Question about GE JE1640 Microwave Oven

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GE Microwave JE1640 works only when holding the switch

Our GE built in Microwave JE1640 works only when holding the door open switch. You have to hold the switch oh, so right. You press the switch too hard, the door opens and the microwave is off. You press the switch too lightly, nothing happens. It appears that some mechanical part related to door switch has to be replaced. Can any expert suggest which part to replace?

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  • vkasar Oct 03, 2007


    Thanks for your helpful suggestion.

    I followed your suggestion and located the latch/lock assembly. Neither the top nor the bottom screws were loose. Apart from trying to tighten these screws little further, what other kind of adjustments can I make?

    From seeing the action on opening the door, it appeared that a little pressure exerted on one of the switches (lower switch?) will turn the MW on. I could not figure out what adjustments to make to keep that pressure on. Would replacing the switch correct this problem?

    I am also trying hard to find a replacement for this MW. But GE does not make this any more and any other (GE or other brands) MW + trim kit that I buy will not snugly fit in the cabinet hole that I have. If you have any suggestions on a good replacement MW for this JE1640, I will be very thankful.

  • vkasar Oct 03, 2007

    Thanks again SolutionGuy for your detailed helpful suggestions. I will try them out as soon as I can.

    Regarding replacement: Sorry, I was not clear. I am willing to replace both MW and the trim kit as long as it reasonably fits in the existing cabinet hole. What I don't want to pay for the expensive wood work needed to enlarge or shrink the cabinet hole. Which other MW have you been recommending your other customers as a replacement for this?



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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

  • Tracy Farrell
    Tracy Farrell Oct 03, 2007

    VK, OK... it appears that you have successfully accessed the guts of it without shocking yourself! Congratulations!! Keep the precautions going!

    Even though the lower screw was tight, the bracket holding the switches may have moved slightly anyway. With the door open, loosen the lower screw just a little bit, then push the lower portion of the switch bracket forward (toward the door) a little. Hold the bracket in its' new position and tighten the screw at the same time. Make small adjustments and try your microwave after each.

    If this doesn't get you going, I'll refer you to the last paragraph I wrote above. The switches are generic... made by a company called QBP. If your switches have 3/16" terminals, the part numbers you'll need are: 28QBP0497, 28QBP0499 & 28QBP0495. If the terminals are 1/4", these are the part numbers: 28QBP0498, 28QBP0500 & 28QBP0496.

    By the way, never run your microwave "empty". Always put a "load" in the cavity. I use a cup of water for this purpose.

    About the replacement for your MW, I've run into the same problem with customers of mine. The 1.6 cu. ft. unit you have is discontinued. There is no other way around it (that I'm aware of) other than replacing both the MW AND the trim kit. Sorry.

    Hope this helps! If so, don't forget to rate your experience here.

  • Tracy Farrell
    Tracy Farrell Oct 03, 2007

    VK, I always recommend Whirlpool. Microwave ovens manufactured by companies such as Sanyo, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, etc... are nearly impossible to get parts for when they break down. Secondly, when they break down you are hard pressed to find a repair person for them. If and when you DO find a repair person, you should know that the repair will take weeks because the parts will have to be ordered from the manufacturer or an authorized outlet (very few) and that the repair will cost more because the part prices for the repair person are higher which will add to your bill.

    You shouldn't have to do any cabinet work to do a replacement. Measure the dimensions of the cut out (Width, Height, Depth) and take these to your nearest Home Depot or Lowes or somesuch. They should be able to match you up. I can't be much more help there because I am strictly an appliance repair business owner/appliance repair tech., not in retail sales, sorry.

    Also, don't forget to upgrade your rating if this info has gotten you what you were looking for (it affects our ratings).



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