Question about GE Spacemaker JVM1640SJ Microwave Oven

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It doesn't heat anymore. About 5 years old only.

It doesn't heat anymore. About 5 years old only. All other functions, clock, timer, etc work but no heating.

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  • donbev6 Dec 11, 2009

    Can you "see" if the contacts have been damaged? How can you tell?



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Check the door safety switch. When they go bad, they oven doesn't know if the door is closed or not. Find them inside on the side opposite the hinge. They go bad because we (read "you and me" open the door with the oven running and that cooks the contacts on these little switches.

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thanks for your interest in

Posted on Dec 11, 2009

Testimonial: "Not being electricians, we picked out a new oven today. However your comment made sense to the salesman who would pass it on to customers to be aware"

  • A Miller Dec 11, 2009

    You will have to test the switch(s) with a continuity tester or a volt/ohm meter on OHM setting. If you don't have such a thing, you can purchase at Ace Hardware or other fine store in your community for about $15.00. Instructions will come with the tool.

    Remove the cover - be careful to not touch the leads on the silver can like thing - this is a high voltage capacitor. If charged (and they may remain charged for days after being unlugged) they can be lethal. The micro switche(s) are about 1/2 X 1 inch and about 3/16 thick. Probably black but can be any color. They will be activated by your door latch. Watch the action as you open and close the door, with the cover off and with the oven unplugged, OF COURSE. Listen carefully as you open and close the door, you should hear a tiny "click".

    Test with the door both open and closed. The switch should read "short" (contacts closed) with the door closed and "open" (contacts open) with the door open. Your oven may use an alternative scheme and be backwards. Point is, in one position, the switch should read one way and the other position it should read the other way.

    The switches will have three connections, probably only two are used. One is called "normally open" or NO, and the other way is called "normally closed" or NC. The third connection is "COM" or common. Don't try to reconcile this, just be aware of it. If you replace the switch, you must use the same terminals. Take a picture with your cell telephone and/or write it down.

    If your switch reads the same open as closed, replace it.

    Find a replacement at a advertiser, your local appliance parts place or visit Be prepared to provide make, model, series, serial number, date of manufacturer where ever you go for the parts.

    What is going on? These switches tell the oven whether the door is open or closed. If the door is closed, a good switch notifies the oven that that condition (door closed) has been met and it is ok to turn on the magnetron, the device that makes the 'heat'. If the door is open, or if the switch is bad causing the oven to THINK the door is open, the oven thinks the door is open and will not turn on the magnetron. The radiation made by the magnetron is dangerous to people and that is the reason for this safety measure.

    The reason these tiny switches go bad is we (read most of us) open the door while the oven is operating. When we do this, the tiny contacts inside the switch (which are electrically hot) spark. When this happens enough times, the contacts are burned and will eventually not close properly.

    Make sense?

    There are other things that can cause what you describe but in my experience (I am NOT a appliance repair guy), this is the most common reason for failure.

    I hope this clarifies your question and helps you make your repair.

    Thanks for your interest in

    please remember to vote -


  • A Miller Dec 11, 2009

    Thanks for the feedback ... this is doable ... but Im also glad you have a new oven to use.

    Thanks for your interestg in



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