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Author Topic: get rid of the circuit board  (Read 416 times)

Offline Praxxl

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get rid of the circuit board
« on: January 26, 2015, 08:02:14 PM »
It depresses me that you can't buy a washer with a control knob instead of a circuit board.  A coworker of mine had his Whirlpool quit working right.  A repair man said it appeared to be a board problem.  This is nearly $300 for a repair to a 5 year old washer.  So my buddy is buying a new one.  I got thinking about this and I think I can still buy a control knob. 
Why can't I take his Whirlpool and throw the circuit board as far as I can and replace it with a control knob? 
Now it may not be that simple.  I may need some relays and maybe I will have to give up some features but I think a washer that will fill, agitate, empty, spin and shut off would do all most people need and would last better than the dreaded circuit board that fails without warning and is difficult to troubleshoot.
It would take some work to figure out how to wire it but I think I could, with some patience and a multimeter.
Can someone comment on this idea? 
Am I nuts to try this?

Offline domain

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 08:21:13 PM »
Ah, it could be done!

Offline domain

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 08:24:35 PM »
I think speed queen has a manual timer knob still?  Whirlpools have dials on their cheaper models but are on the control pcb. Oh and my 2 cents about your buddy's washer and tech. .. when most "techs" don't really understand a machine,  the "board" is almost always bad, and guess what? That's usually a costly repair so they get their trip fee and leave. No estimate to create, no more business to conduct.. easy money for "tech"

Offline AJ

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 09:21:12 PM »
Should be able to find a good used washing machine with a manual timer too.
Best of luck with what ever you decided to do.
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Offline Praxxl

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2015, 03:08:46 PM »
After searching for washer controllers it looks harder than I first thought.  I am sure it is doable but there are so many different controllers and different wiring leads that I have a better idea.
PLC's (programmable logic controllers) are pretty cheap any more.  I believe with a PLC and the software, it would be much easier to get the washer going than wiring up a generic timer - controller. 
The controller wouldn't have to be very large.  5 inputs and 5 outputs may be enough.  I haven't programmed in years but I know that today's little PLCs can do what large expensive ones did 20 years ago. 
Allen Bradley has free software for their micrologix model I am told. 
For those that have not programmed, it isn't hard to learn.  With a PLC software and a power relay for the motor, and I think it can be made to wash clothes nicely for about $100 to $200 tops. 
Has anyone tried this?

Offline AJ

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 04:15:22 PM »
Quote
A repair man said it appeared to be a board problem.  This is nearly $300 for a repair to a 5 year old washer.

Quote
and I think it can be made to wash clothes nicely for about $100 to $200 tops.

I would spend the extra $100 and get the correct board before I tried the other route.
But to me it's just a washer, not a hobby. ;)
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Offline domain

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 05:07:55 PM »
Great idea... for hobby in your own home! We program something wrong and boom washer floods ahaha :rofl:

Offline Praxxl

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2015, 07:50:46 PM »
I don't want to make it a hobby and I agree its just a washer. I wonder if there is some planned obsolescence going on here. Circuit boards should last longer than they do in appliances.  As far as the PLC, I have done similar things in the past and I get tremendous satisfaction when I fix an annoying problem, and the problem is fixed for the LONG term.
There was a relay on my furnace some years back in a different home.  This relay had a circuit board in it that gave a time delay when shutting off the heat pump compressor.  Great idea, but if the circuit board failed, the fan would run 24-7.  After two failures and several hundred dollars in repairs, I bought a repeat cycle timer and a couple of relays and wired it my own way.  No more failures after that. 
With electronics as common as they are today, the washer people should be able to design a circuit board that will last for years and when it does have a rare failure, it should cost about $30, not $300.
 


Offline AJ

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Re: get rid of the circuit board
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2015, 10:36:43 PM »
Quote
With electronics as common as they are today, the washer people should be able to design a circuit board that will last for years and when it does have a rare failure, it should cost about $30, not $300.

I don't believe appliances are designed the way they are by mistake.
http://appliancejunk.com/forums/index.php?topic=16174.msg85573#msg85573

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