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GE Advantium Microwave Halogen Lightbulb Replacement (Do It Yourself)

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Note: This Instructable also works for the Kenmore Elite Speedcook Oven.

I have owned a GE Advantium oven for a little over two years now and I think it is about the neatest appliance that has come along in a long time (although it has been around for a while). I'll let you research why it is so cool. What is not cool is that in the two years I have had it, the lightbulb inside has burned out twice. I am not talking about the lamp that "browns" the food. I am talking about the lamp that allows you to "see" the food while the unit is running. If you think a light in a microwave is not so important, try heating up some soup without monitoring it...messy. Anyway, when the bulb failed the first time, I was at the tail-end of my warranty and with some convencing, was able to get GE to come and replace the bulb (they replaced a lot more parts than necessary, but for warranty work, who am I to complain?). Now less than a year later, the bulb is out again and is no longer covered by the warranty. Research at howtomendit.com reports that a service call to make this repair can cost as much as $180! I replaced the bulb using information I obtained from that same website and the repair cost me $4.95 at my local Home Depot. Considering that this is a common problem, I am hoping this instructable will help MANY unfortunate GE Advantium and Kenmore Elite customers.
 
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Step 1: Securing Power and Preparation

Picture of Securing Power and Preparation
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To do this instructable you will will need:
One number two cross-tip screwdriver
One G8 base, 120V, 25W, halogen bulb (GE uses a 130V, 20W)
One pair of vinyl disposable gloves

Once the bulb is replaced, and the door is open, as soon as the the unit is plugged back in, the light will illuminate.

The vinyl gloves are a precaution to ensure you do not contaminate the surface of the halogen bulb which can significantly reduce its longevity.

All parts were purchased at Home Depot.
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My advantium 120 model has the glass touch panel on top -- not the removable grill unit in these pictures. Any idea how to access the light bulb in this model?

thanks

Magyar24 days ago
I thought I'd make some comments on these GE Profile series microwave bulbs for the Advantium 120. I have model SCA1000HCC 03. This defines the type , color and month/year of manufacture. Yours could be similar and is key to the various parts you may need.
Back to the bulbs. There are two that are likely to burn out and need replacing. These are, the surface night light at the bottom which lights the stove below the microwave and the harder-to-change, internal oven light which has been amply described here below. The oven lamp that works best is 120VAC (NOT 12 V as someone on another blog mentioned!) with 25W rating and a G8 base (the width of the prongs). These are readily available from Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace or similar. If you can get a pack of two or three, you will save a little money and have good spares. No need for another trip!
The surface night light at the bottom of the microwave is a 120VAC, 20W bulb. It's better to get them from a local hardware store than say Amazon, unless you are buying other stuff too. Remember, you'll have to pay for shipping for a total purchase under $35 and have to wait at least several days.
Finally, just as it's important to get the correct rating for the bulb and base width, make sure you wear latex gloves or use a tissue/paper towel to handle these. The number one cause for short lives is oil from fingers! This can reduce usage by as much as 50%.
Jean9f10 months ago

Thank you for this instructable. I have an Advantium 120 that the "look-in-see" light blew years ago and I hadn't wanted to bother to dive in after hearing it was a tough thing to do. Ha, not as tough as I was worried about! I'm going to get it done this weekend. It'll be so nice to have light inside again.
Oh my goodness! (lightbulb moment, ha, ha) I can do it sooner! You said the other bulb is the same? I'll just swipe the under microwave bulb! (It isn't used anyway because my micro isn't mounted up. I sits on my counter.)

Magyar1 year ago
Once again, I used these instructions to replace my 25W halogen bulb inside my microwave.
Having done it once before (2.5 years ago), certainly makes it easier. The hardest part was bending the metal flooring above the lamp receptacle to get at the darn thing. To make life easier, if you remove the black plastic grill inside the top portion (on the right hand side) by taking out a few extra screws, your access to the reflector and bulb housing is much easier. I also found that there is a tiny square glass piece, the size of a postage stamp, that actually fits over the metal screen that the bulb signs through. I was able to take it out and clean it and replace it. With the metal floor and the extra leverage provided, it was much easier than the first time, to put everything back together again and in the correct position. If the bulb is slightly skewed then it won't be quite as bright inside the microwave.
As putnamcs suggests, replug the AC power BEFORE you reassemble to ensure it was the bulb that was the issue. If it comes on, you've done it!
Depending on the height of your microwave, you will almost certainly need a stepladder or chair to do this repair.
Another tip is when you buy a replacement bulb, get a spare or if you can get them in a pack of three, do so. It will save you money and ANOTHER trip to the store. The over-the-stove lamp underneath the microwave is the same type. Good luck all.
Jason B1 year ago
I have a ge advantium 120 microwave from 2006. I used your guide to replace my bulb twice! It doesn't seem to last super long. Anyway, on another note, if yours vented inside? Mine is, but doesn't seem to blow a lot of air our of the top vent piece. Check this out...

http://www.justanswer.com/appliance/61i4v-ge-advantium-microwave-purchased-2006.html

I have more questions. Mine can hold a sheet of paper on either side but doesn't blow a ton of air out the top portion where the grille is. Is this normal for this model? The air only shoots out the top right side of the grille above the microwave. Wondering.

Also, bought a charcoal filter for it and not sure how it should lay...
putnamcs (author)  Jason B1 year ago
I still have not replaced the bulb since I did this Instructable (2007). Mine IS vented inside. Sucks up from the stove and blows right in my face toward the right side of the grill. The suction will hold a sheet of paper, but I have no charcoal filter, so I don't use the vent at all. My unit came with a diffusion plate if it were to be installed to vent outside. I don't know where the diffusion plate would go, but if it is installed in your unit, that might be the problem.
mspfixit2 years ago
Great instructions! I am not good at fixing things, but fixed this with your easy to follow instructions (and photos - very helpful), and saved myself $180 and a bunch of time. Only thing I could not do was get the reflector back into it's snug fitting. It was hard to see where it was exactly held in and I couldn't squeeze it back in. So it is back, but not secured in place, just loose. Light works great, and everything seems fine. Is there any issue with the reflector housing not being tightly in place?

Thanks for your help!
putnamcs (author)  mspfixit2 years ago
Congratulations on getting the job done. My suggestion concerning the reflector assembly is that you just need to bend it out a little bit. The reflector assembly is simply a piece of thin sheet metal that is bent in several places. If you open up the assembly by bending it a bit (wider than the space in which it fits), when you pinch it into place, it should fit snugly. You may have just pinched it too much when you removed it. I hope this helps. I want everyone who uses this Instructable to be successful!
mrmike_4902 years ago
And yet ANOTHER thiank you for your Great Instructables! Had to replace mine after the GE technician came out and replaced it under warranty. I noticed during his bulb replacement he would somewhat shift so I could not see what he was doing! How funny that was cause I still was able to observe all the screw removals and lifting the panel up to get to the light! Well Good thing for this instructable cause it was a Perfect step-by-step. WooLaaLaa.....LightIsOn!!
P.S. I just purchased my light from ACE Hardware and with tax and all, equated to (today's price: $6.18)!
Thanks again.
Donna4Par2 years ago
Wow. This was easier than it looked. Thanks.
putnamcs (author)  Donna4Par2 years ago
I'm glad it worked well for you.
Magyar3 years ago
As I don't have much time during the work week, I've had to wait a week before attempting this repair.

The hardest part was that horizontal metal "floor" below which the lamp reflector housing lives. In fact I removed a few more screws because I thought you had to completely take that part off to access the lamp - silly me! I had to go back to one of putnamcs' photos to see you have to lift the metal floor and fiddle a bit with the housing.......that's GE engineers for you!

The whole project from start to finish took about 30 mins and I did test the lamp before I put everything back together again and hey presto, it worked! I also took your advise and purchased the 25W bulb (from Lowe's; about $5 including tax) and even cleaned the whole microwave, inside and out, as well as the stove....now it looks like new and the best part, I can see what I'm microwaving.

For those that are not that technical minded, a word of caution. When a bulb burns out, you need to be absolutely sure you know which one it is because there are a total of THREE, yes, 3 different lights/bulbs associated with this microwave model and only ONE is mentioned in the GE owners manual!!! Now there's encouragment for you. First, there's the interior light we are talking about in this thread and that is a halogen, single 20 or 25W one. That light is for whenever the door is open or you are using the oven. The second one is the long, tubular browning lamp in the roof of the microwave (not sure how that is accessible, nor would I want to try) and the easiest is the one over the range light which is on the underneath of the unit and lights up the stove below. That one takes two halogen bulbs and is the easiet of all three to change. Just so you all know where the locations are and the functions of each.

There's no doubt, the easy, step-by-step instructions, together with photos (even if some were hard to figure sometimes) were a great help in this venture. Judging by the others folks' success, you, Sir, have provided a great service to the average homeowner. Thank you.

P.S. Can you believe it, 5 mins after completing the task, my over the stove light burned out! What are the chances of that happening???!!!......back to Lowe's in the morning...
Magyar3 years ago
putnamcs,

I've been reading your instructables with interest (as I have all the other comments). I think it's great that you used photos to help with this and also the fact that you don't let GE railroad you into believing a mere consumer cannot repair their appliances for a fraction of the cost.

I now realise that my light problem may not be the larger, tubular "browning" bulb inside the microwave, but the smaller, "open door/see what's cooking" bulb. I guess from the diagrams and looking at my microwave, this is also located in the top part or roof of the appliance.

My microwave works fine, as does the "nighlight" feature over the range below. What does NOT work is the light when you open the door and when you use the microwave!

FYI my model number is SCA1000HCC 03, manufactured in 2005 (and no longer in production.......did those GE engineers finally figure it out??!!). It is a white GE Advantium 120. And I have already looked to see how easily accessible this might me. I could feel the two retaining screws for the grill on the top and believe I do not have to drill holes in the cabinet above or lower the unit - just get access to the light bulb.

Home Depot, here I come....... I'll post here again when I have successfully completed the project. Thanks for your insight; you're helping a lot of folks..
putnamcs (author)  Magyar3 years ago
It's my pleasure to provide any insight that might assist you in a safe consumer repair. It sounds like your issue is the same as mine. I am sure you will have unqualified success. Also, since I posted this instructable, the bulb in my Advantium has not failed again (knock wood). The reason may be that I didn't use an OEM bulb.,.which is exactly what you will be doing. Good luck!
EDC19433 years ago
I just replaced my light!!! I'm 68 yrs. young and had one helluva time figuring it out but hooray, I now have a light again. Your picture was a bit dark and I had a bit of difficulty find it and then squeezing it out. GE was not helpful at all. I purchased this oven in 2005 and it's the first time that I had bulb burn out so I am lucky. If I can do this, anyone can. Yeah!!!
Thank you so much for the visual instructions, they really helped. Found the bulb at Menards for$3.99. Took the old one in and instantly matched it up.
Elaine
putnamcs (author)  EDC19433 years ago
Congratulations on your repair and independence from the GE service department!
skyraiderx5 years ago
Looks like I have already saved myself $540 (3X $180) in svc calls. The last one (Philips from Home Depot-$4.97) lasted one month. Three bulbs in the last 6 months. I’ll be saving another $180 tomorrow. Why do these keep burning out? Easy to change after you do the first one and realize how to squeeze/remove the bulb cover…and, when replacing screws, just tip the black plastic cover out at the top to put in THAT screw. Otherwise, nice unit.
putnamcs (author)  skyraiderx5 years ago
I'm glad to hear it has worked out for you, but at the same time I am sorry you are having so many issues with bulbs. The only thing I can suggest is to make sure you are not touching the bulb with our bare fingers. I am told that having oil from your skin on the bulb can significantly reduce the life of the bulb. I agree that even with all the poor design elements of this oven, I still enjoy it. Oh...and I am dealing with yet another (new) problem that I may create a new Instructable for. My oven has recently started randomly shutting off. Turns out that the upper heater thermostat has started burning wires. Tomorrow I will be replacing it to see if I can restore the oven to a more consistent state. Wish me luck. I get most of my parts from Searspartsdirect....except bulbs....those I get a Home Depot.
I had the same problem initially because in using the oven bake part, I put the temp too high and it blew the fuse. Now I just use the other features and forget about the oven.
thx again for your help
If you have replaced the bulb three times, there is a heat buildup involved. A larger bulb will fail sooner, or maybe the bulb is not being cooled enough. Fan? Duct? Gremlins?
atomicbelay3 years ago
Thanks a million for this! I have one question , what is the two prong object on the left connected to the two wires (1 red) ? I unplugged it by accident and spun it with the side of my hand. Will it make a difference how i reconnect? I dont want to have a "Lethal Weapon" moment and incorrectly connect the wrong wire.
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putnamcs (author)  atomicbelay3 years ago
Sorry I have been so late to reply. I can't remember the name of that part that got disconnected, but several years ago, mine failed and I had to replace it to keep the microwave working. At this point, you probably have already determined the how to reconnect it and have come up with a solution. I think it may have been called a thermocouple but I am not sure if there is a polarity to the device. I would guess not since the prongs are not different sizes. I'm glad this instructable helped and I appreciate your kind comment. I hope everything works out for you.
Hello,

I have this same GE Advantium halogen microwave but purchased it in 1999. Model # SCA2000BBB 03. I was excited to see your post, joined up, and downloaded the pdf. My original "just light up the inside when the door opens" bulb went out several years ago and even though under extended warranty, the man who came to replace the bulb basically "gave up" after literally trying to take the whole right side of the unit apart . . . we knew where the bulb was but couldn't figure out how to get to it. I feared he would never get it back together (parts all over the kitchen!)

Rather than being "in the top", this bulb is visible behind a "screen" (holes in metal) on the right side of the interior as you look in. Can you please help me?

Thanks!
putnamcs (author)  MikeBMcGuire3 years ago
Try bulb 56912B in the diagrams I sent you. That might be the bulb you are looking for.
I think it is the correct bulb . . . the mystery is how to get at it.

Thanks again!
putnamcs (author)  MikeBMcGuire3 years ago
I found an exploded diagram for your microwave, but can't find any bulbs on the side of the unit. Hopefully, this diagram can help you get this challenge figured out. Can you post some pictures of your micowave interior? Good luck.

Here is the link: http://www.appliancefactoryparts.com/microwaves/helpcenter/breakdowns/ge/ge-sca2000bbb.html

Hi,
Thanks for your reply. Here are pictures of the inside/right side of the microwave . . . . basically behind the control panel. You can see the bulb behind the mesh if you look closely.

I looked but couldn't find the bulb on the diagrams you sent . . I am thankful but still not sure how to fix this thing.

Thanks so much!
IMAG0282.jpgIMAG0284.jpg
I just did this and got a 25 watt bulb from home depo. It's bright and looks great. Made by Feit Electric, 2000 hour life supposedly.
Jason B Jason B3 years ago
Here's a pic of the 25 watt bulb in action.
photo189.JPG
Jason B Jason B3 years ago
Full shot of kitchen...
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putnamcs (author)  Jason B3 years ago
Make sure you take advantage of the fruits of your labor (and the money you saved) and take yourself out to a nice dinner.
Jason B3 years ago
Ever since I moved in my house, the light INSIDE the microwave never worked. When I open the door, no light comes on, when I microwave, no light comes on, BUT when I use the "bake" feature that this oven has, a very bright light comes on. So, I always figured this microwave had no light, unless you used the "bake" feature.

Now, just yesterday, when I use "bake" there is no light at all that comes on. I'm assuming this is the browning light"

My questions are, how many interior lights are there with this microwave? And if one supposed to come on when opening the door and when using basic microwave heating?


Thanks.
putnamcs (author)  Jason B3 years ago
Assuming you have the same microwave I do, the light that "never came on for you" is the door light (used simply to see inside the microwave when you are using it). This is the light I address with my Instructable. The other light, the one that has recently failed, is indeed the halogen browning light. It was never intended to be used to illuminate the food...but to simply brown/cook the food in conjunction with the microwaves. I have never had a browning light fail in my unit. It looks to me like you have two seperate issues. One dead door light and one dead browning light. If I were you, I would look at addressing the browning lamp replacement first as it affects cooking capability. Then you can tackle the door light using my Instructable. Good luck!
Thanks. WHen does this browning light come on? I think it only came on when you did the Bake mode???
putnamcs (author)  Jason B3 years ago
The browning lights cycles on and off when the oven is in the Speedcook mode (my model). It is rather random and does not stay on during the entire cooking cycle. My unit can function as an oven too but I rarely use that feature as the preheating takes forever. Is your oven an actual Advantium?
Thanks for the fast replies. Yes, it's the stainless steel Advantium 120 and looks identical to yours. I just forgot how that browning light comes on and "when" it does. I just tried it on the speedcook mode and it comes on! So that light is good :). I'll work on replacing the inside "utility" light soon.

I've read some have put in a 30 watt light, as the 20 watt is a little dim.
jack85594 years ago
With all the negative things said about GE's apparent reluctance to help the consumer, why would we want to continue buying their products? If they will offer no help to us, why should we help them by keeping them in business? This is one of the things that make me want to stop buying any product that they manufacture. I really don't like everything that I get having the "Made in China" stamp on it, but it seems that GE doesn't want to stay in business in the US of A. Nice instructable by the way!
tleebove4 years ago
Home Depot sells Feit Electric brand bulbs. I purchased a 2 pack of the 20w Zenon Halogen bulbs to use as a replacement for the standard halogen bulb. Although they seem like a bargain in a 2 pack, the longest the bulbs lasted was 2 weeks. They have the same G8 base, the bulb is a little smaller and brighter, but also seems more delicate and less durable for this use. I will only use standard Halogen bulbs in the future.
rorens4 years ago
I replaced my bulb with the same one which I removed - 120V - 20W bulb from Home Depot.  I recommend a higher watt bulb maybe 25 or 30.  The 20W is a bit dim, but it works.
putnamcs (author)  rorens4 years ago
Good "food for thought."  If someone tries a higher wattage bulb, please post it here.  I'd like to know how it works out.  My replacement bulb is still going strong..."knock on wood."
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