Question about GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

1 Answer

Sparks when in use

When cooking, my microwave sparks where the plastic hinges hold the racks in my oven. The problem is sporadic, but I fear that a fire could start if I leave my oven unattended.

Any suggestions on what the problem could be? My microwave model is not on the recall list although the problem is the same.

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  • OldAsDirt Feb 04, 2008

    If I'm understanding this correctly, I believe I'm having the same or a similar problem. It's not the hinges, it's one of the hooks on which the rack rests, specifically the left rear hook. If I use the Microwave without the rack, or with the rack resting on the bottom, there are no sparks. If I place the rack on the hooks (where it is supposed to be) there are sparks.

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Sonja, I'm not sure what hinges you're speaking about. If you are referring to the bumpers on the ends of the wire racks that are used for convection...move the racks away from the wall. Generally, you should not have anything metal in the unit when it is just microwaving....they are for convection use. You will not start a fire but you will shorten the life of the magnetron if you continue to allow the sparking condition.

Posted on Dec 17, 2007

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Sparks when cooking


Make sure no metal item (forks-spoons or oven rack) is touching the outer wall of the microwave. That will cause sparks. If all that is OK then there is usually a metal fan type blade in the microwave top called a stirrer blade that may be out of place and rubbing the cavity causing sparks. Try to pin point the spark area so you know where to look for the problem. Sparks usually mean metal is touching metal somewhere.

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Pry off plastic tab. Clean up burn marks with sand paper and touchup paint. Order a new rack clip. Also clean any burn residue off rack.
MOST IMPORTANT: After the repair, do not put the rack back in unless you are cooking on it. Running the microwave with nothing on the rack is what causes this to happen.

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/jeffrey_634abadf963e31e5

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Never, never, never, never, never put anything metal in a microwave oven! No metal, no pot or pan, no silverware, no plate with metal trim ... nothing! No "Jiffy Pop" (comes in a metal container). Use ONLY microwave safe containers. Some claim there are health concerns (dangers) to using anything plastic in a microwave. The claim is the chemicals in the plastic which were not meant to be consumed are consumed as they are burned out of the plastic into the food. These chemicals are know to some to be cancer causing. I am not making this claim ... only passing on what I have heard about plastics. For myself, I don't use plastic or paper (fire hazard) in the microwave. For one thing, I don't like the taste of food that has been prepared or reheated in a microwave in a plastic container - particularly coffee.

Having said that ... here is what is going on. You probably reflected microwave back into the magnatron and ... well ... cooked it. In my area, such damage is not economically repairable. The tech wants $100.00 to look at it, magnatrons are typically $50 to $100 or more. There could also be other damaged parts ... repair bill could be more than a replacement oven.

If you find a oven that comes with a rack, here is how that works. You will observe that the rack sits with flat feet on a carousel which is typically out of the range of the microwave OR has been built to reflect the waves in a manner that they will not damage the magnatron. Typically, a rack will be made of very small round stock that will not reflect much in any single direction ... besides that, you would have food on the rack that would absorbe most of the energy anyway.

If you replace this oven, please ensure you review all the warnings and instructions that will accompaly your new oven ... even the seemingly silly stuff like "dont use the microwave in your bath tub to heat the water".

I believe your oven is cooked. I'm sorry you are having this trouble and I hope my comments have helped you to arrive at a workable solution to your problem.

Thank you for your interest in FixYa.com

If you are pleased, the courtesy of a positive vote and response will be appreciated by this volunteer effort on my part.

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