Question about GE XL1800 1100 Watts Microwave Oven
F3 code displays at random times and we have to unplug it. Any ideas? It gives three loud beeps and then displays the code.
F3 on a GE microwave indicates a defective keypad.
The keypad is a thin plastic membrane type that is glued to the plastic control panel frame.
If none or only some of the pads are working, there may be some foreign substance on the circuit board, the keypad connection, or inside the layers of the keypad, the latter of which cannot be repaired.
Trouble is sometimes due to spray cleaner being sprayed directly onto the keypad. Cleaner should be sprayed on the cloth first, then use the cloth to wipe the keypad clean.
Never use an ammonia-based cleaner on plastic as the ammonia can attack and crack it.
A handy person can remove the control panel frame and see if there's any liquid inside on or behind the panel. If so, it is possible to dry it out, but often that does not work.
Another thing is to unlpug the power at the mains for several seconds. Plug it back in and see if it works. A reset may do it.
At power-up, the display should flash or show a text message. If not, a key may be stuck due to a foreign substance or a defective keypad.
If certain keys are not working, there may be some foreign substance at the point where the green or blue plastic strip from the keypad plugs into the circuit board.
To check that, see our critical safety, disassembly, and troubleshooting info at our site. You'll find a link to our site in our
listing here on FixYa: http://tinyurl.com/yzjozk
1. Be sure the oven is disconnected from the power line while you are taking it apart.
2. The keypad connection is the green or blue translucent plastic strip that plugs into a connector near the edge of the board.
3. There are two tiny tabs (one on each side) of the connector that you can gently pull up on to unlock the connector.
4. Then the keypad strip will lift out. Clean both sides of the end of the strip with a pencil eraser or alcohol-based cleaner if you like, but do not use ammonia-based cleaner. Dry the end of the strip.
5. Put the keypad strip back in, making sure both sides are down fully.
6. While holding the strip down, push the connector back down to lock it.
7. Try the keys again with the door closed.
You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here: http://tinyurl.com/gv383
We're happy to help and we appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.
Posted on Jan 13, 2008
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