Picture of DIY fix your Maytag dishwasher on the cheap

I used to love the Maytag brand.  My old dishwasher lasted more than 20 years when I replace it with a new one a year and half ago.  You can't be wrong choosing a Maytag, I thought.  But I was deadly wrong.

Last week my 1.5 year old Maytag dishwasher suddenly quit working.  The "Start" button won't respond, so is gone my confidence with Maytag.  I searched the internet and found many unhappy customers complaining the same: the touch buttons failed shortly after the warranty expired.  There are basically two options, one is to get the repairman here to fix it.  The chances are that he will just replace the control panel, as well as the control board with about $150 each.  Labor is probably another $150, which would easily totals to $450, about the same amount as a new dishwasher.  The other option is to simply buy a new one, and trash the old-new one - what a waste!  The premature failed dishwasher would be in the landfill, and polluting the environment, or used as scrap metal, wasting energy. Either way you are a loser, while the salesman will be laughing all his way to the bank.

I searched the web for DIY solutions, and learned to get the diagnostic manual from the bottom panel, and then found the root cause for the failure, and finally fixed it with very little cost.  Now my dishwasher is working again. Here is how I did it step by step.  Hope you can benefit from the instructions here.

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AndrewV45 days ago

Found an even easier way to repair the flex cable -- a CAIG CIRCUITWRITER PEN from RadioShack -- The pen basically allows one to "draw" circuits on pretty much any material, including plastic.

Remove the control board. Scrape off the rust. Restore connectivity with the pen (make sure to avoid short circuiting!). Test by connecting it back to the dishwasher. If successful, cover the repaired cable area with some kind of a vinyl repair glue (make sure it remains flexible when the glue is cured). Makes sense to cover in several layers to better protect the cable in the future.

I've replaced the damned panel twice..... same one as your picture only mine is black.... couldn't find the repair docs in mine though.... maybe the installer snagged 'em... where were yours located?
vaughnr0071 month ago
I followed the button sequence but nothing happened.i checked for power and found a bimetal device was is broken not allowing power to go to the door latch. Bypassed it and it works! Heading for the store tomorrow. It's silver, the diameter of a dime and 1/2" long. Easy fix...just pull the wires (black and black/white strip) off.
bomerst1 month ago

Nothing worked for US. We ended up buying an entirely new control panel, to the tune of $160. When my husband took the old one out, surprise, surprise, we saw the 'dreaded rust spots' that everyone else has seen. My husband isn't the kind of man who wants to do a lot of "leg work" to fix something. He'd much rather PAY A BLOODY FORTUNE and 1) have someone ELSE do it or 2) just buy the biggest easiest part to replace and call it good. This makes me crazy, but since I have NO DIY skills, I have no choice. It's rather frustrating, really. . . . .we'll see how long the new board lasts, I guess!

I keep on reading about y'all referring to some "button sequence". Where did y'all find this? I've tried just pressing "normal" and "heated dry" several times either at the same time or individually and I don't get the sense that anything is "resetting", etc. I'm trying to order the "right part" for my MDB7749SBB1, of course, it's been discontinued, so this is NOT an easy task. I'm not sure how to figure out if it's my control panel or the control board. HELP!!!!

My model # is MDBH969AWB3. I turned off the breaker for at more than 5mins then Checked the heating coil for continuity and it was good. I noticed the control panel was very loose. I tightened it with allen key. I then Continued to presse the Normal>Heated Dry buttons so many times till the blinking "Normal" light went off. Now the Dishwasher is back to normal operation. Thank you all for the hint.

EileenG1 theagbos2 months ago having similar problems with my w10199645 unit. we had to replace the little white plastic piece to close the door and my DH did something with the circuit board. But, now we have to go down to the breaker box and flip the switch.

my question is did you have to press the normal heated dry buttons at the same time or did you alternate them.

its just so frustrating to go down to the box each and every time I need to do the dishes.

thanks in advance


seanob3 months ago

I just bought the replacement touch panel (and a digital board as a precaution) got them both used total $168.00 before I installed them I bought some conformal coating spray (electronics parts store)and sprayed both sides of the cable 3 coats, taped over connector (try the conformal coating on a spot on the old cable first in case ) Of course I don't know if this will stop it or just slow it down. I will have to set a reminder to check it in about 6 months. I am more than disgusted by the lack of email response from Maytag. Well its running now and I am happy for at least 1.5 years :)

seanob seanob3 months ago

addition: I tried the used display with the old digi board and it worked so I put the new one on and keeping the old one as a spare.

unix244 months ago

I have already once had my Maytag dishwasher front button panel ribbon cable get corroded about 1.5 years ago. I tried to fix the cable many different ways but this was very difficult and near impossible. Then I tried to simply order the cheap little $2 ribbon cable but that's not possible either. So I gave up and had to buy an entire front panel for almost $200 to fix a $2 ribbon cable. Then 1.5 years after replacing the panel, the same exact problem happens again with the corroded ribbon cable and we can not start the washer. It's also very convenient the panel is only warrantied for a year. I have had enough with this poorly designed dishwasher. There is actually a class action lawsuit against Maytag in CA for this very same issue.

I managed to overcome this problem by a simple, "stickin it to the maytag man", solution that avoided the ribbon cable altogether. I know this solution isn't for everyone but it may help someone if they are angry at constantly wasting money on fixing this poorly designed product and have some experience with soldering and control cards.

My only issue was that I couldn't start the dishwasher using the start button. This fix here is only for starting the washer. If you can find your diagnostic manual you should find where the start button is connected to, mine were pins 2 and 6. I tested first by having the washer plugged in and using a single wire to touch the 2 and 6 terminals on the back of the control card. When done correctly, this is exactly the same as pushing the start button on the panel. Be very careful doing this to avoid getting shocked.

Once I found the correct terminals, I was able to solder a wire to each terminal and connect them to a simple on/off switch. I will replace this with a nice push button from radioshack and mount it on the front so my wife will be happy. Currently it is very ugly but I'm just so proud of it anyways. If it breaks again I will buy a new dishwasher but this fix should last a long time hopefully. Making this fix was therapeutic after years of ordering parts.


I unplugged, replugged, cursed, rested, pressed buttons repeatedly, gave up and returned. Lights flashed, switched from one to another, went off, went on. Repeated several times. Then I quit. Unplugged it. After an hour, plugged it in and went to bed. In the morning, the normal, start lights came on and it started!

thilger1 year ago
Thank you for advise. Maytag didn't start but normal and dry button were lit. after i kept pressing normal then dry button rapidly and about the third press all the lights lit up and it reset and now is working perfectly. you saved me the cost of a repair man.
akastanis thilger5 months ago

Did the normal then dry button sequence. Worked great! Maytag MDB7709aww2

DerekM35 months ago

I just ordered a new control panel and got it in today. I was thinking about covering the back of the panel and spraying some type of clear coat over the new ribbon cable to try and prevent this from happening again. I'm trying to prevent having to replace this every two years? I'd appreciate any thoughts on extra measures to protect the ribbon cable.


JeffG57 months ago

My Maytag MDB4709 would not start. I bought another control board for it. It still would not start. I saw your post about the Test spots on the control board and tried it on the new control board.The wash cycle started! So i put the old control board back in and the test jumpers failed to start the wash. Then I reassembled the washer with the new control board and pressed start. NOTHING. It seems that both the control board and the ribbon cable had failed. I am going to wire up a button to bypass the ribbon cable and hit the test points directly to start the washer. Thank you for the hack.

KevinW4 JeffG56 months ago

JeffG5, If you have been successful with the direct wiring could you post and image and explain how you did it?


rogrdane6 months ago

Wow- this is an indentical story to ours... 1yr 3 months after warranty, the touch panel starts acting goofy. Cannot select "normal", when you do the light jumps to 'quick' and even if you get a wash, the lights don't go out at the end... I am unhappy. Maytag will 'never' cross my lips again.I also had issues with a my Maytag above oven microwave, but that was at 11 months so covered. Waiting for that to go out again... no wonder the Maytag man is bored... nothing works. I am trying to find solutions so this one LOOKS great... many thanks.

RussH2 made it!6 months ago

I had a similar problem, the lock control light was stuck on and no other option would would work, what was happening was the corrosion seen in the first photo was shorting out to the next wire, I sanded the covering off which is quite thin with some emery cloth any sand paper will work just be careful not to sand off the copper wire on the plastic, once the corrosion was removed as seen in photo 2 I covered it with liquid electrical tape from Ace Hardware for $9.

RussH2 RussH26 months ago

Will keep you posted on long the repair will last, shoot me a messsage if you have any questions.

Slyone1 year ago
Well, I wasn't careful enough with the scraping. My eyes are not so great (I have cataracts in both) although I used a magnifier. I could see corrosion - in EVERY conductor in a line near where the FPC comes off the touch panel. There was a dark line right across conductor 12. Scraping with a small razor hobby tool, I went right through and put a hole in the conductor and FPC before I knew it. I was not too concerned because I knew I could replace the unit for $120, but so I kept trying, and succeeded - the dishwasher is running as we speak. My silver conductive ink was no longer conductive - probably sitting so long the silver settled out. I could not bridge the hole with it. The conductive paste in the defogger kit is probably better for this job, anyway. I pealed the plastic cover layer from over the 'Cancel' switch on the touch panel. The top, cover layer has the electrical contact part of the switches. Under this switch are the terminal contacts of the switch. The center of this switch is connected to line 12 of the FPC. I tried sticking a piece of wire into the conductive layer on the touch panel side of the hole (which is thicker) to bridge the hole, and that failed, so I decided to connect the center conductor of the 'Cancel' switch directly to the FPC cable connector. Covered the contact (top layer) with clear packaging tape so the switch would not be stuck in Cancel mode on. Not being able to cancel would be a minor sacrifice to get the dishwasher running. I used the silver ink to connect and hold a fine wire (for wire wrapping electronics - Radio Shack has this stuff, but any strong fine wire will do the\ job) to the center terminal of the switch and ran the wire directly to the back of P1-12 wrapped around a conductive pin (I had some small gold-plated mini connectors lying around, but a piece of heavy wire, like a paper clip, would do. I checked resistance pressing the 'Start' switch (+P1-12, -P1-4), reassembled the touch panel, put it back in the dishwasher and turned it on. And it works. I will have to seal everything, but when the corrosion takes over and the dishwasher stops working again, I will replace the touch switch panel.
hitthetwit Slyone7 months ago

Hey Slyone, I'm in the same boat as you...although I inherited this discount mdb7749awm1 with the house we purchased. Unfortunately, the diagnostic model is missing from below, and there is no available copies online that I've found. It's running through the diagnostic outlined in the main post above, but would you let me know how to access the control panel and ribbon? Many thanks!

JeffG57 months ago

My Maytag MDB4709 would not start. I bought another control board for it. It still would not start. I saw your post about the Test spots on the control board and tried it on the new control board.The wash cycle started! So i put the old control board back in and the test jumpers failed to start the wash. Then I reassembled the washer with the new control board and pressed start. NOTHING. It seems that both the control board and the ribbon cable had failed. I am going to wire up a button to bypass the ribbon cable and hit the test points directly to start the washer. Thank you for the hack.

Bolstermanic8 months ago

Maytag owners in Calif, please note there is a class action lawsuit pending against Maytag for the early failure of the control panel and flex cable. The attorneys handling the action are Eppsteiner & Fiorica out of San Diego.

Any chance that they can coordinate a national class action about this problem (or at least coordinate with other states)?

DanielW19 months ago

Thank you for this post! My Maytag dishwasher started behaving erratically a few months ago with many of the buttons not working, and just yesterday all buttons failed to work. As with your unit, there were rust spots on the FTC cable. I followed your procedure, which was quite easy, and voila, it now works again! Instead of the Permatex kit I used Bare Conductive electric paint ($10 at Radioshack). You saved me from having to spend $$$ on a new control panel. Thanks again!

Melissa689 months ago

I appreciate this post. I'm disgusted that my Maytag dishwasher also stopped working a year after I bought it. Will consider a different brand this purchase.

Kris Lee1 year ago
I have had the same issue with my 2.5 year old dishwasher now having two failed panels, using the schematics I connected some wires to the positive and negative pins on the board for the start button and it works great. I then contacted Maytag and gave them ample opportunity to rectify the issue and of course they denied that there is any problem with the panels and refused to rectify the situation reasonably so I contacted an attorney and have filed a class action lawsuit. Please contact my attorney's office Eppsteiner & Fiorica @ 858.350.1500 if you own or have owned a Maytag or Whirlpool dishwasher with control panel failures. You can read a little about the case here:

Kris - I want to add a manual start button (guess a doorbell button will work) to my washer and bypass the shoddy control panel and bad ribbon cable - do you recall which pins you connected?

jerryt1339 months ago

Trying to fix this without disturbing the face of the unit too much (ie, do not want to peel anything). And I need to fix this on the cheap -

Is there a diagram that could show me how to "hotwire" this dishwasher - I sense that a simple pushbutton correctly connected would achieve what I need (at the end, I was down to the start button only and that was enough for my family). Wouldn't a "doorbell" button and 2 thin wires do the trick?

susiehahn10 months ago

I am missing the diagnostic manual for my mdbh949aww3 maytag dishwasher. Can anyone send me the circuit diagram of the control panel? My P1's pin 12 set(start, cancel, delay hours button) does not work. Printed circuit lines for pin 12 appear to be broken. Pin 12 line in the flat ribbon is good from P1 connecter up to the printed circuit. I checked this by poking the plat lead of pin 12 line with a sharp needle point. I find no rusted spots. My email address is



Practical Techonlogy (author) 2 years ago
All, just an update on my dishwasher. After my initial fix more than six months ago, it had been working fine till recently when the "Cancel" button started flashing erratically. I thought it was a problem in my earlier fix but when I opened it, it turns out that the "Cancel" button is stuck in the pressed position. There is no way to fix it so I just simply took the metal piece out from the "Cancel" button. Now the dishwasher works great again. Of course the only problem is that I no longer have the Cancel button. I may eventually need to buy a new panel, but it's good to know that neither the circuit nor the button is reliable on the Maytag dishwasher. Alternatively, I can make a Cancel button using radioshack parts, or any kind of push button would be more reliable than this one on the Maytag dishwasher.

Wow great info. I just purchased this machine:( . I was wondering, can I do some preventative measures to prevent this from happening, like putting electrical tape around the ribbon cable?

ankit06211 year ago

All of a sudden my MAYTAG (rubbish) dishwasher stopped working, the touchpad would
not light up and non of the buttons would work. After an extensive
search online for parts, i could not find a replacement touchpad. So i
searched on instructables and this "DIY fix your Maytag dishwasher on the cheap" showed up. I followed the instructions and bought the materials in the instructions and the dishwasher started working again....thank you so much for your post. It was very helpful and saved me from buying another dishwasher.

jm2jm21 year ago
Thanks for posting these instructions. My 3.5 year Kenmore (made by Whirlpool, same as your Maytag) had this problem and your detailed instructions were great! Just wanted to share some tips to benefit others:

1. When peeling back the buttons to expose the rusted/burnt-out part of the ribbon, I bent one of the buttons too much and it was stuck in the down position. I get my convex/concave mixed up, but basically, instead of bulging out (and leaving a small gap to press down), it was almost flat (so "down" all the time). I just needed to bend it in reverse to fix it, but to all who are reading these instructions before attempting a repair, it'll be much easier to avoid the problem in the first place by not bending/flexing the buttons when peeling them back.

2. My guess is that the problem is caused by the protective covering over the copper traces being worn away right where it bends and touches the cover. Probably the vibration from opening and closing the door causes enough abrasion over time to expose the copper. Then, some moisture from the dishwasher + exposed copper = burnt-out or rusted copper. I would recommend a double layer of electrical tape in that area, just to ensure it won't wear away again. If you're not going to be doing this fix, but will be replacing the entire control panel, I would still recommend putting electrical tape in that spot in your new control panel for additional protection against future abrasion.

3. It was difficult to get clean electrical contact lines with a toothpick. Even though it looked good to my eyes, an ohmmeter showed that I had shorted out some of the lines. I then used an utility blade to carefully scrape between the lines to make sure there wasn't any contact between lines. Be careful not to cut through the ribbon.
Vern One1 year ago
Thanks so much for the awesome diagnosis and step by step fix. I found the diagnostic manual, unplugged the control panel from the control board applied power and closed the door and drain cycle started just as you said indicating the control board and motor was probably alright. Peeled back the ribbon cable from the control panel plastic housing and INDEED there were rust marks. I too scraped too hard and removed some chunks of the metal tracings but was able to repair all with the defroster repair kit. I wanted to tell others who read this that I did bend the area with the cancel button too much and had to bend the cancel button area of the control panel back to stop the cancel from always blinking. We called Maytag a third time and asked to talk to a supervisor yesterday and asked them to ship us the part for free as it is a known defect but they would not. I have never registered and posted like this for anything on the web , but really wanted to say thanks for the $8 fix to my not quite 3 year old dishwasher!! Vern
actually if yr smart an willing to take yr time that dish washer can be converted to using dc. instead of ac. an scrapped, yes alot of recyclers are buying plastics now. as well as metal.
Slyone1 year ago
First, thank you for this. Mine is Maytag Dishwasher Model # MDB7749AWM1 - bought on sale at Home Depot about 3 years ago stopped turning on about a month ago. I was at a loss until I Googled this Instructable. That led me to locate the diagnostic service manual behind the bottom panel. I ran through the trouble shooting protocol there and as you have given it. Getting the test run to start was very reassuring. And then the drain motor ran 2 minutes, so the control panel is OK but I did not see any rust or crimps or breaks in the FPC. So, I ran through the switch function tests (as given in the Diagnostic Service Manual) with a digital multimeter. Switch functions can be grouped into 3 sets based on the (+) ohm-meter lead (red) as (+)P1-11, (+)P1-12 and (+)P1-13. These (+) meter leads each pairs up with a (-) ohm-meter lead (black) on P1-2 through P1-6. By running through ALL the switch functions, I deduced that all failed switch functions were paired with line P1-12 (Functions: Start, Cancel, Delay, Rinse), while all switch functions associated with lines P1-11 and P1-13 were working. Therefore, only line P1-12 requires repair. This makes sense if the Start function does not work and pressing Heavy-Normal-Heavy-Normal will start the test run. The Cancel and Start functions which (not working) pair P1-12 to P1-3 and P1-4 respectively, while the Normal and Heavy functions (which must be working because the test run started, and confirmed with the meter) and ) pair P1-13 to P1-3 and P1-4 respectively. I don't know why the conductor that runs through line 12 would be particularly vulnerable, but I am going ahead on that assumption. I did not see any rust, but again, will assume that the fragile area is where you made your repairs and try bridging the bend in the FPC there. I will try using a silver conductive ink pen left from another project to repair the FPC - if that fails, I will buy the defogger repair kit
battore1 year ago
This is great and all, but it's beyond me. I'll just leave it to someone who is good at appliance repair in Hamilton. I can't tell you how much I fail at repairing electronics. Seems to be great info though, but too far ahead of public ed. without numerous re-readings, stress and headaches. URL:
Practical Techonlogy (author) 1 year ago
One year has passed since I originally posted here. I am happy to report that the fix held up fairly well, other than another recent break down and re-fix. Well, this time actually was due to a repair quality issue in my original fix. Recall that when I was experimenting with different fixes originally, I accidentally burnt a hole in the cable with an electric iron so the fix for the hole section was not as reliable as other sections. I don't think this should be a problem if you follow the instructions here (lesson learned on my part).

I would also recommend that you need to keep the repair manual in a safe place. I almost lost it and took me much longer to find it than fixing the dishwasher.

Overall, I find that the mechanical and motor controller part of this Maytag dishwasher were well built and is running strong. The engineers also provided very good instructions in the repair manual. It is the front keypad that causing all the problems. The front keypad appears to be a disposable piece almost by design either intentionally or unintentionally. I would vote it for the most unreliable part for the Guinness World Record if there is such a thing. Sad to say that is unfortunately true.
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