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91seahawk 02-27-2009 08:44 AM

GE microwave smells like something electrical burning
The other day I went to use the microwave (over the range) and the display was not lit up. The light and fan underneath would not cut on either. I figured a breaker may have tripped so I checked that and it was fine. About a half hour later, the display came back on. So I tried to use it and it sounded like it was straining (lower hum than usual) and a smell like something electrical was burning emanated. I turned it off and have not tried it since.

Is the heart of the unit bad and thus, time to toss it, or might this be a $75 part I can replace?

MicrowaveDisplaycom 03-01-2009 04:19 PM

The magnetron is probably overheating and causing the magnetron thermostat to open. Then when it cools, it closes the circuit and allows power through again.

This is most often caused by clogged filters, a failed cooling fan or a failing magnetron.

We have a sound clip of what a microwave should sound like when the cooling fan and high voltage section are operating here.

There should be a "mini-manual" (tech sheet) hidden inside the unit behind the control panel or hidden on the left side behind the grille, which is very helpful when troubleshooting, testing, and locating components.

At our Web site, we have a video available showing how to remove a typical over the range control panel assembly in under 5 minutes.

You can find helpful exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model number from the tag on the oven here.

If it's within the magnetron portion of the warranty (usually 5-9 years) but out of the original full warranty (usually 1 year), then your manufacturer will cover the part cost, but not the cost to visit you or the labor charge to do the work.

If it's within the mag warranty, G.E. should send you the magnetron to do it yourself. Call them at 888-239-6832 with your model, serial, and manufacturing date.

If nothing else, you can save about $75 by taking it to the shop yourself.

Accessing some components for testing and possible replacement will require you to remove the oven from the wall.

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.

Reply back if you need more help.

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