Question about GE JE1640 Microwave Oven

3 Answers

Microwave Comes on when Door is Opened

Here's a wierd one. Every time we open the door to the microwave, it comes "on". And this happens even when the timer has timed out. It's like there's a switch on the door that says "come on" when the door is opened. I don't see any mechanical switches on the door to reset. I've also opened the breaker to cut power off to the microwave in hopes that it would possibly reset a malfunctioning electronic control circuit; it didn't correct the problem. Any suggestions?

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  • Jeff Cobb Jan 26, 2007

    I've not tried your fix yet. I may try it, but this is why I'm skeptical as to why it would work and possibly why your response got a poor rating. None the less, I do appreciate your response.

    In one way I can see where the switches may be the problem, but logically, I have a hard time understanding how.

    The reason is that if the switches were stuck and kept the circuit closed instead of breaking it when the door is opened, then it makes sense. But with my microwave, the door can be shut and the microwave off (timer timed out); then, when the door is opened the microwave immediately comes on. How could the switches being stuck cause this?

  • Jeff Cobb Feb 18, 2007

    Well. The top switch on the door actually was the problem. It was sticking in the closed position. I exercised the actuator and sprayed some WD40 on it and it's working fine now.

    As a side note, after looking at the schematic and tracing current flowpaths, only the fan, turntable and light were coming on when the door was opened. In order for the magnetron to power up, all three switches on the door have to be have to be made.

    Thanks for your help MicrowaveSvc.

  • Jeff Cobb Feb 18, 2007

    The above comment shown from guest is from Jeff C. I had not signed in prior to posting it.

  • Anonymous Nov 04, 2007

    I've tried the powering on and off solution, it didn't work. I've looked at the upper and lower door switch and I think it IS the upper one.

    Now I have to convince my husband to help me get the microwave down so I can pull it apart CAREFULLY. I'm going to try to replace the switch as indicated.

    And, many times we are guilty of interupting the cooking cycle by just opening the door. We'll certainly stop that now.

  • sunshinechic May 12, 2008

    I am having the exact same problem with this exact same model! ugh~

  • passportt Apr 14, 2009

    I have a 1996 spacekeeper II & the other day - I turned it off ( no dials on this one- just press pads - anyway - when I opened it - the light & fan came on - then when I close it - it all goes off- I wll look at the top slot - & try the wd40 trick - the other day I poked around pushing the bottom one - ( unplugged of course) I hope that is all that is wrong with it - as I have no $ to buy another one & I have been using it to boil rice & chicken quickly as well as heat some heating pad things I use for my back when I go to sleep- last night I was afraid to use it - thinking it might catch on fire or something ? ( can it catch on fire easily with this malfunction? ) well - any info appreciated - I grabbed a tiny 1985 model from my moms motor home & I am afraid to use it because it is so old!



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  • GE Master
  • 9,125 Answers

It sounds like a problem with the door switch or mount or the control panel. I've attached an exploded view of the oven which shows the door switches and mount. They're located behind where the door hooks go into the chassis. You can find our safety and disassembly instructions at our site via my link here: If it's not switch-related, then you may have a shorted component on the control board. We repair these for customers nationwide for $32.50 postpaid in most cases.

Posted on Jan 21, 2007

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  • William Miller
    William Miller Jan 21, 2007

    Sorry the photo got cut off.


  • William Miller
    William Miller Jan 26, 2007

    Since my answer got a poor rating, I'd be happy to try again if you can update me. Thanks.

  • William Miller
    William Miller Feb 19, 2007

    It's almost always the top switch, but I hardly bother to get that specific anymore because some people don't seem to take my responses seriously. I think they're possibly killing the messenger...

    Anyway, it's possible yours got some grease in it and the WD-40 is indeed a fix.

    But it may be that you just loosened it up and it will eventually fail for good. Be ready for that.

    My advise to anyone with door switch trouble is to replace both the upper or lower or even all three and then develop a habit of not opening the door while it's cooking.

    Thanks for the follow-up! You are quite welcome.


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  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

Most microwave ovens run the fan when the door is open. I believe that this is what is happening and you are not getting any microwaves from your magnatron.

Posted on Dec 12, 2007

  • Anonymous Apr 07, 2018

    It is not the fan that is coming on, it is the motor.



Well. The top switch on the door actually was the problem. It was sticking in the closed position. I exercised the actuator and sprayed some WD40 on it and it's working fine now. As a side note, after looking at the schematic and tracing current flowpaths, only the fan, turntable and light were coming on when the door was opened. In order for the magnetron to power up, all three switches on the door have to be have to be made. Thanks for your help MicrowaveSvc.

Posted on Feb 18, 2007

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: GE microwave (Model JE2160SF03) trips breaker when door opened

Remove the control panel, take pictures of the door switch wiring while they are still connected to the door switches, then remove the door switch assembly. Have someone at the appliance store check each switch and repair the ones that are defective.

I purchased a switch for $7, reinstalled the door switch assembly and the microwave is working fine now.

Posted on Oct 16, 2012

  • 331 Answers

SOURCE: GE Microwave JE1640 works only when holding the switch

VK, most likely the switch body has become loose and it's out of adjustment. Unfortunately, to gain access to it, you'll have to remove the MW from the cabinet, set it on a suitable work area and disassemble it. Before doing anything like this, please read the following link carefully and ask yourself if you're up to it... Remove the trim then remove the screws holding the MW. Pull the MW out and rotate slightly to see where it's plugged in and unplug it. Then pull it all the way out. Remove all the aluminum trim from the MW and all the screws holding the cabinet. To remove the cabinet, stand behind the MW and grasp both sides... pull back and up at the same time. Set aside. NOW!!! DISCHARGE THE CAPACITOR AS PER THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE LINK ABOVE!!! OK, up by the control panel, you'll see the latch/lock assy. (it has 3 brown switches mounted to it). It's held in place by 2 screws, the lower screw is the one you'll be working on. Adjust this by opening and closing the door and watch the action on how it works and make your adjustments as needed. Now, you'll need to test it before reinstalling. Plug it in, BUT DON'T TOUCH ANY WIRING! Now give it a try. If you need to make another adjustment, DISCHARGE THE CAPACITOR AGAIN BEFORE DOING SO!!! Do this every time you plug and unplug! Continue adjusting 'til you get it. Now, there's a chance that one of those switches is about to go bad and the mounting bracket is fine. In this case, those switches are generic... not GE specific. Remove the wiring from the switches and make notes on their respective locations. Remove the switches from the bracket (starting from the top) and label them 1, 2 and 3. Take these to your local appliance parts store and ask for generic replacements, they are cheap... about 5 bucks each. Then replace them in the same order you removed them. And re-test. This will get you fixed, but please be careful working on Microwave ovens. They are dangerous!

Posted on Sep 27, 2007

  • 11 Answers

SOURCE: Tripping of circuit breaker

Check what other appliances are on your circuit. What goes off when the breaker is tripped. You may need to relocate the microwave to a different circuit. Try to stay away from the refrigerator or AC circuits.

Posted on Nov 03, 2007

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