How can I tell if my microwave is leaking?

We often get asked about microwave leakage, and how it can be measured.

How not to test for microwave leakage.

Some people have asked us about a site they have found on Google which states that:
“If you put your mobile phone in your and then make a call to it, and if the mobile phone rings, the microwave is leaking.”

This is not a good way to test the microwave for leaks. You may have such a weak mobile signal that it would be blocked by the microwave even if the door was open. There are various other reasons why this will not be an accurate guide due to the way mobile phones work, and the way a microwave oven door prevents microwaves from escaping.

Only one reliable way to test for leaks.

The only reliable way is with a properly calibrated leakage detector. These are expensive pieces of equipment (£170 or more), and need to be properly calibrated at least once a year.

Cheap leak detectors.

There are some cheap detectors available (often advertised in Sunday newspapers) ranging from £10 to £40. These are highly inaccurate and unreliable, they will often give false readings from al sorts of sources such as wi-fi modems, 3g mobile phones, even a passing taxi drive who is using his radio to call up his base. They can also give no reading when leakage is present.

There are some fact sheets available online if you would like more information from

Radio & TV interference.

It’s also not unusual for interference to be noticed on nearby radio and TV sets when the microwave is in use. This does not mean the microwave is leaking, it’s often just electrical noise travelling back down the mains lead, many household appliances such as food mixers and vacuum cleaners can also cause radio and TV interference.

Still worried about leaks?

If you are worried, or have reason to think your microwave is leaking then your best bet is to give your local microwave repair centre a call. We offer a service whereby you can bring your microwave into our workshop and we  can test your oven while you wait, by arrangement the test take only a few minutes to complete and currently costs £10 plus VAT. Alternatively we can carry out leakage testing at your home or on site in the case of commercial microwave ovens. Please contact us for further details.


About microwaveexpert

The Microwave Service Company is based in Sellindge, Kent and provides repairs to Domestic and Commercial Microwave Ovens including 24 volt Samsung Roadmate microwaves.
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6 Responses to How can I tell if my microwave is leaking?

  1. Kate says:

    My microwave says -S.E.- and i dOnt know wat i means…I left it off completely overnight but when i turned it on it still sqid the same thing

    • I have never come across that message. I am certain it is an abbreviated fault code. Unless your user instruction manual indicates what it might mean then you would need to refer to the ovens manufacturer for an explanantion of what it is and how to rectify it.

  2. Yonnette says:

    my microwave have bobbles on the outside door can that be a sing of

    a lea

    • No. I’m guessing that it is the paint or plastic covering that has a problem. The microwaves wouldn’t be able to pass through the door so they wouldn’t cause those ‘bobbles’. It would be worth getting it checked though. Although not dangerous there must be a problem which needs some attention.

      • Yonnette Wellington says:

        There was a plate my kids put in that have gold rim that cause it to start smoke inside

      • It was probably the gold paint that was burning. The oven should be ok if the plate wasn’t in there for too long.

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