• ** REMEMBER! **The microwave can still shock you even unplugged!!

    ALWAYS discharge the high-voltage capacitor first if you even think your hands will come close to any HIGH VOLTAGE components.

    Jeff mentions this: Anything in the high voltage ( magnetron, capacitor, diode, wires to and from ):
    ...Use a metal ( not the shiny chrome type ) screw driver with a insulated handle to short across ( touch both at the same time ) the terminals of the high voltage capacitor to discharge it.

    From Jeff's site: http://www.applianceaid.com/component-testing.php

    Jake
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FIXED GE JE1860WH04 1.8 cu. ft. Overheating smell when microwaving something longer that around 4 min

jeepman

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2014
Messages
50
Location
Texas
Model Number
JE1860WH04
Brand
GE
Age
1-5 years
We have a GE JE1860WH04 1.8 cu. ft. Countertop using Trim Kit for In Cabinet Installation that is giving off an overheating smell when microwaving something longer that around 4 minutes. This was manufactured in Jan 2006, but we started using it new out of the sealed box in Mar 2015. It has been fine, but not now. The fan is definitely blowing out the trim kit, so it is not the fan, unless it is not spinning fast enough. Also, what can give off a noticeable overheating, slightly "electrical" type odor? Thanks.
 

jeepman

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Texas
I have another thought, that just dawned on me. This odor all started when I was heating up water with an ice tea size Black Tea Bag, that was partially out of the water. It almost seem like the tea leaves were cooking, and I could smell it then. What is the chance that burned tea leaves smell could coat the fan, and then each time I heat up something with high moisture, it is making the fan give off the odor all over again? But, the tea leaves thoughts still means I cannot account for the "electrical" type of smell, and I have done enough "tech" type work to have been around burst capacitors, over heated rheostats, etc, that my gut is still saying something is failing.
 

jeepman

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Tried to use it just for 30 seconds this morning, and the electrical odor is definitely getting stronger, so my thoughts about burned tea leaves is not correct, and my gut feeling is definitely correct. I will pull it out of the cabinet tonight and see what is charred or browned inside for next steps. I really don't want to get a new microwave due to new trim kit not matching the 30" oven, etc!
 

Jake

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Rick and Jeff know much more about microwaves than I do, hopefully they can jump in here to assist you.

Jake
 

jeepman

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Location
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So the only thing I can see that has the appearance of overheating is the fuse. I don't think they normally have solder leaking out of them, at least I think I would have remembered that last time I bought a two pack. I include the other connectors because it appears they are clean and do not exhibit any overheating signs. So, the $64,000 question is: what would heat up a fuse to the solder melt point?


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jeepman

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So that appears to be solder coming out of the fuse itself. I did not look under the PCB to see if it being drawn up from under the board, but I have done my fair amount of soldering, and I cannot see how solder could come up from the bottom of the board, so I am pretty sure that it is from the fuse. Are these fuses "thermal?" I did smell near the fuse, and I could smell the same electrical type odor when it is running.
 

rickgburton

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Replace it. It's a 20 Amp ceramic fuse. Available at any of the home centers or walmart. That's probably where the burn smell is coming from.

 

jeepman

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I have replaced the fuse and boiling some water as a test. My question now is how hot should the Magneto Cover get? Here is a pic showing where it is hot to the touch after about 1 minute on 100% power.
20190810_075212a.jpg
 

jeepman

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So I boiled water completely, and I could touch the Magnetron cover for about 2.5 seconds before it caused me to reflexively move my hand. So, maybe this is normal and some things just get hot? Also, no noticeable odor anymore, and the fuse was hot, but I could touch it for 10 seconds or more. Anyways, hoping for further advice and comments. Thanks!
 
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jeepman

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Looking at my picture again, I see the fan actually has a shroud and blows across some fins that are probably radiating heat, and that keeps the Magnetron below a certain temperature. At this point, the odor is gone, and I think that Magnetron's just get hot when they are sending out microwave energy. I think this may be fixed, but certainly will keep checking back over the next couple of days just in case.
 

Dan O.

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The magnetron tube shouldn't get that hot.

Early GE OTR microwaves had a high failure rate of the magnetron tube. The circular magnets inside can crack resulting in it overheating. I would think it might still have some residual odor in such a case.

image.png

LINK > GE JE1860WH04 Magnetron Tube

Dan O.
 
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rickgburton

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The mag tube can get pretty hot when it's on for a long time. That's why they usually put a thermostat or TCO on the tube body.
 

jeepman

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The magnetron tube shouldn't get that hot.

Early GE OTR microwaves had a high failure rate of the magnetron tube. The circular magnets inside can crack resulting in it overheating. I would think it might still have some residual odor in such a case.

...

Dan O.
The odor was back this morning boiling water for Iced Tea... So looks like a replacement Magnetron is in our future, but since all the other applicances are 10 years old now, the wife is saying we should look at new appliances! Two in college, and we don't qualify for Student Aid, but ya, new appliances...
 

Dan O.

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So looks like a replacement Magnetron is in our future
Not necessarily. Has anyone looked at the magnetron tube magnets for signs of cracking? Has anyone again tried to isolate exactly where the smell is coming from?

Also, check the warranty papers. The magnetron tube usually has at least a 5-year warranty and on some models, as long as 10-years.

Also, you might want to take into consideration that a replacement microwave may not fit exactly as the original did. Modifications or changes to the mounting may also be required.

Dan O.
 

jeepman

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Hi Dan, yep, no issues with the magnetron. No magnet cracking, and I found a video on how to check the resistance between the two leads, and it was 0.3 on the digital reading, which is described as the correct/desired value. I then verified there is no continuity between either lead and the magnetron case. I then tried to boil water again, with the cabinet top off, and I could smell the "burning" near the ceramic fuse. There is something inline with the fuse that is causing it to overdraw, or something. My previous statement assumes the fuse should not get hot: is that a correct assumption? The fact it is a ceramic fuse means it must be designed to get somewhat hot, but how hot? Should I smell the fuse's heat?

I will take a look at the schematics in the meantime to see if I can understand what the fuse is inline with.
 

Dan O.

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jeepman said:
My previous statement assumes the fuse should not get hot: is that a correct assumption?
Yes. Many fuses will also trip if they overheat as an additional safety precaution.

jeepman said:
There is something inline with the fuse that is causing it to overdraw, or something.
Maybe. Have you actually checked its amperage draw though?

Loose connections can also generate heat. What's on the board that holds the fuse? Any signs of discolouration (on either side)?

jeepman said:
I will take a look at the schematics in the meantime to see if I can understand what the fuse is inline with.
Everything?
 
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