Getting an Electric Shock when you Touch a Microwave? Here’s what to Do

Do you get a mild electric shock when you touch the microwave housing? An electric shock whether mild or not poses a danger to your health and needs to be investigated right away.

In fact, you should discontinue the use of the microwave until you’ve addressed the fault for your own safety. This post highlights why you might be receiving an electric shock from the microwave and what you can do to solve the problem.

Note: Always consult the services of a qualified electrician.

Why you Get an Electric Shock from a Microwave?

If you’re getting a shock, it might be that:

1. There’s no proper ground connection. Yes, you can receive an electric shock when you touch the case of the microwave if it is not properly grounded.

Make sure the microwave power cord is plugged into a grounded 3-prong outlet. Do not remove the ground prong.

2. The microwave is faulty. Damaged electrical insulation that exposes a live or neutral wire to the case may be the reason you get an electrical shock (if the microwave is not properly grounded or connected to a GFCI-protected outlet)

A GFCI-protected outlet trips and breaks the electrical connection should there be a sufficiently high enough leakage of current to pose a danger.

Stop using the microwave. Make sure that it is always plugged into a GFCI-protected outlet. Contact a qualified electrician.

3. The adapter or extension you’re using is faulty. You may also get an electric shock if the microwave is plugged into a faulty extension or adapter, where the live or neutral wires leak current to the ground.

If using an adapter or extension, use a ground tester to check if there is a wiring fault. Discontinue the use of the adapter and plug the microwave directly into the wall outlet.

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Can an Unplugged Microwave Still Shock you?

An unplugged microwave will not shock you provided it has not been disassembled. If taken apart, you may get an electric shock when you touch the connections of the high voltage capacitor.

The capacitor continues to holds a charge for some time even when the microwave is unplugged. This charge gradually reduces over time. Make sure the capacitor is safely discharged.

How to Discharge a Microwave Capacitor?

1. Wait for it to discharge. There’s usually a resistor that discharges it but it can take a while.

2. Alternatively, you can use a metallic screw drive blade to short out the capacitor terminals too.

Tips to Fix a Microwave that’s Shocking You

Always plug the microwave into a grounded 3-prong wall outlet. Are you using an extension or adaptor? Is the microwave plugged into a well-grounded 3-prong wall outlet?

Ifso, avoid using an extension or adapter and instead plug the microwave into a grounded 3-prong wall outlet unless they are properly grounded.

Discontinue using the microwave in case of an electric shock. Do not hesitate to contact a qualified electrician for support.

Closing Thoughts

If you get an electric shock when you touch the case of a microwave then it is possible that the microwave is not grounded.

The microwave may be faulty, connected to a faulty extension or adaptor. Always contact a qualified electrician for support.

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