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Under Counter Microwave Problem

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Brian, Jul 24, 2003.

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  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Ok folks, heres one for you! I have a General Electric undercounter
    (over my stove) microwave (#JVM1430WA01). It has worked great for the
    last 4 years... or should I say until the cooktop lights went out
    (light inside microwave still works). I thought at first it was the
    bulbs and they were bad so I replaced them...$20 each for 2 ...ouch!
    They still did not work so I tried the bulbs in another

    It was suggested to me that it could be the sockets...(getting
    smarter) I bought 1 ($32) and replaced it...still no light. I tested
    the bulbs problem.

    Calling GE they suggested it was the fuse next to the capacitor (but
    told me not to attempt to remove it...very dangerous). Of course they
    can send out a repair man, I declined the offer to spend more money.
    I removed the fuse but decided it can't be that since when I remove
    the fuse nothing works.

    I checked all the wires and plugs behind the touch panel. Everything
    is plugged in and the wires all look problem. By the way,
    the touch panel button makes a click and "bleep" noise when I press
    the light button.

    Now $72 spent but still....NO LIGHTS!

    Anyone have any great ideas besides: 1)Junk a perfectly good microwave
    2)Spend more than the microwave is worth to have a repairman fix
    something I am overlooking?

    I could really use some help.

  2. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Well, the beep means the switch works, and the click is
    probably a relay closing, so that means the low voltage
    control is working, which only leaves a problem with the
    high (120) volt side.

    It may very well be an open fuse, but not the one you pulled
    out, which would appear to be the mains fuse. Could also be
    a defective connection somewhere in the circuit.

    Without breaking it open and going at it with a VOM, it's
    hard to tell.
  3. I would look for the relay next and check for voltage in and out of it.
    That would tell you if you were good up to the relay contacts, but maybe not
    coming out. The light circuit can't be that complicated, so start following
    wires and see where you lose your juice. Also look around inside the
    cabinet - there's usually a basic schematic tucked in there somewhere.

  4. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Wayne and Mark,

    Thanks for the help. I don't see another fuse except for the one next
    to the capacitor. Have no idea what a relay looks like. I followed
    the wires from each socket. They connect at the center under the
    microwave. Connector looks good...followed it back to the next
    connector...also looks good. Then the wires go to plugs on the back
    of the touch panel. I wiggled each connector and made sure all wires
    were pushed in. Still no lights.

  5. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Relays come in different flavors, but they are generally
    rectangular in shape, and in your case, would probably be
    somewhere from 1/2 to 1" on a side. The case is typically
    plastic (often blue, sometimes clear), and if you can see
    it, one side (often the top) will have a fair amount of
    writing stamped on it.

    I'd actually be surprised of the high volt side goes direct
    to the touch panel. Could this connector you refer to be a
  6. It's unlikely the touch panel goes anywhere near the line voltage.
    The touch panel activates a relay via the
    microcontroller probably. The click indicates the relay is
    working and in all likelihood, working properly. Someone will
    have to use a DMM to trace out the circuit and find out if
    there is indeed 115 VAC being switched from the relay, if there
    is a fuse hidden somewhere that is blown (if the original bulbs
    blew, there's a good chance they took out a fuse), or if there
    is a bad connection, etc.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Home Page:
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