How to Fix Samsung Microwave SE Error Code

Appliance Express
March 7, 2022
Microwave Repair

A Samsung microwave error code SE (sometimes mistaken as 5E) means the microwave control board is detecting a key-short error. More specifically, it means that a key is sticking on the microwave touchpad, or the ribbon cable that connects the control panel with the control board is dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced. If a key is not stuck and the ribbon cable is not dirty or damaged, the microwave’s control board may need to be replaced.

While a Samsung microwave SE error code can often be easily resolved by replacing the touchpad or cleaning the ribbon cable, the microwave’s high-voltage capacitor can cause fatal injuries. Therefore, it is recommended that a trained technician perform the repairs (see the safety warning below).

This guide applies to most Samsung microwaves, including the following:






















Safety Warning

The microwave’s high-voltage capacitor works with the microwave’s diode to create enough voltage for the microwave to work. Even after the microwave has been disconnected from the power, the high-voltage capacitor can still maintain a dangerous amount of electricity, which, if touched, can cause serious injury or even death.

It is therefore recommended that only a trained microwave repair technician fix or replace microwave components. If a microwave repair involves the high-voltage capacitor or components close to it, the capacitor should be discharged to protect against electrocution. The high-voltage capacitor can be discharged by creating a short circuit between each of the two capacitor terminals. Again, it is recommended that only a trained microwave technician discharge the high-voltage capacitor.

How to resolve a Samsung Microwave SE error code

1. Disconnect the power for 60 seconds

Before checking and replacing microwave components, disconnect the microwave from the power for 60 seconds to see if it resolves the error code. Sometimes, an error code is caused by a control board glitch, meaning there may not be anything wrong with the microwave.

Disconnecting the power causes the control board to reset and clear any error codes (particularly when caused by a glitch). If the error code is not a glitch, the error code will remain when the power is reconnected or return when you try to use the microwave.

2. Clean the microwave touchpad

Another easy fix that may clear a Samsung SE error code is to clean the touchpad. A dirty touchpad can be cleaned with dish soap and warm water or glass window cleaner. It is best to put the cleaning solution onto a clean microfiber cloth rather than directly onto the microwave. Make sure to dry the touchpad after cleaning it. After cleaning, disconnect the power for 60 seconds, and then check if the error code has been resolved.

3. Check the touchpad

If the microwave’s touchpad is responsible for the Samsung microwave SE error code, it will likely need to be replaced. Most microwave touchpads consist of two layers of Mylar plastic with a conductive coating. When the two layers are pressed together, a signal is sent to the control board.

The microwave’s touchpad can be checked with a multimeter to determine if it needs to be replaced. However, testing the touchpad requires the microwave’s wiring diagram and the ability to interpret the multimeter readings.

Follow these steps to access and replace the microwave touchpad and control panel:

  1. Disconnect the power to the microwave.
  2. Locate and remove the control panel or touchpad mounting screws. With most microwaves, the touchpad will be part of the control panel. Depending on the model, locating the control panel mounting screws may require the removal of the microwave casing or the grille.
  3. Before disconnecting any wires or cables, make sure to note how they connect for when you reconnect them or install a new control panel or touchpad.
  4. Unscrew the grounding wire and disconnect the ribbon cable, and if necessary, any other wiring harnesses.
  5. Remove the control panel.

Depending on the model, you should now be able to test the touchpad with a multimeter or install a new touchpad or control panel.

4. Clean the ribbon cable

A dirty or loose ribbon cable can also cause the Samsung microwave SE error code. The ribbon cable connects the microwave’s control panel with its control board. Access to the ribbon cable will require the removal of the microwave’s control panel.

Fortunately, a dirty ribbon cable can usually be cleaned rather easily by cleaning its copper connections with a pencil eraser after dipping it in rubbing alcohol.

Follow these steps to check and clean the ribbon cable:

  1. Disconnect the power to the microwave.
  2. Locate and remove the control panel mounting screws. As noted above, the microwave’s grille or casing may need to be removed to locate the screws.
  3. Unscrew the grounding wire.
  4. Carefully check if the ribbon cable has become loose, which could be causing the SE error code.
  5. Disconnect the ribbon cable and, if necessary, any wiring harnesses that stop you from lifting the control panel of the microwave.
  6. LIft the control panel off.
  7. Clean the ribbon cable with a pencil eraser, dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Once you have cleaned the ribbon cable, the control board should also be checked for signs of damage. If there are no visible signs of damage, the ribbon cable can be reconnected, and the microwave reassembled.

If the Samsung microwave SE error code remains, and the touchpad is not defective, the control board is likely responsible for the SE error code.

5. Check the control board

After following the steps above, you will be able to access and check the control board for any signs of damage. If the touchpad or ribbon cable is not responsible for the SE error code, the control board is likely not interpreting signals from the touchpad correctly and causing the SE error code.

Testing and diagnosing an issue with the control board typically requires a trained technician. However, the control board can be checked for signs of damage, such as burning or corrosion.

If the control board is damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Depending on the model, the control board may need to be unscrewed or tabs depressed to remove or check it.


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