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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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StephenS2311 days ago

Maytag dishwasher mod# mdb7609aws2 ser# f02207916 cycle buttons and lights will not respond. Start and cancel buttons do not work but the hi temp wash, heated dry, and sanitize buttons lights work. What's my problem please

StephenS2311 days ago
diyslim19 days ago

Hi everyone. I just stumbled over this while facing the same problem with my 2 year old Maytag MDB7749SAM1. Took it apart to discover the same, but less severe, issue with the ribbon cable. Used a Mr Clean Magic Eraser as suggested by jdubyah, and gently removed the little bit of corrosion. Plugged it up and it's running like a champ. I will go out and get something to coat the ribbon with as suggested by GailW. Anyone know of something that might be more suitable than the Minwax polycrylic she is using?

Also want to say that I called Maytag at first and within minutes they quoted me the $278 price that I've seen mentioned in other posts. They know what's going on with this design flaw, no doubt. I too hope that anyone with this problem finds this thread full of knowledgeable and resourceful diy-ers. You all just saved me almost $300!
Thanks everyone!

JerryL13 made it!24 days ago

In my professional opinion the failure mode on these connectors is not corrosion but is heat damage related to excess current being drawn on the flex cable assembly. The design appears to have not compensated for load condition changes of aging electronics, or that the flex cable metalization is not uniform as I see that these failures all occur at the same location. I too have the same problem as most of you as thanks to this blog I removed my panel and found similar failure mode. This is a design/manufacturing flaw that should have bee addressed by the manufacture as it is obvious there are plenty of people experiencing this same identical failure mode with machines just out of warranty. Yet HD and Lowes is selling them on sale this 4th of July maybe under a slightly different model number, however I bet they have the same similar assembly. I ask my self why do I need a ten year warranty on the internal tub and why did I buy the more expensive model with steam just to have a design that could have spent a fracture of a penny of more metalization.

Jerry L

F/A Engineer

Maytag.jpg
GailW21 month ago

Hi I have Maytag model # MDB7749SBM2 Stainless steel dishwasher. I called Maytag and found out we were out of warranty by several months. Maytag was no help in diagnosing the machine, although after all I read I have to believe they must have some clue. After removing the circuit board and giving a quick visual check everything looked OK.
Went to test the latch switch and found the ribbon tape had a residue on it
that when down to the silver lines. Called Maytag again and found out the
display/touch board was back order and had no idea when they would be
available, cost $176.00.So I went searching on the internet and found this tread.

Looking at the ribbon there are two sides; one clear and the other light green where the oxidation looks like it started. I did not want to sand the ribbon, those lines are awful thin so I thought that since the moisture and soap mixture must have somehow found a way through the coating and made some sort of salt, the ribbon coating most likely can be remove with some type of solvent. After trying a couple of petroleum products I tried Denatured Alcohol on a Scott’s paper towel. After about half an hour the green coating was gone and all the oxidation was gone too. I tested the lines with an Ohm meter just for the heck of it, even though I could clearly see that all the silver lines were AOK.

Now to coat the ribbon tape with something? I thought clear packing tape, liquid tape, a nonconductive urethane adhesive I use for Aluminum car pinch welds or electrical elements in the auto glass. All would limit my ability to see or remove at a later date. After discussing this with my friend I applied two coats of Minwax Polycrylic water base clear gloss finish which dried fast under a drop light. I reassembled the dishwasher and everything works.

I believe the problem is the combination of placement of the ribbon tape, a poor coating, and the hot vapor with soap that somehow makes its way through the latch area of the machine. It is a shame that the manufacture does not step up and repair these design flaws. I am sure if you replace the touch board with these type of ribbon tape two years down the road you will need to replace it again, regards Rob

jdubyah GailW225 days ago

I have the MDB7749SBB also experienced the same issue. I fixed it by using a magic eraser to scrub the surface of the cable with a bit of water. Working just fine now, but I am sure it will break again if I don't apply an additional fix.

How is the polycrylic fix holding up?

maytag_design_flaw.jpg
GailW2 jdubyah24 days ago

yes it is still working. I applied two coats of sealer using a hair dryer to dry it between coats, Its been 26 days and holding!! I'm going to look at it again next week to see how it is holding up. Will keep you posted!

happy 4th!!!

JohnH571 month ago

I had the same problem with lights flashing and the dishwasher started having a mind of its own. I read through all of the posts, and found out that there was a class action settlement. "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".

I called the number and was provided with a direct contact number set up solely to deal with the settlement. I was told that I would have to pay for the diagnosis fee, roughly 70 bucks, and if it was diagnosed as being a default directly related to the lawsuit, they would cover the cost of the replacement part which is roughly $175. I argued over who would pay for labor, and they kept giving me the run around, but I'm going to fight it if they are willing to pay for the part and not the install labor to resolve the issue. Good luck to all!

AndrewV42 months ago

Found an even easier way to repair the flex cable -- a CAIG CIRCUITWRITER PEN from RadioShack -- http://comingsoon.radioshack.com/caig-circuitwriter-pen/2760037.html. 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.

GailW2 AndrewV41 month ago

Hi I have a Maytag model # MDB7749SBM2 Stainless steel dishwasher. I called Maytag found out we were out of warranty by several months. Maytag was no help in diagnosing the machine, although after all I read, I have to believe they must have some clue. After removing the circuit board and giving a quick visual check everything look OK.
Went to test the latch switch and found the ribbon tape had a residue on it
that when down to the silver lines. Called Maytag again and found out the
display/touch board was back order and had no idea when they would be
available, cost $176.00.So I went searching on the internet and found this tread.

Looking at the ribbon there are two sides; one clear and the other light green. The oxidation looks like it started on the light green side. I did not want to sand the ribbon, those lines are awful thin so I thought that since the moisture and soap mixture must have somehow found a way through the coating and made some sort of salt, the ribbon coating most likely can be remove with some type of solvent. After trying a couple of petroleum products I tried Denatured Alcohol on a Scott’s paper towel. After about half an hour the green coating was gone and all the oxidation was gone too. I tested the lines with an Ohm meter just for the heck of it, even though I could clearly see that all the silver lines were AOK.

Now to coat the ribbon tape with something? I thought clear packing tape, liquid tape, a nonconductive urethane adhesive I use for Aluminum car pinch welds or electrical elements in the auto glass. All would limit my ability to see or remove at a later date. After discussing this with my friend I applied two coats of Minwax Polycrylic water base clear gloss finish which dried fast under a drop light. I reassembled the dishwasher and everything works.

I believe it is the combination of placement of the ribbon tape, a poor coating, and the hot vapor with soap that somehow makes its way through the latch area of the machine. It is a shame that the manufacture does not step up and repair these design flaws. I am sure if you replace the touch board with these type of ribbon tape two years down the road you will need to replace it again, regards Rob

jo'brien iii2 months ago
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?
vaughnr0073 months 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.
bomerst3 months 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 theagbos4 months ago

hey..im 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

eileen

seanob5 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 seanob5 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.

unix247 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.

IMAG1322.jpgIMAG1323.jpg

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 thilger7 months ago

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

DerekM37 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.

Thanks,

JeffG59 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 JeffG58 months ago

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

Thanks!

rogrdane8 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!8 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.

IMG_2834.JPGIMG_2835.JPG
RussH2 RussH28 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 Slyone9 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!

JeffG59 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.

Bolstermanic10 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)?

DanielW111 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!

Melissa6811 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 Lee2 years 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: http://www.law360.com/articles/440034
jerryt133 Kris Lee11 months ago

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?

jerryt13311 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?

susiehahn1 year 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 susiehahn@sbcglobal.net

Thanks,

Susie

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