How To Check If The Microwave Has A Radiation Leak

We live in the modern era where convenience matters a lot as we usually run short of time. So, we depend more on electrical appliances rather than manual work. 

A Microwave oven is one such device that has made our cooking task so easy and faster. We rely on the microwave oven whether to cook food or make tea or even to boil a glass of water, it has made our task so simple.

But this modern era is bombarded with information also, so more often we get to read about radiation leak from the microwave. 

Is it really a serious concern? We get perplexed.

But first of all, we should know,” How to check if the microwave has a radiation leak?”

Microwave Leaks

Microwave leaks are not uncommon! In fact, all ovens leak to a minute extent. So the question is not if your oven leaks but by how much does it leak?

FDA guidance recommends there should be less than 5 milliwatts per cubic centimetre. Here we’re going to look at how to measure your oven and what you need to do if you find a leak.

Why Do Leaks Happen?

With time the door to your microwave may not provide a perfect seal with the oven and so a leak may develop. The most common causes of microwave leaks are: –

  • Cracks in the hinges
  • Cracked or worn seals
  • Cracks in the door itself
  • Failure of the locking mechanism

How to check if the microwave has a radiation leak?

The expensive but reliable method

The only 100% sure way to know if your oven is leaking is to get a qualified technician to visit your home. They’ll use a radio-frequency radiation probe and probably cost you more than a new oven.

Medium Cost – varying degrees of reliability

The next alternative is to buy a commercial microwave leak testing meter. These range in price from around $30 to well over $500. 

The problem for all of us is knowing how reliable they are and how much you would trust one. If it goes beep (meaning there’s a problem) you know to take action but if it doesn’t – how do you know it’s even working?

One way is to get a tester that is very sensitive. As all ovens leak minute amounts of microwave energy it should register these – so you’ll always get a reading. (US Government guidance (FDA) says that there should be less than 5 milliwatts per square centimetre). That seems comforting to me. At least I know the darn thing is switched on.

The only issue then is the accuracy of the calibration – is it reading the levels correctly? No manufacturer is ever going to be able to guarantee that 100% of their stock is working to 100% efficiency so your best bet is to find a manufacturer with a great reputation even if it means paying a bit more.

One model that has received good reviews is the Electric Field, Radio Frequency (RF) Field, Magnetic Field Strength Meter by Trifield – EMF Meter Model TF2 – Detect 3 Types of Electromagnetic Radiation with 1 Device – Made in the USA by AlphaLab, Inc.

This device provides you with the advantage to detect three types of electromagnetic radiation with one device.

Very Cheap / Free – But how reliable?

Two choices: –

Put your mobile / cell phone in the oven and call it. Whatever you do not turn your oven on unless you really don’t like your phone and your oven.

If it rings – your microwave leaks enough for you to worry about. If it doesn’t you may be okay.

Before you start checking you have two phones. One to put in the oven and the other to call it!

Using a fluorescent tube. – This is only useful if you happen to have a fluorescent tube readily available. I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying one you don’t need for lighting.

For this, you really need to be running your microwave on empty – which is generally not recommended. If you have an old model, say one from the 1990s or before then you’ll definitely need to put a glass of water in it. Otherwise, keep the time of the test to a minimum.

Close the oven door and hold the tube against the edge of the door. Turn the oven on and move the tube around the door. If it lights up you’ve got a significant leak.

This should take less than 10 seconds.

You’ve Got A Leak!

You’ve discovered a problem leak. Is that the end of your machine? Well, that’s your decision. I’d say if your machine is pretty old then this is the time to upgrade it. If it’s not – or money is really tight – then you can think about fixing it. 

If you want to know about Microwave oven repair, go to our page How to dispose of a Microwave oven?

So, you have decided to buy a new microwave oven for yourself, I have a recommendation. Go with  SHARP Carousel 1.4 Cu. Ft. 1000W Countertop Microwave Oven with Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Preset (ISTA 6 Packaging), Cubic Foot, Stainless Steel

Sharp Microwave Oven

If you are a fan of the latest technology, this Sharp microwave oven is for you. It comes with your genie (Alexa) and a good friend in your kitchen that will execute your orders without even on-touch.

Yes, it is compact, elegant, and easy to integrate with the Alexa microwave oven that has made our task more simple.

It works on the Precise Cooking technology that adjusts the cooking time automatically to ensure you faster and even cooking.

Overall, it’s the best choice for your kitchen and if you are new to cooking, it will definitely help you with its preset menus.


  • One-touch keys makes your task pretty simple and faster
  • Quick Defrost helps you prepare for meals on time
  • Can be Easily integrated with Alexa  
  • 6 preset menus allows you to cook like a chef


  • Beep is annoying, but working is overall excellent

Wrapping up for how to check if the microwave has a radiation leak

All microwaves leak some amount of radiation, but that is not harmful if it is under the norms as prescribed by FDA. However, radiation is very dangerous, it can lead to serious issues like burns, eye problems and even pave the way for cancer. But thank god microwaves don’t emit such powerful radiation that can cause us harm.

But, it doesn’t mean we should get careless about it. We should regularly check our device for microwave leaks especially if it gets old.

Share your experience if you encounter such a problem or suggest something to avoid it.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment