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Re: capacitor burned out? horrible burnt smell.
YOUR GOING TO NEED A NEW MICROWAVE . the cap may be bad but the real bad smell you have is most likely the HV tranformer , if the magntron shorts to ground there will be a small smell if you dont pick up on that and your microwave is set to run another few mins the transformer will overheat and burn , then the fuse blows and the controls shut down . the end result , you have more parts bad than you have good . if you google " GE SPACEMAKER MICROWAVE FIRE ' you will see your not the only one , its getting to be COMMON . good luck
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You need to disconnect and make an observation to what had burnt before the unit is plugged once again. check the main capacitor, the transformer, check the magnetron , the surge capacitor and the waveguides. click this link for tips: Waveguides
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This can be caused by grease etc. inside
the oven and on the wave guide which is the paper like thing in the oven. If
you can remove it look for burnt areas which may can be scraped off or you may
need to replace it. An appliance parts store usually has the material you can
cut to fit you own.
It is very possible it may have burnt wire or burnt capacitor. Remove unit, remove top cover and look inside to see if you see any burn marks or burnt wires. Also check fuse to see if it is good or not.
If it buzzes real loud it's probably the high volyage diode. However some times if it smells it's the transformer. Usually the diode is a cheap fix ~$10.00 but this model the diode is $50. It's number 50 on the link below. Let me know how it works out or you need anything else.
Possible bad heating element, You should remove the cover of the unit and look at the heating element with the power off. Until you get your problem resolved I would recommend not to even turn it on due to the fact that you are unsure what is going on and you smelt some burnt smell. Just for safety until you fine the problem
You say that Everything went out at first ( which I assume means that all functions went dead) and then functions started to operate again later... if that is correct and you smelled something burning.. you may have a thermal fuse that failed, filament transformer that failed, magnetron tube that failed or a highvoltage capacitor that failed.. None of these components are something the untrained person should attempt to trouble shoot or replace since there are dangerous energies stored inside the electronics compartment even after power is removed.. Your Micro is > 8 years old and it's probably not worth the cost of repairing at this point. You'd be better served replacing it.. The cost to repair would exceed the cost to replace.. ( I feel like the grim reaper here..sorry..)
A burning smell along with a different sound (growl) USUALLY indicates a breakdown in the High Voltage Side. This is not a direct short (short circuit) or the line fuse would have blown shutting everything down. The High Voltage Side is made up of-- The Secondary ,or High Voltage Side of The High Voltage Transformer, A High Voltage Diode, A High Voltage Capacitor, and The Magnetron. If The High Voltage Transformer is the problem it will smell like a florescent light ballast burning, and will smell each time you turn on the MW. A HV Diode burns and opens, thus no more smell. A HV Capacitor usually does not burn nor does the Magnetron. There is no Cheap-Fix unless you can see that the HV Diode is burned into and you can get to it to replace. CAUTION: Always unplug from power before attempting to repair. NOTE: If you replace a Diode make sure it goes back in the same direction it came out. Yes there is a front and back.