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GE spacemaker went belly up this morning

My twenty year old like new GE spacemaker II has run like a champ for all these years. My old friend started to heat my coffee this morning then all of a sudden went "psst" and died. Any hope it could be repaired or is it all over and I need a new one??

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  • Brierwood Sep 17, 2008

    Thank you for replying to my problem. We took the outside covering off and found the mini manual as well as the fuse. We checked the fuse and for about $3 we tried new fuses. With a new fuse, the same thing happened: pushed start and after about 15 sec. blew the fuse. The second fuse blew as well. Well, long story short, the clock had been dead for some time and the people who repair microwaves out here wanted $55 just to trouble shoot the problem, not counting the cost of whatever part needed replacing. So we went out to Walmart and bought the same size, not a spacesaver, but 1.1 cu. ft. GE for under $60. Too good a deal to pass up! Thanks again for your amazingly indepth reply. Gail

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  • Microwave Ovens Master
  • 8,820 Answers

A microwave can be dead for many reasons.

It may be the fuse, which is usually located behind the grille or on the floor of the oven behind the control panel or between the door switches.

If the fuse is good, it may be an open thermostat or thermal cutout (TCO) / thermal fuse on or near the magnetron or on top of the cavity / body of the oven.

If it goes dead for a while during or after cooking then comes back on, the magnetron is probably overheating and causing the magnetron thermostat to open.

Then when it cools, it closes the circuit and allows power through again.

When checking TCOs or thermostats, if it has a hood fan thermostat, that should read open, as opposed to the others, which should read closed.

The TCOs you need to be concerned usually with have all black or white wires only. Please reply with photos if you have questions.

If it went dead almost immediately after pressing the Start pad, that's usually a shorted high-voltage capacitor.

If it went dead a few seconds after pressing the Start pad, that's usually a failing high-voltage transformer.

If it goes dead or blows the breaker (or GFI) when you plug it in or open or close the door, then there's a problem with a door switch or door switch mount.

If it's intermittent or random, it may be a bad connection, usually on the control board or a loose fuse holder, or even an intermittent fuse.

You should do a continuity test on the fuse while it's in the holder (with the microwave unplugged, of course) then turn the fuse by hand or take it out and put it back in, then test it again.

If you remove the fuse, then press the meter leads against the ends, it can allow internal contact to be made and make a bad fuse appear to be good.

If you or someone you know decide to look into it, we have critical safety information and disassembly information at our site, and our link is at our listing here on FixYa.

There should also be a "mini-manual" hidden inside the unit behind the control panel or hidden on the left side behind the grille, which is very helpful when troubleshooting & testing.

You can usually 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 Sep 16, 2008

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You can find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here: http://tinyurl.com/gv383

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