Fixing the Door Handle on a GE Over-The-Stove Microwave

The GE Spacekeeper XL JVM1331WW04 (and JVM1350AW002 many other GE over-the-stove microwave ovens) are designed with a "stylish" AKA poorly-designed and weak handle ( for example, WB15X335, WB15X10020, WB15X322, WB15X10023 ) for the door. Cleansers, and time will wear out any plastic. If there is a lot of stress (pull or sideways push) the door handle will eventually break. Replacement handles cost $60, perhaps as low as $30 on eBay, way too much for a few ounces of plastic that have been aging in a warehouse for more than a decade, and is almost as fragile as the handle it replaces.

Chances are, the handle will break at the bottom, where the user puts the most force, and the 1/4 inch diameter cylindrical plastic boss that extends from the handle through a hole in the door will break at the place where the blunt-ended tapping screw ends, where stresses on the plastic are maximum. If the GE designer (unlikely to be a competent engineer) had done a proper job, the outside of the boss would be larger diameter and the screw and the boss longer.

Fortunately (sorta), when the boss fractures at the end of the screw, it leaves about 1/4 inch of plastic boss remaining, as well as the thickness of the inner side of the handle. This is enough to reattach the handle, using a longer screw, with adhesive to make sure it never breaks again.

What you will need for the repair: (1) High quality plastic-to-plastic adhesive, like the Loctite plastics two part bonding system (est $5) (2) A #8 3/4 inch self-tapping screw (est 10 cents, get an extra in case you lose one) (3) a 1/8 inch drill (4) #2 philips head screwdriver (5) small flat head screw driver or small putty knife (6) cleaning stuff, paper to catch dripping adhesive, etc.

Repair procedure

After this treatment, the handle will never come off again. Which means if you break it again somehow, you are replacing the whole door or the whole oven. If you buy a new one, make sure it has a sturdy metal door handle.

GEhandleFix (last edited 2014-11-29 04:10:09 by KeithLofstrom)