading

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Why Is My Whirlpool Microwave Start Button Not Working?

The reasons why your Whirlpool microwave start button isn’t working include a faulty main control board, a faulty control panel, and a faulty touchpad.

2. Is there a Reset Button on My Whirlpool Microwave?

Unfortunately, like most microwaves, Whirlpool does not have a button specifically dedicated to resetting.

However, resetting the Whirlpool microwave is possible by simply clearing anything on the display.

All you have to do is to press the Off/Clear button, unplug the unit from power, and wait for about 30 minutes.

More often than not, the 30 minutes period is usually enough for the microwave to reset and clear all errors.

3. What Would Cause a Microwave Not to Start?

A few things could cause your microwave fail to start. They include a faulty main control board, a blown up line fuse, a defective thermistor, an active control lock/child lock, a defective door latch assemble, and a faulty power cord.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve read this guide carefully, you’ll realize that the issues that cause a Whirlpool microwave not to start don’t require professional servicing.

With do-it-yourself repairs, you can get the unit to start and heat your food more appropriately and on time.

Internal Components

Whirlpool microwave ovens, like all microwaves, use electromagnetic radiation to heat food quickly and efficiently. Inside a microwave, there’s a magnetron, which generates the microwaves that cook the food. There’s a high-voltage capacitor that stores electricity to power the magnetron and a microwave diode, which helps convert the high-voltage AC power from the capacitor into DC power for the magnetron.

Microwaves are designed with safety features that prevent them from operating if certain conditions aren’t met. One common issue is when your Whirlpool microwave displays an error message indicating that it won’t start because it says “open/close door.” This can occur due to various reasons such as a faulty door switch or latch. When this happens, it prevents the appliance from starting to ensure user safety.

Troubleshooting Steps

If your Whirlpool microwave won’t start and displays an error message about opening or closing the door, you can take several troubleshooting steps before calling for professional help:

  • First, check if there’s any visible damage or debris around the door area of your Whirlpool microwave.

  • Ensure that nothing is obstructing or preventing proper closure of the door.

  • Inspect and clean around the latches and hinges of the door to make sure they’re functioning correctly.

  • If everything appears normal externally but you still encounter issues with starting your Whirlpool microwave due to a “door open/close” error message, consider contacting customer support for further assistance.

In some cases, resetting your microwave by unplugging it for a few minutes may resolve minor issues causing this error message. However, if these basic troubleshooting steps don’t solve the problem with your Whirlpool appliance question regarding its failure to start due to an open/close door issue, seeking professional repair services might be necessary.

Common Causes for Door Errors

Faulty Door Switches

A faulty door switch is a common culprit behind the “open/close door” error in Whirlpool microwaves. These switches are safety features that interrupt power when the door is open to prevent accidents. If they malfunction, the microwave may not start or display an error message. Replacing these faulty switches can resolve this issue and get the microwave back to working order.

Another aspect of this problem involves understanding how these switches work. When you close the microwave door, it activates a set of interconnected switches that signal to the appliance that it’s safe to begin cooking. If any of these switches fail or become misaligned, it can cause the microwave to think that its door is still open, triggering an error message and preventing operation.

Bad Connection Issues

Poor electrical connections can also lead to issues with Whirlpool microwaves, including displaying an “open/close door” error message. It’s essential to check both the power supply and ensure proper grounding for resolving connection problems effectively. Loose connections or damaged wiring could disrupt the flow of electricity within your appliance, causing malfunctions like false open-door readings.

Imagine if your phone charger isn’t properly plugged into a socket – no matter how many times you press ‘charge’ on your phone, it won’t charge unless there’s a solid electrical connection from outlet to device! The same principle applies here; without secure electrical connections within your microwave unit, errors such as “open/close door” messages will continue appearing until those issues are resolved.

Sensor Malfunctions

Sensor malfunctions in Whirlpool microwaves can also trigger error messages and prevent them from starting properly. Microwaves use sensors to detect moisture and temperature changes inside their cooking chambers so they can adjust their cooking times and power levels accordingly. A malfunctioning sensor might inaccurately read data about whether or not your food is ready for heating up – leading either directly (or indirectly) towards those pesky “open/close door” errors!

These sensors play a crucial role in ensuring efficient and accurate cooking results by adjusting settings based on what’s happening inside your appliance at any given time.

Latch Problems

Latching problems are another potential source of difficulty resulting in an “open/close door” error on Whirlpool microwaves. The latch mechanism ensures that once you’ve closed the oven’s front cover securely during operation – nothing goes wrong while preparing delicious meals!

Initial Troubleshooting Steps

Proper Door Closure

If your Whirlpool microwave won’t start and displays the “open/close door” error, it’s crucial to ensure that the door is firmly closed. The safety interlocks need a secure closure to allow the microwave to start. When the door isn’t properly shut, the microwave interprets it as open and refuses to operate.

Ensuring that nothing obstructs the door’s closing mechanism is essential for resolving this issue. Any debris or food particles around the door seal can prevent it from closing tightly, causing the microwave to display an error message.

Moisture Management

Managing moisture levels within your microwave can help prevent sensor malfunctions and error messages related to opening and closing doors. Wiping down food containers before placing them in the microwave helps maintain optimal moisture levels inside. Ensuring that all containers are properly covered prevents excessive moisture buildup during cooking.

Excessive steam or condensation inside your microwave can trigger false readings on its sensors, leading to errors like “open/close door.” By managing moisture effectively, you can reduce such errors and improve overall performance.

Microwave Positioning

Proper positioning of your Whirlpool microwave, away from heat sources and with adequate ventilation, is crucial for optimal performance. Placing items on top of the microwave can obstruct airflow vents, leading to overheating issues and potential malfunctioning of internal components.

Ensure there’s at least a few inches of space between your microwave and any surrounding surfaces or appliances. This allows for proper ventilation around all sides of the appliance while preventing heat transfer from nearby sources that could affect its operation negatively.

Advanced Diagnostic Techniques

Testing Door Components

To diagnose the “open/close door” error on a Whirlpool microwave that won’t start, it’s crucial to test the door switches, hinges, and latches. Using a multimeter is essential for checking the continuity in these components. If there’s an issue with any of these parts, it can trigger the open/close door error and prevent the microwave from starting.

When testing the door components, start by disconnecting the microwave from its power source. Then use a multimeter to check each component for continuity. If any of them show no continuity when engaged or disengaged, they might need replacement.

Another way to test is by physically inspecting each part for signs of damage or wear. For instance, if you notice that one of the door switches is loose or damaged, it could be causing the open/close door error.

Checking Sensor Functionality

Verifying that all sensors within your Whirlpool microwave are functioning properly is another important step in diagnosing why it won’t start and displays an open/close door message. To do this effectively, conduct tests using different food items at varying settings.

If you find discrepancies in cooking times or power levels when using different settings or types of food items, this may indicate sensor issues within your microwave. For example: if popcorn doesn’t pop as expected at a specified setting but cooks fine at a higher setting; this could suggest sensor dysfunctionality.

It’s also important to ensure that there are no obstructions around these sensors inside your microwave oven which can interfere with their functionality leading to errors such as open/close door messages even when closed securely.

Inspecting Latch Mechanism

Inspecting the latch mechanism on your Whirlpool microwave can help resolve issues related to open/close doors preventing normal operation. Ensure that upon closing your microwave oven’s door fully shut engages properly without any obstruction hindering its closure. Inspect visually for any physical damage like cracks or misalignment which might prevent proper engagement.

Fixing the Door Error Message

Addressing Switch Issues

When a whirlpool microwave displays an “open/close door” error message, it could indicate problems with the door switches. These switches are responsible for signaling whether the door is open or closed, and if they malfunction, the microwave may not start. The replacement process for faulty components involves disassembling parts of the microwave and installing new ones following manufacturer guidelines and safety precautions.

After replacing any faulty components, such as the door switches in this case, calibration steps become crucial to ensure accurate functionality. Calibrating sensors and other critical components may be necessary after repairs or replacements to guarantee that everything operates properly. It’s important to consult the user manual for specific calibration procedures recommended by Whirlpool to effectively calibrate these essential elements.

Resolving Connection Problems

Another potential cause of an “open/close door” error message on a whirlpool microwave could be related to connection problems. This involves checking power sources, fuses, and wiring for any signs of damage or loose connections. If there are complex electrical issues beyond basic troubleshooting capabilities, professional electricians may be required to address them effectively.

Ensuring Correct Door Functionality

Routine Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your whirlpool microwave in top condition. Cleaning the interior regularly ensures that no food debris or grease buildup interferes with the door’s closing mechanism. Inspecting the seals around the door helps to identify any wear and tear that could lead to an improper seal.

Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule can significantly extend your microwave’s lifespan. This includes checking electrical connections to ensure they are secure and free from corrosion, which can cause issues with the door sensor.

Preventative Measures Preventing issues with your whirlpool microwave starts with proper usage habits. Avoid slamming the microwave door shut as this can damage both the latch and sensor mechanism over time. Educating household members about using gentle care when closing the door contributes to preventing errors.

Using only microwave-safe containers also plays a significant role in maintaining correct functionality of your appliance. When inappropriate materials are used, it can lead to warping or damage on both the container and possibly even on internal components of your whirlpool microwave, including those related to its ability to detect whether or not its doors are closed properly.

Expert Insights on Door Errors

Professional Recommendations

If your Whirlpool microwave won’t start and displays an “open/close door” message, seeking guidance from certified technicians or Whirlpool service centers is crucial. Professionals can provide expert insights into resolving complex issues. They offer guidance on troubleshooting methods and genuine replacement parts.

Certified technicians have the knowledge and experience to diagnose microwave door errors accurately. They can identify underlying issues that may not be apparent to untrained individuals. By consulting experts, you can ensure that the problem with your Whirlpool microwave is addressed effectively.

When seeking professional recommendations, it’s essential to inquire about potential solutions for the specific error message displayed by your Whirlpool microwave. Technicians might suggest recalibrating the door sensors or replacing faulty components to resolve the issue.

Customer Feedback Analysis

Analyzing customer feedback related to similar issues with Whirlpool microwaves can provide valuable insights into common trends and potential solutions. Online forums and reviews often contain anecdotal experiences that shed light on effective troubleshooting methods.

By examining customer feedback, you may discover recurring patterns in microwave malfunctions, such as persistent “open/close door” messages. This information can help you understand whether other users have encountered similar problems with their appliances.

Moreover, customers who have successfully resolved similar issues with their Whirlpool microwaves may share their troubleshooting techniques and tips online. These firsthand accounts could offer practical solutions for addressing the “open/close door” error message on your appliance.

Customer feedback analysis also enables you to gauge the effectiveness of different approaches in resolving Whirlpool microwave errors related to door functionality. You can assess which methods have yielded positive results for other users, helping you determine viable strategies for addressing your own appliance’s issue.

When to Seek Professional Help

Identifying Complex Issues

If your Whirlpool microwave won’t start and displays the “open/close door” error message, it could indicate complex internal issues. These types of problems may require advanced diagnostic tools and expertise from experienced technicians familiar with Whirlpool microwaves. Understanding electronic circuitry and possessing specialized knowledge in appliance repair techniques are essential for addressing intricate malfunctions. For instance, a faulty door switch or control board might be causing the error, which would need thorough examination by a professional.

Seeking assistance from qualified technicians is crucial when dealing with emergency questions related to your malfunctioning Whirlpool microwave. Attempting to troubleshoot complex issues without the necessary expertise can lead to further damage or safety hazards. Therefore, it’s advisable to rely on professionals who have the skills and experience required to diagnose and rectify intricate problems effectively.

Finding Qualified Technicians

When facing persistent issues such as a non-starting Whirlpool microwave accompanied by an “open/close door” prompt, finding accredited technicians becomes imperative. Look for service providers authorized by Whirlpool or those holding relevant certifications that validate their expertise in handling Whirlpool appliances specifically. Verifying technician certifications ensures that you engage individuals capable of competently addressing repairs and replacements pertaining to your microwave.

Before enlisting the services of a technician, inquire about their experience working with Whirlpool appliances. An experienced professional will possess comprehensive knowledge of common problems associated with these microwaves along with effective solutions based on their prior encounters. This familiarity enables them to efficiently identify faults contributing to the “open/close door” issue plaguing your appliance.

Long-Term Solutions and Prevention

Quality Replacement Parts

Using quality replacement parts approved by Whirlpool is crucial when dealing with a microwave that won’t start and displays the “open/close door” message. Genuine parts ensure compatibility and reliable performance after repairs or component replacements. These authentic components often come with warranties, guaranteeing optimal functionality post-repair. By using approved parts, you can effectively address underlying issues causing the error message.

For instance, if the door switch is faulty, replacing it with an authentic Whirlpool-approved part ensures that it fits perfectly and functions as intended. This eliminates the risk of further malfunctions due to incompatible or substandard replacement components.

Regular Cleaning Habits

Regularly cleaning both interior and exterior surfaces of your microwave plays a significant role in preventing dirt buildup that could affect its performance over time. Ensuring cleanliness not only contributes to maintaining a hygienic cooking environment but also helps prevent potential issues leading to error messages like “open/close door.”


You’ve now gained a comprehensive understanding of why your Whirlpool microwave might display the “open/close door” error message and how to troubleshoot and resolve this issue. By identifying common causes, learning initial and advanced diagnostic techniques, and implementing expert insights, you’re better equipped to tackle this problem head-on. Remember to prioritize safety and caution when attempting any fixes on your own.

Ensuring correct door functionality is crucial for your microwave’s performance, so don’t overlook the significance of addressing this issue promptly. If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting steps and the problem persists, it’s time to consider seeking professional help. Implementing long-term solutions and preventive measures can save you from encountering similar issues in the future. With these insights, you can confidently tackle the “open/close door” error and ensure that your Whirlpool microwave operates seamlessly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my Whirlpool microwave display a “door error” message?

The “door error” message typically appears when the microwave’s door isn’t properly closed or if there’s an issue with the door switch. It’s a safety feature to prevent operation with an open door, ensuring user safety and proper functionality.

How can I troubleshoot a “door error” on my Whirlpool microwave?

Start by checking if the door is completely closed and latching properly. Inspect for any obstructions around the door area that might be preventing it from closing securely. If the issue persists, refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific troubleshooting steps.

What are some common causes of “door errors” in Whirlpool microwaves?

Common causes include misaligned doors, faulty interlock switches, or debris obstructing the door closure mechanism. Electrical issues related to the door switch or control board can trigger this error message.

Can I fix a “door error” on my Whirlpool microwave myself?

Simple issues like misaligned doors or debris obstruction can often be resolved by carefully inspecting and adjusting components as needed. However, more complex electrical or mechanical problems may require professional intervention for safety and effectiveness.

When should I consider seeking professional help for a persistent “door error”?

If basic troubleshooting steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s advisable to seek assistance from certified technicians. Persistent “door errors” may indicate underlying electronic or mechanical issues that require specialized knowledge and tools to diagnose and repair.