GE Spacemaker XL1800 won't heat


Microwave Repair

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Hello Gene, I know that you have helped people with this unit which stops heating in the past but I

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Old 01-11-2011, 07:48 PM
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Default GE Spacemaker XL1800 won't heat
Model Number: JVM1870SF02   Brand: GE   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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Hello Gene,
I know that you have helped people with this unit which stops heating in the past but I just wanted to sum up some things youíve said in the forum and make sure Iím understanding you correctly.
My unit was manufactured in Jan 2005. It stopped heating a few days ago. I ran it in the defrost mode and couldnít hear the power sound change like I used to. Everything else seems to be the same minus the heating.

To one user you say to:
Remove the screw holding the control panel and open the control panel. Check the door switches (#67 & 68 on the break down diagram) for continuity.

If there is nothing wrong then remove the two wires from the primary winding on the high voltage transformer (#83 on the break down diagram) and check for 120VAC between these wires while the control calls for heat and the door is closed.
If there is 120VAC then the magnetron is bad.
If there is no 120VAC then the control board has to be replaced.

To another user you also said that:
If you donít hear the power change during defrost mode then the magnetron has gone bad and it could cause damage to the high voltage diode.

My questions are:
Do I start with the control panel then move to the high voltage transformer to determine the magnetron or do I know itís the magnetron because I donít hear the power level changes like I used to?
If it is the magnetron do I need to check the diode then too?
I hear people saying the magnetron is usually covered under warranty for 10/15 years. I donít find anything in my GE manual that says thisÖwould you know?
How much is the control panel usually run?
Iím just trying to figure out if I should attempt this or not. I have a millimeter but am not the most electrical inclined and donít want to get shocked but Iím willing to give it a go.

Thanks so much for your time.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2011, 05:19 PM
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Question GE Spacemaker XL1800 won't heat

Hi Gene,

I was wondering if you still might be able to take a couple of minutes and review my microwave problem.
I really appreciate it.

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Old 01-18-2011, 09:57 AM
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If you are getting voltage to the transformer then the magnetron tube is more than likely bad. However, it can be the transformer (very uncommon) the capacitor or the diode. If the diode is bad 99% of the time the magnetron tube is bad and vice versa. I suggest replacing the diode if the magnetron tube is bad and vice versa. Every once in a while I see the capacitor bad but it is uncommon as well. Typically if the capacitor is bad the microwave will be a lot nosier than normal and it will not heat. If it is not noisy then more than likely the capacitor is ok.

Magnetron tubes on a lot of older GE microwaves had a 10-year parts warranty. A few had five and now they only have one. In any case it will say in the owners manual, if you are unsure call GE.

Should you decide to replace the magnetron tube this page should help.

GE Spacemaker Microwave Magnetron Tube Replacement

In a couple of weeks there will be a video on that page if you can wait and/or you think you need it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:42 AM
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge applianceman. I will pull the microwave down from above the stove and check that there is voltage to the transformer. If there is then I will see about getting a magnetron and replace the diode at the same time.
I didn't see anything listed on the owners manual about a magnetron warranty but the manual covered about 6 models. I will check again though.
Also...thank you for the link on how to change out the magnetron. I like the idea of a video...is this something you are putting together for the Appliance Repair Guide For All Major Home Appliances site? I think I can wait a couple weeks because I'm sure that will be helpful for me...plus it will take time for the magnetron to ship as well.
Also...interesting about the magnetron warranties going down in duration. 10 then 5 now 1 year. Seems like the older microwaves that I've seen never seem to be the ones breaking down...it's the newer ones....go figure.
Again...really appreciate it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:29 PM
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I am actually working on the video now and it should be ready by the weekend however my Internet is acting up on me. It is going in and out and I am not sure it will last long enough for a video upload (surprising I am even able to post this) until my Internet service provider comes out and makes the repair. I own Appliance Repair Guide For All Major Home Appliances and I am trying to create at least one video a month now.

Looking at the parts breakdown it seems yours is slightly different from the one pictured on the site and the upcoming video (I am using the most common space saver microwave). However donít worry the procedure is almost the same. Yours seems to have a little duct on the magnetron tube you have to remove and reinstall and you may not have to drop the transformer down as described in step 9.

It is a shame about the warranties going away. On most appliances over the years there was an extended warrant on the major parts such as the magnetron tube on microwaves, transmissions on washers and compressors on refrigerators. A few years back the companies started doing away with these warranties. Everyone has got to cut back somehow. I was just at a service school and they show us where Whirlpool sold a washer back in the 50s for $250 and now they still got one for less than $300. The point is they have to cut back somewhere and we (consumers) pay for it one way or another. In most cases it is in the form of quality and in this case warranty. This is a little off subject but I got carried away.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:37 AM
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Hello Applianceman.
Sorry to hear about your Internet connection. My cable modem went out last week on a Friday at 5pm so I know how frustrating that can be.
No problem on the video...whenever you get it finished. The site you created if very nice.
I am still planning on talking to GE this weekend to see if any warranty is left. Suppose just look for the GE appliances contact info online for a 800 number.
I am excited to dive in to the project and get this working again.

While I've got you here and I know this should probably be a new thread so I appologize but I'm in a pickle with my current GE dishwasher too. The unit is 5 years old. Don't have the current model number on hand but middle of the road quality-wise. The dishes have started to come out with white film on them all the time which seems to be impossible to scrub off. Tried JetDry and modifing wash times, etc. I know that Cascade and other have stopped putting phospate in their detergents but i'm not sure if that could cause it or not. The unit seems to operate as it always has but now with film on dishes all the time.
Wife and I are so tired of it was are looking for new ones this weekend.
So 2 questions:
1) Does the film thing just happen after a while and it might be worth just getting a new dishwasher...5 years is a long time for a dishwasher anyways?
2) Say we did got out and look for dishwashers. What is a brand and maybe model you would recommend in the $400 to $500 range? I know it might be hard being thrown a question like that. I guess more in terms of reliability.

Hey...thanks again for any help you can provide.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:43 AM
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I will go ahead and answer your dishwasher question. I hope the moderators donít care if I answer a dishwasher question on the microwave forum.

This is more than likely because of phosphate free detergent. Detergent companies had to remove phosphate from the detergent and as a result we are seeing white film on dishes. The best way to remove the white film is to put all dishes with the film in the dishwasher and run it though a cycle with citric acid. This may have to be done a few times a year.

The GE part number for the citric acid is WD35X151 it comes with two cycles worth of acid. I hope this resolves this problem for you.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:10 PM
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Default My GE 1600 XL (JVM1631) 'run's but doesn't heat either!

I have a similar problem with my 10 year old 1600. Everything indicates normal operation (light, turntable, timing, auto shut off after time, and SOME noise) but the noise is deeper than it used to be and there is absolutely no heating.
I have not as yet started looking, but will use the exploded diagram to look for a fuse, check conneections, check the capacitor with my VOM and look for transformer promary voltage. Anything else? Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for sneaking that dishwasher answer in Applianceman. Thanks again for the help you have provided. I will see what I can fix!
I appreciate it.
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Old 01-22-2011, 08:33 AM
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One more quicky. I was able to find that my magnatron is actaully covered for TEN years so that is good news! After I check that it's not the controlboard, are you familiar with how one goes about getting the new magnetron from GE? Do I have to take out the old one ship it back, they test to determine it's bad then they ship me the new one?
Also, I don't have the receipt. I wonder if this will pose a problem. It came brand new with the house we bought in 2005. Builder didn't leave us anything...but by the model number GE should be able to easily tell it was purchased in 2005 time range.
Any thoughts,
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