It can be quite frustrating to figure out the cause of a sudden breakdown of your washing machine.
Often an electrical breakdown could be due to a faulty PCB board of the washer.
This board controls the electrical functions in your washing machine.
If a PCB board turns faulty, it can cause a variety of problems and can put your washer to a complete halt in no time.
In this article:
- You will learn about the types of PCBs in a washing machine.
- You will understand its functions and the steps to replace them at home if they turn faulty.
Let’s dive right into it.
What is PCB in Washing Machine?
A Printed Circuit Board, or PCB, is a thin board made of non-conductive material that is equipped to support and connect various electronic components.
They are found in a variety of electronic devices, from computers and cell phones to washing machines and microwaves.
These electronic devices function smoothly with the help of the PCB boards designed as per their types.
If your washing machine is not working correctly, it may be due to a problematic PCB.
In some cases, a washing machine may have more than one PCB. For example, there may be a separate PCB for the control panel and another for the motor.
PCB boards are usually made of fiberglass, composite epoxy, or any other composite material.
It controls most of the electronic functions like pressure sensors, sound sensors, door switches, and the other electrical supplies of a washing machine.
These small boards are considered to be an important component of your washing machine. It is sometimes referred to as the “brain of your washing machine.”.
Let us take a quick look into a few advantages of a PCB in a washing machine.
Advantages of PCB
- Prevents short circuits and includes multiple electrical connections on one board.
- It helps in reducing noise from your electronic equipment such as a washer. This can be controlled with the help of sound sensors.
- PCBs are readily available.
- Prolongs the life of your washer by addressing multiple electrical supplies.
- These circuit boards are repairable in the event of minor wear-outs.
Apart from numerous advantages, they have a few drawbacks.
For instance, if there is a major power surge, the PCBs may not be able to handle it well and therefore may wear out faster than the other parts.
Nevertheless, it helps to protect the other electrical components of your washer.
What are the types of PCBs in a washing machine?
There are different types of PCBs, and each has its own functions, features, merits, and demerits.
The location and the number of PCB boards installed depends on your washer type and model.
In a washing machine, there are usually three main types of PCBs such as the control board, the motor board, and the power board.
The control board is responsible for controlling all of the electronic components in the washing machine.
When you use a specific function it sends signals to each component to notify you what to do and when to do it.
These are typically located in the front of the machine, near the control panel.
The next type of board in this category is the motor board and it simply controls the function of the washer’s motor.
It is primarily responsible to turn the drum that holds your laundry load during the wash cycle. They are typically located near the back of the machine, underneath the drum.
The third type is the power board.
It provides power to the electronic components in the washing machine.
It is typically located at the back of the washing machine in most cases.
Forms Of PCBs
PCBs are categorized into layers such as single, double, or multi-layered.
This is nothing but the copper coatings such as conductive and non-conductive layers on either side of the PCB boards.
Single Sided PCBs
Single Sided PCBs are the simplest and most cost-effective boards. These types of PCBs have a single layer of Fiberglass and copper.
These types of PCBs have a single layer of the base substrate (Fiberglass) on one side.
Furthermore, they have conductive (copper) layers on both sides of the substrate, and solder masking is applied on both sides of the PCB board.
Multilayer PCBs include more than two or include a minimum of three conductive layers of copper or a similar element.
These layers are all interconnected with copper-plated holes.
Multilayer PCB boards have buttons on them depending on the functions of your washer type.
The most common PCB boards have between six and eight buttons.
How does the PCB board get damaged?
PCB boards are an important component that regulates the electrical components of a washing machine.
There could be many reasons for a PCB board failure.
Let’s discuss the most common reasons for PCB board failure.
Exposure to water
The most common reason for a damaged PCB board is exposure to water.
If your washing machine leaks, or if you happen to accidentally spill water on the PCB board, it can start to corrode and break down.
Water can also cause short circuits within the electrical components, which can lead to severe damage.
Power surges can certainly damage the electrical components of a washing machine and they can’t be ignored.
PCB boards that control electrical supplies can become a victim of excess power fluctuations.
Therefore, you should avoid using the washer during excess power surges.
Physical or accidental damage
Another possibility where a PCB board can become damaged is through physical damage.
If the board gets a hit or if dropped accidentally, it can crack, which can cause further problems with the electrical connections.
It would help if you, therefore, were very cautious while carrying out certain tasks yourself.
Other reasons can be due to lightning, dust, moisture, even insects or bugs, etc.
So, always get the washer serviced at regular intervals.
In some cases, the physical damage can be repaired, but in a few exceptional cases, you will need to replace the entire board.
How to replace Washing Machine PCB Board?
PCB boards are usually located on the back of the control panel frame on the washing machine.
The location and number of PCB boards may vary depending on your washer type and model. Refer to your washing machine’s user manual to locate the PCB board.
In this guide, we will be replacing the controller board (PCB) that is located behind the control panels of your washing machine.
Tools Required to complete the task
- Screw Driver
- Wrench Plier
- Replacement PCB Board (Suitable PCB Board)
- Washing Machine User manual.
Instructions to replace the PCB Board of your washing machine
Step 1: Disconnect the power supply
Unplug your washing machine from the power supply and turn off the supplies such as water and drain.
Step 2: Remove the washer’s outer panel
You may need to remove the front and upper panels. You can easily detach them by unscrewing the screws.
Refer to the user manual of your washer for the steps to remove the panels.
Step 3: Remove the control panel
Now detach the control panel frame using a screwdriver and keep it aside. These are usually available at the top of the front panel or the upper panel.
Step 4: Remove the harness
Once you remove the control panel frame, simply remove the harness and separate them from the panel.
Note: All the wires should be tagged properly so that the PCB board can be reattached to the same position.
Step 5: Unscrew the PCB board
Next, with the help of a screwdriver, unscrew the PCB board from its frame.
Then, gently pull the PCB out of its housing. You may need to use a flathead screwdriver to pry it loose if it is stuck.
Note: Make sure that the replacement PCB is identical and suitable to your washer model.
Step 6: Attach the PCB board
Place the replacement PCB and screw it in its place.
Step 7: Fix the electrical connection
Now fix the tagged electrical wires in the same position again.
Step 8: Attach the panels
Set all the panels to their place by reversing the steps.
Step 9: Connect the washer
Connect the supplies and plug in your washer to run a test cycle.
For a worn-out PCB board of your washer, the replacement can be done at home with the help of some basic tools.
By doing this you can save on the additional charges by service professional in the process.
By simply detaching the PCB board you can easily carry them or send them for repairs instead of transporting the entire machine.
Always ensure to perform these tasks with proper care and with the right tools.
Lastly, always refer to the user manual for the specific model of washing machine you have.
For any challenges in the above tasks simply contact a service professional for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the washing machine PCB be repaired?
It depends on the type of fault caused to the PCB boards. If there is minor wear out then it can be fixed by soldering a few layers on either end. However, if there is a major fault then you may either have to send it for repair or get them replaced.
What is the main function of a PCB board? How does it work?
PCB or the Printed Circuit Board is the replacement of a complicated bunch of electrical wires. Due to this, the older units appeared quite bulky and complicated. With the introduction of PCB, most electrical connections run through the board. This helps in many ways as they can control and automate the working of the washer.
Are all Printed Circuit boards the same?
PCBs are commonly made of fiberglass, composite epoxy, or other composite material. They are available in several types for different electronic items example: single or multi-layered PCBs. The most common type is the single-layered PCBs used in washing machines which are simple and are composed of only a single layer.
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