Introduction: DIY Fix Your Maytag Dishwasher on the Cheap

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.

Step 1: Find Out What's Wrong With It.

Picture of Find Out What's Wrong With It.

It's easier said than done but with the diagnostic manual, it can be done.  I run two diagnostic tests which allowed me to conclude that the problem is not as serious as I initially thought.  First is to put the dishwasher in diagnostic mode. In my case it is to push the "normal->heated dry->normal->heated dry" in sequence rapidly.  The washer then resets itself and runs for a while although it never finishes.  It didn't solve the problem but it gave me a feel that it wasn't totally dead.  

Then another test is to separate the fault of the control panel from that of the control board.  This requires the control panel to be removed from the door following the instructions in the manual.  Make sure the power is turned off at the fuse box so you don't get an electric shock.  Then disconnect the cable from the control panel to the control board (a gray box about the size of 6x10 inches).  Then turn the power back on.  Once the door is closed, the dishwasher will start to drain with the motor running.  This would be an indication that the control board is functioning property.  I had doubts about this since the control board could still be bad even it passed this test, but that wasn't the case.  Well, I guess the control board is better built than the control panel.  In my case, the motor run which suggests the fault is at the control panel.  

The control panel is simply a piece of plastic with all the touch keys and a cable.  What can be wrong?  I carefully examined the control panel and didn't find any problem initially.  Then on the back of the cable, I found a small spot on some of the 14 wires on the Flat Plastic Cable (FPC).  It looked like part of the cable but actually it was rust!  After removing the rust, it reveals that the wire was broken at that spot for several wires, which explains why the "Start" button won't work.

I further tested the connectivity using a multimeter following the instructions in the diagnostic manual.  Sure enough the wires were open for several buttons, so the root cause of the problem was found.

Step 2: Fixing the FTC Cable Is Both Hard and Easy.

Picture of Fixing the FTC Cable Is Both Hard and Easy.

The FTC cable is part of the touch key panel so there is no way to just replace the cable.  What's worse is that the cable is paper-thin and you can see through it.  I initially tried to use solder iron and ended up with some holes.  So the old fashioned way of fixing broken wires doesn't work with the printed circuit on the FTC cable.  

After some research on the web, I found the wire glue which might work, but then had mixed review from users.  At the same time I found the "Rear window defrogger repair kit" by Permatex and I though that it would work.  I bought a kit from the local auto part store (advanceauto) and found a tiny bottle inside this big box.  It wasn't clear whether this would actually work on a flexible plastic cable.

I carefully scrapped off the rust at the broken wire on the FTC and exposed the copper layer which is paper-thin.  Then used a toothpick to apply the repair paste to make the wire connection.  Let it dry for a day and then measured the resistance.  It is about a ohm which is not too bad (not totally conductive).  After making all the connections for the broken wires, I followed the diagnostic manual to test the connectivity for the 14 pins using a digital multimeter in diode mode.  For example, in my case, the "Start" button uses pin 12 for positive and pin 4 for negative.  It shows about 670 ohms when the start button is pressed for connectivity because it has an internal diode.  Using this procedure, I tested all buttons.  

It's a good idea to also test for short circuit.  I actually had one in my first try because I had to use copper wire to make up for the burnt hole.  The thin copper wires actually caused a short between two pins.  As a result, I had to take it apart again to fix it.  It's better to test for short between adjacent pins before it is put back together.

Now the question is how to insulate it.  I thought about the liquid tape but that appears to be toxic which is not acceptable for dishwasher applications.  Then I found the Super 33 tape which appears to be good for this application.  I got a roll from Homedepot for about $5 and taped all the connections before putting the control panel back to the dishwasher door.

Finally, the magic moment came.  I push the start button and the dishwasher is back to life. 

Step 3:

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Step 4:

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Step 5:


kenb158 (author)2017-11-25

I have had our Maytag model # MDB7749AWW! since March 2011. I just opened up the control panel and found nothing wrong with my wires or ribbon conncection. All lights in the different cycles used to work but 'light' no longer does but after pressing 'heated dry' and then 'start', a light came on and it was starting. Then it began not to start with the light going off and not working at all. What might be wrong? I unplugged & reconnected the wires/connections that I could and turned power back on, hoping for a quick fix, but no luck. Suggestions?

AndreasP63 (author)2017-06-24

Another grateful thank you by an owner of a 7 year old mdb4709awb1 where the buttons stopped working.

Without these instructions I would not have attempted the repair or even found the corrosion on the backside of the cable.

To my regret I had not read any of the comments because I had not discovered them.

But I had considered using conductive pen or paint but have an auto store much closer. The.defogger repair fluid worked fine (sofar).

I used the tips of the multimeter sondes to carefully remove the darkened metal and exposed a silvery substrate which seemed conductive only over very short distances. So I followed the original instructions and carefully painted in 'wires’. For me the brush from the repair kit worked better than a toothpick. It would have been a good idea to shape the tip of the brush with scissors.

For sealing I used white 100% bathroom silicone I had lying around. Let's see how it holds up.

EvanL13 made it! (author)2015-10-29

My 2-year-old Maytag MDB7749 had a blinking cancel/resume
light last night. I tried a diagnostic
reset found on another thread to no avail. Then the entire panel went out.

I was quoted $450 dollars by a "home repair"
technician (my wife insisted on calling) to replace the entire control board
and the touch keys. I found this DIY fix it after kicking him out and opening
up the dishwasher myself and seeing the obviously corroded ribbon cable on my
touchkey panel as you can see in the picture.

After reading through the comments, I decided the best
approach would be to really take my time and use a magic eraser. I decided to try and keep the touchkey panel
glued on, and use wedges made from folded paper towel to try and get all the
corrosion off the ribbon cable. I didn’t
want to risk breaking the panel during the removal process and worse they never
glue back on exactly like I want. A
little water (no soap or chemicals) on the magic eraser and about 45 mins of
scrubbing later, you can see the results in my pictures. The back of the cable had a bit of corrosion
as well under the sticker, so I removed the sticker and carefully did both sides. I didn’t want to wear all the way through the

My biggest issue is that I did not want to have to go through
all this again and deal with more corrosion.
So my approach was different than many in the comments who had more
trouble down the road. First off (pics
for reference included), I attached the panel back to the dishwasher after
cleaning but prior to sealing the ribbon cable, to test each and every
button. When it worked flawlessly, I
knew I was ready to seal it.

Sealing was two steps for me.
Step one, I used a green liquid electrical tape (there are many colors
at home depot but this I felt matched well for the job). It was advertised as 5 min drying and
waterproof. I did three coats on each
side of the cable, using and hairdryer on low heat or cool between each coat
and letting each coat dry completely. I
did not want to potentially trap any water in between. Pay extra care to the edges of the
ribbon. I coated extra around the thin
edges on each side to keep any moisture out.
Second step was a 100% Silicone “weatherproof and 30 min rain-ready”
also from home depot. Many many
pictures for reference included. I did 3
more coats on each side of the cable and edges on top of the liquid electrical
tape. I used a square fold of a paper
towel to smooth the Silicone out between the coats. Also drying between each coat with the hair
dryer and after the last coat I left a small desk fan directly on it on low to
thoroughly dry it before reinstall. I
considered doing the entire cable, but since clearly these were the only spots
with corrosion, I opted to not stiffen and thicken the entire cable unnecessarily.
Both products pictured cost me just over 10 dollars with tax total.

I hooked it all up and everything functions perfectly
again. I can’t believe how well this
ended up and I’m going to sleep easy knowing that if it breaks again, there is
little chance it’s the same issue.
Thanks for all of your help and comments, and especially to the OP. I’ll favorite this page and try to let you
know over time how things are going but I’m not concerned as I feel if anything
I went overkill on sealing it tight for good.
Some people I have seen are trying “water based minwax” as sealant. Don’t use anything water based, it will just disintegrate
over time with the steam (water) from the dishwasher.

ozonetourist (author)EvanL132017-06-12

Thanks for the advice, unfortunately, the worst it is corroded/ rusted, it's much easier to scrub the solder off. Exactly what I did. It's just too fragile for this to work. Fortunately Whirlpool is listening to us and have redesigned the ribbon.

Maytag Touchpad and Control Panel W10811169
mellyrob01 (author)EvanL132017-05-11

Hi there! I just came across this thread and I'm having the same issue with mine (only 2 years old!). I'm a little confused by the instructions for the second step of sealant. I'm not sure how to spread it with a paper towel. It doesn't stick to the paper towel? How long should I let it dry before reconnecting it? I'm not very handy but if this is something I can do myself, I'd rather do it. My husband would rather call a repair man; I'm hoping this works so I can rub it in once it's done ;-) Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Saltala made it! (author)EvanL132017-04-13

Thank you to OP and EvanL13! I also have a ~2 yr-old Maytag MDB7749. I had the exact same problem, as pictured below. I followed EvanL13's instructions, and my dishwasher has been working for several weeks now.

Please note that after cleaning the ribbon, but before sealing it, I tested the buttons and they were still not working properly. In a fit of rage, I pulled off the front of the control panel to expose the buttons to see if there was damage. There was NOT any corrosion at the buttons, and I should not have done that. I gave up but then retested the next morning, and it worked.

So..if it doesn't work right away, wait for the ribbon to dry after cleaning, as I'm thinking that's the only reason it didn't work immediately. I stuck the button panel back on, and it works fine. But now it has some superficial damage that was totally unnecessary. Learn from my mistake and be patient!

EvanL13 (author)Saltala2017-04-14

So glad it worked! Great advice on being patient, if there is much dampness left over, the water could create a short and need to dry out a bit before it will work. I would certainly ensure it was dry prior to sealing to prevent trapping the dampness. My unit is still kicking it strong daily after the fix. It has been a year :)

kegspiller (author)EvanL132016-11-28

Brilliant! I had been troubleshooting my blinking cancel light and short cycling Maytag for a week when I found this. I had looked right past that corrosion and thought it to be insignificant surface dirt. I followed your procedure to the letter (except that my liquid tape is white) and also used the opportunity to repair the broken handle with a piece of lexan and some aluminum pop-rivets. Back to working like new! And thanks to your update, I can see I can expect a year or more of good service! Saved $150. Eat your heart out Maytag repair man!

EvanL13 (author)EvanL132016-08-22

It's been almost a year and I thought I would give an update. This dishwasher is still running like a top. Not a single other issue since the fix. Still looks stock and all buttons work full time. It has been run at least one cycle a day for almost a year since I did this.

For those worried about the magic eraser, don't be. It will absolutely take off the clear coat the the rust with a little elbow grease. It also runs lower risk of over sanding material as opposed to high grain sandpaper.

Anyways, good luck to all others, and feel free to follow up or ask any other questions.

BizzyM (author)EvanL132016-08-21

Tried doing this, but thought the magic eraser wouldn't get through the outer layer of the ribbon, so I used very fine sandpaper, 1500 grit wet/dry. It ate through a couple traces. Now I will try the silver conductive pen, but I'm going to order a replacement control panel just in case. If the repair work, I'll use that and keep my new panel as a backup. Hopefully the repair method will be better than OEM and I can keep this dishwasher for many years.

Thanks for posting a better DIY.

MarikaF (author)EvanL132016-02-08

see my post regarding you! EvanL13 :)

MarkS277 (author)EvanL132016-01-18

Same dishwasher. In my case it would just turn on by itself sometimes when you close the door. Pulled off the control panel and found corrosion on exactly the same place on the cable right behind the sticker.

Clean with alcohol and Q-tip. Didn't get it nearly as clean as you did but fixed it for now. This weekend I'll get some of that liquid tape and magic eraser and get it all cleaned-up and sealed correctly. Thanks!

KennB5 (author)2017-06-10

Where did you find the pin-outs for the control panel? I can't seem to find a diagnostic manual anywhere. It looks like I've got the same model pictured above.


Fdisil (author)2016-05-04

great website! I have the same issue with stainless steel Maytag model MDB7749AWM1. Most lights work but the Start/resume button has died. However, the ribbon in question looks fine on mine-- no rust or corrosion..looks like new. The odd thing is after removing control panel I can see several wires have melted black plastic on them (implying they are carrying too much current and running hot?) Has anyone seen this issue with their Maytag? This must the issue since one of the wires in question runs right into the area where the start button would connect.. just odd that the washer worked fine 2 years and now this happens. No changes in our home electrical system..

disneydoxies made it! (author)Fdisil2016-06-12

i have a Maytag model MDB7749AWM1 and control panel W10401496 REV C doing the exact same thing and the date code on the ribbon cable 02/05/13 7:43AM.

i have seen a lot of posts with same issue, has anyone got may tag to recall or have a replacement program for this defect?

nomoemaytag (author)disneydoxies2017-05-10

Mine said 1/22/13. Just cleaned all the corrosion with magic eraser and doing test run. Working so far. Have a Whirlpool microwave giving me issues bought same time during remodel. Thinks is acting up already also. Door latch sensor is bad. Keeps saying "please close door" guess this is common also. Never ever again for either company.

DawnE22 (author)Fdisil2016-06-26

I have MDB7749SBM3, haven't used it in a few weeks but my lock button keeps coming on the last few days, sometimes with the Cancel/Drain light. Last night I kept smelling electric hot/burn smell in my kitchen and wasn't sure where it was coming from. Today I unplugged the dishwasher to see if the smell would go away and it did. I'm assuming mine is melting something also. I am leaving it unplugged until I investigate but I seldom use the dishwasher as I wash mostly by hand. I can't remember when I bought it but it was maybe 1-2 years ago. Never buying Maytag again. I doubt I used it a dozen times.

shamfifty (author)Fdisil2016-06-11

@ Fdisil... Thanks so much for posting those pictures. I have the EXACT same problem on my MDB7749AWB! Same MELTED PLASTIC on wires and the connector to which they run was somewhat melted onto the circuit board - I was able to pry it off and saw the board is scorched beneath. Were you able to get yours running again???

Fdisil (author)shamfifty2016-06-11

Unfortunately couldnt fix myself. Repair guy said it was the control panel (not the tape or even the wires) cost me ~$300 with part + labor.. I'd recc just ordering the control panel yoirself and installing.. took the guy less than 10 minutes.. he also mentioned this is COMMON issue with newer maytags..smh, last time i buy a maytag.

shamfifty (author)Fdisil2016-06-11

Thanks Fdisil! You're the best. You saved me buying a new washer. Without knowing whether the control panel would be the fix I was hesitant to order the part. Now I can go that route with confidence. I had started shopping on line for a new washer and actually found myself being lured into the next gen version... the MDB4949 (since I otherwise like this washer) hoping the redesigned control panel would be more reliable. I had to dig around a bit more but found MANY reports of the SAME FAILURE on MDB4949. MAYTAG is HORRIBLE. NEVER again. And their customer service (ha) continues to hold the line on denial of knowledge that a systemic issue exists. Yeah, they just can't figure out why so many of those panels are being manufactured and sold. Right. I'm about to upgrade our stove and refrigerator - and there is ZERO chance that I will buy Maytag anything - EVER.

tones8 (author)2017-03-27

What's a magic eraser? where to get one?

bethanyann1977 (author)tones82017-04-17

Mr Clean Magic Eraser, you can get it at grocery stores, walmart, target, just about anywhere

DianeT51 (author)2016-08-22

Thank you so much Evan L13 and thank your wife for me too. I am a 69 year old Young lady and did what you said step by step and it now works again. For you people who think it is too difficult it isn't it just takes time. By the way the magic eraser worked for me for some.... but I needed to use rubbing alcohol and qtips also. Thanks again you're great!

EvanL13 (author)DianeT512017-04-14

Fantastic! Glad to help. Rubbing alcohol is a great idea actually as it will help dry any remaining dampness from the cable before sealing it back up.

InstructThisGuys (author)2017-03-21

All I did was ground out all the pins on the ribbon cable of the touch panel by shorting the pins to the chassis momentarily. These probably all have floating point issues since there isn't any path to ground on any of the nodes while in their open state.

I'm guessing that the discoloration/corrosion of the wires in the ribbon are from electrolysis as the wires are remaining charged in their open state.

Remember to disconnect the power first!

Deanotexas (author)2017-03-09

Great advice it worked for me! Thanks to the author and all the people who posted their comments and pictures, it was very instructive. I had a Maytag MDB 7749 that was 3 years old. The buttons just stopped working reliably a month ago. I did notice that no buttons would work in the end but I could see two of the LED lights were lit very dimly, apparently some small amount of electricity may have been leaking over to those. Thanks again

jimahs (author)2017-03-05

This totally worked for me! My Maytag 8949 dishwasher started acting funny a few months ago. Noticed that it wasn't turning off after hours of running on auto-wash or normal...after some experimenting, we realized it would turn off at a normal time when running on Light mode. I figured there was something wrong with the control module, but this was a good temporary measure. Then this morning the unit wouldn't turn on. The Start and Cancel buttons didn't work. Found your post and figured I'd give it a try before purchasing the $150 replacement panel. Took some time, but the Magic Eraser was able to scrub down into the ribbon and eliminate the rust.

Only had to spend $7 for the liquid electric tape...didn't have green in stock, so I went with black ;)

Now trying a load of dishes in auto-wash - hoping to get everything back to normal.

Thank you!

Jcinfla (author)2016-10-03

ok, thanks for great tips. I repaired my three year old may tag 577-1 dishwasher. Drain light was blinking non stop. I went ahead and bought the who new key pad for around $150 as did not have a lot of time.

Easy to take all screws out and little hard getting door cover straight. It solved it!

Bought from Tampa appliance I think and saved my shipping cost as I was in the area.

I may keep my older one as had rust on back side of wire strip. May re open and put liquid tape or anti rust protection just in case.

Thanks again.


Oxenhandler made it! (author)2016-09-26

I repaired my Kenmore Ultrawash dishwasher, Model 665.13742K607 using the methods found here. Thank you.

I peeled off the entire plastic touch pad. Before reattaching it, I used white out to touch up the underside where paint was torn.

I scraped off the stained circuit traces with a hand held single edge razor blade.

I used this pen to draw the circuits: rather than the rear window defogger. It worked really well, the line width was just right. I used jewler's magnifying glasses and a head light. I didn't use the liquid electrical tape but wish I had. After the ink was dry, I coated that side of the ribbon with one thin coat of 100% silicone spread with a putty knife.

We bought this machine eight years ago. By the time we installed it the warranty was up. We used it twice before it started acting up and soon failed to light up at all. We used it as a storage cupboard for cleaning supplies and cutting boards since.

The corrosion was where the ribbon turns to enter the slot. In my case, all fourteen of the circuit tracings were stained (rusted?) The stains reached up under the transparent plastic cover strip on top of the ribbon. I removed an inch of it to reach the corrosion, scrape it off and retrace it with the pen.

I cleaned off the old adhesive with a putty knife and paint thinner. I reattached the touch pad using 100% silicone caulk and using a bendable stick and two G-clamps, held the touch pad flat while the silicone cured over night.

I believe the water that caused the corrosion on the circuits came from liquid running off the counter and over the touch pad and not from steam or water coming from inside the machine during use.

JamesC121 (author)2016-09-14

Thanks so much. My 2 year old Maytag started doing crazy things like starting up by itself for no reason. Start button did not work, changed cycles to different washes randomly and finally would not start even after a reset. I did the diagnostic mode and the dishwasher ran. Called appliance service and described problem and said it was probably the control board. $300 fix was unacceptable. I found your fix and figured I would give it a try. What I found was corrosion on the flex cable of the control panel just as you described. Apparently I caught it early enough and there were no broken connections at the rust point. I took an eraser an cleaned up the flat ribbon of rust and the applied a coating of petroleum jelly to the cable on both sides. Fired it up and so far no problems for over a month now. I did complain to Maytag and they did admit this was happening and offered to send a repairman as a one time courtesy for an out of warranty unit. You would think they would have solved this obvious defect over the years. Guess they just hope nobody would complain. Thanks so much for guiding me where to look for the problem.

AdamF110 (author)JamesC1212016-09-20

Hi James,

just curious, who did you call at maytag when they offered to send out a repairman as a courtesy for out of warranty unit?

Snappypat (author)2016-09-13

Thank you!

I followed the steps and fixed my dishwasher this morning. It quit on my after 3 months of use and I was upset. As a 64 yr old woman on a budget and living alone, this was a great solution.

Thank you so much!


rampyodm (author)2016-01-02

My problem was similar. When I pushed any of the cycles (regular, rinse only, etc), it would always select the jet clean cycle as if that was the button I pushed. I was fine with that because it at least worked. Then one night I noticed that the start button was flashing while it was running. For some reason I thought this was normal. It did this for several weeks. Then 2 nights ago, it ran the entire night. I think when it finished a cycle it would just start it over again. It was acting like someone was pushing the start button repeatedly. I tried unplugging it for a while and then plugged it back in. A few minutes later, it started running on its own. I was really close to calling a repair guy when I stumbled on to this page. I had the corrosion on the ribbon cable too. I tried the magic eraser. It was able to get some of it off, but not all. Then I tried denatured alcohol and it didn't do anything. Then I tried some steel wool and that did the trick. I didn't want to scrape so hard that I took out the wiring so I quit when I still had some corrosion left. I put it together enough to push the buttons and see that they all worked except the rinse only cycle. I have never used that cycle so I'm calling it good. After all, I bought a dishwasher not a dish rinser. I used EvanL13's method of covering it with 4 layers of liquid electrical tape and 2 layers of 100% silicone caulk. I put it all back together and it seems to be working. This is the last Maytag appliance I'm buying. Talk about a shoddy design.

EvanL13 (author)rampyodm2016-08-22

Wonderful! Glad it worked!

Zliaf (author)2016-02-26

I have the same model as EvanL13 just cleaned using a magic eraser, then used liquid electric tape. Worked like a charm, thank you for the quick easy fix.

EvanL13 (author)Zliaf2016-08-22

:P So glad my wife talked me in to posting everything to help others with this.

MarikaF (author)2016-02-08

EvanL13 You are my Hero!!! I had the exact same problem with my Maytag.....I too was quoted a ridiculous amount of money to fix.....and told my husband....we will fix this :) I went straight to Lowes and found everything you listed, it cost me $14. I did exactly as you instructed (while my husband ran on the treadmill :)....we had the exact same problem with the corrosion right under the sticker. The magic eraser did the trick, I may have damaged one tiny copper wire by rubbing to vigorously....I coated the "green tape strip" with both the liquid electric tape and the rain ready silicone maybe with two coats each. I left a fan running on it for about 3 hrs while we went to dinner. When we returned and put the panel back on and started it up....VOILA!! it works and has been working for days now!!! We even have a "clean light" that we've not seen in ages!!! Thank you so much for posting this fix!!! You've saved us money and it was NOT that difficult. Now if I can just get my three teenage boys to put their dishes IN the dishwasher! Do you have a fix for that? lol! Thanks again!

EvanL13 (author)MarikaF2016-08-22

Super glad to have helped! I can't fix the kiddos however, but I have two boys being trained also to pick up their dishes 2 and 4 :P I can relate

JoeN74 (author)2016-08-14

Replaced the control panel but didn't fix the issue (no lights, no working buttons) Can't figure out why there seems to be power to the control board from the door latch switch whether it is open or closed. Anyone know any diagnostic steps before I buy more parts trial and error?

DougVT made it! (author)2016-07-28

I have a 2 year old Maytag dishwasher with the same issue, same control panel.

Steps I took

1) Push “normal” wash and “heated dry” buttons on the control panel in rapid succession until dishwasher went into its 10 min test cycle. The dishwasher being able to do this supposedly indicated the control module (grey box with electrical components in the door) was still working. Note: if you are desperate , doing this test 3 times with soap added to dispenser before the first test will get your dishes , utensils and glasses reasonably clean. After this test I turned off the power to dishwasher and waited several hours.

2) unscrew the metal front panel and the plastic pushbutton front control panel. Have a stool or TV dinner tray handy as a resting place for the plastic control panel. Take a photo of the inside of the control panel and draw a diagram of what wires go where. Don’t proceed until you have done this unless you have a photographic memory. The grey control module had several plastic clips that needed to be gently pushed aside in order to release it from the surrounding panel. Once done, inspecting the flat ribbon cable (FRC) showed no signs of rust on the cable for the part of the cable I could see.

3)Next step is to remove the front control panel outer vinyl layer that has the printing on it indicating what button is what, gently pull the vinyl layer off- the perimeter is the only place there is glue. With this done, you will be able to see the rest of the integrated FRC. Looking at the front, at the very end of the cable there appeared to be brownish 1/8” wide connector line on the backside of the FRC that was just barely visible on the front of the FRC. It’s not a connector- it’s rust. If this is where you see rust, it will take some effort to get at it and you will need the front panel and FRC free from the rest of the dishwasher

4) Disconnect the latch mechanism from the back of the front panel- not by pulling wires- there are 2 small flexible plastic tabs you push back and latch mechanism and related plastic with wires still attached slides off. You’ll want to remove the top plastic cover of the control module. Top do this 3 sets of wires need to be removed. a)Remove the round thermal switch from the control module- it has 2 wires going to it. Remove thermal switch and its plastic attachment bracket by gently prying the plastic tab on the plastic bracket away from the plastic control module body b) remove the plastic wire holder that holds 4 large wires from the control module by depressing the small flexible tab that holds the plastic wire holder down- pull up and the holder disconnects. c) do the same with the plastic wire holder with 3 wires. You can now remove the cover on the module by gently prying several plastic tabs.

5) You can now see where the FRC attaches to a row of pins . Note the connections on paper/take a photo since you will be unplugging the FRC. To unplug, have someone hold the control module, while you pull on the FRC plastic end piece. The pins on the control board are about 3/8” long.

6) With the control panel and FRC free from the dishwasher, you can now work at a table or workbench. To get at the rusted backside area of the FRC, first find the clear plastic “flap” that extends from the front panel and goes through the to the back of the panel via 3/8” by 2” slot cut in the front plastic panel. Push this flap through the slot so the entire flap is on the front of the front control panel.. Next, gently push/pull the FRC through the slot until the entire FRC is on the front of the front control panel.

7) To get at the back of the FRC where the rust is, gently peal successive vinyl layers away from the slot. Peal away only enough so you can get at the rust. See photo where we used wooden chopsticks, skewers and tape to hold back the vinyl layers. I used an Exacto blade to help separate the layers initially and needle nose pliers to pull back the vinyl of these heavily glues layers. Don’t kink/crease the vinyl layers since they won’t lay flat afterwards. Once you have exposed the rust areas, go to next step

8) I used an exacto blade to scrape away the rust and a tiny paint brush to brush away the scrapings. Other readers have used a magic eraser, liquid tape and perhaps electrically conductive paste. I used an exacto blade, liquid tape and 2 part electrically conductive silver epoxy. The silver epoxy I used was MG Chemical’s 8331-14g (14 grams). Costs about $45 via an Amazon supplier. I used this epoxy since it will not flake off, stands up to high temps, does not flow by itself and is not water based. You can see in photo where I applied the silver epoxy to every wire line in the FRC, using a sharp wooden toothpick. Working time is 10 mins, cures in few minutes to 5 hours depending on temperature. I put a hi intensity lamp near silver epoxy site on the FRC to bring temp up around 100 deg F for a faster cure.

9)Testing the repair. Before applying the liquid tape and reassembling everything, I tested the repair. See photo. Close the dishwasher door, slide door lock into place so dishwasher will run, reconnect the FRC to the control module pins , reconnect wire sets you have previously disconnected, turn on power. For me pressing start button did nothing initially, so I pressed the “Normal”/“Heated dry” buttons in rapid succession and the dishwasher started its 10 min test cycle. Only after this did pressing the “start” button work and a normal wash cycle started and dishwasher ran for 1 hr.

10) After the successful test, turned the power off, coated the silver epoxy area with liquid tape and reassembled all components after it dried.

JonathanHaas (author)2016-06-21

Same thing has happened to mine TWICE. Maytag isn't the brand it used to be. Repairing mine again.

DIRECTORDAVE (author)2016-04-22

I have a Maytag dishwasher, model # MDB7749SABO . I had to replace the control panel and when I returned the power, four lights were on, not blinking, and no other lights would operate. I read where the control panel needed to be re-programed. None of the methods shown re-programed it, still not working. Any suggestions ?

Did you solve the issue? I read somewhere to unplug the machine, or in my case throw the breaker for at least a minute, and then restart. According to what I read, that will "reprogram" the dishwasher.

BrianY25 (author)2016-04-24

I will add myself to the list of people that love this advice! I am as disappointed as everyone else by having an issue on a nearly new Maytag dishwasher. We bought the dishwasher for a rental house and the tenants dealt with the problem for 6 months before telling me, so of course it was out of warranty when I was told of it. Like most others, the problems developed when it was about 14-18 months old. They reported that the buttons would stop working and that it would sometimes turn itself on. If they left it open to air out, the problem would go away as long as they didn't use it more than about every other day.

I went over there today and verified that the ribbon cable was corroded. I cleaned it using a wet Mr Clean magic eraser and also used some rubbing alcohol. I did not get it to look perfectly clean, but could tell that none of the areas of corrosion "bridged" the green gaps between the circuit lines. An additional 10-15 minutes of effort made no additional difference in the appearance, so I put it back together and it worked.

I told them to use it at least daily for the next week and if it is working flawlessly, I will go back and apply the liquid tape.

Also, not sure if anyone else posted this here, but it is good to know that on this model, you need a T-20 torx bit to remove the screws. Fortunately I had watched a youtube DIY video on how to get the panel open and they mentioned that.

crunchybelle (author)BrianY252016-05-31

Can you post the link to the video? I'm having issues getting to the ribbon.

crunchybelle (author)2016-05-31

Where do find the diagnostic manual listed? So, I've taken all the screws out, and tried to access the ribbon, but can't seem to get it apart. Anybody else have issues with this?

T CollinsL (author)2016-05-30

Thanks for the walk-thru. I found the rusted area on my ribbon cable, but instead of using liquid electrical tape or the like, I used thinly-cut strips of metallic duct tape (removing the backing first before cutting it of course). I was up-and-running in about 5 minutes (though I suspect this won't last long, it will work until I install a new dishwasher).

RonaldU2 (author)2016-05-05

Thanks for the tip! My Jenn-Aire stainless steel dishwasher is 8 years old and has a Maytag circuit board. Similar problem--start button no longer lighting up. Some control panel membrane (flush) buttons work, but not the key one. I checked for 110 volts at various key points--no problem there. With your insight, I removed the door inner panel and examined the wire ribbon for corrosion, but saw none. I pulled the label off the ribbon and still saw no corrosion. I was removing the circuit board so I could order a replacement and when I pulled the ribbon out of the board, there I found a little corrosion--but no rust or perforations. I cleaned the ribbon's end and reinserted all the connectors---Voila! Back in business!

BTW, I own the washing machine that broke Maytag's back--the front-loading Neptune. They used a 10 cent wax motor in the humid position above the door latch and DID NOT PROTECT the circuit board from wax motor failure with an inline fuse. At least Maytag did send me a new circuit board and I spliced in a fuse--that washer worked another 20 years!

Fdisil (author)2016-05-04

sharing pics of the the "hot" wires in question..

sissypoo (author)2016-04-27

Please help! I have a maytag dishwasher Mdb7749awb2 that i cant get to start. I ran the diagnostic by pressing the high wash temp & heated dry button as instructed...after this all of the lights stay on but the dishwasher will not do anything else. I cut the power off to it. I replaced the control board & it does the same thing. Im asking if anyone thinks it coukd br the control panel thats faulty....I haven't seen any broken wires & the green strip doesn't have rust on it. Thank you!

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