Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

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Default (household) appliances

Hi,

We're in the process of some significant
remodeling/updating, here. Among the items we're
looking to purchase are all/most of the major home
appliances: frig, dishwasher, oven/stove/range,
washer, dryer (hmmm... why isn't that "drier"? : ),
water softener, hot water heater, etc.

I have been disappointed in the choices available
for most of these items. "Too much electronic
content" :-/

E.g., we are in a good market (DSW) for solar water
heating. Ignoring the exhorbitant prices these
folks want to charge for these things (hint: you can
buy 10 conventional water heaters -- INSTALLED -- for
the price of one solar unit!), I am leary of the
electronic content in some of the units we've examined
(we have also looked at "on demand" heaters -- same
issue applies).

I can just see the inevitable service call: "Yup,
you're gonna need a new computer board. That'll be
$400...". Of course, expecting anyone to actually
*repair* (instead of swap out) these things -- least
of all a PLUMBER -- is ridiculous. Despite the fact
that, I imagine, most repairs would be trivial.

The same holds true of all the other appliances I
mentioned.

And, even with the right skillset, I suspect *I* would
be screwed as the manufacturers wouldn't make available
any detailed documentation to let me do a component
level repair ("Does refrigerator cool? If yes, proceed
to step 3; if no, REPLACE assembly 107X-3")

This is further complicated by some of the numbers
salesgrunts tout regarding life expectancy of many
of these appliances (7 years for a $3000 refrigerator??
Jeez! The one we have now is 20 years old; the one
in my folks' basement is over 50...)

Anyone have any firsthand insights into this stuff?
I've just started poking around to see what sorts of
parts *are* available (to get a clue for what can be
repaired/replaced) but my research is in its infancy...

Maybe a cave in the hills is a better option??

Thx,
--don
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Default (household) appliances


D Yuniskis wrote:

Hi,

We're in the process of some significant
remodeling/updating, here. Among the items we're
looking to purchase are all/most of the major home
appliances: frig, dishwasher, oven/stove/range,
washer, dryer (hmmm... why isn't that "drier"? : ),
water softener, hot water heater, etc.

I have been disappointed in the choices available
for most of these items. "Too much electronic
content" :-/

E.g., we are in a good market (DSW) for solar water
heating. Ignoring the exhorbitant prices these
folks want to charge for these things (hint: you can
buy 10 conventional water heaters -- INSTALLED -- for
the price of one solar unit!), I am leary of the
electronic content in some of the units we've examined
(we have also looked at "on demand" heaters -- same
issue applies).

I can just see the inevitable service call: "Yup,
you're gonna need a new computer board. That'll be
$400...". Of course, expecting anyone to actually
*repair* (instead of swap out) these things -- least
of all a PLUMBER -- is ridiculous. Despite the fact
that, I imagine, most repairs would be trivial.

The same holds true of all the other appliances I
mentioned.

And, even with the right skillset, I suspect *I* would
be screwed as the manufacturers wouldn't make available
any detailed documentation to let me do a component
level repair ("Does refrigerator cool? If yes, proceed
to step 3; if no, REPLACE assembly 107X-3")

This is further complicated by some of the numbers
salesgrunts tout regarding life expectancy of many
of these appliances (7 years for a $3000 refrigerator??
Jeez! The one we have now is 20 years old; the one
in my folks' basement is over 50...)

Anyone have any firsthand insights into this stuff?
I've just started poking around to see what sorts of
parts *are* available (to get a clue for what can be
repaired/replaced) but my research is in its infancy...

Maybe a cave in the hills is a better option??



I always wanted to buy a decommissioned missile silo.


--
Politicians should only get paid if the budget is balanced, and there is
enough left over to pay them.
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Default (household) appliances

On Oct 17, 1:55*pm, D Yuniskis wrote:
Hi,

We're in the process of some significant
remodeling/updating, here. *Among the items we're
looking to purchase are all/most of the major home
appliances: *frig, dishwasher, oven/stove/range,
washer, dryer (hmmm... why isn't that "drier"? *: ),
water softener, hot water heater, etc.

I have been disappointed in the choices available
for most of these items. *"Too much electronic
content" *:-/

E.g., we are in a good market (DSW) for solar water
heating. *Ignoring the exhorbitant prices these
folks want to charge for these things (hint: *you can
buy 10 conventional water heaters -- INSTALLED -- for
the price of one solar unit!), I am leary of the
electronic content in some of the units we've examined
(we have also looked at "on demand" heaters -- same
issue applies).

I can just see the inevitable service call: *"Yup,
you're gonna need a new computer board. *That'll be
$400...". *Of course, expecting anyone to actually
*repair* (instead of swap out) these things -- least
of all a PLUMBER -- is ridiculous. *Despite the fact
that, I imagine, most repairs would be trivial.

The same holds true of all the other appliances I
mentioned.

And, even with the right skillset, I suspect *I* would
be screwed as the manufacturers wouldn't make available
any detailed documentation to let me do a component
level repair ("Does refrigerator cool? *If yes, proceed
to step 3; if no, REPLACE assembly 107X-3")

This is further complicated by some of the numbers
salesgrunts tout regarding life expectancy of many
of these appliances (7 years for a $3000 refrigerator??
Jeez! *The one we have now is 20 years old; the one
in my folks' basement is over 50...)

Anyone have any firsthand insights into this stuff?
I've just started poking around to see what sorts of
parts *are* available (to get a clue for what can be
repaired/replaced) but my research is in its infancy...

Maybe a cave in the hills is a better option??

Thx,
--don


I have to agree with you! Our range has moved with us simply because
there are no new ones with the features this one has, PLUS I can fix
this one. So far it has had one rebuilt clock [$35 18 years ago] amd
one bottom oven element [$25 5 years ago]. The refrigierator came new
with this house [10 years ago] and the processor board failed 3 years
ago so there is your 7 year life. New board $85, but I fixed the old
one as a 'spare' since it was a $0.35 electrolytic that had failed. On
all the other stuff, one simply hopes tnat the electronics are well
made. One wonders how a washer and lead free solder on the PCB will
work out with that level of vibration.

Neil S.
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Hi Neil,

[my rants about electronics in appliances]

I have to agree with you! Our range has moved with us simply because
there are no new ones with the features this one has, PLUS I can fix


My attitude towards my automobile! :

this one. So far it has had one rebuilt clock [$35 18 years ago] amd
one bottom oven element [$25 5 years ago]. The refrigierator came new


Yes, even the "elements" (used to be called calrods?) are now
magical and mysterious! "Induction heating"? Can you spell
"more expensive to fix"? :-/

with this house [10 years ago] and the processor board failed 3 years
ago so there is your 7 year life.


frown I was sort of hoping the salesman was exagerating
on that! :

New board $85, but I fixed the old
one as a 'spare' since it was a $0.35 electrolytic that had failed. On


So, hopefully "problems" are obvious? I would assume all
of the processors, etc. are custom and/or masked parts so
there is no easy way of figuring out *why* it is refusing
to work, etc.?

Was your repair (replacement) something you could/did yourself?
Or, did someone have to diagnose it for you (for a fee, above the $85
replacement cost, of course!)?

[i.e., labor costs are the killer]

all the other stuff, one simply hopes tnat the electronics are well
made. One wonders how a washer and lead free solder on the PCB will
work out with that level of vibration.


Exactly.

Its annoying because you know that there isn't any real
"rocket science" in these things. The electronics are just
glorified relays and timers (to a first order approxmation).
Yet, with relays and timers, you can *see* what's not working.
With electronics, you have to wonder *why* the processor isn't
turning on the pump, etc.
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Posts: 319
Default (household) appliances

Hi Neil,

[my rants about electronics in appliances]

I have to agree with you! Our range has moved with us simply because
there are no new ones with the features this one has, PLUS I can fix


My attitude towards my automobile! :

this one. So far it has had one rebuilt clock [$35 18 years ago] amd
one bottom oven element [$25 5 years ago]. The refrigierator came new


Yes, even the "elements" (used to be called calrods?) are now
magical and mysterious! "Induction heating"? Can you spell
"more expensive to fix"? :-/

with this house [10 years ago] and the processor board failed 3 years
ago so there is your 7 year life.


frown I was sort of hoping the salesman was exagerating
on that! :

New board $85, but I fixed the old
one as a 'spare' since it was a $0.35 electrolytic that had failed. On


So, hopefully "problems" are obvious? I would assume all
of the processors, etc. are custom and/or masked parts so
there is no easy way of figuring out *why* it is refusing
to work, etc.?

Was your repair (replacement) something you could/did yourself?
Or, did someone have to diagnose it for you (for a fee, above the $85
replacement cost, of course!)?

[i.e., labor costs are the killer]

all the other stuff, one simply hopes tnat the electronics are well
made. One wonders how a washer and lead free solder on the PCB will
work out with that level of vibration.


Exactly.

Its annoying because you know that there isn't any real
"rocket science" in these things. The electronics are just
glorified relays and timers (to a first order approxmation).
Yet, with relays and timers, you can *see* what's not working.
With electronics, you have to wonder *why* the processor isn't
turning on the pump, etc.


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Posts: 67
Default (household) appliances

"nesesu" wrote in message
...

On Oct 17, 1:55 pm, D Yuniskis wrote:
Hi,

We're in the process of some significant
remodeling/updating, here. Among the items we're
looking to purchase are all/most of the major home
appliances: frig, dishwasher, oven/stove/range,
washer, dryer (hmmm... why isn't that "drier"? : ),
water softener, hot water heater, etc.

I have been disappointed in the choices available
for most of these items. "Too much electronic
content" :-/

E.g., we are in a good market (DSW) for solar water
heating. Ignoring the exhorbitant prices these
folks want to charge for these things (hint: you can
buy 10 conventional water heaters -- INSTALLED -- for
the price of one solar unit!), I am leary of the
electronic content in some of the units we've examined
(we have also looked at "on demand" heaters -- same
issue applies).

I can just see the inevitable service call: "Yup,
you're gonna need a new computer board. That'll be
$400...". Of course, expecting anyone to actually
*repair* (instead of swap out) these things -- least
of all a PLUMBER -- is ridiculous. Despite the fact
that, I imagine, most repairs would be trivial.

The same holds true of all the other appliances I
mentioned.

And, even with the right skillset, I suspect *I* would
be screwed as the manufacturers wouldn't make available
any detailed documentation to let me do a component
level repair ("Does refrigerator cool? If yes, proceed
to step 3; if no, REPLACE assembly 107X-3")

This is further complicated by some of the numbers
salesgrunts tout regarding life expectancy of many
of these appliances (7 years for a $3000 refrigerator??
Jeez! The one we have now is 20 years old; the one
in my folks' basement is over 50...)

Anyone have any firsthand insights into this stuff?
I've just started poking around to see what sorts of
parts *are* available (to get a clue for what can be
repaired/replaced) but my research is in its infancy...

Maybe a cave in the hills is a better option??

Thx,
--don


I agree, but with a caveat. First the caveat: The electronically
controlled appliances can really work a lot better and provide
more features than the older mechanical switch and relay designs.
Now the agree part: I have a fairly new washing machine that I
really like. Six months after the one year warranty expired on
the washing machine, it died one day. It would not respond to any
buttons and appeared completely dead except the front plate was
quite warm in one place. A quick check on the manufacturers web
site said the control board assembly was $450 (list price). I
took the machine apart and this control board assembly has three
separate circuit boards that have soldered jumpers connecting
them. Two of the boards contain only push button switches and
lights. The third fairly large board has the processor, other
control and interfacing logic, some more user controls and
lights, and the alphanumeric display. The power supply and
variable speed motor control electronics were elsewhere. The heat
was coming from an onboard 5 volt regulator operating into a dead
short on the 5 volt line feeding all of the circuitry. To make a
long story short, I started trouble shooting the main board and
eventually found a very small shorted surface mount capacitor
between the 5 volt line and ground. After replacing that,
everything returned to normal. If the assembly was priced at $50
I might have replaced it, but $450 provided a lot of motivation
to do a component level repair. I hate to think what the final
price would have been if I had called a service company.

David

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