The GE microwave communicates its faults through error codes. When you use a microwave, you must have encountered the error code in the control panel at least once. If you want to learn common error codes and steps to fix them, you are at the right place.
The error code F1 indicates control panel and thermal sensor failure. You can clear the error code by replacing the faulty parts. When keypad issues occur in the GE microwave, the F3 error code will display in the control panel. It would be best if you replaced the touchpad to fix the error.
|Thermal sensor issues
|Touch panel issues
|Humidity sensor issue
|Power failure indication
|Temperature sensor issue
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In this article, I will help to understand 5 common error codes of the GE microwave and easy steps to fix the issue. So, keep reading.
What are the common GE microwave error codes?
GE microwaves display alphanumeric units to communicate faults in them.
It is a helpful feature to fix the faults in the microwave without any hassle.
Here are the 5 common GE microwave error codes and steps to fix the issues.
1. Error code F1
Error code F1 in the GE microwave communicates control panel failure and thermal sensor issues in the GE microwave.
If an F1 error is caused due to the thermal sensor issues, temperature fluctuations result in the microwave.
In case-control panel failure is the reason for the F1 error, you must replace the control panel of the GE microwave.
Before you move to serious repair, you must reset the microwave to check if the minor issues are causing the F1 error code.
Follow the steps below to reset your GE microwave.
Steps to soft reset your microwave:
- Locate the reset or cancel button in the GE microwave.
- Press and hold the button for 3 seconds until you hear a beep sound.
- Your microwave has reset.
Steps to hard reset your microwave:
- Unplug the microwave from the electric outlet.
- Let it stay disconnected for 20 minutes, allowing it to discharge the electricity fully.
- Replug the microwave into the electric outlet after 20 minutes.
If the error code persists, you must replace the faulty parts.
If the control panel is not responding, it is more likely to cause the F1 error.
And if the control panel is working and your microwave has heating issues, you must replace the thermal sensor.
In the following steps, you will learn how to replace the control panel and thermal sensor.
You must figure out the issue and replace the defective part as per the issues in your microwave.
Follow the steps below to replace the control panel of the GE microwave:
- Unplug the power supply from the GE microwave.
- Open the microwave door and, using a screwdriver, remove the screws securing the grill. Push at the bottom of the grill and disconnect it from the microwave.
- Using the screwdriver, remove the screws securing the control panel.
- Push the control panel forward, and you can see wires connected to the control panel.
- For future reference, consider taking digital photos of how wires are connected to the control panel.
- Disconnect the locking tabs of the wires and the ground wire from the control panel to remove them completely from the microwave oven.
- Place the control panel on a solid surface to work on the issue.
- Detach the ribbon connector from the control panel.
- Remove the screws holding the main control board to the housing using a screwdriver.
- Purchase the new control panel based on the model of your GE microwave.
- Prepare the control panel for the replacement. And position the main control board in the new control panel and secure it with screws.
- Reattach the ribbon control to its slot.
- Reconnect the grounding wire to the control board housing.
- Reconnect the wires you disconnected by referring to the digital photo.
- Push the control panel to its slots and secure it with the screws you removed initially.
- Reattach the grill, slide it to the right, and secure it with the mounting screws.
- Close the microwave oven’s door and replug it into the electric outlet.
Switch it on and check if the error code F1 has disappeared.
If the error code persists, it must be a thermal sensor causing the issue.
Follow the steps below to replace the thermal sensor:
The Control panel will send the temperature resistance to the thermal sensor based on the resistance, and a microwave oven will turn on and off the thermal sensor to maintain the desired temperature while cooking.
If the thermal sensor is at fault, temperature fluctuation will occur, resulting in the F1 error code:
- Unplug the power cord of the microwave oven from the wall outlet to disconnect it from the electric supply.
- It would be best if you moved the microwave from the cabinet to replace the thermal sensor.
- With the help of the assistance, unscrews the bolts holding the microwave into the cabinet and place it on a solid surface.
- Disconnect the grill from the microwave by removing the screws that are holding the grill.
- Open the microwave door and remove the turntable and stand.
- Access the bottom panel of the microwave and remove the screws securing it in place.
- Disconnect the bottom panel completely from the microwave by disconnecting the wire harness.
- Return the GE microwave to the upright position and remove the cabinet of the microwave by disconnecting the screws and securing it.
- Locate the magnetron at the right corner of the microwave.
- Disconnect the magnetron from the microwave by removing the mounting screws.
- You can see the thermal sensor attached to the magnetron.
- Remove the thermal sensor from the magnetron and replace the new thermal sensor.
- Reconnect the wires with the thermal sensor and secure the magnetron with the screws.
- Reinstall the cabinet to the microwave and reattach the screws using a screwdriver.
- Reattach the microwave’s back panel, secure it with screws, and reconnect the wire harness.
- Reattach the grill and secure it with the screws.
- Move the microwave to the cabinet and reattach the bolt.
Plug the microwave into the electric outlet and check if the error code has disappeared.
2. Error code F3
The error code F3 in the GE microwave indicates keypad issues.
If the keypad shorted out, you cannot operate the microwave.
It eventually results in the F3 error code.
To fix this error, you must replace the keypad from your microwave.
Before you proceed with the difficult repairs, try resetting your microwave.
If the control panel glitches causing this issue, resetting a microwave will help to fix the error.
You can reset your microwave by following the steps mentioned earlier in the article.
If the error code still shows, you must replace the keypad in your microwave.
Follow the steps below to replace the keypad:
- Unplug the microwave from the electric outlet.
- Remove the grill from the microwave by unthreading 2 screws holding the grill in place.
- Access the control panel and unthread the screws securing the control panel with the microwave frame.
- Pull the control panel forward; you can see wires and a ground wire attached. Take a digital photo of the wire connections for future reference.
- Place the control panel on a solid surface to work comfortably.
- Remove the screws holding the control board.
- As the keypad is faulty, you need to detach the membrane of the control board.
- You can remove the membrane by applying heat to the control board for 30 seconds.
- After heating the control panel, peel the membrane and replace it with the new one.
- Replace the control board with the housing and secure it with screws.
- Reattach the control panel to the microwave by reconnecting the wires you detached.
- Secure the control panel with the screws.
- Detach the grill and secure it with 2 screws you removed.
- Plug the microwave into the electric outlet and check if the error has disappeared.
3. Error code F4
Error code F4 in the GE microwave indicated the humidity sensor issues.
A humidity sensor detects the humidity of the air that circulates inside the cooking cavity.
If the humidity sensor is faulty, it affects the food’s quality inside the oven.
The food may come out dry and of less quality.
You can fix the error code by replacing the humidity sensor.
Follow the steps below to replace the humidity sensor:
- Unplug the microwave from the electric outlet. A microwave will retain the electric charge after unplugging it from the power supply. So after you unplug the microwave, let it sit for 30 minutes to discharge the electric charge completely.
- Move the microwave from the cabinet by removing the bolt and placing it on a solid surface.
- Tilt the microwave to the side to access the bottom panel of the microwave. Using a screwdriver, remove the screws holding the bottom panel. Disconnect it completely by disconnecting the wires attached to it.
- Remove the side cover of the microwave by removing the screws securing it.
- You can locate the humidity sensor cover at the left side mounting panel.
- Using a screwdriver, remove the screws securing the cover to the microwave oven.
- Remove the cover and access the humidity sensor wire connecting to the internal control board of the microwave.
- Using a plier, remove the faulty humidity sensor and discard it.
- Purchase the new humidity sensor based on the model of the GE microwave.
- Connect the humidity sensor wire to the control board, and connect it to the side panel by securing it with the screws.
- Reattach the microwave cover and secure it with the screws.
- Attach the bottom panel and secure it with the screws.
- Plug in the microwave and check if the error code has disappeared.
- If the error code is still showing, consider seeking help from a professional.
4. Error code PF
The error code PF occurs when power failures occur in the GE microwave.
The main cause of the power failure is the faulty ceramic fuse and thermal fuse.
Follow the steps below to replace the faulty ceramic and thermal fuse:
You can locate the ceramic fuse at the top of the microwave under the grill.
A ceramic fuse has a white body at the center surrounded by metal on both sides.
It protects the other parts of the microwave from electrical fluctuations.
A thermal fuse plays an important role in preventing the microwave from overheating.
A microwave won’t have enough power if the thermal fuse is worn out.
If your microwave has a power failure, you must replace the thermal and ceramic fuse.
- Begin by unplugging the microwave from the electric outlet. As the microwave capacitor retains the electric charges even after unplugging, you must be careful and let the electric charges discharge while accessing the internal parts of the microwave.
- You must uninstall the microwave from the cabinet to access the internal parts. To do so, seek help from the assistant, remove the bolts securing the microwave in the cabinet, and move the microwave to a solid surface to work efficiently.
- Open the microwave door, and unscrew the screws holding the grill. Pull the grill to detach it from the microwave.
- Remove the control panel by removing the screws in the microwave frame.
- Pull the control panel forward, and you can see wires being connected to the control panel.
- Take a digital photo of the wire connections for future reference. Disconnect the ground wire from the control panel and remove it completely.
- Remove the side cover of the microwave by removing the screws securing it.
- Locate the ceramic fuse and thermal fuse below the grill. The location of the fuses depends on the model of the microwave. Consider referring to the user manual to find the exact location of the fuses.
- Use pliers to detach the ceramic and thermal fuse.
- Replace the new fuse and secure it tightly in the slot.
- Reposition the grill and secure it with screws.
- Reattach the control panel by making the necessary wire connections and also connect the ground wire to the control panel.
- Attach the side panel and secure it with screws.
- Plug in the microwave and check if the error code PF has disappeared.
If the error code is still showing, you must consult a professional to figure out the issue.
5. Error code F2
The error code F2 means that the temperature inside the oven is exceeded.
It means that the temperature has exceeded 620℉ during the self-cleaning cycle.
When the error code F2 occurs, the microwave will turn off automatically, and you can’t use it until you solve this issue.
Here are some common causes of the F2 error code in the GE microwave:
- Thermal sensor issues
- Control board failure
- Clogged vent
If the thermal sensor is faulty, it will not detect the temperature, and the oven will shut down.
In such a case, you must replace the thermal sensor.
A control panel fault will hinder communication inside the microwave resulting in a temperature surge.
You can replace the thermal sensor and the control panel by following the steps mentioned earlier in the article.
In the case of clogged vents, you must clean them with a cleaning solution to remove the dirt and debris.
Check the fans of the microwave and see if there is any blockage.
Clean the oven with vinegar and baking soda to enhance its efficiency.
Knowing what an error code means and how to fix it when using a GE microwave is important. In this article, I have discussed error codes F1, F2, F3, F4, and PF in detail and the steps to fix them. Consider referring to the user manual to locate the parts of the microwave, as they differ based on the model of the microwave.
As microwave ovens are high-voltage appliances, it is dangerous to work on them if you are not experienced in working with electrical appliances. Consider seeking help from a professional if you lack the technical experience.
Reference: GE Microwave User Manual, GE microwave user manual 2, GE Error code Official.