Question about Microwave Ovens
GE had a rash of "underperforming" magnetrons on these units. They replace the magnetron, stirrer and high-voltage diode at no charge for parts as long as a GE-authorized service center does the work. Sometimes the unit gets run too long in a failing state and the waveguide and chassis of the oven get damaged. To see if yours is covered, see this bulletin: http://www.microwavedisplay.com/ge_mw_mag_kit_bulletin.pdf Otherwise, you need to contact GE Customer Relations at 1-800-386-1215 as soon as possible and tell them your problem and they will put you in touch with a local authorized servicer.
Posted on Apr 12, 2007
Generally, the most common causes of a failure to heat are:
- bad door switches or door switch mounts
- loose connection at the magnetron
- problem or loose connection on the control unit circuit board
- bad magnetron or other high voltage part (such as a shorted diode)
If you or someone you know decide to look into it, we have critical safety information, info on door switch diagnosis and replacement, and disassembly information at our site, and our link is at our listing here on FixYa: http://tinyurl.com/yzjozk
You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here: http://tinyurl.com/gv383
There should also be a "mini-manual" hidden inside the unit behind the control panel, which is very helpful when troubleshooting.
We're happy to help and we appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.
Posted on Apr 08, 2008
Unfortunately, there is no way to tell which part the microwave needs without opening it up for examination. There are a few parts that, if defective, would prevent the oven from heating.
Posted on Feb 04, 2009
first thing I would suggest is a hard
reset. Unplug the unit for a
minute or so. Then plug it back in, set the clock and try again.
If that doesn't work, leave it unplugged for about 5 minutes.
Otherwise, this is almost always due to a defective or loose magnetron causing electrical interference and disruption in the control circuit board.
Details covering some previous models are in their bulletin here. Even if your model is not on the list, the same problem can occur.
If your magnetron was recently replaced, it may have loose mounting nuts or bolts or maybe the wire mesh RF gasket was not installed or got pinched.
NOISY MAGNETRON TEST (c) 2009 William E. Miller email@example.com
(PLEASE do not be fooled into thinking that the procedure outlined at this link is a "fix". It should only be regarded as another test method to prove that you have a noisy magnetron which must be replaced.)
One way to test it is to do the following:
1. Unplug the microwave or turn off its breaker.
2. Open the door, then detach the control panel as shown in the video at http://www.microwavedisplay.com and swing it down, but without disconnecting the wires. If you have any trouble getting the grille off once the screws are removed, slide the hood vent grille to the left about 1/4", then then pull it forward. On some models there are L-shaped clips that fit into a slot to hold bottom of the vent.
3. Plug the microwave back in.
4. Make sure neither you nor anyone else reaches in behind the control panel. There will exposed high-voltage connections.
5. Put a few cups worth of water in a microwave-safe container and place it inside the microwave.
6. Shut the door.
7. Run the microwave for about 1 minute or so on full power. (Time Cook > 1 > 0 > 0 > Start, e.g.)
8. If it does not fail, try it several more times.
9. When the water boils, change the water and try again.
NOTE: If your model does not have a door handle, you will need to unplug the oven and reattach the control panel to be able to open the door.
If it still does not fail, I would recommend that you put it all back together and keep using it until it fails more consistently, then repeat this test.
If it keeps failing while the board is in the down position, you either have a very leaky magnetron or possibly another problem.
So you can then get a Ziploc bag and insert a flat piece of aluminum foil into the Ziploc and close it.
Then (with the power off) tape it over the circuit board as best you can, covering it as much as you can, making sure it does not get snagged or punctured.
Then try the oven again. Do not leave this test shield in place as a "fix". It is not safe.
While a microwave should never be left running unattended under any circumstances (as your owner's manual will tell you) it's even more important when one is exhibiting a failure or any odd behavior. So play it safe and stay with it while it's running!
If you or someone you know want to replace the magnetron yourself, you will need to remove the oven from the wall.
If so, the installation instructions are very handy, and it's best to have two people since the microwave can be heavy and awkward.
You can download GE owner's manuals and installation instructions here.
There should be a "mini-manual" (tech sheet) hidden inside the unit behind the control panel or hidden on the left side behind the grille, which is very helpful when troubleshooting, testing, and locating components.
You can find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here.
If it's within the magnetron portion of the warranty (usually 5-9 years) but out of the original full warranty (usually 1 year), then your manufacturer will cover the part cost, but not the cost to visit you or the labor charge to do the work.
Sometimes they will send you the magnetron to do it yourself. Call them at 888-239-6832.
Be persistent. You may have to speak with a supervisor.
If it is not within the magnetron warranty, you can find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here.
We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.
Posted on Jul 25, 2009
the magnetron the unit has gone bad.sometimes there is burning smell as u mentioned.it is little expensive repair arond $ 150.00.find out the price of new unit plus iistallation/delivery chg and then make a decision.
Posted on Aug 18, 2009
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