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.
How Do You Know if Your Washer’s PCB is Damaged? (Symptoms of Problematic PCB)
Identifying a problematic washing machine PCB is crucial for timely intervention.
Here are some common symptoms indicating possible issues with PCB board:
- No Power: The machine may not power on, pointing to issues with the PCB’s power supply or components.
- Cycle Interruptions: Frequent stops or error codes during cycles can indicate a malfunctioning PCB.
- Inconsistent Operation: If you notice erratic water filling, spinning, or timing, the PCB might be at fault.
- No Response to Controls: Unresponsiveness to button presses or knob turns can signify compromised PCB control functions.
- Display Problems: Glitches in the digital display may hint at a PCB problem.
- Overheating: Excessive heat near the control board is often linked to PCB malfunction.
- Burning Smell: A burning odor near the control board area can suggest electrical issues related to the PCB.
- Odd Noises: Unusual sounds can also be indicative of washing machine PCB problems.
Note: These are not the only symptoms and the symptoms can vary from washer to washer, however, these are telltale signs of a problematic PCB board.
How Do You Troubleshoot a Faulty PCB in Washing Machine?
The first step is initial inspection and diagnostics.
Start by opening the machine panel using a screwdriver and locate the PCB.
Next, visually inspect for any obvious signs of damage, such as burnt components or discolored areas.
Refer to your washing machine repair manual for specific diagnostic steps tailored to your machine model.
Testing Electrical Components
Use a multimeter for detailed washing machine PCB testing.
Test essential components like fuses, resistors, and capacitors to check for continuity and resistance.
If these components are not functioning as they should, they might be the cause of your washing machine PCB problems.
Diagnosing Software Issues
Software glitches can also result in washing machine PCB not working as it should.
You may need to reset the board to its factory settings or check for firmware updates.
Ensure you consult your washing machine troubleshooting guide for specific reset procedures and software updates for your model.
Identifying Connection Problems
Loose or disconnected wires can also lead to washing machine PCB fault finding.
Make sure all wire connections are snug and soldered properly.
Double-check to ensure that connectors are not corroded or damaged, as this can interfere with electrical flow.
Washing Machine PCB Repair Kit
Utilize a washing machine PCB repair kit to handle basic issues like dry solder joints or component replacement.
How to Troubleshoot Samsung Washing Machine PCB Board?
Initial Investigation: Check if the motor is moving, if the machine starts properly, or if there are certain functions not being performed. This initial assessment will help guide your washing machine PCB troubleshooting.
Remove the Circuit Board: Open the back panel and gently remove the PCB board. Note that it might be coated with a silicone-like gel and encased in plastic. Carefully cut around the edges to free it.
Clean the Silicon Compound: Before further inspection, remove the silicone-like gel that holds the board in place.
Check and Resolder Dry Joints: Examine for ‘dry joints,’ which are solder points that may have deteriorated over time. If found, re-solder these points. Be aware that re-soldering may not always solve the problem.
Consider the Motor Driver: If re-soldering doesn’t help, check the motor driver. This chip is located underneath a heat sink on the circuit board.
Challenges to Prepare For: The PCB board is often glued down and requires significant force to remove, posing a risk of cracking. Also, always have backup replacement chips as some might be faulty.
Samsung Fully Automatic Washing Machine PCB Price
While the average cost for PCB board in washing machines hovers around £130, it’s important to note that this is a general estimate and costs may vary for Samsung models.
For Samsung washing machines, the PCB could range from $45 to $200 depending on the model and specific features.
Plus if we add the labour cost, the final amount can be even higher as labour cost depends from vendor to vendor
Samsung Washing Machine PCB Repair Cost
For a DIY repair, you could spend around £10 (about $14) on replacement chips and soldering materials.
Professional repair services may charge anywhere between $50 and $100.
How to Troubleshoot LG Washing Machine PCB Board?
Physical Inspection: The first thing you want to do is disconnect the washing machine from the electrical outlet for safety.
Open the Cover: Using a screwdriver, open the screws securing the motherboard cover to gain access to the PCB boards inside.
Separate the PCBs: You’ll find two PCB boards inside the case. Press the locks of the PCB case to separate the smaller board from the larger one.
Disconnect Connectors: Carefully unplug any connectors linking the two PCB boards.
Electricity Test: To confirm the problem, run a brief power test on the PCB. If the board is not turning on, you’ve confirmed your issue.
Remove Plastic Covering: Use a mini grinder to carefully cut away the plastic covering, exposing the circuits, especially around the rectification circuit. Be cautious to avoid damaging the PCB.
Use Multimeter: Utilize a multimeter in diode mode; a typical reading should be around 0.695.
DC Chopper: Check this component for any visual defects.
Switching IC: Consider replacing this component even if it seems fine, as a preventive measure.
Check the Display PCB for Rust: Disassemble it to look for corrosion or rust.
Clean Rusty Areas: If you find rust, clean the area using a thinner liquid.
Repair Disconnected Wires: Re-solder any loose or rusty traces back into place.
Power-on Test: After reassembling, try to power on the machine.
Visual and Auditory Confirmation: Check for LED indications and listen for the absence of any previous continuous relay beeping sounds.
LG Washing Machine PCB Repair Cost
The average repair cost can range from $100 to $300, inclusive of parts and labor.
For a precise quote, consult your local appliance repair service or LG service center.
LG Washing Machine PCB Replacement Cost
If you opt to replace the PCB yourself, costs for the component alone can range from $75 to $250 or more for high-end models.
Ensure you choose the correct part specific to your washing machine model.
When to Seek Professional Help?
Knowing when to take a step back and seek professional help for troubleshooting and repairing your washing machine can save you from added stress, expense, and even potential harm.
In some situations, even the most detailed washing machine troubleshooting guide and washing machine repair manual may not provide enough guidance.
Here is a deeper dive into the limitations of DIY troubleshooting and the reasons why you might need professional assistance:
Complex Circuitry: Modern washing machine PCBs can have complex designs and microscopic components that require advanced knowledge to understand, let alone fix. Even washing machine PCB diagrams can appear convoluted to the untrained eye.
Multilayer Boards: Some PCBs in washing machines are multilayered, making them even more complicated to troubleshoot and repair.
Specialized Equipment: You may need specialized devices for advanced washing machine PCB testing, which are typically expensive and may require training to use.
Limited Resources: A washing machine PCB repair kit may not always include every tool or component needed for more complex issues, especially those that pertain to washing machine mainboards or motherboards.
Risk of Further Damage: An unsuccessful DIY repair attempt can exacerbate problems, leading to even higher repair costs later on.
Electrical Hazards: Washing machines contain capacitors that can store lethal amounts of electrical energy. Proper washing machine PCB safety protocols, like discharging these capacitors, are essential.
Mechanical Risks: There’s also a risk of mechanical injury when disassembling heavy parts or sharp components inside the washing machine.
Learning Curve: Even if you have the washing machine repair manual, studying it and figuring out the problem might take more time than a professional would need.
Error Correction: If you make a mistake during your DIY attempt, you may end up investing even more time in fault finding and corrections.
Warranty and Legal Aspects
Voiding Warranty: Unauthorized attempts to repair or replace washing machine components, especially the PCB control board, can void your warranty.
Legal Risks: In some jurisdictions, unauthorized repairs on electrical appliances can result in legal penalties.
Holistic Evaluation: Professionals can evaluate not just the washing machine PCB, but also other interconnected systems and components for a more comprehensive repair.
Software and Firmware: In modern washing machines, firmware and software issues may require specialized software tools and expertise for troubleshooting and repairing.
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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