cold microwave

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My GE microwave JEM31GA 002 does not heat. Everything seems to work fine on it except for cooking. GE website does not offer any self-help on microwave repair. This microwave fits in the cabinet opening so finding a replacement won't be that easy.
I tried unplugging it for a few minutes but that didn't fix it. Any ideas?
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Safety switches, and the high voltage diode, come to mind.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I took it apart and checked the capacitor, transformer and diode. The wiring diagram inside and troubleshooting flowchart were helpful. The transformer has continuity on both sides. The capacitor has changing resistance readings with the multimeter at highest scale. The diode has no reading either way. I assume the diode is bad. I will try Radio Shack tomorrow. It will be really nice if I can get this thing to work. So far the wife has rejected two microwaves I bought.
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badgolferman wrote:

Yup, sounds like the diode.
Wow, what a fussy wife.
SWMBO'd would not have a microwave 25 years ago. Anyways, one day she called me at work to say that we would be having a second child. Without her approval, I went out and bought a microwave. With the workload I had and commuting, it made sure that I could at least have a warm meal! These days, she uses the thing with no thought about previous concerns!
The first one cost about 400 in 1979. I bought the equivalent replacement gizmo in about 2000 for just over 100! (Ignoring inflation).
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Clot wrote:

You had me worried there for a second. I thought you were going to microwave the second child. 8-)
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Well there have been times! ;)
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Clot wrote:

I have four brothers and four sisters. Mom went through ten pregnancies in 20 years before Dad took her down and got her spayed. He said enough of that! Imagine growing up in a literal litter of puppies. Pun intended. We didn't have to worry about a microwave, being put on a spit over hot coals was more of a threat.
TDD
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Sounds like what my mother said. Mother was an excellent cook. She did not want one. The dad got her one and she would not do without it before she died.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Moving on a slightly different tack, a friend of mine used to ridicule me for having a cell phone years ago. I had a busy career at the time involving conversations with folk in various time zones.
One Christmas, his partner bought him a toy cell phone which really wound him up!
Today when we meet up at the pub, he is the first to pull out the phone and consult the Stock Market!
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wrote:

Maybe the diode, some of them will always show open on some meters. Hope that fixes it though. I used to work on the things back in the early 70's for about 5 years doing Amana warranty work and then off and on until the late 80's. Dont think Rat Shack has the part. Let me know if they do.
Jimmie
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JIMMIE wrote:

Yes, most high voltage diodes will not test well with your average multi meter. I used my capacitor tester to check one once. Set it on leakage test with the voltage set at 650VDC. Now if you have a little handheld capacitor tester, that still isn't going to help. You need one that puts out realistic test voltages.
In my limited experience with microwave ovens, (about 5 times) the problem was always a bad micro switch or two.
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Diodes SHOULD read about 2K ohms if checked one way, and reverse the leads, and should read infinity. I dare say that's likely the problem. The diodes I've seen have been 12.5 KV rated, so they might be more available at appliance parts. http://www.google.com/products?q=microwave+diode+&hl=en&aq=f
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Stormin Mormon, 1/18/2010,8:01:04 AM, wrote:

Radio Shack does not have the part. No one has the part locally. GE will sell it for $42. I am hesitant to purchase it because after I went back and checked it again with power on this time I am only getting 6.6 V at the main side of the transformer instead of 120 V. Now I am not so sure about the diode, especially after some of the other comments regarding a high voltage diode.
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Sounds like you have skill at troubleshooting. Keep at it, I have a good sense about this. You'll get it.
The couple times I replaced a bad high voltage diode. The oven would HUM 60 cycles good and loud. But not heat.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon, 1/18/2010,6:46:22 PM, wrote:

Well, we finally broke down and ordered the GE Spacemaker II off the web. It is the exact replacement model of what we have now and will fit perfectly in the allotted space. There was no sense in ordering a part, waiting 1-2 weeks for it and finding out it wasn't the problem. This way everyone is happy except for my wallet!
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Maybe it just didn't know the words?
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Naah, it had a bad cold that day.
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Christopher A. Young
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The $ 42 sure sounds high for a diode. They were on line from less than $ 5 to $ 15. I don't know about the quality of the under $ 100 microwaves, but would get one of them before trying to repair a microwave. Seems that most things under $ 500 are throw away now the way the parts cost to repair them.
I think the one you have may be in the $ 200 to $ 300 range as it seems to be one that hangs under the counter. They do cost more and may be the only kind you want. I think I have had 2 microwaves at the house in many years. One was a Litton that the timer gave up and about that time my mother passed away so I got the one she had. It is a GE. Not sure how old it was when she had it. Both of them are large inside, not the sandwich heater size.
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could be a bad overtemp monitor(thermal cutout) or "flame sensor". both are in line with the transformer.

the college students around here throw them away the end of every semester. I suspect most are functioning,too.

About 8 years ago,my MW died,and I bought a new HV cap and HV diode for $25 from a local appliance repair store. The HV cap had blown,I replaced the diode just in case,and it's been working fine ever since. Sharp brand.
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Jim Yanik
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wrote:

The 6.6v is probably the filament winding for the magnetron. There is another secondary for the high voltage, usually followed by some sort of voltage double circuitry.
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