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Why Do Microwave Turntables Break? (Explained & Solved!)

Antonio Forde
Updated: July 4, 2024
5 min read

While it does not often happen, microwave turntables do shatter or split.

Read on to find out the reasons behind your revolving tray breaking. 

Here’s Why Microwave Turntables Break:

Microwave turntables break primarily due to normal wear and tear. Small cracks and chips on the glass or ceramic cause weak spots, making the tray more vulnerable to breaking as it heats up. Turntables can easily shatter as they become brittle with age.

Can You Still Use the Microwave if the Turntable Is Broken?


Certainly. Even with the turntable broken, you can still use your microwave oven as long as the glass door is not damaged.

Just be cautious.

If the revolving tray already has cracks, you should replace it with a new one to avoid serious accidents later. Even with small chips, turntables can easily break when heated up. 

It is usual for your turntable to develop wear and tear due to use. Over time, it will likely acquire marks on the tray surface, causing weak spots.

If a broken tray is subjected to uneven heat or overheating, it will likely break easily.

Once this happens, the hot food inside will spill and may cause burns when the particles get to your skin.

There is no use patching up cracked trays with glue. The heat in the microwave will just melt the adhesive.

Save yourself the hassle by looking for a replacement early. 

If you cannot find a substitute tray, do not worry. You can still use your microwave oven without a turntable.

The appliance will function properly. It is just that the food will not cook evenly and uniformly as when you are using a revolving tray.

The turntable’s function is to ensure that the heat produced in the oven spreads and gets absorbed in every part of the food you are cooking or heating. I have explained exactly why a microwave rotates here.

It is used to prevent hot and cold spots produced by microwave interferences when warming up food.

Without the turntable, the food you place inside the oven will be stationary but still, turn out okay. You just need to manually rotate it during heating to guarantee even cooking.

There should be no issue in safety with running the microwave oven without the revolving tray.

In fact, there are other models with functions to stop the turntable rotation. This is useful when the container you will put inside the oven is too big.

Some microwave ovens do not even include the turntable feature. Instead, they have stirring blades under the flatbed.

These blades are essential to distribute the heat to the food uniformly.

Note: If you’re worrying that your microwave turntable might break soon because it switches direction every time you use it, don’t worry. In fact, it’s supposed to switch directions, I have explained why microwave turntables switch directions here.

How Can You Fix a Broken Microwave Turntable?

There is no way to fix a broken microwave turntable. The best recourse you have is to find a replacement so you can use it for cooking or warming food again.

A microwave oven is a convenient appliance that you can use day in and day out, but it can be a potential hazard once it shows wear and tear.

You should always follow the oven manufacturer’s instructions for operational procedures and safety measures.

Breakage in the turntable is bound to happen due to constant use. Sometimes, improper handling can result in chips and cracks.

Glass turntables are susceptible to breakage when struck with force using heavy objects. The same applies to those made in ceramics.

Meanwhile, revolving plastic trays become stressed and break easily under too much heat.

If the problem is with the turntable not spinning, you can diagnose the issue by troubleshooting. Sometimes, all it takes is a little tinkering and cleaning.

The most common reason for this is a problem with the turntable motor. Another probable cause is an issue with the tray drive coupling being broken or stripped out.

The turntable not revolving as it should may also be due to a problem with the tray support or the roller guide under the tray.

If you suspect a severe mechanical problem, you should contact a certified appliance repair technician. 

Never use super glue or epoxy for turntables and interior repairs. 

The adhesive will just melt in the microwave heat. The glued seam may also turn into a hot spot hazard. If there are bubbles or hollow spaces in the glue, it may lead to popping and breakage later on.

It is also difficult to rely on the microwave-safe glues advertised in the market.

If you decide to use one, you should always check if the formula is safe for use in ovens.

If you do not want to leave everything to chance, you should look for a turntable replacement. Just make sure to get the correct size to fit nicely inside the oven cavity.

If in doubt, you should contact the official manufacturer of your microwave oven and ask for suggestions regarding turntable replacement.

Where Can You Buy a Microwave Turntable Replacement?

Microwave trays are sold separately, so you can readily get one from any appliance store or a local supermarket near you.

You can also buy it online at Amazon and have it delivered at home.

You’ll need to check which one fits your microwave, the most popular microwave turntable is the HQRP Turntable.

Turntables need to be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure peak performance. They can be very durable, but replacement is your only option in cases of breakage.

Revolving trays are quite technical in their variations, with size as the most significant differentiator.

Due to their importance to the microwave oven’s functionality, choosing the appropriate replacement for your appliance is necessary.

You must consider several factors in choosing a turntable. 

One is size. Your substitute tray should be the same diameter as the old one to fit inside the oven cavity. It is best to buy a new turntable based on the make and model of your microwave.

You can determine the correct size by measuring the old tray using a measuring tape or a long ruler. Measuring the microwave’s interior is also important to get the right fit for the turntable diameter.

Turntable sizes can vary from the smallest 9.6 inches in diameter to the largest 16.5 inches. Heavy-duty models can have even larger trays.

If you get the wrong tray size, the disc will keep on stopping and tilting whenever you use your appliance.

Aside from the size, you should also consider the coupler underneath the plate. This contraption is responsible for the turntable rotation when the oven is in use.

You should also bear in mind the plate roller’s inside and outside diameters if your appliance has any.

Written by
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.
Have any questions? Write us a message.
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.