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  • DIY fix your Maytag dishwasher on the cheap

    I have a 2 year old Maytag dishwasher with the same issue, same control panel.Steps I took1) 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 plasti...see more »I have a 2 year old Maytag dishwasher with the same issue, same control panel.Steps I took1) 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 dishwasher4) 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 step8) 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.

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