GE Microwave Not Heating? (here’s how to fix it)

If your microwave is running but not heating it is worse than useless. You set the timer, and start the appliance and expect the food to be cooked and thoroughly heated once the microwave finishes.

There are a few simple explanations for why this is happening and some that will require the assistance of a qualified technician. If you own a GE microwave that fails to heat up, keep reading. 

In this article we take a close look at the reasons why your microwave runs but doesn’t heat up.

Please Note: In the interest of safety we do not recommend that you dismantle the microwave yourself. Microwaves contain a high voltage capacitor which can hold a high voltage charge even after the appliance has been disconnected from the power supply. 

If you suspect there is anything wrong internally, we recommend contacting a technician.

Why Is My GE Microwave Not Heating?

There are several reasons why your GE microwave might not be heating which include;

Probable CauseSolution
Timer Function SetWait for the timer to count down or reset the appliance
Door Switch FaultContact a technician
Defective DiodeContact a technician
Magnetron Burnt OutContact a technician
High Voltage Capacitor Burnt OutContact a technician
Defective TransformerContact a technician
Blown Thermal FuseContact a technician

Let’s take a closer look at each of these possibilities;

Timer Function Set


GE microwaves have a timer function which allows you to set the appliance up to start when it suits you. This allows you to set the timer for up to 100 minutes.

When the timer has finished, the microwave will beep to notify you. If you want to turn off the timer function, all you need to do is press the timer or cancel button.

Door Switch Fault

Microwaves can be harmful to humans which is why microwave doors have sophisticated door switch sensors to ensure the door is fully closed before the appliance will start.

If the door switch or sensor develops a fault, the microwave will believe the door isn’t shut properly even when it is. We recommend contacting a technician to investigate and fix this issue for you.

Defective Diode

Diodes take the alternating current (AC) that enters the microwave via the transformer and converts it into direct current (DC). This increases the voltage to double which is used to power the magnetron which in turn, is used to produce microwaves.

If the diode in your GE microwave becomes defective the appliance will be unable to produce any microwaves and therefore, the food will not heat up. 

We recommend contacting a technician to investigate and replace the diode if necessary.

Magnetron Burnt Out

The magnetron produces the microwaves used to cook food in your GE microwave. If the magnetron overheats it can eventually burn out. This can be caused by running the microwave with nothing inside or the turntable has been removed.

However, old age can also cause the magnetron to wear out. If you suspect this is the problem, you will need to get the magnetron replaced which is a job best left to a technician.

High Voltage Capacitor Burnt Out

The high voltage capacitor works alongside the high voltage diode to increase the voltage needed by the magnetron. If the high voltage capacitor is burnt out, the appliance might still run, but it will fail to heat up.

You may be tempted to replace the capacitor yourself, but we strongly recommend leaving it to an expert. The capacitor itself can be volatile and as they are filled with gas, are likely to explode.

Defective Transformer

person placing a bowl of food inside a microwave

If the transformer is defective you’re likely to hear a loud humming sound and smell burning whilst the microwave is running. If you suspect the transformer is defective it will need replacing as soon as possible because there is a danger of electric shock.

Once again this is a job best left to a technician to investigate and replace for you.

Blown Thermal Fuse

The thermal fuse is a safety device designed to prevent your microwave from overheating. It constantly monitors the temperature of the appliance and if it gets higher than a predetermined level, the thermal fuse will blow cutting power to the microwave.

Once the thermal fuse has blown it cannot be reset and will need to be replaced. As replacing the thermal fuse involves dismantling the microwave, we recommend contacting a technician to investigate and replace it for you.

SEE ALSO: Air Fryer Vs Microwave: What’s better & cheaper?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my GE microwave run but not heat?

There are several reasons why your GE microwave might run but not heat, which include; you have set the timer function, the door switch or sensor is faulty, the diode is defective, the magnetron has burnt out, the high voltage capacitor has burnt out, the transformer is defective or the thermal fuse has blown.

What is the life expectancy of a microwave magnetron?

The average life expectancy of a microwave magnetron is around 2000 hours. However, in many cases it will work out better to replace the microwave than to replace the magnetron.

How long should a GE microwave last?

Depending on how often it is used and how well maintained it is, a GE microwave should last anywhere between 7 to 10 years.

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