My Whirlpool microwave is very convenient. But, recently it stopped working. I’ve repaired a lot of appliances myself so I looked into how to fix it and thought I’d share how to get it working again.
Overall, the circuit breaker can be off at the fuse box and needs to be turned on. If you have power but it’s not working then the control lock is on, the kitchen timer is on, energy save mode is on, or it’s in demo mode. The door can also not be closed all the way.
Below, I will explain step by step how to take it out of each of these modes, as well as the different checks you should do to get your Whirlpool microwave working again.
Whirlpool Microwave Not Working
There are two possible ways that a Whirlpool microwave isn’t working. The first is if it’s not getting power at all, and nothing lights up, the other is if it powers on but wont start. Here’s how to fix both.
Check that power is getting to your microwave by ensuring the circuit breaker is not in the off position at the fuse box. Also, verify it’s plugged in at the wall outlet and the wall outlet is turned on. Ensure that energy save mode, demo mode, the control lock, and countdown timer are cleared.
As well as, that the door is completely closed and nothing is obstructing the door latch. Full step by step instructions are explained below.
First I’ll cover when your Whirlpool microwave doesn’t power on at all. And after that I’ll cover when it powers on, and the lights work, but the control panel is blank, or it won’t start and won’t heat food/drink. All of these steps are incredibly easy.
1. Verify that it’s plugged in and that the circuit breaker is on
As simple as it sounds, it’s important to check this step off the list. Locate the wall outlet that the microwave is plugged into. Some microwaves are built into the cabinetry, and won’t be plugged into an accessible wall outlet. In which case, you can only verify it’s getting power at the fuse box.
Where it is plugged into the wall, ensure it’s plugged in all the way, and that the switch at the wall outlet is on. Some have a switch while others don’t. Once you’ve done this step locate your fuse box.
The fuse box is the central hub that controls power to the different areas of your home. The circuit breaker can have clicked into the neutral or off position due to a power surge. Or, if a part of the house tried to draw too much power at once. This can happen if you’ve using multi plugs. These are where there is an extra device that’s plugged into the wall outlet to provide additional plugs. 2 and 4 way multi plugs are the most common in my experience. But, I’ve also seen 8-way multiplugs.
Also multi-plugs can have an inbuilt circuit breaker that is tripped, and can have an on off button. Ensure that it’s also turned on, and also you can press the reset button. Just bear in mind that it will cut power to all the devices that are plugged into it.
Which can be a bit of a hassle if the devices will be reset to factory settings. Such as a fridge or the like. But, if you definitely got no power to your microwave, it’s plugged in and the circuit breaker is turned on then this is the next best option to try.
If you’ve done all of these steps double check you’re not getting any power at all by opening the door of your microwave and seeing if the light comes on. If not, there is likely an internal component has blown on your microwave and will need to be replaced.
Considering whether to repair or replace it if it’s still not powering on
For cheaper Whirlpool microwaves that are in the $200 price range it can be economical to just buy a whole new one. Especially, when you factor in the time it takes to get a replacement part and replace it yourself. Or, have a repair technician replace it for you.
But, for more expensive Whirlpool microwaves, it can make sense to have it repaired. Many Whirlpool microwaves also have a manufacturer’s warranty. It’s worth checking if the repair is covered by warranty by enquiring with Whirlpool through this page on their official website. Or, if you have the warranty card that came with your microwave.
The following steps pertain to when your Whirlpool microwave has power, and the light comes on when you open the door. You can also check the wall outlet by plugging in another device like a phone charger to make sure it’s getting power. All are very easy to perform yourself.
2. The door latch is blocked by something or not closed all the way
The door will provide a reassuring click as it’s closed all the way. But, sometimes packing material can be caught in the door latch, and stops the computer from registering that the door is closed.
As a result, it will not start. Open the door and inspect the door latch mechanism on both the door and the part that the door latch clicks into and remove anything that can be caught in it. Also, ensure that the piece of crockery that you’re cooking the food in isn’t too large and is pressing against the door.
3. Energy save mode is enabled – it makes the control panel appear off
When the microwave is not in use some Whirlpool microwave models have an energy save mode. This disables the display on the control panel screen when it hasn’t been used for a time. Once you press a button the screen will light up again.
This feature can also be disabled or enabled as you choose. It’s accessed from the clock settings on your microwave. Bear in mind that only certain models have this feature. How to enable or disable it also differs by model.
To turn it on or off refer to the instructions in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have your owners manual you can download it from the official Whirlpool website. Click this link to go there and input your model number. The model number is in the bottom left next to the door hinge, when you open your microwave.
4. Control lock is enabled and needs to be disabled
The control lock stops any keys on the control panel from doing anything when it’s enabled. It’s turned on and off by holding the ‘clear/cancel’ button for 3 seconds. If you look closely on the button directly below it in grey lettering it says ‘control lock’.
When it’s enabled there will be a padlock icon on the display.
5. Countdown timer is on and needs to be cleared
There is a countdown timer function on Whirlpool microwaves. This is like an egg timer, that is helpful for if you’re waiting for food to sit after it has been microwaved. Or, for measuring how long to boil something such as potatoes, rice, or eggs.
When it’s on you can’t start the microwave, or set the cook time until you press the cancel/clear button. It’s located in the bottom left of the control panel and has a ‘x’ in the middle of it. Press that button to clear the countdown timer. Then press cook time, put in how much time you want to cook for, and then press start.
6. Demo mode is enabled which won’t turn the cooking function on
Demo mode is a setting that microwaves are put on when they are displayed in a showroom. This allows it to light up and the control panel to work. But, the heating function won’t work. It’s a safety measure as if some customers accidentally start it with no food in the microwave it can damage the microwave. Demo mode can be disabled using the steps shown in this video:
Whirlpool Microwave Won’t Turn On
I find using my Whirlpool microwave easy and fast. But, I’ve had an issue where it won’t turn on at all. Here’s the steps to do to troubleshoot this issue.
Generally, this indicates that no power is going to your Whirlpool microwave. This is caused by it being unplugged from the wall outlet, the wall outlet is off, or the circuit breaker is off on the fuse box. Verify it’s plugged in, the wall outlet is on, and the circuit breaker is on.
Each of these steps is explained in step by step detail at the start of this article. Scroll to the top and follow the instructions in step 1. It’s labelled ‘1. Verify that it’s plugged in and that the circuit breaker is on’.
If you’ve verified that your microwave is getting power but still won’t turn on, it can be because of the other reasons listed in the steps. Particularly, that it’s in power save mode.
They’re all very easy to perform and take hardly any time at all. So do each of them. I’ve also included what to do when you try each of the steps and it’s still not working just below the first step at the top of this article.
Whirlpool Microwave Has Power but Will Not Start
When your Whirlpool microwave lights up, either when you open the door, or when the digital display lights up it’s very reassuring. But, there can be a range of issues that will stop it from starting that you need to check through to get it to start. Here’s what they are:
Overall, begin by verifying the control lock is not on, the door is closed firmly, the countdown timer is not running, demo mode is disabled, and that it’s not in power save mode. Also, to operate a Whirlpool microwave select ‘cook time’ input the time required, and then press start.
Each of these steps have been covered in step by step detail above. Start with step number 2, which is labelled ‘2. The door latch is blocked by something or not closed all the way.’ Follow that step and the additional steps to get your Whirlpool microwave to start.
Whirlpool Microwave Not Heating at All
I’ve run into an issue where microwaves I’ve had don’t heat at all. Since I’m on the topic of Whirlpool microwaves I looked into how to fix this issue, and thought I’d share how to fix this issue.
Generally, not enough power is getting to the microwave. This can occur, if an attachment is plugged into the wall socket such as an inverter. Or, if you’re drawing power from a generator. Also, food can be hot on the inside but the exterior is cool and needs to be cooked for longer.
The first step is to verify that it is indeed not heating at all using a simple test with a glass of water. Place a glass of water in your microwave and run it for 1 minute on the default setting. Do this by pressing ‘cook time’ then input 1 minute, and press start.
After it finishes, inspect the water for steam, or lightly touch the glass to see if it is warmer. If it hasn’t changed temperature at all then it’s likely in demo mode. Demo mode is a setting that won’t allow it to heat, but everything else on your microwave works.
I explained how to disable demo mode above in the list of 6 steps to take to get your microwave to work when it isn’t working. Look for step number 6 that says ‘6. Demo mode is enabled which won’t turn the cooking function on. Follow that step to disable demo mode.
It’s common that a lot of food or dense food needs to be cooked for much longer than you would think. For example, I would regularly microwave sweet potatoes.
After about 5 minutes the exterior would be hardly warm, but I know from experience that the interior is very hot. It needs longer to cook for the entire sweet potato to become hot. The same is true of a large bowl of rice.
Whirlpool Microwave Not Heating Evenly
I’ve found that food I cook in the microwave can not heat evenly. For example, one corner of the food will be hot, while the remainder is still lukewarm. Here’s what causes it.
As a general rule, this is normal. It occurs due to different densities in the food. More dense foods take longer to heat up. Liquids also tend to take longer to heat up compared to solid food. In the owner’s manual it’s recommended to stir food after 5 minutes, and then continue cooking it.
I would use my Whirlpool microwave to cook rice. I would run it for 5 minutes, and then stir it. When I took it out to stir it I would notice the left corner of the rice had started to expand and was much warmer than the rest of the rice.
As a microwave cooks food minor heating differences can snowball making them get much hotter than the rest. The owners manual for Whirlpool microwaves recommends only cooking for 5 minutes. Then stopping it, and stirring the food before cooking it again if required.
I noticed the rice becomes perfectly cooked even though it cooks unevenly. Dense foods take longer than less dense foods. Also, if the food is straight out of the refrigerator it will take longer to cook, than room temperature food.
Food also tends to heat from the inside out. So, the interior will become much hotter than the exterior, and you need to mix it to heat it all the way through evenly.
Generally, this because it’s not getting power due to the circuit breaker being off. Or, it is not being plugged in and switched on at the wall outlet. There are also a range of settings that can cause it not to work such as demo mode, the countdown timer, and control lock.