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Microwave - Popping Noise or Arcing

To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

  • Popping sounds are usually caused by the food item being cooked in the microwave. Food items with a higher fat content will pop and sizzle as they cook. Covering the container will reduce this. Noises can also be heard when cooking foods with tight membranes such as potatoes. Pierce the skin of potatoes before cooking.


  • Food spills will also cause popping noises. Clean up spills in the microwave as soon as they occur.


  • Operating the microwave empty may also cause a popping to occur and can damage the interior. Always have something in the microwave when in use.


  • Using metal or metal-trimmed cooking utensils in the microwave causes arcing in a microwave. Please consult the Owner's Manual. Download a free copy of the Owner's Manual and/or Installation Instructions. The Owner's Manual will offer recommendations on the correct utensils to use.


  • Check to see if the cooking probe has been left in the microwave. If using the probe, make sure it is properly inserted into the food item. If not properly inserted it can cause arcing and destroy the probe.


  • If using the metal cooking rack, make sure it is firmly in place and not upside down.


  • If the popping noise is electrical or mechanical in sound, GE recommends contacting service. If you would like to schedule a service appointment, please contact GE Consumer Service or schedule a service appointment on-line.


  • If the arcing burned a hole through the cavity wall, the damage is non-repairable. You can continue to safely use the microwave if the hole is equal to or smaller than the hole size that you see on the door screen and additional arcing is not occurring during the cooking cycle. If the hole is larger than this, it is recommended that the microwave be replaced.