5 Reasons Why GE Microwave Not Heating – Let’s Fix It

A microwave is an appliance that uses electromagnetic radiation to excite the molecules in food. The process heats the food so that it becomes warm or hot enough to serve. Microwaves are usually found in restaurants, hospitals, schools, offices, and of course the home. Microwaves are found in almost every modern kitchen. They are used for heating leftovers, warming up coffee or tea, or cooking frozen dinners. Unfortunately, even the best microwaves can develop problems, and in this case, the GE microwave not heating foods or beverages. In this article, we will explore why GE microwave does not heats up and how to fix it.

If your GE microwave is not heating up food the way you expect, it may be due to a complicated electrical problem. GE microwaves are equipped with parts that are designed to deal with the high voltage required for high frequency microwaves, so when they stop working correctly, you should consider replacing them or taking your microwave in for servicing.

Our step-by-step troubleshooting guide can help you figure out what’s wrong with your Microwave and get it working again. Each issue is described in detail with illustrations, as well as instructions on how to fix them.

GE Microwave Not Heating – troubleshoot and Diagnosis

IMPORTANT: Understanding the risks of electricity is crucial with every electrical device. Although unplugged, microwaves can house a lethal amount of electricity that could harm if exposed with an improper use. Professionals should only be in charge of tinkering and repairing microwaves.

GE Microwave Not Heating

Microwaves are complicated machines, they contain many different moving parts, and they can break easily if their parts aren’t maintained or replaced after prolonged use.

To avoid microwave repair costs, it’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of a dying microwave.  If you’re not sure what could go wrong, here are some handy tips for testing your faulty equipment:

  • Ensure that Timer function is not ON
    Microwave buttons can be confusing and tricky, and you may find yourself accidentally pressing the timer button instead of the cook button. This will only count down the time of the meal — it isn’t a way to cook your food. The timer on your microwave is a critical function that allows you to cook food for a certain amount of time. But it’s not a cooking feature — it only starts the clock, and it stops when your food is done. And if you accidentally press the timer button instead of the cooking feature, your food isn’t going to heat.
  • Ensure that door is properly closed
    The microwave door must be closed when in use for the microwave to work. Never slam the microwave door shut, as it could damage one of your sensors (which will greatly decrease your microwave’s cooking power). The door should close automatically, but if it doesn’t, use a soft cloth to gently push the door shut.

Sometimes, your microwave won’t heat up even though you hit the “start” button. Here are a few reasons why:

Faulty Diode

Microwaves are an excellent way to heat food quickly, but the diode inside the machine is what makes it possible. It’s a component that takes in alternating current and becomes a part of the microwave itself — converting the voltage from alternating current into direct current to create a high-energy field in the waveguide tube.

If the microwave diode burns out, the magnetron won’t receive enough power to operate. This will prevent the microwave from heating. When the diode fails, it will become visibly burned out and you may need to replace it in order for your microwave to work properly.

Inspect the diode and test for continuity. If the diode is burned out, replace it. If there is no continuity, check the resistance across the leads to see if it falls within acceptable limits. Then, check the voltage output of the power supply using a multimeter or use a 9-volt battery in series to create an open circuit. Finally, check to see if there is continuity between the diode’s leads when they are reversed.

Defective Door Switch

Many microwaves have three or four door switches that actuate when the door closes. If any of these switches fails, the microwave won’t start or heat while closed.

Microwave door switches can be faulty, causing the microwave to stay on without heating food. To test a door switch for continuity, a multimeter is used. If a microwave door switch does not have continuity, it should be replaced.

Burnt Out Magnetron

When it comes to a working microwave oven, many consumers don’t think much about the part that generates microwave frequency. However, if this component fails or is damaged, not only can the microwave oven stop functioning, but repairing the device could prove challenging and costly. The magnetron is a tube-shaped vacuum tube containing a resonant cavity magnetron cathode and anode.

When you use your GE microwave and it doesn’t heat up, you may have a burned out magnetron.

The magnetron in this microwave oven is not repairable. If it fails, it must be replaced.

Burnt Out High Voltage Capacitor

The microwave high voltage capacitor is a part of the load circuit of a microwave oven. In a conventional magnetron design, the high voltage diode and the microwave high voltage capacitor are connected in series with the load (the heating element) and with the source of high-voltage pulses (the magnetron). The capacitor stores energy during each half cycle and then releases it to the load during the other half cycle.

If the microwave capacitor is burned out, the entire high voltage circuit will stop working properly, and the microwave won’t heat. This is why replacing a blown microwave capacitor is so important. Anytime your microwave is malfunctioning, you need to check this capacitor first before spending money on a new part or calling for service.

To check whether the capacitor is at fault, use a VOM or multi-meter with a capacity tester. The meter should be able to measure uF (microfarads). If the voltage doubler doesn’t work, first check the capacitor with your meter. A large value will indicate a good capacitor; however, if the capacity is less than 10 microfarads, replace it.

Failed High Voltage Transformer

If you smell burning, have an electric shock feeling when you touch the microwave door handle or have a transformer that is emitting a high-pitched sound, it means that your microwave’s transformer is failing.

Microwave ovens use a high-voltage transformer to emit energy and cook food. When a transformer fails, it will usually arc and smell like something is burning.

Blown Thermal Fuse

If your microwave is heating unevenly or burning food, chances are you need to replace the thermal fuse. A thermal fuse is a small electrical device that prevents damage to the microwave by cutting off power if the unit begins to overheat.

To figure out if your microwave needs a new thermal fuse, check the device with a multimeter to ensure there’s continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the fuse and try again — if the fuse is blown, it cannot be reset and must be replaced.

Tripped Thermoprotector

This microwave has a built-in thermal protector. If the unit overheats, it will automatically cut power to prevent any damage from overheating. When this happens, the microwave won’t be able to heat anything and won’t start. This trip mechanism will save your life if you accidentally overload or forget about food in the oven.

For the most effective solution, troubleshoot the GE microwave’s thermoprotector by testing it with a multimeter. If the thermoprotector does not have continuity, it is faulty and needs replaced.

Defective Main Control Board

The microwave might be having a few problems because of a control board. It should be replaced, but it’s a rare occurrence. Before replacing a control board, make sure to check other components.

If the other components on the microwave are working, then you should first check that the main control board is properly connected to the microwave’s main power board. Remove all of the screws on the cover plate using a screwdriver. Remove the plate and check that the main control board is properly connected to the main power board at each of their connection points.

If a microwave main control board has been determined to be malfunctioning, it must be replaced.

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