Anybody here happen to know where the oven-locking mechanism solenoid
for an older GE range is actually located before I start a disassembly
spree? Rear or under cooktop?
Also, is there any way to release the lever manually after cooling?
OK, the solenoid is under the cooktop on top of the range just behinde
the locking handle -- but, it ain't the problem. Coil measures 150
ohm and unlocking switch tests good, but no juice to coils when press
so it appears the "temperature cool" interlock is the problem.
So, revised question is, anybody know where it is and how to check its
operation? I expected a wiring diagram on back cover, but was
disappointed so have no further info. Will go look at GE to see if
anything available, but figured would see if anybody here has directly
futzed w/ one...
Nope, had to do that to raise top to check solenoid -- no drawing,
Although actually, I later realized I should have known the solenoid
wasn't bad as the microwave lock uses the same locking mechanism and
it still unlocks just fine so it has to be the cooling temperature
interlock that's the problem -- just don't know how it's wired in and
takes a fair more disassembly to be able to trace the rest of the
wiring physically. Would be much better to find out some more info
OK, since no response and I've learned something and it appears this
is an faq from many appliance repair sites (without any real
substantive answers at any, at least that I found), I'll post what
I've learned on the GE radar range on the assumption it will be quite
similar for any GE/Whirlpool range with a solenoid-activated oven
The solenoid is located directly behind the oven lock lever. One can
slip a thin (preferably non-metallic) object such as a ruler in the
slot and depress the solenoid arm to unlock the door in the case it
does fail to open. Of course, should only do this after certain the
oven has cooled to a safe temperature. The electrical contacts to the
solenoid are at the rear so it's quite unlikely to contact them, but
prudence dictates a non-conductive "pusher" as noted.
The circuit includes a thermal interlock and the sensor for it is a
separate thermo-switch mounted in the back wall of the oven near the
broiler element and facing directly into the oven. I had previously
assumed owing to it's proximity to the broiler this sensor was for the
broil cycle, but that isn't the case. Since I had also thought the
thermal reset was simply a bimetallic thermal switch, I was initially
looking for something else, but that isn't the case in this oven. It
does appear from what I have found that some later GE and other
manufacturers do use such a device and forego the solenoid entirely.
To get direct access to the solenoid requires raising the range top
which is held down by four screws in the front above the door and
three on each side of the rear posts of the control panel. The top
then just lays back.
There are thus three basic things to troubleshoot to determine where
the problem is in this circuit --
1. The "Unlock" switch on the rear panel. If a continuity check
across the terminals shows good when pressed, this is ok. If it's
still open when pressed, the switch needs replacing.
2. The solenoid itself -- check there is continuity through the
coil. This one is roughly 150-ohm. If it's open, it's bad. If the
switch above is good, check for voltage across the terminals when
press the switch. If voltage but no actuation, it's not functioning.
That's not too likely. If no voltage, then probably the thermal
switch isn't closing.
3. When the oven is cold, check the contacts of the switch -- if
their open, the element/switch needs replacing. This one at least is
an integral unit; can't replace the switch or thermal sensor portion
Hopefully this will help someone else down the road maybe...
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