One day the unit was working fine. The next day, no heat. It runs through the cycle and appears to be working, turntable turning, seconds counting down, lights on, making the normal sounds - but the food is still cold at the end of the cycle. I read through all the solutions to see if I could solve it that way. I have tried pressing down on the door while running but this did not help so I doubt it's a door switch. I installed the unit myself when I bought it in 2002, and I have been an amateur radio operator for many years so I feel capable of doing any repairs safely.
I'm thinking I may have one of the magnetrons from the bad batch I hear GE got one time, or something else in the high voltage circuit is causing the trouble.
Thanks for your help!
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It's most likely a defective magnetron or a bad connection at the magnetron terminal.
The GE bulletin on the magnetron kit can be found here to see if yours is one affected:
You may have a loose and tarnished connection at the FA terminal of the magnetron.
If so, it needs to be disconnected, tightened, maybe burnished or sanded, and reinstalled. If it still won't work, the mag is bad.
But before you do anything, we have *critical* safety and disassembly info at our site, which is linked at our listing here on FixYa: http://tinyurl.com/yzjozk
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check contact points for current. tabs might be bent and are not contacting correctly and no heat the Ni-Chrome wire heats up glow orange when currant is applied , might need a test voltage Meter and screw driver too >^.^<
Intermittent operation can be caused by a door interlock micro switch, a weak capacitor, an intermittent wiring connection from heat or poor connection, a marginally performing diode or a sticking Magnetron. Except for the Magnetron all other repairs would be worth the expense.
Repair costs and parts for most everything else will be between $65 and $100.00 depending on the part(s) replaced. Replacing the Magnetron would cost more than 50 % of the total unit replacement cost.
you may have gotten a power surge and that can cause some funny things to happen, 1st is there power to the oven, 2nd if so there may be an internal fuse protector built in to the oven, check with the manual for anything of that sort listed. if not you may have to take it in and have it repaired by a pro. there is a lot of voltage in these ovens and unless you know what you are doing a person could get hurt
The problem is that the magnatron is not getting power. Chance is that if could be a bolwn fuse inside the unit. If the fuse don't fix it then that leaves the charging diode, capacitor or the magnatron, or high voltage xformer of which without technical epertize I would not recomend attempting to replace. good luck
power spikes are very damaging to a microwaves internal parts, it sounds like your transformer and/or magnetron are blown. if the unit is out of warranty I would recommend calling a repairman or getting a new microwave (the transformer & magnetron are expensive and dangerous to work on) also get a small single plug surge protector for the new one.