Thread Number: 74400  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Is it ever worth it to replace a main computer control board?
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Post# 982026   2/9/2018 at 12:18 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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...once the washer is out of warranty of course.
Some of these boards are hundreds, no way the machine will be sellable for a worthwhile profit.
Seems you have to find a cheap used part, but that may equally as likely to fail as the original. Shoot, even a new replacement may be the same crap design, I went through that with my Saturn.
What does the here collected washer cognoscenti think?





Post# 982028 , Reply# 1   2/9/2018 at 12:27 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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Your re-sale value went south the day you hooked your machine up. I wouldn't look at resale value as a factor.

What you will be asking yourself, is what condition is the rest of the machine? How old is it now?
Do you plan to keep it much longer, or are you looking to replace soon.


I replaced the main control board on my Maytag/Whirlpool dryer last spring to the tune of $460ish. I made the decision to do so based on I didn't want to replace it. I didn't have the funds to replace it with a like dryer costing $1200 new. It matched the washer it was next to. I like the dryer.


Post# 982031 , Reply# 2   2/9/2018 at 13:04 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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This is possibly mostly irrelevant, but I recently replaced the main control board in a friends 7 year old Kenmore Elite (Cabrio) TL washer.   I happened to have a WP Cabrio parts machine that I pulled the computer from.  Took less than 10 mins to replace and it only cost them lunch.  laughing

 

It SUCKS that the control boards are made to such inferior standards that they only last a few years.


Post# 982034 , Reply# 3   2/9/2018 at 13:20 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I'd replace the board on my own machine if it's in good condition, depending to an extent on what is the cost of the board (check all possible online sources, including eBay for both used and new).  There are also services that repair boards such as FixYourBoard.com and CorecentricSolutions.com.

It's always said "what if I spend $$$ to replace the board and something else fails?" ... but that may not happen.


Post# 982124 , Reply# 4   2/10/2018 at 04:48 by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

The boards at retail are priced deliberately to urge replacing the machine. And scantly designed/spec'd deliberately to make failure  beyond warranty likely.  Like, if a board that simple were really WORTH $460 it could/should be relatively bulletproof. 

 

I've worked places that had boards made for original install and for replacement.  Desktops, laptops, concert lighting fixtures.  All more complex than a laundry board.  The actual cost of the board is around $30.  Not counting the engineering time that went into it, but they had to spend that anyway or have no product to start with.  That $30 was late 90s/early 00s when the boards were still made in US.  Sourcing from China today cancels inflation, maybe more.

 

So they've got you either way once the warranty runs out and there is no clear economic advantage going one way or the other.  More an 'emotional' decision, as in, how much you "like" the machine. 

 

The field tilts some if you have to replace it AGAIN.  Almost doubles chances you're in a moebius money pit and good time to get out.  You'll be pissed and rightly so, but that's bidness in the 10s.  The spreadsheet jockeys running most all industries don't care.  They will replace you as a customer with a refugee from some other vendor doing the same things.

 


Post# 982129 , Reply# 5   2/10/2018 at 06:25 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Remember too, that some of the replacement printed circuit boards (pcbs) come 'unconfigured'. Thus you have to pay an additional sum to have it programmed. And some parts from some manufacturers are not always at hand, they have to 'back order' from far-flung places.

With the costs involved and the time delay waiting for stock parts arriving, it'd be easier for 99% of folk just to buy a new machine.


Post# 982144 , Reply# 6   2/10/2018 at 10:03 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Of course there are times when it makes sense.

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When the machine has (otherwise) performed well for you and this is the sole problem.

When the machine is in a really hard to access place.

When the machine does something which no other machine can readily do or do at all.

When you know whatever killed it won't happen again any time soon.

 

Two thoughts, though.

One, Bigclivedotcom has a couple of videos of the repair work he does on a SIEMENS OEM part used by most European appliance brands. It's the control panel for a range. One resistor blows on all of them, sooner or later and the way it's positioned leads to the conclusion: It's meant to die.

In short, electronics are supposed to fail and the repair costs are intentionally set too high to discourage you from repairing them.

Two, for technical reasons (diode protection being one), it's very rare for the actual microprocessor/s to fail. It's almost always a minor component which can be replaced by just doing some common sense diagnostics. Any radio nut over 70 or moderately skilled home kit builder or PC repair shop with spare time can do this.

I do it for friends two or three times a year. 90% of the time, it's one of three things:

1) An under-dimensioned resistor. This is the biggest problem with Electrolux/Frigidaire stuff.

2) An electrolytic capacitor from the bad years at the turn of the century (they were fakes and fail super fast).

3) Corrosion, broken wire, loose connector

 


Post# 982224 , Reply# 7   2/10/2018 at 23:19 by dylanmitchell (San Diego, CA)        

You'd think a Raspberry Pi or old laptop would be able to run a washer or dryer but getting the software and programming down plus making the wiring connections could be challenging. But imagine what you could do with 100 percent control of your washer or dryer and what you could program it to do.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO dylanmitchell's LINK


Post# 982234 , Reply# 8   2/11/2018 at 00:17 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Open source washing machines!


Post# 982266 , Reply# 9   2/11/2018 at 06:41 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
adding to Panthera's post...

I also repair boards from time to time. Particularly Fisher & Paykel top loaders.

I often see moisture damage, both on power boards (the main board that does the switching of pump / valve / motor); and display boards with the control button microswitches.
FP machines have a membrane panel covering indicator lights and touch buttons, but they are not membrane switches, there are separate micro switches for each button. What happens over time is that the most frequently used buttons (power and start) get cracks in the membrane and moisture gets in to the microswitch, creating an erratic connection. I have a few dead boards on hand from which I pinch the less used microswitches like delicate, favourites and delay start. They are all the same little switch. Easily soldered in place.
On power boards I see the signs of dampness causing shorts between copper tracks, with corroded copper and sometimes weird discoloration of solder joins.

I am currently fixing a 10 year old Electrolux front loader, it needed new shocks which I fixed, but when final testing it was doing some seriously weird stuff.
[Most washer faults are simple observations like "won't spin", "won't fill", "noisy on spin" and so on. When the observations are that the machine is behaving completely bonkers, I generally suspect moisture damage to circuit boards as it so often turns out that a bit of moisture is taking voltage where it shouldn't be going, with confused microchips the result.] The Electrolux was stopping occasionally for no apparent reason, and sometimes at end of cycle it would just start the cycle again. (an all-electronic model with no timer dial). I opened up the main board and found a bit of moisture inside the plastic housing, and black sooty deposits on the circuit board looking like a component had exploded, but all components appeared intact. I guessed some water had got on the board, possibly even when I tipped the washer on its side to get it in my car. When I powered it up it flashed across the moist bits and created black sooty deposits that conducted enough voltage to confuse the microcomputer. I cleaned off the board with circuit cleaner spray, then dried it off overnight. Next day all OK, I have done 2 loads of washing in it with no further faults.


Post# 982277 , Reply# 10   2/11/2018 at 09:43 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Spot on, Chris

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Moisture, heat, dust, grease, aggressive-corrosive chemicals + electronics - what could possibly go wrong?

The automobile manufacturers figured out how to do it right in the 1970s. The appliance manufacturers see this as a way to limit their products' useful lives.

It's that simple.

They're built to fail.


Post# 982440 , Reply# 11   2/12/2018 at 05:29 by gizmo (Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Au)        
built to fail

yeah, it really annoys me.

This Electrolux is apalling to work on, no front or rear access panel, you have to split the casing and pull off the front half or rear half, either requires a lot of disassembly of minor components like hoses, inlet valve, wiring harness and so on. All adds to labour cost. Plus they don't supply motor brushes or tacho coil, though both are regular failure items. If the brushes wear down, you buy a complete motor for $349. Hoover front loader brushes used to cost $7 a pair. Fortunately you can get suitable brushes online from UK for a reasonable amount.
A drum spider costs $189. The one on my LG cost $41, admittedly that was a few years ago. The drum bearings lists here at $44 and $56, the SKF equivalents I use (probably much better quality) cost $15 each at the bearing shop. The shaft seal listed here is $52, a bearing supplier would possibly have an equivalent for $15 or so. The main board I wiped clean is listed here for $307. It would cost less than $10 to make. outrageous. The whole washing machine would retail for about $700.

These prices make most repairs unviable.

Insert scream here...



CLICK HERE TO GO TO gizmo's LINK


Post# 982481 , Reply# 12   2/12/2018 at 13:57 by Whatsername (Loveland, CO)        

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There was a guy online who salvaged his brain-dead Maytag Jetclean using an Arduino, to great success. His website seems to have disappeared, but you can see some images by googling "unaclocker dishwasher Arduino"

Post# 982521 , Reply# 13   2/12/2018 at 19:00 by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

I would also forget about resell value. To me it would be what does this machine mean to me? If it was a dream machine of yours and it was in good condition, then by all means I would replace it.




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