|High-Efficiency Washing Machines!17-11-2019 01:49|
|Last spring, my 1986 model Whirlpool died. I knew that it needed to be replaced, last couple times I repaired it, plastic parts were crumbling. The parts I would have needed to get it running, totaled around $200+shipping (never bothered to check), and there was another $100 or so in parts, I should consider changing, while having it basically, all torn apart. Basically, the price of a new washer, and a lot of work. I didn't like the high-efficiency machines, which general means poor performance, less convenience. So, I did quite a bit of shopping, not to thrilled with the options in my cheap price range. Not that picky about laundry, just needs to clean. Settled on a top loading, agitator model, that made no mention of being high-efficiency. Of course, after delivery, getting it hooked, an thumbing through the manual, turned out to be everything high-efficiency, apparently, just didn't rise to the standard. |
I went to do some laundry the other day, some extra blankets, since the brutal winter weather is starting to roll in, mid 50s right now. Loaded it up, but it wouldn't start, no lights on the control panel. Checked the breaker, the outlet, all powered and fine. Went online, couldn't find anything useful, of course. So, I unloaded it, unplugged, turned off the water, unhooked the hoses. Pulled it out, and removed the control panel, hoping for an internal fuse. No luck, didn't see any burn components or hot spots on the circuit board. Looked fine physically. Wasn't really room to get a meter on anything, or pull any connectors, without further disassemble. Put it back together, went back to the computer. Need some more information. A new control board costs $179+shipping (unknown, until checkout). I didn't register the warranty, but it still ought to be good. So, I went looking to see if there was any hints, or alternatives. Apparently, those boards get replaced quite often, but still nothing to help troubleshoot.
Finally found a service manual, though not specific to my particular model, maybe a family. The board in the diagram didn't look much like mine either. One thing I did find though, was how to get the error codes, and enter into test mode. But most importantly, if you hold the start button for 10 seconds, it resets the control board. And it did too, washer back in service. The site I got the manual from is here.
Getting scammed into a high-efficiency machine was bad enough, but to have it appear dead, and in need of an actual repair guy sucked. Maybe, they give out the reset sequence, and access to the error codes, when you call for warranty work. I don't know, since I'm pretty handy, and don't have a lot of patience. There should have been some mention of resetting the machine, similar board for many model. Sort of wondering how many people bought new machines, because they thought it dead. Or how many times those control boards get changed, that didn't need to be. Basically, the machine is dead, nothing lights, who would question a repair man charging for a new board, long as it got the machine working again.
While messing around, found an RJ-45 jack on the back of the machine. There was no mention in the service guide about what it's used for though, just how to remove it, and a ground wire that goes with it. The guide didn't really go into the circuit board, other than as test points for sensors and outputs. Would be kind of cool to plug in a laptop, and have software diagnostics. But, I figure it's there for programming, or so proprietary tool, for the professional, factory trained service guys.
Anyway, hope this post can save somebody some time, and hundreds of dollars on an appliance repair. Got a hunch this applies to more than GE washing machines, and really borders on a scam, or at least leaves the door wide open for less than trusted repairmen to make a few extra bucks.
|I have a maintenance contract with an apartment complex, which means I get to service and repair their coin laundry machines. Little by little they are downgrading to newer and more efficient machines.|
The residents long ago figured out that the new machines suck. An old machine will nearly double the money that a new one brings in a month.
I think it was ITN that said "dilution is the solution to pollution". You can't dilute that dirt without any water!!
On a side note, I've got a storage garage full of old machines. I'll give you a couple for free if you feel like driving to Iowa for it.
Edited on 17-11-2019 04:23
|Into the Night★★★★★
|Sounds like some of the scammy laserprinters, that report that you have to replace the toner cartridge long before it's used up. Some magick button sequence resets this false alarm also.|
Into the Night wrote:
I've got an older Laserjet, where a new toner cartridge is only costs a little less than the whole printer. A refill cartridge is about half, but not as good print quality, but lasts much longer. I bought the laser printer for making printed circuit boards at home. Thought I'd save some money on toner, but the toner was crap for that. Just doesn't transfer to the copper well at all. Other than that, it's been a great printer, over ten year old, still works fine.
I wouldn't have been so critical about the washing machine, but that reset sequence should have been in the owner's manual, or easy to find on the internet. Even the GE parts site, that wanted to sell me a new board didn't mention it. There was nothing to lead any one to believe the machine hadn't completely died. Only needed to hold a button 10 seconds to wake it up.
Might check out the error codes later today. It's cold (52 F), but it's not windy, like it's been. Had enough aggravation for a while, but a little curious too, new toys to play with.
|Strangely enough I find myself amused that exactly the same things happen no matter where you are. I'm currently residing in the Netherlands and have been here for almost a decade. In that time we had an odd school washer and dryer and my in laws decided to gift us an additional 5 years of extended warranty. It worked like a dream for the first 2 years and week. It was almost as if the washer had an inbuilt time bomb. And funnily enough the following day the dryer decided to die also. We called the store we bought it from. He asked first of all what model it was and WHEN I'd bought them. When we told him when we'd bought it you could just see this smug sense of greed. As he started to explain that it was outside of the 2 year guarantee and that we'd have to pay a portion for the repair. We quite smugly pulled out the extended warranty and you could see the dread in his eyes. It almost felt like these machines break down frequently after passing the 2 year mark. And this time it would t be the customer who had to pay. And as I expected from that moment on we had the repairman over every 6 months or so. Until, the company went bankrupt 3 and a half years later. Just that single gift from my in laws almost balances out just how annoying they can be.|
We eventually decided to replace them just because repairs cost almost as much as a new one. And so I find myself amused that others have similar experiences were some portions are almost identical.
I must admit in most practical aspects of daily life the old works better than the new. . I've worked with small scale industrial designing and prototyping and in most labs, manufacturers, schools and universities there are always small pivotal analog machines that haven't been replaced because quite honestly they work too well. And in most cases were not designed to die after a set number of years. Quite the opposite many of those machines are designed to last. I'm not saying everything old is better. No, but somethings just cant be replaced.
|So where companies went from reliable products, that never needed customer service, to companies with great customer service. I prefer now how good the customer service is for the things I buy.|
|Into the Night★★★★★
HarveyH55 wrote:Into the Night wrote:
If you try to print on copper to ask as a mask, you have to make sure those boards are acid cleaned first. Another use for muriatic acid!
Just make a weak solution of that, and use it to get the board nice and shiny. Rinse off thoroughly in COLD water, dry it with towels and COLD or room temperature air, and you're ready to print. Do not let your finger oils get on it when handling it.
Most people use ferric chloride to etch, but I prefer cupric chloride. It's easier to see what's going on (since it's a clear liquid in solution), and you can restore it using muriatic acid.
The Parrot Killer
Into the Night wrote:HarveyH55 wrote:Into the Night wrote:
I learned to etch boards in high school, but we only had permanent markers and tape. Home computers wasn't a thing yet, and photo-resist was a little complicated and expensive for high school shop class. I stuck with the marker method for decades, until I read about toner transfer, Looked pretty good, simple, and not real expensive to get started with. The laser printer was a good investment, even if I didn't make a lot of boards. I already had a laminator, and found some cheap board material thin enough surplus. Worked great, laser printer was so much better than inkjet for most of my needs. It was the refilled toner cartridge that messed things up. Makes sense though, they would want to fill them as cheaply as possible, and only need it to stick to fuse to paper, their main customers would offices, bulk printing on paper. You get what you pay for. It's just not consistent enough to be remelted, and fused onto copper, too many small holes. Even fixing those with a marker, didn't always work out well.
|Into the Night★★★★★
HarveyH55 wrote:Into the Night wrote:HarveyH55 wrote:
Those small holes are because of tarnished copper. Clean and dry them as described. It will work better.
This method is only good for fairly broad circuit traces though.
The Parrot Killer
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