Whirlpool Microwave Light Won’t Turn Off | Solved

When it comes to appliances, many choose the trusted Whirlpool brand of microwaves in their homes, apartments, or RVs. The brand offers valuable features and sizes to meet individual and family cooking needs and upholds a reputation for well-made appliances. 

However, when the interior Whirlpool microwave light won’t turn off, the appreciation can turn to frustration. 

Take a look at some troubleshooting tips and get back to loving, rather than loathing, your Whirpool microwave. 

Whirlpool Microwave Light Won’t Turn Off

You get comfortable in your recliner relaxing for a bit in the evening and out of the corner of your eye, there is a light. It’s not the bathroom, not the hallway light, and it’s not coming in from your windows – it’s the microwave. Can’t get it to turn off? 

Check Buttons on the Control Panel

Some Whirlpool microwaves have separate on and off buttons for the light. If these buttons are not maintained properly, the buttons may get stuck, or the touchpad might not recognize the appropriate touchpoint.

I recommend keeping the on and off buttons or touchpad clean particularly standard raised circuit buttons as opposed to a flat capacitive button. Stuck on food, a build-up of grease and other debris may become embedded in between the standard raised buttons, causing a jam and consequently meaning the light may remain on. 

When you push the button for the light on the microwave, it usually makes an audible sound, such as a beep or ding. If you don’t hear the beep, the button is stuck and not functioning correctly.

Clean the surface areas with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth, and if required use a cotton bud or a toothpick to clean in between buttons. The manufacturer recommends no use of chemicals when cleaning the keypad, as harsh chemicals can cause damage. 

Check That the Door Is Fully Shut

The door not being fully closed seems like an obvious solution. If your Whirlpool microwave light won’t turn off after wiping the control panel or buttons, the issue could be a problem with the actual door latch.

The Whirlpool microwave’s door latch may stop engaging for several reasons. A key microwave design feature is that the light inside will turn on when the unit is in use, or the door opens. If your microwave light is on and the door is closed, the microwave reads the door as open, and the microwave will not operate.

The first step is taking a good look at the door. Is there any food residue or grease buildup around the seal or on the metal door latch? It is also possible that a piece of paper towel or debris is sticking to the latching mechanism.

First, unplug the microwave, and clean the door and latch area. Concentrate on the latch, but wash other parts of the door that may affect its closing.

It may seem obvious, but something as simple as a paper towel or food debris will prevent the microwave door from fully closing. 

Using a paper towel to absorb grease or cover food while cooking is a great idea. However, make sure that the paper towel is not hanging over the front edge of the microwave. If it slips down, the door and seal will not make full contact, and the door will read as open. 

You may also like to read Should You Leave Microwave Door Open After Use

Damaged or Broken Door Latch

If your microwave light will not turn off and it appears that the door is closed, it’s likely that the metal door latch may be damaged. 

A microwave door will make a clicking sound when closed. If you don’t hear that sound, push lightly on the door to see if it is fully engaged. If the door edges back open without pulling on the handle, the door is not shutting correctly and you have a latch problem.

Open your microwave and closely inspect the entire hook-like metal arm of the latch mechanism. The door latch can bend, break or cease up over time, especially if the door repeatedly closes forcefully.

Is the arm slightly bent? Unplug your microwave and use a set of pliers to gently straighten the fixture. Always make adjustments in small increments and test the door each time. A broken latch arm requires a complete replacement of the mechanism. 

If the latch is ceased due to corrosion or dirt, then clean the debris and use a drop of 3-in-1 type oil or light cooking oil and work the mechanism loose. Then thoroughly clean dry and residual oil.

Test the light for functionality when the door closes with a loud click. If it works then you know the root cause of the issue. However, I would still recommend buying a new replacement latch.

Did You Recently Change the Light Bulb?

The light bulb will last quite a while but eventually requires replacement. A light bulb is easy to change, right? Not necessarily. If you simply unscrew the old bulb and install the new one, the fact that your Whirlpool microwave light won’t turn off might be your own fault!

It is essential to unplug your microwave before attempting to change the lightbulb. The instruction and care manual specifically instructs owners to follow these steps, but many of us forget or ignore the information.

If you fail to follow this simple step of unplugging the unit and installing a replacement light bulb, the control board can easily sustain damage by power fluctuations. 

If the replacement bulb is a halogen light, do not touch the bulb’s surface – only handle the bulb by the base. If you touch a halogen lightbulb, the oils from your fingers transfer and cause heat spots or cause the bulb to malfunction; this is an expensive lesson to learn. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for the correct replacement bulb. 

Stovetop Light Under Microwave Won’t Turn Off

The light under your stovetop microwave adds extra light when you need it. If this light won’t turn off, you will need to follow the guidelines below to establish the root cause. Let’s take a look at a few steps to take to try and solve the problem.

Control Panel Failure

When you touch or push a button, the control board sends commands to your Whirlpool Microwave. On rare occasions, the control board may not be responsive or fail to work. 

The control panel may be damaged if you recently changed the lightbulb or performed any maintenance without unplugging the microwave. Electrical surges caused by power outages can also cause damage to the control panel. 

To determine if the microwave light issue is related to the control board, a quick look might show any damage. Always remember to unplug your microwave before attempting any maintenance. Another comment sign is that the microwave fan is also affected. It may be stuck on or not work at all. In this case, you can be sure you have a damaged control panel.

Most microwave control panels are behind the keypad or side wall of the unit. To locate the control board, consult the owner’s manual. If you didn’t keep yours when you purchased your microwave, a quick Google search with the model number will take you to the Whirpool site, where you can search for your manual

Accessing the control panel cannot be done without a screwdriver and may require the removal of one or more covers in the microwave. 

Microwave Light Stays On When Door Closed

Your microwave door is closed correctly. You check for food or grease buildup under and around the buttons, which are clean as a whistle. There is nothing between the door seal and the door, such as a paper towel or piece of food. The latch is not broken or bent, and you haven’t changed the light bulb. 

What else could be causing your microwave light to stay on?  

Faulty Door Switch

If your light doesn’t go off in your Whirlpool microwave, it could have a bad door interlock switch mechanism. The door switch is a simple on/off relay mechanism that connects an electrical current to the control panel every time the door is open or closed. Microwaves are built with three switches, usually on or behind the control panel. 

The switches consist of a primary, secondary, and monitor switch that all trigger accordingly and prevent the microwave from cooking while the door is open. Damage to any of the door switches will cause the microwave to malfunction; these malfunctions may include the light remaining on even with a shut door.

Opening the microwave door whilst the microwave is still in use is the primary and most common cause of door switch failure. Always hit the STOP button before opening your microwave door.

Test the door panel switch or switches with an ohmmeter for continuity. If the ohmmeter indicates faulty readings, the switch can be removed or replaced, potentially correcting the issue with your microwave light.

Faulty Door Switch Mount

Even if your door clicks shut, you can still experience problems due to failed switch or also loose or broken door switch mounts. Slamming the microwave oven door shut can damage the plastic mount that holds the door switches in place, or loosen the retaining screws. As the mount becomes lose it can rotate or lead to the mounting tab breaking off. Both of these interfere with an accurate connection between the two elements of the door switches preventing them from activating.

There is a very basic test to check the connection of the door switch. When the microwave door is closed, gently lift the door up to create a small amount of movement between the switch connection points. You are checking to see if this movement results in the light going off. If the light goes off you have aligned the switches, meaning they were out of position. In this case, they will need tightening or replacing.

Reset the Light on Whirlpool Microwave

Press or tap the clear button on your microwave. The display may not indicate that the microwave is waiting for input, but it is in hold mode. 

If pushing the keypad clear-function button is of no help, unfortunately, there is no magic reset for just the light on a Whirlpool microwave. You can, however, reset the entire microwave quite easily. 

To reset your microwave to factory settings, simply unplug the power source. You can do this by unplugging the microwave from the wall or flipping the circuit breaker. 

Since the capacitors in your microwave hold a sizeable charge for a while, leave the unit unplugged or the circuit breaker turned off for at least five minutes. If possible, leave the unit unplugged overnight.

Plug the microwave back into the wall or flip the breaker to the on position. The microwave will reset to factory settings, which may correct the issue with the light remaining on. 

Contact Customer Service

If you have tried each of these steps and no suggestion works, it is time to contact customer service for additional assistance. 

  • Try the Whirlpool product help page and search for the model number of your microwave for in-depth tips. 
  • Whirlpool offers a FAQ page that may provide helpful information.
  • If an online chat is your preference, try here and tap on the chat button.
  • Technical assistance can also be reached by calling or emailing.

A quick Google search provides listings and locations of authorized appliance repair shops in and around your area if contacting Whirlpool customer service doesn’t provide a solution. 

Solved: Whirlpool Microwave Light Won’t Turn Off

A Whirpool microwave oven is built to last an average of five to seven years, depending on use, and care they undergo while in service. 

With the costs of a microwave ranging from a hundred to several hundred dollars, you should consider the full cost of the repair. Does the total cost of repairs outweigh the price of a replacement appliance? 

Always start with the most basic steps when troubleshooting. The easiest thing to check for a microwave light that won’t turn off is the cleanliness of the buttons and keypad. If that doesn’t fix the issue, a quick inspection of the door and seal is next. If none of these steps work, try the remaining troubleshooting suggestions or reach out to Whirlpool customer service so you can fix your Whirlpool microwave light that won’t turn off. 

Website | + posts

Having renovated two homes and completed countless repairs, it was time to share this experience with the world. From repairing kitchen appliances to remodeling entire homes, my 30 years of experience will hopefully help you on your journey to a beautiful and functional home

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *