Question about GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

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GE SpaceMaker JVM XL1800


Our microwave oven has only been in use for about 1 1/2 years and recently broke down. One day my wife was cleaning in the kitchen area when she heard a loud popping sound generating from inside the microwave. The unit was not in use at the time of this incident. I quickly ran to the kitchen and unplug the unit. Trying to investigate, I've removed the vent cover beneath, right away I've found pieces of glass from the light bulb scattered on the vent dropdown cover. Apparently, one of the light bulbs exploded inside the socket.

After removing the remainder of the bulb from the light socket with plyers, the socket appears to be fine. With a multimeter, I measured the socket voltage to be ~14V. So, I went ahead and recycle power to the unit. The control board powered up but went haywire, nothing seemed to be working except for setting up the clock. I've pressed the fan button and vent fan came on but will not shutoff. The unit does not respond when commanded to heat after entering cooking time.

This is the weirdest thing I've experienced with a supposively superior microwave from GE. Any clues as to what might have happened? I can't imagine that a surge would do this to internal circuitry of a microwave. You would think the unit has a primary fuse that will protect all senstive electronics, to say the least blowing up a light bulb. Hum.... I am at a loss, please help!


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  • Kevin Chau Dec 10, 2007

    Thanks for the feedback and help. We did schedule a service GE service technician. He came in and said the control board had to be replace before further work. He wasn't able to do anything on power up similar to what I've stated. He was nice enough to give it to us under warranty and order a I believe what you called 'ERC' board. I just took a quick peek and it's an open face component mounted on one side and printed circuit board on the other. Does that sound like 'ERC' board? Anyway, luckily GE has been pretty decent on their customer service.

    Hum.. any thing I should do to protect this from happening in the future again? I was thinking about getting a surge protector just for the microwave oven. Will that help or not? I don't want my microwave to start any fires when I am not home like some of the other articles read online about some of GE's recalls.

    Your thoughts! Again, thanks so much for all your help. Happy Holidays to all!




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Sounds like the ERC board failed. It maybe covered under warranty, check that first cause a new ERC could cost around $150-$200. Anything electric can cause the .."what the*^&% just happened syndrome.

Posted on Dec 09, 2007


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It is possible that the magnetron was working dry and burnt out.
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