Question about GE JE2160 Microwave Oven

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Microwave oven My microwave oven completely stopped all of a sudden - no lights, no sound. Could it be something simple like a fuse since everything completely stopped? If not - is it worth repairing?

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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.

At our site, we have a video showing how to remove a typical over the range control panel assembly in under 5 minutes.

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 of your interior 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.

If you'd want to scan and e-mail or copy and fax the mini-manual (or at least the "schematic diagram page) to me, I'd be happy to make more precise suggestions.

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 Nov 08, 2008

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