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GE Microwave Tripping Breaker When Door Is Opened

If your GE microwave is tripping the breaker when you open its door, this is likely related to the door interlock switches. Alternately, the circuit may be overloaded.

GE Microwave Tripping Breaker When Door Is Opened

If your GE microwave is tripping the breaker when you open its door, this could be due to a number of factors. The problem may be the door interlock switch or the door itself or, your microwave itself may be faulty. Most likely, though, you simply have too many electrical appliances plugged into the same circuit.

Warning

Electricity can be incredibly dangerous. If you're unsure of what you're doing, don't hesitate to contact a technician to repair your microwave. In addition, do not attempt to remove any wires yourself, as this may result in electric shock.

Problem No. 1: An Overloaded Circuit

If the microwave shares a circuit with other appliances in the home, the circuit may be overloaded. Check to see if your microwave is on a dedicated circuit by looking at the tripped breaker's label. Note that models JE1840 and JE1860 require a dedicated 20 amp circuit; all other models require a 15 amp circuit. Ideally, your microwave should not share a circuit with other appliances, except for lights. A professional technician can install a dedicated circuit in your home that is specifically for your microwave, to help prevent this from happening.

Problem No. 2: A Faulty Appliance

Your GE microwave may be malfunctioning, which could cause the breaker to trip. In this case, the microwave could be pulling a dangerous amount of current. A technician can determine if a microwave is faulty and help you replace your appliance.

Warning

Some breakers might be mislabeled. If this is the case, a professional electrician can help. Otherwise, flipping switches haphazardly could result in damaged electronics.

Problem No. 3: A Malfunctioning Door Switch

On the other hand, if your breaker trips when you open your microwave's door, there could be a problem with one of the door switches. These are often called the primary and secondary interlock switches. The interlock switches are activated by latches or hooks on the door; these are located inside the cabinet. Note that you should inspect a door switch's latch first, to ensure it isn't damaged.

To check that the switches are working, unplug the entire appliance and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to discharge the capacitor. Next, remove the cabinet and check the switches for continuity using a multimeter. You should see terminals marked common (C) and normally open (NO). The door switches have wires attached to these terminals. To check for continuity, press the switch's actuator button. The switch is faulty if you do not see continuity between the terminals.

About the Author

Justine Harrington is a writer and editor based in Austin, Texas by way of Oklahoma. Find out more at www.justineharrington.com