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PF on Microwave

PF on microwaves from GE stands for power failure. It means the power supplied to the microwave is either incorrect, insufficient, or due to faulty components, the microwave cannot convert this power into useful energy that heats the food. Therefore, if your microwave says “PF,” there may be an issue with the oven’s power supply or an internal problem with one or more components.

PF on a microwave can be annoying, and I have dealt with many similar complaints, which can easily be corrected by taking simple steps at home. However, if your microwave has faulty components, you might have to consult a professional or replace the affected component. 

In this article, I will review the causes of the “PF” on your GE microwave. I will also discuss various steps that you can take to locate and solve the issue with your microwave. I have also answered some FAQs, so I hope you read all the way to the end. 

Components Of A Microwave 

pf on microwave

Before we look into the causes of PF in a microwave, it is important to know what components make up a microwave. Here are the main components of a microwave and their role: 

TransformerSince the microwave requires a high voltage to generate microwaves, the transformer functions to convert the 110 volts supplied by the electric power supply to 3000 to 4000 volts. 
MagnetronThis is the part of the microwave oven that generates microwaves. The magnetron utilizes the transformer’s voltage and converts it to microwaves that heat the food. 
WaveguideThis component directs the wave toward the food and allows proper circulation of these waves within the microwave so that the food gets heated evenly and more efficiently. 
Cooling fanAs the name suggests, a cooling fan is involved in cooling the components of the microwave. The production of microwaves within the oven generates a lot of heat in its components. The cooling fan blows this heat away, allowing the components to stay cool and function properly.
Rotating discThe rotating disc trunks and exponents the food to microwaves from all directions. This permits a more uniform heating of the food inside. 
Control panelThis part of the microwave receives inputs and instructions on how to warm the food, how long it should operate, the intensity of the heating process, etc. 
SensorsNumerous sensors within the microwave detect changes in heat and temperature and adjust the rate of production and intensity of the microwaves accordingly. 
Control boardThe control board receives the inputs from the control panel. It then controls the power transmitted to the magnetron, producing microwaves according to your requirements through the control panel.

Causes Of PF On Microwave

To effectively deal with the PF issues in your microwave, you need to know the causes. Here are some of the main reasons behind your microwave displaying PF: 

Power Supply Issues

One of the most common causes of the PF on the GE microwave is an issue with the power supply. These include power outages and power surges. After the power is restored following a power outage, there can be a sudden voltage spike or power surge that may damage the microwave components, leading to power failure and, thus, the PF sign.

Incorrect Electric Supply 

Generally, microwaves are programmed to operate either at 110 volts or 230 volts. If you connect your microwave to a voltage supply rating that does not match the microwave, the microwave cannot utilize this voltage efficiently to produce microwaves. As a result, your GE microwave says PF. 

Incorrect Settings On The Clock/Timer

Another common cause of your microwave’s PF error is incorrect clock settings. If you set the timer too high or too low, which is beyond the normal capacity of your GE microwave, it will displace a PF sign. If the power gets interrupted during the functioning of the microwave, it may also display it as “PF”.

Malfunctioning Control Panel 

The control panel controls the production and intensity of microwaves. If the control panel gets damaged due to power surges, short circuits, physical damage, or any other reason, it cannot properly monitor the magnetron. Thus, a PF on the GE microwave would be shown. 

Faulty Sensors

The sensors within the microwave are responsible for monitoring changes in temperature and heat within the microwave and signal the control board to adjust it accordingly. Faulty sensors cannot properly regulate the heat, and your microwave detects this improper functioning and displays it as “PF”.

Connector Issues

If your microwave has loose or damaged connections, there might be significant power losses through these. This causes inadequate power to reach the microwave, leading to a power failure. You should also keep the connections as minimal as possible and keep your microwave close to the power socket to avoid power loss through connecting cables.

Control Board Issues

A control board controls the power supplied to the magnetron. When the control board is not functioning properly, it can cause an excessive or inadequate amount of voltage to be delivered to the magnetron. Consequently, the magnetron will not be able to function, and the microwave will display a “PF”.

Blown Fuse

Most microwaves have one or more fuses installed to prevent damage to the components in case of a power surge or short circuit. If this fuse blows, the power supplied to your microwave will not be used to operate the magnetron, and there will be a PF display.

Software Glitches And Errors

If there are some issues within the software of your microwave, the microwave will not be able to correctly function. These glitches may also present as a PF display on your microwave. 

How To Fix PF On The Microwave?

pf on microwave

Now that we have discussed the common causes of the PF display on your microwave let’s get into how you can solve them. 

Reset The Microwave 

The first thing you should do in case you get the PF display is reset your microwave. If there was an interruption in the functioning of the microwave, it would get cleared, and your microwave would be able to function normally. Most microwaves have a “Clear”, “Off,” or “Reset” button located on the control panel or within the software. 

If no such button is available, unplug the microwave from the power supply and wait a few minutes before plugging it again. This would clear the memory, and your microwave would start functioning anew. 

Clock Settings

Improper clock settings can lead to your microwave displaying the PF sign, so the simple fix would be to correct the time on your oven. You should refer to the user’s manual regarding your microwave’s clock setting limits. 

Check The Power Supply 

You should check whether your microwave is properly plugged into the socket. You should also confirm that the socket works fine by plugging another device into the socket. 

Do not check the socket by plugging in an expensive device or a device that draws a lot of power since you risk damaging the device if the socket is faulty. Ideally, you should contact a trained professional to check the socket and the power supply.

In addition to that, check that the voltage rating on the microwave matches that of the electric supply. You should find out the voltage rating of your microwave through its user manual and contact your electricity service provider for information about the voltage of your electricity. 

Check The Connections

Check for any loose connections or areas where the wire is exposed. If found, you should replace the wiring of your microwave. The electrical supply box should also be checked to ensure adequate and stable power. 

Check The Fuses

The fuse may have blown if there was a power surge or a short circuit. You should check the fuses within your microwave. To find out the location of these, refer to the user’s manual. 

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03/08/2024 03:04 am GMT

Check The GFCI Outlet

If your microwave is connected to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), it will trip if there is a power surge. Check to see whether it has tripped. Also, check the power supply box to see whether the electric supply has stabilized before resetting the GFCI outlet. 

Checking The Components Of Your Microwave 

pf on microwave

Testing the components of your microwave can be a tough and risky process. You should follow safety precautions if you intend to disassemble your microwave

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03/08/2024 03:04 am GMT

I don’t recommend that you try to disassemble and check the components of your microwave yourself. Once you have found the faulty component, you should replace it. You can either contact a trained professional to replace the components for you, or you can purchase and replace them yourself:

  • A capacitor will cost you about $10-15
  • A magnetron is available between $35 and $70
  • You can get 5 fuses for your microwave for $5.79
  • A transformer would cost you between $150 and $300.
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03/08/2024 02:59 am GMT
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/08/2024 02:59 am GMT

How To Troubleshoot The PF On Your Microwave?

Here’s how to troubleshoot your microwave and solve the PF error:

  • Disconnect your microwave from the power source. Check the wiring to see if there’s some damage. Do not connect other devices in the same socket. You should also check whether the connection to the socket is tight. Check whether the power supply is stable. 
  • Connect your microwave back to the power after a few minutes. Check whether the “PF” error persists. You should check whether the clock settings are correctly set if it does. If not, set them correctly and check again.
  • If the error still doesn’t go away, reset your microwave if your microwave has a reset/clear/off button.
  • Following a reset, if the error is still there, locate the fuses of your microwave using the User’s Manual. If these have blown, you should replace them. 
  • If the error persists, there could be an issue with the microwave’s internal components. You should contact a trained electrician to take a look at your microwave. 

How To Avoid Getting PF In Your Microwave?

The following are various ways to prevent your microwave from a power failure:

Precautions During Power Outages and Surges

It is best to turn off and disconnect your microwave from the power supply during a power outage. This would ensure that your microwave is not affected by the sudden current influx once power is restored. 

You should also consider purchasing a surge protector so that excessive voltage changes do not impact your microwave’s components. You can get one for $42.99.

Avoid Multiple Connections To The Same Socket

If you’re using the same socket to connect your microwave and several other high-power devices, there is a chance that excessive or too little power is provided to your microwave. This may also damage its components, leading to power failure.

Regular Maintenance 

Regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent dirt and debris from accumulating in your microwave. Dirt can impact the functioning of the microwave components and may lead to a PF. Clean the exterior and interior of your microwave once every couple of months so that it can work smoothly and efficiently. 

Follow The Manufacturer’s Guidelines 

Following the guidelines ensures that your microwave operates in the best condition and prevents damage to the components. Therefore, always follow the guidelines you can easily find in the User’s Manual. 


To summarize, if you are getting a PF error, there can be something wrong with your microwave’s power supply, clock settings, fuse, or internal components. You should rule out the issues with the power supply and reset the clock settings. If your error persists, there may be an issue with the internal components of your microwave, in which case you should contact a trained professional. 


1. What does “PF” mean in a microwave?

PF means Power Failure. It means that the power supplied to the microwave is either inappropriate or insufficient to allow the proper functioning of your microwave. This may be due to issues with the power supplied or the internal components of the microwave. 

2. How does a GE microwave display “PF”?

You will find the PF error displayed on the display screen of your microwave. This is displayed when you try to use the microwave to heat your food.

3. Why does my GE microwave show “PF” on the display?

There could be several reasons why your microwave is showing a PF error. There might be an issue with the power supply, the clock settings, the software, or the internal components of the microwave.

4. How can I fix the “PF” error on my GE microwave?

You should go through the fixes I mentioned in this article. If the error persists, you should contact a trained professional. 


  • Jake Alexander

    Jake is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania who enjoys writing about science and sports. When he's not writing for Temperature Master, he can be found watching the NFL or playing basketball with his friends.

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