GE G.E. GENERAL ELECTRIC MICROWAVE OVEN " F3 " KEYPAD ERROR - FREE DO IT YOURSELF REPAIR TIPS
Please share this page's link on Facebook. • • updated November 18, 2015 • (only a limited number of models is here now but more are on the way)
If your model is not on the list but has an " F3 ", " SE ", or " 5E " error (or one or more keys is not responding on your keypad) please contact me with your full model number from the tag on your oven.
BEWARE BOGUS REPAIR TIPS!
Unless there is grease or moisture, etc. on the control circuit board or keypad strip, the " F3 " error means you have a shorting membrane keypad. Sometimes they can be intermittent, but replacement is the only solution.
There are many "tips" and videos online which depict cleaning methods and paper inserts as solutions. These methods only work if there is moisture or grease or damage in the areas the tips highlight. Many folks are fooled into thinking these "solutions" work because the " F3 " problem can be intermittent until it fails for good. Another, more important issue is safety...
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The " F3 " error is reported by the microwave's software whenever one or more keys on the keypad are pressed or shorted for more than 60 seconds. An "F3" condition can result in the microwave oven running on its own, which can result (and has allegedly resulted) in house fires. So until your oven is repaired, please leave it unplugged, or at the very least, leave the door open so it can't run.
And before you begin working on your microwave or any other electrical item, read my important safety information.
ORDERING PARTS TO DO IT YOURSELF
You can order appliance parts and accessories from several sources, but here are my favorites*, in order of preference: Appliance Parts Pros, Sears Parts Direct, and Encompass. (You can check all three for the best price and availability.)
FIND YOUR MODEL AND PART NUMBER
Your full model number is normally located on a tag inside the cooking cavity. If your model number is not listed and you need help, or there is a mistake, please... contact me at no charge but please do not call. Instead e-mail me for free technical help and please include the full model number and FCC ID number from the tag of your oven, plus your detailed symptoms, and also when they happen. Click the mail link at the top right of my home page to contact me. (If you call, there's no easy way to communicate the information you need, especially the photos and links I'll provide you!)
DISASSEMBLY TIPS & NOTES
See the safety information near the top first!
My (old but helpful) video below shows you how to remove the control panel assembly from most over the range microwave oven brands.
But on many GE and Samsung models, if you have any trouble getting the grille off once the screws are removed, slide the hood vent grille to the left about 1/4", then then pull it forward. (On some models there are L-shaped clips that fit into a slot to hold bottom of the vent.)
Be careful unlocking and disconnecting the keypad strip. Other connectors have locks, too.
Once your board is out of your old control panel frame, move it to the panel assembly, but be careful since the display is made of glass. If you break the glass, you will need a new board!
I have over 30 years' of experience in electronic design and repair. These really are my favorite suppliers, due to several factors such as price, inventory, warranty, return policy, etc. Yes, I am an affiliate of these suppliers, but I would recommend them even if I weren't. When you click on one of my part links and order a part or accessory, I do receive a small commission, which I appreciate as a "thank you" for my helping you save money and effectively repair your appliances. But I am in no way affiliated with Samsung.