At Home with Tech

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Tag: Fix Samsung microwave oven

ICYMI: Fixes for 6 Frustrating Tech Problems

I’ve addressed hundreds of topics to keep you at home with tech. It’s all about sharing information. And yes, I pay attention to which posts get more readership. So let’s review your top topics…

I have answers. But did you have questions?
Based on reader metrics, it certainly looked that way for these six tech puzzlers!

In case you missed it, here are shortcuts to help you on your path to tech enlightenment…
(Happy clicking!)

  1. What to Do if Your Samsung Microwave Breaks Down
  2. The Best UPS for Your iMac
  3. What’s the Secret iPhone Setting to Save Your Emails to iCloud?
  4. How to Find Your Free SD Movie Download in iTunes
  5. How to Find iTunes Extras on Your iPhone
  6. What to Do When You Lose Your Remote Control

(A summer rerun can offer up some sunshine!)

Why I Bought This GE Microwave Oven

I won’t deny I was attracted to the few tech tricks it offers beyond heating up food fast. And it all starts with a little circular logic….

I won’t deny I was attracted to the few tech tricks it offers beyond heating up food fast. And it all starts with a little circular logic….

I said goodbye to our glitchy Samsung microwave oven last week. As some of you know, I’ve had something of an ongoing rocky relationship with this temperamental unit.

Since my wife and I were doing some other work in our kitchen, we decided it was finally time to move on.
(Across five years, there were multiple pain points… First, the microwave’s control panel blew out after two years and was repaired for free. Then, the turntable mechanism stopped working… and more recently, the vent control has become glitchy.)

Yes, technically, the microwave still works, and yes, I could pay more to repair its existing nuisance problems, but it was an easy choice just to say, “Toodle-oo!” and start again.

I expect that microwave reviews probably aren’t top of mind for Samsung these days as they try to move beyond ‘Galaxy-gate.’
(That said, I really liked Samsung’s commercials at the Oscars.)
But I’ve seen ongoing interest in my 2013 Samsung microwave post.
I do hope the future brings better news…

Hello, GE Microwave Oven
So we decided to buy a GE Profile series 1.7 CU. FT. over-the-range microwave oven (Model PVM9179SKSS) to join our year-old GE Profile series gas range/oven (Model PGB940ZEJSS).
(Blogger’s note: Why don’t companies come up with a simple appliance model-naming convention?)

One reason for this particular choice was to create a matching range/microwave pair from the same manufacturer.

Not that it’s wrong to mix manufacturers, but after our Samsung experience, it seemed like a safer bet to go with a brand we felt more confident in.
(Yes, simple brand loyalty to GE)

Chef Connect
I wouldn’t exactly say this GE was a ‘smart microwave,’ but it does come with a Bluetooth feature called “Chef Connect” that pairs it to our GE range.

But what exactly does that get you?

Three features:

  • The microwave’s clock will automatically sync to the range’s clock.
  • The microwave’s surface light can automatically pop on when you turn on one of the range’s burners.
  • The microwave’s vent can automatically turn on when you use one of the range’s burners.


Are these upgrades really that useful? Or are they more like parlor tricks? A synced clock is always helpful, but do I really need more light and fan support every time I turn on the range?

Well, I certainly don’t need the fan every time I decide to boil an egg, but the automatic light trick intrigued me. So I activated it:

  • You just hold the “Chef Connect” buttons on the range and microwave for three seconds to activate the pairing mode. And then they magically find each other!

And then you select which of the three tricks you want to turn on
Easy as pie.
(Sorry for the pun)

The only wrong turn I made was incorrectly assuming that Chef Connect was somehow related to the “WiFi Connect” feature the range possesses, which allows me to monitor the range with an app on my iPhone.
(No… Chef Connect and Wi-Fi Connect are totally different.)

More Tricks
You might be thinking… a microwave is a microwave is a microwave.
It just needs to work!

True enough. But beyond “Chef Connect,” this microwave’s got a few other features I’m already warming to:

  • You’re able to ‘mute’ that horrible electronic pinging sound you hear every time you press a button on a microwave or oven these days.
    (I really don’t need an audible confirmation for every finger action I make.)
  • The addition of a ‘selection dial’ in lieu of an ‘all keypad’ panel is a more advanced design. This little circular knob reduces the number of times you’ve got to ‘push’ the keypad to get things going…
  • The ‘Beverage’ button is a dream… One tap heats up your cup of tea to the perfect temperature.
    (Not quite as spiffy as Captain Picard saying out loud “Earl Grey Tea… Hot.” But we’re getting there…)

But Wait…There’s More
This particular model is also a ‘convection’ oven. While I honestly don’t know how often we’ll be using the feature, it seems like a valuable functional upgrade for our kitchen to have two ‘ovens.’ So if we’re cooking dinner in the main oven below, and there’s a sudden craving to bake some chocolate chip cookies, we can now do that using the convection oven feature in our new microwave.

Convection tech does push the price tag up a hundred bucks to a ’pricier’ $599 MSRP.
(You can get a base-level GE microwave for less than three hundred bucks.)

But I had already decided to spend a little more on this unit, hoping it would stand up better to the test of time than my not-so-old Samsung did.
(However untrue that logic may be)

The Internet seemed split right down the middle when I did a little research on how the world feels about convection tech baked into microwave ovens.
But I decided to go for it anyway.
(Any feedback out there on my choice?)

At Home with My Kitchen
So we’ve got a new GE microwave/convection oven.
Whoop de doo…






And it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve using Bluetooth tech.
Good enough.

And for now… I feel like my shiny, new kitchen tech is there to
‘improve my life.’  Translation: It’s not a headache… not yet.

Still, that’s a win in my book… So let’s move on!

What’s Up with Samsung Microwaves?

If your Samsung microwave oven is bleeping in distress and displaying the spooky ‘SE’ code, you’re in trouble. Or are you? Your dead tech’s life may rest in the hands of your phone skills…

If your Samsung microwave oven is bleeping in distress and displaying the spooky ‘SE’ code, you’re in trouble. Or are you? Your dead tech’s life may rest in the hands of your phone skills…

My Samsung built-in microwave oven stopped working the other day.
And we haven’t even had it for two years!

Now I know humanity has been able to feed itself for most of its existence without this water molecule-stimulating tech.
(My mom did just fine without it while I was growing up and actually refused to ever try one. She claimed it was unnecessary.)

But I’ve got to admit; they’re pretty darn convenient.
90 seconds to warmed-up leftovers is hard to beat.

So doing without wasn’t quite as disruptive as replacing our dishwasher.
(Doing dishes by hand? Horrors!!)
But after a day of rediscovering the power of pure fire, it was time to put on my inspector badge and my Mr. Fix It tool belt.

The Mystery of the “SE” Code
I wasn’t present at the exact moment my young microwave went on the fritz.
(Samsung model SMH 9187 ST)

However, its aftermath glow simply displayed two letters above the keypad: ‘SE.’

I went online to look the code up, and ‘Ms. Samsung’ from the Samsung support site explained it means “Short Error” on the keypad.

Of course, her first recommended fix was for the owner to unplug the microwave and plug it back in…

(Does that ever really work, Ms. Samsung? It might be a temporary fix, but what problem like this ever goes away for good…?)

Next… She broke the bad news that it was time to replace the control circuit board behind the keypad.

Fix It Yourself?
I’m apparently in good company with other owners of this Samsung model experiencing the exact same issue…

One enterprising guy posted a YouTube video on how he ‘MacGyvered’ the problem: He opened up his microwave’s guts, pulled out all the ribbon cables and chips from the keypad circuit board, cleaned the connections and then put everything back together.

Then, I found another YouTube video where a Starfleet engineer-in-training also pulled apart his microwave oven and bought a replacement circuit board from Sears Direct for $35.

So I applaud these efforts, but I also read some disturbing warnings online about the lurking dangers inside a microwave. Specifically something called the ‘capacitor,’ which stores additional voltage, even if the microwave is unplugged.

Do It Yourself has a microwave oven repair 101 page which explains how to discharge the capacitor with a screw driver and jumper wires.


Doc Emmett Brown might not shy away from this electrical challenge, but I think I missed his high school class the day he reviewed ‘Flux Capacitors’ and ‘gigawatts.’

So I decided to pursue a different course…

Time to Call Samsung
We’ve owned this microwave oven for just 21 months, and of course the warrantee ran out after 12. And no, I didn’t buy the extended warrantee.

But, hey… a microwave should last longer than 630 days, right?

And it was clear there’s a boatload of other people out there with the same problem.

It was time to call Samsung and ask for a little love.
The challenge would be not paying half as much for a repair visit as it would cost to buy a brand new unit…

Five Steps to Successful Phone Support

Now I can’t guarantee this will always work for you, but here are a few tips how to act when you call up ‘800-Help Me…My Microwave is Broken.’

1.  Ask Nicely
Face it: Your unit is out of warrantee.
Acting all angry and injured will get you nowhere.
It’s going to be an uphill battle, and you’d better be nice.
Remember that hard-to-get date? Yeah… like that.

2.  Ask Twice
When I called Samsung, the phone rep said there was no recall on my microwave, and there was nothing she could offer other than to schedule a repair appointment at full price.

I calmly asked if there was anything at all Samsung could do to ‘work with me,’ since the web was a flurry with so many other customer stories with the same problem.

She said she could bump my question up to a service manager, and I gladly accepted that option.

3.  Do Your Research
When I spoke to ‘the manager,’ I felt prepared, because I had done my homework.
And the fact I was not alone with this particular Samsung failure didn’t hurt.
Also, I tried to act like the two of us were working together on my problem.
(It’s a slight attitude tweak, and it can make all the difference…)

The manager took a few minutes to do her own research, and she returned to continue our ‘negotiations.’

She said my unit wasn’t on their recall list of microwaves.
(There’s a recall list of other Samsung microwaves in trouble?!)

(Let the silence here work in your favor.)

She could offer me a free one-time repair visit, which included parts and labor.

Somehow, she could slip my microwave’s failure into their larger recall bucket.
(I didn’t ask.)

4.  Say Thank You
Now that’s some good customer service, right?
I happily thanked the manager for her generous offer…

5.  Take a Picture
So I had unplugged my microwave during most of the SE incident, because the unit was also bleeping in distress.
(like I didn’t know there was a problem)

In fact, I was also ‘bleeping in distress.’
(Though I won’t reveal my actual ‘words’ here!)

Right before the Samsung service technician showed up a couple days later, I plugged the unit back in… to demonstrate its crippled functionality.

My microwave started to cycle on… and then, it just settled… ready for action.
No SE code. No annoying beeps. No problem!

Now, it’s decided to play nice?!

I started to panic.
The technician was due any minute.

I unplugged the microwave again and rebooted it… hoping to duplicate the code.
No luck.

I stood there staring at my mischievous machine.

But it couldn’t hold its breath forever.

“Beep, Beep, Beep.”


Then I quickly pulled out my iPhone and snapped a photo of the naughty keypad.

If it found the strength to act healthy again, at least I’d have a picture to show the tech.

But my microwave remained down for the count, and the repairman finally arrived.  He looked at it…
Yep… time for a new circuit board!

A half hour later he was on his way to save the day for another hungry family.  My ‘mighty’ microwave was ready for action… again.
(I forgive easily.)

Best of all, I had invested 0 dollars towards the fix.

Don’t Forget the Honey
So what’s the big takeaway from my little tale of kitchen suspense?

Well… I’ll do more research the next time I consider buying a Samsung microwave oven.
(That said, two years ago this was a top-rated unit on multiple review sites.)

And what company makes perfect tech?
The fact that Samsung stepped up to exceed my customer expectations goes a long way towards my remaining a Samsung customer in the future…

Although… it’s worth mentioning this ‘incident’ follows
my last Samsung ‘adventure’ by just a few weeks.
(Though I can’t blame Samsung for the disappearance of my Blu-ray Player’s remote. That’s another story…)

And again, it really doesn’t hurt to ask nicely for something.
Customers are so angry these days.
(often with good reason)
Your mother was right… A little honey goes a long way!

Finally, it’s always appropriate to say thanks.

Samsung… thank you!

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