Question about GE JE1640 Microwave Oven

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Does not heat up

What could be the problem...

The service guy wants around $180 to give me an estimate. Every 12 to 14 months this problem happens. I have called the guy three times in past already

Posted by dsds on


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William Miller

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Does the problem "fix itself" or your service guy replacing parts and fixing it?

Generally, the most common causes of a failure to heat are:

- bad door switches or door switch mounts
- loose connection at the magnetron
- problem or loose connection on the control unit circuit board
- bad magnetron or other high voltage part such as high-voltage rectifier diode

Door switches are most often damaged by opening the door while it's cooking (instead of pressing Stop / Clear first) or food
/ grease debris in the switches.

Posted on Nov 05, 2007


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Is there a way to reset my oven?

I am not sure how technical you or anyone in your household is and you didn't give a specific oven model, so I don't think anyone can give you detailed instructions on how to do this.

I would disconnect the oven from power/gas/etc and open the cover. I would look for the wires coming from the probe jack and disconnect them from the circuit board. I would then reconnect the oven and check if that resolved the issue. If that did not resolve the issue then I would call 3 repair services to get an estimate based on the error.

Based on the issue including that the oven is stuck on warming, I would not be surprised if an entire circuit board needs to be replaced.

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Conduct what the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service calls a "Time-to-Boil" test, which will help you estimate your microwave's wattage. Add 1 cup of water to a microwave-safe 2-cup measure. Add ice cubes and stir until the water is icy cold. Pour out the excess water, leaving just 1 cup. Place the measuring cup inside the microwave. Set the oven for four minutes on high. Watch through the glass to see when the water boils. If it takes less than two minutes, the microwave is 1,000 watts or more; if it takes 2.5 minutes, the oven has a rating of 800 watts or more; if it boils in 3 minutes, the estimated wattage is 650 to 700.

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Why does it come on by itself

HOPEFULLY this only happens when the door is closed, or else you have a very dangerous situation. If it ever turns ON with the door open, unplug it IMMEDIATELY, and do NOT plug it back in. Microwave energy will damage human tissue with very bad long-term problems... it's not something to be taken lightly.

Otherwise, this sounds very much like the micro-controller in the timer/control module has had a serious failure. If this unit is more than 12 months old, it is past the manufacturers warranty period, and unless you purchased an extended warranty, it's likely beyond "financially advisable" repair.

If you have a friend in the electronics repair business, it may be reasonable, but I would estimate the replacement timer/control module would cost around $85 to $100, and about $70 labor to replace it.

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It lights up and the timer still works and it just does not run and heat

I presume that "does not run" means no fan, no light, no nothing... if so:
Possible causes:
  1. Defective START button.
  2. Faulty interlock (aka door) switches.
  3. Door is not securely closed.
  4. Faulty controller.
  5. You waited too long - open and close door to wake it up!
Most of these problems involve some level of technical proficiency to resolve and likely mean a service call is required. If under warranty, have it repaired by the company. If not, call around , explain the problem, and get an estimate on repair. Fixing door switches should be fairly cheap (~$25 for the whole assembly) + labour.

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This model from GE is a ****..they replaced the keypad once wihtin first 2 just after warranty..same issue again. Never buy GE products. The replacement key bad is $44+shipping in many onlne parts store..I am giving it one more time this happens..GE will be out my door!!

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If there is not enough airflow around the oven it will turn off for safety. It will reinstate itself once it has cooled.

If this does not recover I suggest you call for a warranty service, but I am hopefiul its just the overheat sensor.

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No heat is coming out - everything else works

If there is no heat the magnatron is damaged as that is the heart of the unit. I think the replacemenet may exceed the cost of a new unit.

I dont see a brand mentioned, but you should call the distributor for an estimate and weigh that up to the age of the machine and the difference of having a shiney new one with 12 months warranty and a new microwave cookbook. Ohh and when that happens i want an invite to dinner :)

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I'm guessing that's JVM1870SDF04. While there's a chance it may be the magnetron, but I do suspect the high voltage transformer.

The magnetron would still be covered under warranty, but you would have to pay for the home visit ($75 avg) and the labor to replace the part ($90 avg).

The transformer is just over $100 here and about $165 direct from GE.

You can save about $75 in labor by taking it to the shop yourself and for their bench fee, you can get an estimate and find out if it;s the mag or the transformer.

If so, the installation instructions are very handy, and it's best to have two people since the microwave can be heavy and awkward.

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

GE Customer Service is here and they can point you to your nearest GE-authorized servicer.

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

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WoW!! What kind of a rental lease requires you to repair appliances? Most rental properties have maintainance of appliances included. Read your lease. Are you required to have it repaired?
Could be anything from a Cold Solder Connection on the Cook-Relay Board to a Magnetron.No Simple solution for a Novice. It involves step-by-step trouble shooting with power turned on some steps. Very DANGEROUS!!
Call around, Ask how much for Trip Charge and Estimate of Repair.
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