Question about Microwave Ovens
My microwave seemed to be working fine one day, the wife had just cooked some rice on high for 12 minutes and we went to the neighbors house. When we came back that evening nothing would work on the microwave. The control panel was dark, no interior light, and hitting the buttons did nothing. The day before we had a power surge in the neighborhood, but aren't sure if this could be related since the oven worked after the surge.
How can I diagnose the oven, and if I need to take it down from above the range, how do I do that?
Thanks in advance for your help!
My bet is that the unit overheated and the magnetron is equipped with a thermal cutout (TCO or thermal fuse) and it blew,
protecting the magnetron.
If it runs dry, it will overheat.
But a microwave can be dead for many reasons.
It may be the fuse, which is usually located on the floor of the oven behind the control panel or between the door switches.
If the fuse is good, it may be an open thermostat or thermal cutout (TCO) / thermal fuse on or near the magnetron or on top of the cavity / body of the oven.
If it goes dead for a while during or after cooking then comes back on, the magnetron is probably overheating and causing the magnetron thermostat to open.
Then when it cools, it closes the circuit and allows power through again.
When checking thermostats, if it has a hood fan thermostat, that should read open, as opposed to the others, which should read closed.
If it went dead almost immediately after pressing the Start pad, that's usually a shorted high-voltage capacitor.
If it went dead a few seconds after pressing the Start pad, that's usually a failing high-voltage transformer.
If it goes dead or blows the breaker (or GFI) when you plug it in or open or close the door, then there's a problem with a door switch or door switch mount.
If it's intermittent or random, it may be a bad connection, usually on the control board or a loose fuse holder, or even an intermittent fuse.
You should do a continuity test on the fuse while it's in the holder (with the microwave unplugged, of course) then turn the fuse by hand or take it out and put it back in, then test it again.
If you remove the fuse, then press the meter leads against the ends, it can allow internal contact to be made and make a bad fuse appear to be good.
If you or someone you know decide to look into it, we have critical safety information and disassembly information at our site, and our link is at our listing here on FixYa.
There should also be a "mini-manual" hidden inside the unit behind the control panel or hidden on the left side behind the grille, which is very helpful when troubleshooting & testing.
You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here.
If you do end up needing to take it down from the wall, you can download GE owner's manuals and installation instructions here.
We're happy to help you and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.
Posted on Jul 28, 2008
Tips for a great answer:
Aug 13, 2012 | Kenmore 1.7 cu. ft. Over the Range...
Welcome to FixYa
The loud pop
sound is caused when either it is a bad fuse or the high voltage capacitor itself
has gone bad and needs replacement. As everything is working fine so the
problem seems to be either with the door switch or the high voltage capacitor
that is bad. Please check the door switch if that appears to be fine then to
replace the high voltage capacitor you'll have to take it apart completely. Please
get back to me if you have any other questions.
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