Microwave Keeps Tripping Breaker: Dealing with Breaker Trips

Microwave keeps tripping breaker. If you’re experiencing the frustration of your microwave repeatedly tripping the breaker, don’t panic. You are not alone. This is a common issue faced by many homeowners across the United States. In this section, we will explore the reasons behind a microwave tripping the breaker and provide expert solutions to help you fix the problem.

When your microwave breaker keeps tripping, it can be caused by various factors, ranging from a faulty door switch to a malfunctioning magnetron. Understanding the root cause of the problem is the first step toward resolving it.

An overhead view of a kitchen with a microwave on the countertop and the microwave is plugged into an outlet on the wall. The circuit breaker box is visible in the background. The switch for the microwave’s circuit breaker is flipped to the off position.

In the following sections, we will explain the role of circuit breakers and investigate why your microwave might be overloading the electrical system. We will also discuss the common causes behind a microwave repeatedly tripping the breaker and provide troubleshooting steps to fix it.

If you have exhausted all options and your microwave continues to cause breaker-tripping issues, we will offer guidance on seeking professional help to address the problem. Finally, we will provide tips for preventive maintenance measures to avoid future electrical issues.

Understanding Circuit Breakers and Microwave Overloads

Understanding Circuit Breakers and Microwave Overloads

Before discussing why your microwave might be tripping the breaker, it’s important to understand how circuit breakers work and their role in electrical safety.

Circuit breakers act as a safety feature in electrical systems. They automatically cut off the power supply to a circuit when the current exceeds a specific limit to prevent electrical fires and other hazards.

When a microwave draws too much current from an electrical outlet, it can overload the circuit, causing the circuit breaker to trip. This is a safety mechanism designed to protect your home from electrical damage and fires.

However, if your microwave is tripping the breaker repeatedly, it could indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

How to Check if Your Microwave is Overloading the Circuit

One way to identify if your microwave is overloading the circuit is to check the amperage rating of the appliance and compare it to the circuit breaker’s amperage rating. The amperage rating of your microwave can typically be found on the appliance’s nameplate.

For instance, if your microwave has an amperage rating of 10 Amps, but the circuit breaker is rated for 15 Amps, it might only trip sometimes when you use the microwave. However, if you use other appliances simultaneously on the same circuit, the total current drawn might exceed the circuit’s limit and trip the breaker.

Suppose your microwave is the only appliance on the circuit, and it trips the breaker repeatedly. In that case, it might be drawing more current than it should, indicating an electrical issue that needs to be addressed.

Other Reasons Your Microwave Might be Tripping the Breaker

Aside from overloading the circuit, there could be several other reasons why your microwave keeps tripping the breaker, including:

  • A faulty door switch preventing the microwave from turning off properly
  • A damaged power cord or plug
  • A malfunctioning magnetron
  • Moisture or debris inside the microwave

What to Do Next

In the next section, we will provide a detailed explanation of the troubleshooting steps that can be taken to identify and resolve the issue if you suspect that your microwave is causing the circuit breaker to trip.

However, suppose you’re uncomfortable working with electrical components or have tried the troubleshooting steps without success. In that case, it’s best to seek the assistance of a licensed electrician or an appliance repair technician.

It’s crucial to address the issue promptly to avoid potential electrical hazards and ensure the safe and efficient operation of your microwave.

Common Causes of Microwave Breaker Tripping

If your microwave keeps popping the breaker or blowing fuses, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. But before you can fix the problem, you need to understand what causes it.

  1. A common cause of microwave breaker tripping is a faulty door switch. If the door switch is not functioning correctly, the microwave may not shut off when the door is open, which can overload the system, causing the breaker to trip. To test the switch, you have the option of utilizing a multimeter to verify continuity.
  2. Another potential reason for the microwave breaker tripping is if there is a power cord that has been damaged. If the power cord has become frayed or compromised, it can lead to a short circuit and result in the breaker being tripped. Check the power cord carefully, and if you see any damage, replace it immediately.
  3. A malfunctioning magnetron can also cause your microwave to trip the breaker. The microwave’s operation relies on the magnetron, which generates the energy needed to cook your food. Should it fail to function properly, it can overload the system and lead to a tripped breaker. If you suspect that the magnetron is faulty, it is recommended to seek professional assistance to address and resolve this issue.
  4. Sometimes, a microwave breaker may trip due to a problem with the electrical outlet or the wiring in your home. Old or damaged electrical outlets may be unable to handle the microwave load, causing the breaker to trip. Make sure the outlet you’re using is rated for the right amperage and voltage, and if you find any signs of damage or wear, consider replacing it.
  5. Additionally, other devices connected to the same circuit can cause the microwave breaker to trip. If several appliances run simultaneously, the circuit may become overloaded and trip the breaker. Try unplugging other devices and see if the problem persists.

Table: Common Causes of Microwave Breaker Tripping

Faulty door switchTest switch with a multimeter; replace if necessary
Damage to the power cordReplace the power cord immediately if it is damaged or frayed
Malfunctioning magnetronSeek professional assistance to resolve the issue
Old or damaged electrical outletReplace with a properly rated outlet
Other devices on the same circuitUnplug other devices and try again

Troubleshooting Steps to Fix Your Microwave

Troubleshooting Steps to Fix Your Microwave

If your microwave keeps tripping the circuit breaker or GFCI, don’t panic. The good news is you can troubleshoot and fix the issue with basic electrical knowledge and household tools. Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the microwave: Before starting any troubleshooting, make sure the microwave is unplugged from the electrical outlet to avoid any accidents or electrical hazards.
  2. Check the power cord: Inspect the power cord for any damage or frayed wires. If you find any issues, replace the power cord with a new one.
  3. Inspect the door switch: A faulty one can cause the circuit breaker to trip. Check the door switch mechanism to ensure it’s working correctly. You can use a multimeter to test if the switch is functioning correctly.
  4. Check the electrical outlet: A faulty one can also cause the circuit breaker to trip. Test the outlet with a circuit tester to ensure it’s working correctly. If it’s not working, call an electrician to fix it.
  5. Test the microwave on a different circuit: Plug the microwave into a different outlet on a different circuit. If it doesn’t trip the breaker, the issue is likely with the initial circuit. If it still trips, move on to the next step.
  6. Inspect the magnetron: The magnetron is the part of the microwave responsible for producing heat. If it’s malfunctioning, it can cause the circuit breaker to trip. You may need to replace the magnetron or have it serviced by a professional.
  7. Consider the GFCI: If your microwave is on a GFCI-protected circuit, the GFCI may be tripping due to electrical leakage. Try replacing the GFCI with a new one and test if it resolves the issue.

By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and fix your microwave without the help of a professional. However, if the issue persists, it’s recommended to contact a professional technician who specializes in microwave repairs.

Upgrading Your Circuit Breaker for Microwave Use

If your troubleshooting efforts have prevented your microwave from causing the breaker to trip, consider upgrading your circuit breaker. A circuit breaker not designed to handle the electrical load of your microwave can cause it to overload and trip repeatedly.

It’s crucial to use the correct amperage rating for your microwave circuit breaker to ensure proper functionality and safety. Most microwaves require a 20-amp breaker, while some higher-end models may require a 30-amp breaker. Check the manufacturer’s instructions or consult an electrician to determine the appropriate amperage for your specific model.

Note: Choosing a higher amp circuit breaker than recommended by the manufacturer is not a solution. It can damage the microwave and pose a fire hazard.

When upgrading your circuit breaker, it’s important to choose one that is compatible with your electrical panel and meets the necessary safety standards. An electrician can help you install the new circuit breaker and ensure that it is properly grounded to prevent electrical issues in the future.

Below is a table showing the different amp ratings for circuit breakers and their corresponding wire sizes:

Circuit Breaker Amp RatingWire Size (AWG)
15 amps14 AWG
20 amps12 AWG
30 amps10 AWG

It’s important to note that if you’re uncomfortable working with electrical systems or don’t have the necessary knowledge and experience, it’s best to leave the circuit breaker upgrade to a licensed professional.

By upgrading your circuit breaker to the correct amperage and ensuring proper installation, you can prevent your microwave from causing the breaker to trip and enjoy trouble-free operation.

Ensuring Proper Grounding for Your Microwave

In case your microwave continues to trip the breaker despite completing the troubleshooting steps provided in section 4, it could be due to improper grounding. It is imperative to have appropriate grounding for the microwave to operate safely and efficiently.

You can troubleshoot for poor grounding by checking the power cord for damage or fraying. If the power cord is in good condition, check the electrical outlet for proper grounding using a voltage tester. If the outlet is not grounded, you may need to hire an electrician to install a grounded outlet.

Another way to ensure proper grounding is to use a surge protector with built-in grounding. This will protect your microwave from electrical surges and ensure it is properly grounded.

It is essential to use grounded appliances or extension cords only if they are specifically designed for use with microwaves.

Common Signs of Poor Grounding

"Humming" or "buzzing" sounds coming from the microwave.
Static electricity discharges from the microwave or the user.
The microwave may randomly turn on or off.

Addressing poor grounding can prevent further electrical issues with your microwave and ensure safe operation for you and your family.

Consulting an Expert for Microwave Repairs

Consulting an Expert for Microwave Repairs

If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and your microwave continues to trip the breaker, it’s time to seek professional help. A skilled technician specializing in microwave repairs can effectively diagnose and resolve the problem, restoring your microwave’s efficiency and safety.

When searching for a reliable service provider, consider factors like experience, training, and customer reviews. Look for certified professionals who have the knowledge and skills needed to tackle complex microwave repair issues.

An expert technician can inspect your microwave thoroughly and determine the root cause of the problem. They can also recommend appropriate solutions, including replacing faulty components, upgrading the circuit breaker, or replacing the entire microwave if necessary.

While it may be tempting to try DIY repairs, it’s important to remember that microwaves contain high-voltage components that can be dangerous if mishandled. Don’t take any unnecessary risks – contact a qualified technician who can get your microwave back up and running safely.

“Don’t take any unnecessary risks – contact a qualified technician who can get your microwave back up and running safely.”

Preventive Maintenance for a Trouble-Free Microwave

Proper maintenance is essential to avoid your microwave breaker tripping. Performing some simple preventive measures will help you extend the life of your microwave and reduce the chances of any electrical issues. Here are some tips to help keep your microwave in excellent condition:

  • Clean your microwave regularly: Food particles and spills can accumulate inside your microwave, leading to electrical problems. It’s essential to clean the interior of your microwave regularly. You can use a damp cloth or sponge and mild soap to wipe down the inside. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can damage the surface and cause permanent marks. The exterior of your microwave should also be cleaned regularly. This helps to prevent dust buildup, which can also cause electrical problems.
  • Avoid overloading your microwave: Overloading it can cause overwork, leading to electrical problems. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the maximum amount of food you can cook in your microwave at a given time. If you need to heat large or heavy items, use safe cookware for microwaving.
  • Check the power cord: The power cord is a vital part of your microwave. It’s essential to check the cord for any signs of damage, such as frayed wires or loose connections. If you notice any issues, get the cord replaced by a professional technician.
  • Inspect the door seals: The door seals are another crucial part of your microwave. They help to keep the heat and moisture in and prevent any electric shocks. Inspect the door seals regularly for damage or wear and tear. If you notice any issues, get them fixed immediately.
  • Keep your microwave in a cool, dry place: Humidity and moisture can contribute to electrical problems in your microwave. Always keep your microwave in a cool, dry place, away from any sources of water or moisture.
  • Get annual maintenance checks: Regular maintenance checks by a professional technician can help you detect any potential electrical problems before they become severe. Get your microwave checked annually to ensure its safe and reliable operation.

Following these simple preventive measures can ensure your microwave remains in excellent condition and prevent microwave breaker tripping. Remember that if your microwave continues to trip the breaker despite these preventative measures, it’s essential to seek professional help to diagnose and resolve the issue.


Congratulations on completing this comprehensive guide to troubleshooting and fixing a microwave that keeps tripping the breaker. We hope the information has helped resolve your issue and restore your microwave’s efficiency. Remember, a microwave breaker tripping can be caused by various factors such as a faulty door switch, damaged power cord, or improper grounding. It is crucial to follow the recommended troubleshooting steps and seek professional assistance if needed to ensure your safety and prevent further electrical issues.

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