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How do I get to the lightbulb to change it on my countertop microwave model mcd11e3w

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If there's no obvious removable cover over the bulb (and the owner's manual doesn't address it) some disassembly may be required.

Always unplug a microwave before removing or installing any bulbs.

If it's an over the range type, remove the vent grille across the top and see if bulbs can be accessed there. There may be a panel on the bottom covering the light(s), instead.

If not, chances are you'll have to remove it from the wall, then remove the outer cover. If so, the installation instructions are very handy, and it's best to have two people since the microwave can be heavy and awkward.

Once it's out of the wall, the outer cover (wrapper) will need to be removed, just as you'll need to do on a counter top model.

The screws you need to remove should be pretty obvious, and a special driver (such as a T20H Torx type or GTXH20-100) may be needed.

Be sure to put all the screws back in the right holes, since some may be special grounding screws.

Bulbs can be had in most grocery stores, hardware stores, home improvement centers, and big box or department stores.

Many models use halogen lamps. You must not touch the new one with your bare skin, as the oils will shorten the bulb life.

We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

Posted on Aug 10, 2008

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I can not believe I have to jump through these hoops just to change a feaken...


The folks at GE told me you need a technician to change this bulb. Phooey, I say. It was a piece of cake. Save $ 100 and follow my instructions. I did it. I would imagine most GE microwaves would be similar.

Here's how to do it. I bought this bulb (part # WB36X951) from PARTSTORE.COM for $ 18.58 total (that's bad enough). Got the bulb within a few days.

This model GE microwave, is a stainless model with stainless inside and grilling element.

The bulb is located directly behind the front control panel (on the right), but you need to remove the stainless cover to get to it. Naturally, unplug it first. You'll need one those star bits (not sure what size), a philips head won't work. There's four of those sneaky screws on the rear. Remove those screws and the cover slides off. VOILA! It's magic! The bulb, you'll see, is sealed to a base, but it has as double slide contact. Undo this before removing the bulb. It's snapped into a little fixture. Remove the old bulb and snap new one in. Replace the contact leads and that's it.

The cover is a little tricky to get back seated properly. Along with the sneaky star screws, this is another attempt to discourage consumer servicing. Make sure that the cover is flush with the back before replacing the screws. You're done.

I for one, am tired of this type of this type of rip-off and scamming. I hope this tips helps many and saves some of you from paying a ridiculous service fee.

If this tip has helped you, let know. E-mail me at cdpays@bellsouth.net.

Craig Pays
Kenner, La.


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Is this a countertop microwave or an over-the-rang (OTR) microwave? If it's a countertop model, you need to completely remove the outer case to get to the lightbulb. If it's and OTR microwave, there usually is an access cover located behind the grill vent. You can remove that grille vent by removing the 2 to 4 screws above the grill vent. Then either slide the grill vent 1/4" to the left to remove it, or else (depending on the model), just pull out the top of the grill vent, followed by the bottom. Then you should be able to see the lightbulb access cover. Usually there is 1 screw that you have to remove. But unplug the microwave before you to any further! Now remove the screw, lift up and remove the cover, and you should be able to get to the light bulb.

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One or both of these service manuals should cover disassembly and location of the bulb:

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We're happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

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You can download GE owner's manuals and installation instructions here.

You can usually find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number here.

We're happy to help you and we'd appreciate your thoughtful rating of our answer.

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