The Microwave Gets Hot On Top! (Explained)

While a microwave is engineered to warm food and/or anything that is placed inside the appliance, it’s also important to look at the outside too.

This can often be a telltale sign of how the microwave is working and whether or not it’s in good shape.

A common sign people tend to notice is when the microwave gets hot on top.

If the microwave gets hot on top, the most common reason is extended use. This will warm the appliance and cause the top to get hotter. There is nothing to worry about when this occurs and it will settle down once the microwave is turned off.

It’s normal to assume there is something wrong with the microwave when it’s hot on top. You will want to resolve the issue.

However, there is nothing wrong with a microwave being hot on top. This is to be expected and it’s common with all types of microwaves.

Here is a look at a few reasons a microwave gets hot on top.

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Reasons Microwave Gets Hot On Top

1. Running For A Long Time

Microwaves get hot from the outside and there is nothing wrong with it.

If a microwave is hot on top, the most common reason is going to be something as simple as it running for an extended period.

For example, let’s assume you have been warming a plate of food for 3+ minutes. This will be enough for the exterior to warm.

This happens due to the heat inside expanding outward.

It is not dangerous and it will eventually die down once the appliance stops warming the food.

Most people only notice this when a microwave has been running for a while. You will touch the side or top of the microwave and realize it’s warmer than it otherwise would be.

This is just due to the microwave being left on for a while.

Don’t assume there is something wrong with the microwave. For the most part, it is just a natural occurrence due to the heat expanding outward.

microwave gets hot on top

2. Interior Lamp

Now it is time to take a look at specific components that will cause a microwave to get warm from the outside.

In general, the most common part that is going to be the troublemaker here would be the interior lamp.

When the lamp is turned on, it is going to be hot. This is going to increase as the lamp continues to remain on when the food is inside.

You will notice how that part of the microwave is going to be warmer than the rest even when it is not turned on.

This is due to the interior lamp’s heat.

3. Magnetron

Another component that will have a microwave get warm on top would be the magnetron.

This is the heart of the microwave and is going to generate a good amount of heat.

In a functional microwave, this is a part that is going to be working as soon as the appliance is turned on. This is how it is designed to be working and that is what you are going to expect it to do.

Your goal should be to make sure the magnetron is in working condition.

If it is, you are going to notice things such as the microwave getting warmer with time.

microwave gets hot on top

4. Room Temperature

Have you considered the impact of the room’s temperature?

This is one of those details you might skip over because it’s too simple. However, a microwave getting warmer on top is often a straightforward issue and nothing to fret about anyway.

This is why you are going to have to consider the placement of the microwave and the room’s temperature.

If it is hot in the room, the microwave is going to get warmer on top.

Heat will rise, which means the top is going to be warmer than the rest of the appliance. Be prepared for this, especially if the room is already hot.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons a microwave gets hot on top.

If a microwave gets hot on top, the most common reason is heat rising because the appliance has been heating food for a while. This is often due to the interior lamp and/or magnetron. There is nothing to fix and the temperature will go down as soon as the microwave is turned off.

Do not attempt to change anything as this is common with any appliance that heats food. It could be a stove or a microwave.

Just continue to use the appliance and then turn it off once you are done. This will be enough to get the results you are hoping for.

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