Question about GE JVM1440 Microwave Oven

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Unit shuts off (JVM1340WW002) and blows fuses

The power on my microwave JVM1340WW002 started to go down after few seconds into operation (~5 sec not right away) and then shut down completely. Found that fuse was blown. After replacing the fuse it would shut down as soon as it would start, blowing the fuse again. The High power Capacitor and rectifier show no visible sign of damage. Checked door switch and thermal sensors (two of them - both fine: one is normally open). It leaves either HV Capacitor/Diode, Transformer or Magnetron (still under warranty). I would be inclined to suspect the Capacitor, but the fact that microwave was able to start and died down in few seconds raises doubts. My understanding is that HV cap is there to provide the boost on start up only. Please help.

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Re: Unit shuts off (JVM1340WW002) and blows fuses

Generally speaking, if the high voltage capacitor is shorted, the fuse will blow as soon as you hit the START pad. When the HV cap fails, I've never seen one do anything but short. If it's a few seconds or so into cooking, it's usually the high-voltage transformer. There may or may not be a burning smell. The cooling fan often will dissipate the smell. What can happen to the transformer is an expansion of the windings to the point where a couple of hot spots eventually make bare spots which touch, then the short causes the fuse to blow. When it cools, they aren't shorting anymore. It's possible it's the mag or something else, but not too likely. You can (carefully!) disconnect the primary leads from the HV transformer then run the oven, making sure the wires are free and clear. If the fuse blows, the problem is in the low-voltage side. If it doesn't the trouble is in the HV side. If you broke a seal (tamper tag) or left any other evidence that you were inside the microwave, your warranty will be voided. Some parts may be covered, but the labor warranty usually expires sooner. Be careful.

Posted on Nov 07, 2006

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Final follow up to: Unit shuts off (JVM1340WW002) and blows fuses

> My question: Could they be right about the transformer and magnetron? It certainly could be the transformer or the magnetron, but I really don't think so. Not that I'm recommending that an inexperienced or unqualified person should do this - and bearing in mind that any person who would do so must assume ALL liability for injury or damage - here's how I (on a VERY careful day *grin*) would find out: - I would disconnect the oven's power cord from the wall - I would remove the outer cover - I would discharge the high voltage capacitor - I would look again to be sure the plug is out of the wall - I would make a careful note of and/or mark the exact connections of the wires going to the HV capacitor - I would be very careful in case the connectors have positive locks and not yank on them before I push in the locks - I would disconnect the wires from HV capacitor - I would set my meter to a medium or high resistance scale and touch one probe to each capacitor terminal and from each terminal to the case of the capacitor - If either reading held steady at less than infinity I would replace the capacitor, reconnect the wires, reassemble and test - If neither reading held steady at less than infinity I would reconnect the wires - I would then make a careful note and/or mark the exact locations of the wires attached to the transformer - I would then disconnect just the lead which goes from the secondary of the transformer to the capacitor - I would then remove the other end of that lead wire - I would then insert a new fuse then plug the microwave into the wall and test it - If the fuse blew, I would know it's not the capacitor or the magnetron and I would troubleshoot further - If the fuse did not blow, I would know it's the magnetron or the capacitor (but I just measured the capacitor and it's not shorted!! *grin*) - I would unplug it again from the wall - I would install a new capacitor, hook it all back up, install a new fuse, reconnect the wires, and test it again Sorry to be so stiff about my reply, but I do not want to advise or suggest that an untrained or inexperienced should troubleshoot or work on a microwave oven. The voltages can be instantly lethal. Good luck and be safe!!!

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Follow up to: Unit shuts off (JVM1340WW002) and blows fuses

In my 20 years of working on microwaves, I have never seen a capacitor fail in any way but a dead short, but it's possible that it's failure may occur in a less abrupt manner. The internal structure of a capacitor is essentially a rolled up sandwich consisting of two thin layers of foil separated by a very thin insulator. While a "perfect" capacitor consumes no power, in the real world, things can happen to change that. A defect could increase the capacitve reactance or other internal resistance and allow internal heat buildup or expansion, which could lead to an intermittent short when it's warmed up a bit. After a while, the short could become permanent - sort of like arc welding, if you're familiar with that. So, while it's quite possible that this is the pathology that lead to a fully shorted capacitor, I think that's what you have, no matter how it happened.

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