How to Reset a Kenmore Microwave to Restore Normal Functioning

Categorized as Microwave Repair and Troubleshooting
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Microwaves make meal preparation efficient and fast. Just pop your food in, set the timer, and have a hot meal ready in minutes. Kenmore is a leading microwave brand in many American households.

But like any appliance, microwaves can malfunction over time. You might face issues like:

  • Microwave not heating food properly
  • Touchpad buttons not responding
  • Display showing error messages
  • Microwave turning off on its own

Resetting your Kenmore microwave can often resolve such basic operational issues. This guides the appliance to refresh its memory and restore factory settings.

Read this simple guide to learn how to quickly reset your Kenmore microwave through different methods.

Why Reset a Kenmore Microwave?

Resetting clears any faulty programming that could be disrupting the microwave’s normal functioning. It reverts the appliance back to original factory settings.

Resetting is recommended if your microwave displays any of these common problems:

  • Not heating food properly
  • Turning off unexpectedly
  • Display not working correctly
  • Touchpad buttons are unresponsive
  • Spinning turntable stops moving
  • Unusual error messages on display

Resetting often resolves such basic issues. In some cases, it may indicate a deeper problem that requires professional repair.

How to Reset a Kenmore Microwave

Kenmore microwaves do not have a dedicated reset button. However, you can reset it through these simple steps:

Soft Reset

A soft reset reboots your microwave’s memory without fully powering down the appliance.

Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Stop/Clear button on the control panel. Hold it down for 3 seconds.
  2. This will clear any existing programming and refresh the memory.
  3. Try using the microwave normally to check if the issue is resolved.

This quick process often fixes minor glitches in the programming that disrupt normal use.

Power Reset

A power reset turns the microwave fully off and restarts it to restore factory presets.

Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the microwave from the electrical outlet.
  2. Leave it unplugged for 30 minutes. This clears any residual power.
  3. Plug the microwave back in and turn on the power supply.
  4. The microwave will boot up with original factory settings.

Reset Clock

If the clock display is faulty, reset it to the correct time after resetting the appliance.

Follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Stop/Clear button for 3 seconds after resetting the microwave.
  2. Press the Clock button.
  3. Enter the current time using the number keys. Press Start to confirm AM or PM.

This resets the clock display to show the accurate time again.

Why is My Kenmore Microwave Not Working?

When resetting the appliance does not resolve problems, there could be more serious technical faults in specific components that require professional repair.

Microwave Not Heating Food Properly

  • Faulty Diode: The diode is a crucial component that converts incoming alternating current (AC) electricity to direct current (DC) electricity. This DC power is needed to generate the high voltages required to operate the magnetron and create heating. If the diode is burnt out or cracked, it cannot properly amplify magnetron voltage, resulting in insufficient microwave power for cooking food. The damaged diode will need to be replaced.
  • Blown Thermal Fuse: The thermal fuse is a safety mechanism that breaks the flow of electricity when the microwave overheats past safe limits. Once the fuse blows, it will not reset on its own and needs to be replaced. A blown thermal fuse is often caused by accumulated debris and grease restricting airflow and causing the microwave to overheat internally.

Microwave Turning Off While In Use

  • Faulty Door Switch: This is a safety switch that automatically cuts power when the microwave door is opened. If the door switch is defective, it can disrupt normal operation by turning off power at random even when the door is fully closed. The door switch will need to be inspected and replaced if found to be malfunctioning.
  • Tripped Thermal Protector: The thermal protector is a heat sensor designed to automatically shut down microwave power if overheating is detected. This acts as a precautionary measure to prevent internal damage. If food or debris have clogged the microwave’s ventilation, it can trip the thermal protector. The system will need to be reset after clearing any obstructions.

Microwave Turntable Not Rotating

  • Broken Drive Coupling: The drive coupling is a small plastic component that connects the turntable motor so that it can rotate the glass plate. If the coupling is damaged or worn out, the turntable will fail to spin even though the motor is running. The broken drive coupling will need to be replaced.
  • Blocked Motor: The turntable motor can seize up if debris or foreign objects get lodged in it, preventing proper rotation. The obstruction will need to be cleared out so the motor can run smoothly again.

Unresponsive Microwave Touchpad

  • Damaged Control Panel: The membrane of buttons under the external glass/plastic control panel can get damaged, causing buttons to not respond properly to presses. The whole control panel assembly may need replacement.
  • Defective Membrane Control: This is the layer of tactile switches and buttons beneath the control panel. Cracks or malfunctions in this membrane can disrupt signals from button presses.
  • Faulty Central Control Board: This is the key electronics board that processes input signals from the touchpad and controls all the microwave programming. Any damage or defects in this main control board can lead to unresponsive touchpad operation. The central control board will need troubleshooting and potential replacement.

For such internal faults, it is best to contact Kenmore customer support to arrange for professional diagnosis and repair by an authorized technician. Attempting microwave repair oneself can be hazardous due to the risk of exposure to high voltage components.

FAQs About Resetting Kenmore Microwave

Does pressing Stop/Clear delete saved presets?

No, the Stop/Clear button only resets temporary cooking settings. It does not affect any permanently saved presets.

Should I unplug before resetting the microwave?

It is not essential, but recommended. Unplugging cuts off any residual electricity as an extra precautionary step.

How long should I leave the microwave unplugged?

Leave it unplugged for at least 30 minutes for the reset to be effective. This ensures any remaining energy is drained out before restarting.

Why does my microwave display show ERR after resetting?

Displaying error messages like ERR means there is a technical fault with the microwave’s control mechanisms. Contact Kenmore support as this requires repair.

I reset my microwave but it still won’t heat up. What do I do?

If resetting does not resolve heating issues, it likely indicates faulty internal components like bad magnetron, diode burnout, or damaged fuses. Have a certified technician inspect and repair it.

Key Takeaways on Resetting Kenmore Microwave

  • Kenmore microwaves do not have a dedicated reset button. Use the Stop/Clear key instead.
  • Press and hold Stop/Clear for 3+ seconds to soft reset the programming.
  • Unplug the microwave for 30+ minutes for a hard reset to factory defaults.
  • Resetting can fix minor issues like unresponsive touchpad or incorrect display.
  • For major problems like no heating or shutting down, professional service is required.
  • After resetting, reprogram the clock and any saved presets if needed.
  • Contact Kenmore support if problems persist after resetting.

Resetting your Kenmore microwave is easy and can restore normal functioning if it develops minor glitches. But for complicated faults, rely on authorized technicians to provide reliable repairs and keep your appliance working safely.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!

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