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Old 02-14-2019, 08:55 PM
v32 finish v32 finish is offline
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Default Need someone: better w/ consumer electronics than I am. Troubleshoot

Ok.


I'll keep this short and sweet.

I have an unfortunate, albeit not earth shattering, problem here at my house. We have a *really* nice, $200+ microwave from GE. (model name nowhere to be found and haven't put in the time yet to Really search online).

This microwave is fantastic and has all the bells and whistles. problem is, it's not working anymore.

We've only had it about 4 (?) years.. maybe 5.. at the most. At any rate, well within what I feel SHOULD be the life expectancy of a microwave. especially a near top-of-the-line one.

I'm 99% of the way towards calling this a lost cause and dumping it, but before I do, I wanted to post here as well as do a rudimentary google search. It still powers on, it still has the correct time (well, it did, before I unplugged it), it does EVERYTHING correctly... except, when you go to press "time cook" or whatever, and then actually press start, it's like it actually cuts on... but doesn't. There's a click, and the timer even starts counting down, like it's cooking, but the lights don't cut on, and obviously it doesn't make the sound and the actual *cooking* mechanism doesn't *cook*.

Again.. haven't done my basic homework yet... but is there a chance this could be a fuse or other instance which could be fixed? lol.

wouldn't care if it wasn't such a beast of a great micro. opinions welcome. sorry to waste your time should i just throw it away and be done with it? or indulge my stubborn instinct that tells me it hasn't even close to fulfilled its duty yet?

Scott
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:25 PM
Bob in Alberta Bob in Alberta is offline
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Microwaves usually have a few door switches that primary function is to make sure that nothing unsafe happens ie: the magnetron coming on when the door is still open. Over time these switches can either develop a bad connection on one of the connecting wires or become sticky and not make or break contact when they are supposed to. This can cause an assortment of problems ranging from a fuse blowing when the door is closed to a no operation condition. It may be something as simple as checking and replacing one of these switches. They aren't very expensive. My biggest concern would be as to your technical expertise. Microwaves have a relatively large storage capacitor and in my previous occupation as a electronics technician in a consumer electronics/home appliance shop I have seen a trained tech get a serious jolt when he got a little sloppy. If you really like the microwave Id find a reliable shop to take a look for you.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:06 PM
The Growler The Growler is offline
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Bob very well could be correct, but I'd be surprised I'd the timer would count down if it was one of the door contacts.

If you really like it and a repair is possible and reasonable, you may be in luck. However, looking at the price of microwaves, including yours, you can see where the price of a cheap part and an hour's worth of labor at shop rates pretty much equals a new microwave with a warranty.

Sadly, most small electronics and appliances are disposable these days.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:23 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Appliances are throw-away items these days. The cost of repairs being so high (and there are fewer and fewer repairmen available), it's seldom worth investigating.
Next time, buy a cheaper microwave and expect it to last a minimum number of years and be replaced.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:03 AM
Ludere Ludere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in Alberta View Post
Microwaves usually have a few door switches that primary function is to make sure that nothing unsafe happens ie: the magnetron coming on when the door is still open. Over time these switches can either develop a bad connection on one of the connecting wires or become sticky and not make or break contact when they are supposed to. This can cause an assortment of problems ranging from a fuse blowing when the door is closed to a no operation condition. It may be something as simple as checking and replacing one of these switches. They aren't very expensive. My biggest concern would be as to your technical expertise. Microwaves have a relatively large storage capacitor and in my previous occupation as a electronics technician in a consumer electronics/home appliance shop I have seen a trained tech get a serious jolt when he got a little sloppy. If you really like the microwave I’d find a reliable shop to take a look for you.
Good stuff. I have been both a licensed Electrician and an Electronics Tech in 'previous lives' and this is all solid advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Growler View Post
Bob very well could be correct, but I'd be surprised I'd the timer would count down if it was one of the door contacts.

If you really like it and a repair is possible and reasonable, you may be in luck. However, looking at the price of microwaves, including yours, you can see where the price of a cheap part and an hour's worth of labor at shop rates pretty much equals a new microwave with a warranty.

Sadly, most small electronics and appliances are disposable these days.
Growler, actually, depending on the design, the clock might be designed to start at the button push, whether or not the Magnetron (amp) has engaged. I have definitely seen some that work that way.
Totally agree with the disposability and balancing cost of repair vs. value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
Appliances are throw-away items these days. The cost of repairs being so high (and there are fewer and fewer repairmen available), it's seldom worth investigating.
Next time, buy a cheaper microwave and expect it to last a minimum number of years and be replaced.
I can see both sides of this ... depending on how expensive and how attached the OP is to the current machine, it could make sense to fix it.
Years back I had a (ridiculously) expensive microwave burn up the main amp. Fortunately it was covered by my home warranty, but the cost was just way out of line.
BTW, that was a "top of the line" built-in appliance that didn't even make it 3 years ... so, no telling ...

...
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Last edited by Ludere; 02-15-2019 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:01 AM
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DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
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Call GE with the model # and serial number and they will tell you if it's still under warranty.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:04 AM
robj144 robj144 is offline
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Funny... my over the stove microwave just died the other day after 10+ years. It had a good run though.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:04 AM
PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Google the model number and the problem. If it looks like an easy fix give it a try.

If nothing pops up and it's not an easy fix, toss it and get another one.

Microwaves are 50% alien technology and 50% witchcraft, so I don't fool around with appliances like this.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:57 AM
joe white joe white is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Microwaves are 50% alien technology and 50% witchcraft, so I don't fool around with appliances like this.
Made me laugh out loud.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:48 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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I also like Bob in Alberta's take on this.
The problem could very well reside in the circuit firing path for the magnetron, and could possibly be a quick fix (by a technician. Also agree that these are not applicances for the weekend warriors to be messing with. )

The reason I don't suspect the magnetron is that they usually announce their "end of life" when they are failing, with loud noises and bangs when they become energized.
You would definitely remember hearing that.

So yeah, if you like the microwave a lot, locate a tech shop. A good one will/should be able to troubleshoot the problem fairly quickly.
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Old 02-16-2019, 01:01 PM
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$200.00/4(5) = $50($40) per year of service. Including depreciation, I'd say the unit wouldn't owe me a dime at this point. But, being a DIY kind of person, I'd still disregard the cost of my own labor (I could be doing something more profitable) and troubleshoot the unit for a simple/cheap fix before condemning it to the recycle center.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:36 PM
v32 finish v32 finish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
Google the model number and the problem. If it looks like an easy fix give it a try.

If nothing pops up and it's not an easy fix, toss it and get another one.

Microwaves are 50% alien technology and 50% witchcraft, so I don't fool around with appliances like this.
LOL- this is my favorite reply. Gave me a much-needed laugh.

Pretty much confirmed what I already knew (roughly, of course- esp re: the disposability of current products) ..just wanted to get someone else's take on it.

I'm not at all "attached" to the unit in any way.. at this time I'm just looking for the cheapest route. I'm intrigued by the "quick fix" possibility.. but... even if that's the case, as someone else pointed out, unless I'm terribly lucky, the cost of a small part and a nominal fee will bring me into "new unit" territory.

We will see!

thanks
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:42 PM
unimogbert unimogbert is offline
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Last microwave I fixed had a loose connection that smoked under load. Cleaned up the connection & resoldered it and the oven was restored.

The prior one was a fan that had partially melted and started rubbing on things.
Couldn't get the fan impeller as a repair part so the oven was replaced.

In my long history of fixing things it's often productive to have a look inside to see what's amiss. You won't know if it's an easy fix until you know what's amiss.
In some cases just wiggling all the connectors is the fix.

(Be sure you know what you're dealing with though. Messing with live electrical components can be fatal.)
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