GE Spacemaker Microwave Magnetron Tube Replacement

If you have a GE spacemaker microwave with a bad magnetron tube this page can help. The magnetron tube is what makes microwaves heat by producing radio waves that excite the water and fat molecules inside the food causing friction. The friction will cause the food to heat up almost like rubbing your hands together really fast. On GE microwaves, the magnetron tube will sometimes go bad and the repair can be costly. You can save a lot of money by following this GE spacemaker microwave magnetron tube replacement guide.

If your GE spacemaker microwave is a 1600 series (the numbers in the model number are between 1600 and 1699) you must replace the magnetron/stirrer kit- part number WB27X10489 you can order it at This kit can be purchased at click on the link and enter that part number. If it is not a 1600 series you will have to order by model just click on the link and enter your model number.

The first thing you must do is take the microwave down from the cabinet. To do so follow these steps.


Microwave repair can be dangerous! You must unplug the microwave before attempting to repair it because they use very high voltage on certain internal parts. After the microwave is unplugged you must also discharge the capacitor before servicing because the high voltage that the microwave operates on is stored in the capacitor. To manually discharge the capacitor, place an insulted handle screwdriver between the diode connection of the capacitor and ground. It should discharge itself but always discharge it manually!

GE Spacemaker Microwave Magnetron Tube Replacement Video

Taking Down The Microwave

1. Unplug the microwave and remove the turntable.

2. Have someone hold the microwave up while you remove the three bolts (some installers only use two) pointing downward from the top of the cabinet.

3. Once out the microwave should lean forward and at this point pull the cord through the hole.

Note that if you have an early GE spacemaker microwave it may not lean forward. In which case, try to slide it straight forward. If it will not slide forward remove the front grill and look on each end for a long bolt (going all the way through the microwave) that holds the microwave to the back wall.

4. Once the microwave is leaning out you can lift it up and off the bracket on the lower back wall.

Replacing The Magnetron

Once the microwave is down you can begin replacing the magnetron tube. Follow these steps to do so.

1. Remove the front grill.

2. Remove the control panel and turn it sideways.

3. Remove the case of the microwave by removing all the screws around the perimeter of the case including two on the bottom and three on the side of the microwave. You must also remove all the screws on top of the microwave except the one holding the cord in place.

4. Pull the case off just enough to unplug the cord and disconnect the ground wire. Then completely remove the case.

5. Remove the three screws on the back.

6. Remove cover off side as shown.

7. Unplug the magnetron tube.

8. Remove the magnetron tube limiter (thermostat on side of magnetron).

9. On the back of the microwave there are two screws that hold the plate that the transformer is mounted to which you removed in step 4. Those screws were removed to allow you to push the plate down, which allow the magnetron tube room to drop down and out past the transformer.

10. Remove the magnetron tube by removing the nuts on top of the housing. You may have to press down on the transformer so that the magnetron will have room to clear.

11. Install the new magnetron tube making sure the wire terminals are pointing outward.

12. Screw the magnetron limiter back onto the magnetron tube.

13. Reverse steps for reassembly.

I recommend changing the microwave diode when changing the magnetron tube and if your GE spacemaker microwave is a 1600 series (the numbers in the model number are between 1600 and 1699) you must replace the magnetron/stirrer kit, which comes with the diode. Locate the capacitor on it you should find the diode that connects from the case (ground) to the capacitor.

If your microwave is a 1600 series you will have to replace the stirrer, which is located inside the microwave at the top, straight above the turntable. Remove the cover by removing the little clip that holds it on and the stirrer will fall right out. Replace it with the stirrer provided in the kit.

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