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Repair and disassembly guides for microwave ovens.

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GE microwave: JVM3160RF4SS trips breaker during cook cycle

hello, today, all of a sudden our GE microwave, model, JVM3160RF4SS which we purchased in 2018 started tripping the circuit breaker. The circuit only trips when attempting to run a cook cycle. I am able to run the exhaust, all lights, open/close doors without any issues. While searching online for answers, i ran into several posts that mentioned checking the fuse. i have checked the fuse that is behind the plastic grill and it does not appear to be blown.

I am wondering if anyone has experienced this kind of failure before and have any suggestions on what could be the root cause.

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Yes! So annoying! About 6 months ago it started tripping if we would open the door before the microwave beeped. It actually blew our circuit that the microwave is on and we had to replace two outlets. Now it happens the second we turn the microwave on. I think we’re just going to replace-I’m sick of dealing with it and don’t want to risk a fire. Terrible microwave for sure!

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We also purchase our microwave in 2018 (February to be exact)

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@Christine Riedel ,

You should always pause or turn off the microwave using the microwave's control panel before opening the door, as a high current is flowing through the door interlock switches when the microwave is operating.

The door interlock switches are a safety feature designed to prevent the microwave from operating and emitting harmful radiation if a door is open and should not be used as a bypass for the correct way to operate the microwave .

You now know what results in doing it the wrong way

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@jayeff Yes, of course. Now if you can teach my husband and kids, that would be great. Seems that there’s an issue with this microwave regardless though.

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@Christine Riedel ,

What is the make and model number of the microwave?

If it is tripping the breaker now as soon as is turned on there there most probably is faulty component or perhaps a wire that is touching the chassis that is causing this to happen.

You could try opening the microwave to inspect it for "flash" burn marks on the case or stressed components (burnt looking etc) to see if anything is obvious.

Be aware that microwaves are dangerous to work on even when unplugged as they can store >6000V in the HV capacitor for months unless it is discharged correctly before proceeding with any repairs. This amount of voltage can be lethal depending on your medical condition or it is still capable of giving a nasty shock.

Don't know about your husband but maybe advising the kids that they'll be paying for it if they damage it might slow them down a bit. Worked on me a long, long time ago. As a kid, it used to take me weeks to pay for things out of my pocket money/part time before school job for what I damaged. ;-)

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I had this exact same problem on my GE microwave. There are two slots where the door latches closed onto the main microwave unit. The lower slot has a little button in there that is supposed to press in/closed when you close the door. If the button is gummed up with residue then the microwave will trip the circuit breaker. Unplug the microwave then clean that button with a Qtip and alcohol and press the button in and out a few times to free it up again. Plug the microwave back in and you should be good to go.

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I had this exact same problem. David's post worked like a charm; problem solved!

Thanks to all who shared the solution.

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Davids answer worked like a charm. For me it took quite a bit of prodding but finally this button just popped out. Saved me much trouble as this microwave is built-in over the stove and it’s difficult to deal with to replace

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David's solution worked for me as well. Thanks for saving me a service call!

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Worked for me!

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I'm so glad I found this! It worked on my 2017 model. Thank you!

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Hi @diyaddict ,

There is usually only one fuse in a microwave oven. If it was faulty, nothing would work.

A circuit breaker operating indicates that the current flowing through it has exceeded its’ rating.

Have you proved that the problem is only when using the microwave, you didn’t say?

Does the circuit breaker also trip when using another appliance with the same or greater power consumption as the microwave when plugged into the same wall outlet?

Check the information labels on the appliances to check the power consumption figures e.g. microwave might say 1200W input and an electric kettle might say 2000W so try the kettle. If the breaker also trips when using the kettle, perhaps the problem is the breaker or the breaker circuit and not the microwave

If this occurs only with the microwave and then when the microwave is cooking then there is a problem in the operating circuit of either the turntable motor, internal fan or the magnetron circuit as these components are in use when cooking and you have checked that all the other circuits that can be in operation without the microwave actually cooking don’t cause the problem to occur.

An example could be there is a low resistance connection between a wire carrying supply voltage in the microwave when it is cooking and the frame of the microwave which is earthed (wire rubbing on frame perhaps) and therefore this trips the breaker. This is a safety feature, preventing electrocution if someone touches the metal case of the oven.

In any event there are several possible causes and the microwave would have to be opened and tested as to the cause of the problem. In electrical circuits and electronic circuits is doesn’t have to be the same fault every time that can give the same symptoms

Working on microwave ovens is extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. There is still potentially lethal voltage (>6000V) in the microwave circuit even when it has been disconnected from the power for some time. If you don’t know what you’re doing then don’t do it! It’s not worth it, leave it to the experts.

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Sorry i didnt realize u had provided feedback. The circuit breaker tripping was only happening when using microwave, and that to barely, it used to trip 1 second into the heat cycle.

Based on my research and having spoken to GE directly, it was pretty apparent that by the time i would have figured out which part was defective, i would have racked up the bill which would have been close to or over the cost of a new microwave, even if i was to do the troubleshoot myself. While talking to GE, i recall this one part (magnetron?) that is buried deep on the back of this microwave, and that part alone costed about $137. When i asked GE and other techs around my area, the cost of anyone to come out and investigate/repair was well over $300.

i have plugged the new microwave into the same power outlet where the old one was plugged in and so far there are no issues, so i guess its safe to assume that the problem was with the old microwave.

thanks for your feedback

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I have the same problem. It is on a dedicated 15 amp circuit and it has made no difference. Is there a flaw in the GE microwaves? The previous GE, we had was great and lasted over 20 years! The model # is JVM3160DF4WW and the serial # LL268042A. The manufacture date is June 2018.

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The problem is actually one of the 3 microswitches for the latch mechanisism. Really, if you don't know the actual soulution, do not leave a comment.

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@spaceguy85

Electrical faults displaying the same symptoms have to be tested to determine where it is and not just assumed that it is always the same cause. It would make it a lot easier if this was the case.

I've had faulty HV transformers in microwave ovens that blew fuses every time that the oven was started and this had nothing to do with the interlock switches.

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sounds like we should start a class action law suit on GE due to the faulty magnetron part ....Had 2 now that went and they wont do anything ....

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Same problem with GE microwave mfg in 2018. When you try to start the microwave, breaker trips within a second.

Found the ‘door monitor' switch was bad. It's the middle microswitch (not top, not bottom) behind the main keyboard panel. Ordered from Amazon and replaced for less than $10. Bad switch had it's contacts fused together by electrical current. Watch YouTube videos to see how to replace it.

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Can you share the part you ordered.

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There are 3 door switches. Top, Middle, and bottom. Which are NC (normally closed and NO (normally open).

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Door switch KW3A-16 was my bad switch (middle N/C), but I bought all 3. KW3A Microwave Oven Door Switch 16A 125V/250V Door Interloc (2 Normally Open and 1 Normally Close) https://a.co/d/cZBHOTD

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I just fixed one. The door monitor switch is the prime suspect, BUT not the only thing. If that switch is not activated when the door is closed it puts a direct short across the AC line, which is what trips the breaker, but it does not blow the internal fuse. The problem can also be caused by worn out plastic assy. that holds the switches allowing the activator to drop too low and not trip the switch - as it was in the one I fixed. You need to verify that the switch is functioning or not, then look closely at the area the activator rides over. If it looks rough and worn, it is a $35+ part. The switch is also being scammed for the same or more, but can be had on AliExpress for about $5.

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As Bill says, the plastic switch holder that the door latches engage should also be changed out as long as you have everything opened up. This is because the door latches cause significant wear on the plastic of the switch holder. The effect is that the top latch depresses the top primary switch deeper than it should and when opening the door that switch remains engaged (closed) by the latch a little too long. The middle switch doesn’t have this problem so it disengages from the lower latch first and it closes. With the upper and middle switches closed at the same time, even for an instant, you get a 120v short circuit and the breaker trips.

Even if your problem wasn’t when opening the door, this problem is just a matter of time before it occurs due to ongoing wear on the switch holder. I ordered our new switch holder part on Amazon as a Frigidaire 5304509457 - an exact match for my GE microwave. I replaced all 3 switches at the same time with parts from Amazon (Lonye switches).

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These Microwaves are JUNK and GE does not want anything to do with them out of warranty - should be and is in some places a class action law suit - faulty machines .........

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I have the same microwave, manufactured in 2018, tripping breaker, so I replace the door switch, it worked for a month, then I had to replace all 3 switches lasted another month. So done replacing microwave but not with a GE. Just tired of fixing it.

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you probably need to replace the plastic piece that holds the switches unless the problem changed.

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Problem: GE Microwave model JVM3160RF2SS trips kitchen breaker as soon as the cook cycle begins. Problem repeats on other circuits in the house.

As other posts indicate, check the door switch.

https://youtu.be/eP7CTUQgRvg

Not very technical, but quick to the point.

I found the middle switch to be nonfunctional. It's the one "n/c". Marked kw3at-16

Searched kw3at-16 on Amazon and went with all 3:

KW3A Microwave Oven Door Switch 16A 125V/250V Door Interloc (2 Normally Open and 1 Normally Close) https://a.co/d/emlGtGc

Now, I wait a day for the parts...

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These Microwaves are JUNK and GE does not want anything to do with them out of warranty - should be and is in some places a class action law suit - faulty machines .........

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Good luck. I ordered those switches several times over and would get by for a few months only...each time. Agree with RCR Auto. JUNK...so I moved on and will never go back to GE.

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parag さん、ありがとうございました!
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