GE Microwave Sensor Error: Reasons and Solutions

GE microwaves are designed with quality and efficiency in mind. However, your GE microwave may develop issues after a certain period of time. Sensor error is a common problem you may experience with a GE microwave oven.

That’s why the situation demands discussing the GE microwave sensor error.

GE microwave sensor error appears when you frequently open the door during heating operation. Make sure the door is closed properly while cooking to avoid sensor errors.

Moreover, a steam sensor error happens if the sensor fails to detect steam. You need to implement Cook Time to heat the food.

That’s not all. I recommend you go through the whole article to know the troubleshooting efficiently. In addition, you will learn how to proceed if the initial solution does not resolve the issue.

So, what’re you waiting for? Let’s get started.

GE Microwave Sensor Error: How to Fix

GE microwave sensor mainly determines condensation and moisture, which emits from the food as it prepares. When the food is heated, it detects the moisture released from the food.

However, the microwave can stop working anytime, and a microwave sensor error happens. You might feel panicked at first. This isn’t a serious problem in most cases.

If you want to get over the sensor error, there’re two ways. You can get over the situation by implementing each of the following methods.

It will solve sensor errors along with other cooking timers and internal clock problems.

GE Microwave Steam Sensor Error

Method 1: Resetting the GE Microwave

The first method is resetting the microwave oven. Follow the steps given below to do it effectively.

  • The first step is to cancel any ongoing operations by pressing the “OFF” button on the touch panel. The timer will stop, and the microwave’s automatic clock will return.
  • Now, for three seconds, press the “OFF” button to turn off the “Control Locked.”
  • At this point, press the “Defrost” button. Then, reset the clock by clearing the settings.

If the sensor error still happens even after resetting the microwave, you can opt for performing a hard reset to eliminate the sensor error.

Also See: Microwave Sparking – 6 Common Reasons and Fix It

Method 2: Giving the GE Microwave a Hard Reset

The next method to overcome the sensor error is giving the microwave oven a hard reset. Follow the troubleshooting given below.

  • First, disconnect the unit. Keep it unplugged for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then, connect the unit back and adjust the clock.
  • If that doesn’t work, unplug the unit again and keep it like that for an hour.

If the sensor of your microwave still shows an error, then a component failure is likely to be the cause.

In this case, you need to know the actual fault of the sensor. You’ll get an error code on the sensor display, which indicates an individual problem.

However, do you want to know about microwave spin or rotation? You may read my previous guide.

GE Microwave Steam Sensor Error: Reasons and Solutions

A typical GE microwave contains a thermal sensor and a steam sensor. The thermal sensor measures the temperature, while the steam sensor detects vapor. Often this sensor gives a “SENSOR ERROR” message, and the sensor cook button doesn’t work as it should.

Before moving toward the detailed discussion, let’s shed light on the reasons and solutions in a brief manner.

Reason Solution
Opening the door before steam is detectedDo not open the door until steam is sensed and time is shown counting down on the display.
Steam doesn’t get detected most of the timeUse “Cook Time” to heat for more time

Looking at the reason and solution at a glance won’t help you to get rid of the issue. Nevertheless, you’ll get each of the reasons and solutions more broadly.

Reason 1: Opening the Door Open Before Steam Detected

The prime reason for the microwave sensor error is suddenly opening the microwave door while it’s working. If you’re heating the food inside the microwave and keep opening the door frequently in the meantime, a sensor error will occur.

How to Fix

While using a GE microwave with a sensor control panel, always allow the warming process to finish before releasing the door.

Hence, If the sensor error happens for the opening door of the microwave, you can easily fix that by a simple method. Let’s get to know the process.

  • First, ensure the door is locked tightly while operating.
  • There is a possibility that the Start button has been mistakenly clicked. You need to examine that also. After the process is done, please wait for the beep sound to ensure it’s done cooking and the countdown timer has reached 0:0 seconds.
  • Always open the door after the beep sound. Avoid the habit of opening the door during the heating process.
where is the steam sensor located on a ge microwave

Reason 2: Steam Doesn’t Get Detected Most of the Time

In case the error persists even after you’ve opened and closed the door or pressed the button, there is another cause.  Another probable cause is that Steam doesn’t get detected even after the default waiting time.

This cause also shows sensor error quite often. Let’s move to troubleshooting to get rid of this kind of situation.

How to Fix

The easy fix would be to use the “Cook Time” option to add a couple of minutes of extra heating to allow the steam to come out from the food. Also, make sure the food portion is not too small or large for the sensor to identify.

GE Microwave Sensor Error Codes: An Quick Overview

There is no indication of a major problem with your GE sensor microwave if it displays an error. If the sensor error happens, the display shows fault codes.

Error Code  Actual Problem  
F1Open thermal sensor
F2Shorten thermal sensor
F4Open steam sensor
F5Shorten steam sensor


Even after applying general fixes, the control board needs to be repaired or changed if you find the error messages still popping up.

The circuit board contains various micro units of components that are hard for normal people like us to repair. So, it’s best to seek out a veteran electrician to solve this issue.

Alternatively, you can completely change the faulty board with a new one for an extra couple of dollars. If you want to perform the replacement job yourself, seek help from this video.

How Do You Clean the Steam Sensor on a GE Microwave

GE microwave has a steam clean feature. This Steam Clean rehydrates dried spills and splatters to make cleaning more convenient. Steam sensors should be cleaned according to the guidelines given below.

Required tool: Soft cloth & steam bowl

  • Click on the Steam Clear button
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to a steam bowl.
  • Now start by pressing the start button or the dial.
  • Then, take off the Turntable and Turntable support. Now clean the inside of the oven shell with a soft cloth.

Maintain Tips of GE Microwave for Avoiding Sensor Errors

Like any other technical component, the GE microwave also calls for some maintenance. If you follow a proper maintenance regimen, you’ll encounter fewer issues gradually.

So, you can reduce the ratio of unexpected problems just by paying attention to the tips given below.

  • Always close the door perfectly before starting the food heating.
  • Keep your microwave away from metal, silver, and aluminum foil dishes.
  • Don’t slam the microwave door. It can damage the door or show sensor error.
  • Make sure you keep the microwave clean from the internal cavity.
  • Never run an empty microwave; it can show a sensor error.


I hope you got to know everything about the GE microwave sensor error. It’s a panicking moment when you get a sensor error.

However, you can resolve the issue by reading the article. If you can’t, you may visit a professional technician.

If your microwave is covered under warranty, you should definitely take it to a local service center. I am wrapping up here. Have a great day.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

What does sensor error mean on a GE microwave?

Microwaves employ various sensors to monitor and control different aspects of the cooking process, such as temperature, humidity, or weight. When the microwave displays a “Sensor Error” message, it typically means that one of these sensors is not functioning correctly or providing inaccurate readings.

Where is the steam sensor located on a GE microwave?

The location of the steam sensor in a GE microwave can vary depending on the specific model and design. However, in most GE microwaves, the steam sensor is typically located near the top of the microwave oven cavity, often positioned on the side or rear.

Is a sensor error on my GE microwave dangerous?

GE microwave sensor error can be dangerous, as it may cause the microwave to malfunction and not heat food properly. Without proper heating, your food may not reach safe temperatures for consumption, putting you in danger of food-borne illnesses. It may also affect the microwave’s functionality and performance.

How do you clean a microwave sensor?

To clean a microwave sensor, please follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the microwave.
  2. Locate the sensor, typically found inside the microwave cavity.
  3. Remove any visible debris using a soft cloth or brush.
  4. Clean the sensor and surrounding area with a mild detergent solution.
  5. Dry the sensor thoroughly using a clean cloth.
  6. Plug the microwave back in and ensure it functions properly.

Remember to consult your microwave’s user manual for specific instructions and precautions.

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