Question about GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

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Microwave won't power

Woke up this morning to a lifeless microwave. We had problems 6 months ago and had GE Service replace the magnatron. Now it just won't power on. The circuit breaker and fuses are fine. I hate to have to call them again and pay the stupid service fee.

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  • JTer Jan 03, 2009

    GE Spacemaker made a buzzing tone for several seconds and then lost all power. Checked breaker and unplugged it etc to no avail.

  • minuet2115 Jan 03, 2009

    The microwave died last night.  It worked just fine in the evening, but this morning it made a sickly sound when I attempted to use it and no information is listed on the LED.

  • Richard Perkins
    Richard Perkins May 11, 2010

    I suspect all of you better try another brand, as this seems to be the way this brand dies.

    Replacement of the magnatron or power supply are the only solutions - which may cost more than a whole new oven.

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  • GE Master
  • 8,872 Answers

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.

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

You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here.

Is it dead, meaning no display, no light when you open the door and no beeps when you press a pad on the keypad?

Is the outlet working?

A microwave can be dead for many reasons.

It may be the fuse, which is usually located behind the grille, on the floor of the oven behind the control panel, between the door switches, or on the filter board near where the cord comes into the unit.

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.

So don't let that fool you.

If the cavity thermostat needs to be checked or replaced you'll need to pull 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.

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

If it went dead several 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.
Feel free to contact me directly (and please remind me of your full model number) for more information & help.

We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

William E. Miller
prototech@usa.net
http://www.microwavedisplay.com

Posted on Jan 03, 2009

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This disgusting type of repair procedure is called "shotgunning".

I have always preferred testing and experience to determine what is wrong, as opposed to guessing!

I assume that they did not charge you for the good parts they mistakenly replaced?

IF they are a GE-authorized service center, they should have recalled a bulletin from a while back about defective or mismounted magnetrons causing electrical interference that disrupts the controller.

What your oven needs is a new magnetron and (IMHO) their hands off of it. If the thermostat were bad, the oven would be totally dead.

You can find GE-authorized servicers by contacting GE Customer Service here.

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Microwaves usually have several years' warranty on the magnetron itself - such as 5 to 9 years!

I would call the GE Answer Center with your model and serial number and ask them how many years the magnetron is covered under warranty.

Also ask them for the numbers of a few local GE-authorized warranty service centers.

(GE Answer Center® 1-800-626-2005 Open Monday 6 a.m. ET through Saturday midnight ET)

If the mag is still covered, and you take it to a GE-authorized warranty service center, you'd not have to pay for the magnetron.

And taking it to the shop will indeed save you a lot of money.

If you decide to remove it from the wall, the installation instructions will be very handy to have. If you don't have them, you can find them online here.

Good luck and be safe!

We're happy to help and we appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

William E. Miller, AS-EET
prototech@usa.net
http://www.microwavedisplay.com

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Either the magnatron or the high-voltage capacitor and diode. Replace the capacitor and diode then if still not working, replace the magnatron. Its only affordable if you do it yourself - buy the part on EBAY - lookup "universal magnatron"
Hope ya fix it!

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