Introduction: Hotpoint Aquarius WF541 Flashing Lights of Death Fix, Repair.
Here's a quick instructable of how I fixed my washing machine, which wouldn't turn on properly.
All or most of the lights came on and started flashing, and was unable to start the machine.
Switching on and off at the mains worked for a month or so, but got worse and then just flashed all the time.
Due to the way the power light came on properly for a while after powering down at the mains, I suspected it was a worn out capacitor. So after a quick search on Google which confirmed my suspicions, I went to Maplins and picked up a 680μf capacitor for 49p.
Estimated time for this fix is about 2 hours.
To make life easy for myself I started taking pictures of every step it takes to do something that I've never attempted before. That way I've always got something to remind me of what went where, and the order in which I did it.
(Plus the pictures come in handy if you want to do an instructable).
Step 1: Safety First
As always, when working on electrical appliances, unplug from the mains supply before starting.
If (as in my case) it's wired into the wall you will need to remove the fuse.
Capacitors store electricity so be careful when working where they are present, you don't want a nasty surprise when you've got the motherboard out and think all is safe.
Take a look at this informative video to see capacitors in action:
When carrying out any soldering work make sure the area is well ventilated. You don't want to be inhaling any toxic fumes, particularly if using solder containing lead, as I prefer to do.
Step 2: Tools and Parts List.
Small Flat blade Screwdriver*.
Side cutters (or your wife's toe nail clippers, sorry darling)
Solder suction pen or some wicking tape.
*I like to use an electricians screwdriver with the test light inside the handle, so I can poke about any wires that may still have juice flowing through them. Just in case.
Step 3: Locate and Remove the Motherboard
On the back of the washer you will see a small cover with a lightning bolt on it, whip that off (2 screws) so you can see the diagnostic port. (Images 1+2)
Next remove the large cover at the bottom (4 screws) (Images 3+4)
Unclip the wires attached to the cover of circuit board (Images 5+6)
The board will now slide upwards and come out.
Step 4: Identify the Dodgy Capacitor.
As you can see from the pictures the offending article wasn't hard to spot. Notice the seepage and slight bulging.
What is slightly harder, is working out where it pokes out on the reverse of the board so you can remove it.
I used a piece of paper but you can measure it's position if you like. Now that you've found it this is a good time to short any pins to release any stored energy.
Don't forget to note the position of the + or - so you can put the new one in the same way round.
Step 5: Crank Up the Iron
Once you've located the position of the faulty cap' on the back of the board you can start to spot some heat to the two pins and gradually push it through the board.
Sometimes you may find the Solder used by the manufacturer is very hard to start melting if this is the case you can kick start it by adding some of your own solder.
Remove as much of the old solder as possible, I used some wick tape as the suction pen wasn't working for me. Once all the solder was gone the cap' pretty much fell out of it own accord.
Step 6: Pop in the New Capacitor
Did you remember the orientation of the old cap, I didn't, good job the board is marked up.
Poke the new one through the holes and bend the pins out slightly to stop it falling through. Apply a little dab of flux to the pins and pads to help the solder stick.
Now you need to heat both the pin and the contact pad together with the iron and keep dabbing these with the solder (not the iron, although some on there will help) once everything reaches temperature the solder will pop itself in there.
Here is a link to an example of a good joint:
When it does try not to disturb it while it cools so the joint stays good. once cool snip off the excess wire poking out.
Step 7: Reassemble and Test
Put everything back together doing the reverse of everything you did to strip it down. Sounds obvious I know, but sometimes you can lose track of what plugs in where and what order you need to do it in to make it easy.
Power it up and test all should be good. I hope this works for you as it did for me, and you get that happy feeling you get when you've fixed something for a few pence and a bit of time.