We have a 4 year old GE over-the-range microwave model JVM1660BB
The microwave has stopped heating. First symptoms were a grrring sound
that happened intermittently, perhaps 1 out of 10 uses. It was loud
enough to make us shut it off right away so not sure if it was heating
when this happened. It was accompanied by a slightly strange smell.
Many times it would go away if we restarted it. Now the noise has
lessened but it doesn't heat.
We've called GE and they want $75 just to diagnose. This would be
applied to repair if done.
Trying to decide if its worth repairing or just replace it.
Anyone have an educated guess what's wrong or how much the repair
Thanks in advance!
Most microwave ovens have a 5 year warranty on the magnetron tube,
labour not included usually.
Many GE OTR microwave models however have a defect in the microwave
distribution system which causes the magnetron tube to overheat and
cut out and/or damage the diode. There is a field modification kit to
repair such a condition on GE models JVM1630, JVM1631, JVM1640,
JVM1642, JVM1650, JVM1651, JVM1660 and JVM1661 which come with all
parts necessary to correct the condition. You can see the kit at the
Magnetron & Stirrer Kit
If the magnetron tube is still under warranty, it would usually be
cheaper to have a factory authorized GE service depot perform the
repair to get the part for free and just pay for labour unless you
live in the boonies where extra charges may be involved.
Not familiar with this specific model, but in general maybe just a diode,
and if so it could be worth fixing. But if it's the magnetron or transformer
it'll be an expensive repair. The capacitor rarely fails.
If you decide to work on this yourself, be very careful of the capacitor.
It has a very high voltage. In our area a retired Electrical Contractor was
working on his microwave and came into contact with the capacitor wiring,
took an electrical shock, had a heart attack and died. So, it would be wise
to discharge this capacitor before you start to tinker with the other parts.
That model has a 5 year warranty on the magnitron. Part is covered,
labor is not. 9 out of 10 that I have serviced had bad magnitrons.
GE has been fixing them at a reduced labor rate due to too many
having a premature failure. It probably won't cost much more than $75
to have it fixed. You can't buy a new one for that price.
Let us know how you make out.
Recommend that unless you are an electronics tech DO NOT work on it
yourself. A microwave oven is essentially a 500 to 1000 watt microwave radio
transmitter in a box, with lethal voltages up to and exceeding several
thousand volts. It also produces microwave radio energy which unshielded can
As to cost I'm surprised. We frequently see microwave ovens here for less
than $100 (Canadian) new, with a warranty, at major stores such as Wal Mart,
Canadian Tire, Zellers etc. That including our sales tax, converted to US
dollars is roughly $65 in US funds! Have also seen 'small ones' at the
equivalent of around $45 in US funds.
A new magnetron can cost $50 to $100 plus labour. A used magnetron, if
suitable, can cost at least $30, plus labour! Like so many things,
unfortunately that's not worth while, unless you are skilled in that field.
My suggestion. And be careful with any microwave device.
Thanks everyone for the valuable input! When I had browsed at new ones
in the store they listed a 1 year manuf. warranty on the info card, no
mention that I noticed of 5 year magnetron wty. So you guys really
helped out, I would have just assumed that nothing was covered under
warranty, and GE did not offer that info when calling for service.
It was indeed the magnetron and it was covered under the 5 year
warranty. Cost was $75 for labor to fix it.
Here's a couple of links you may find helpful if you have the same
You've probably resolved this already, but just in case: call GE
(800-626-2000) with your model number. There was a bulletin
on a ton of these with magnetron problems, and they may repair
it under warranty for a lot less than a new one.
I don't (won't) do GE warranty, but if there's a GE servicer in
your area (getting scarce, for good reason, but we won't 'go
there'), they also should be able to help determine if yours is
involved in the bulletin.
Hope that's of some help.
Dave's Repair Service
New Albany, PA
I'm a 32-year pro appliance technician, and love sharing what
I've learned - in a FREE Monthly Appliance Tips Newsletter.
(Back issues now posted here too!) www.DavesRepair.com
I've the same problem with a jvm1642. There was an intermittent buzzing,
worked most of the time, then suddenly no heating, and no buzzing too.
Power to magnetron is good, mag continuity tests ok. Was at the stage of
checking the hv cap and diode when I read of he GE problem.
I tried calling GE and they didn't seem to know anything of this. Does
anyone know of a bulletin # or something I can reference this and can
anyone confirm that they are offering a reduced labor rate for these
repairs, assuming it is the problem as described is the supposed bulletin?
JG... Jeff Givens
"My hovercraft is full of eels."
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