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How Long Do Microwaves Last? (Average Lifespan)

My microwave recently died. Turns out it had been in operation for over 5 years, which is longer than most marriages (jokes aside). I was surprised by this. It’s outdated and barely works as it has a hard time heating up even half a cup of water. This got me wondering: “how long do microwaves last?” after doing some research this is what I came up with.

How Long Do Microwaves Last?

The average lifespan of a microwave is 7 to 15 years, but this can vary depending on how often it’s used and which brand it is. For example, built-in models tend to last longer than stand-alone units because they’re not as susceptible to damage from frequent use or spills.

Some models also have longer lifespans than others because they are equipped with more durable parts and better insulation materials that prevent heat build-up within the unit itself. For example, some models use heavy-duty metal panels instead of plastic ones and have thicker interiors that block out heat better than other models do.

While most microwaves should last at least 7 years before needing replacement, you may want to replace yours sooner if it’s old or malfunctioning in any way.

Factors Influencing Microwave Lifespan

The microwave lifespan is determined by a number of factors, including the model and make of the microwave oven, the wattage, and how often and how long you use it.

The following are some of the common factors that influence the lifespan of your microwave oven:


The higher the wattage, the faster and more efficiently your oven will cook food. However, higher wattages also mean that they use more electricity to do so. This means that they use more energy and thus cost more money to operate over time.


The larger or smaller your microwave oven is, the longer or shorter its lifespan will be respected. For example, larger microwaves have larger motors and thus need more time for repairs than smaller ones do.

Use Frequency

The more often you use your microwave oven, the sooner it will break down due to wear-and-tear on its internal components. For example, if you cook something every day for lunch at work, then it won’t last as long as someone who only uses theirs once a week for leftovers or heating up coffee in their office break room.


A good warranty can give you peace of mind that if something does break down, it’ll be covered. If your microwave has a long warranty period, it’s likely because the manufacturer expects to have fewer issues with it over time.

Quality of Materials

When choosing a microwave oven, look for one made from high-quality materials like stainless steel or enamel instead of plastic. This will help prevent rusting and chipping as well as keep your appliance looking new longer than other models on the market.

What are the signs that a microwave is going bad?

The most common signs that a microwave is going bad are:

The light in the microwave won’t turn on. This can be caused by a number of things, including a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker, but is usually an easy fix. Not only does it mean you don’t have to guess what time you defrosted your food for, but it also saves you from having to open the door and check. If your microwave doesn’t have any lights at all, then it might be time for a replacement.

The oven doesn’t heat up properly. If you notice that your microwave isn’t heating up as well as it used to, this could be an indicator that something else is wrong with your unit. You should replace your microwave if it starts taking longer than usual or if the food never seems to cook evenly anymore.

You smell something burning when using your microwave. If you notice a strange odor coming from inside your microwave while using it, then there could be something wrong with one of its components. The best thing to do in this case is to turn off the unit immediately and contact an appliance repair company so they can come take a look at it right away.

You see sparks coming from the microwave. If you see small sparks coming out of your unit, either inside or outside of it, then there is a problem with its electrical system. The best thing to do in this case is to turn off the microwave immediately and contact an appliance repair company so they can come take a look at it right away.

How Often Should You Replace Your Microwave?

The answer depends on the type of microwave you have and how well it’s been cared for. A good rule of thumb is to replace it if it’s more than 10 years old, but there are some other things to consider as well.


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