Introduction: Duet Dryer Control Panel Fix
- Fix bad solder joints on the control panel with a heat gun
- Takes about 1 hour
My duet dryer was experiencing erratic behavior. The drum light always worked. When the dryer worked, it would dry clothes on any cycle correctly and all of the diagnostics in the service manual would work. After sitting, the control panel would often be unresponsive until the dryer was unplugged for a while then plugged back in again, then it would work normally for a few loads. A few times the display was dim or the control panel would become unresponsive during a run. The problem was narrowed down to the ribbon cables or the control panel. I replaced the ribbon cables first, but the problem continued until a heat gun was used to fix bad solder joints. The dryer has worked perfectly since the heat gun repair. Update May 2019: The dryer has had no failures ~3.5 months after the heat gun fix!
Here's how to replace the ribbon cables, but it didn't fix my dryer.
This video was my inspiration for the heat gun repair.
Step 1: Remove the Front Control Panel
UNPLUG YOUR DRYER! There are lethal voltages inside.
Follow this video but STOP AT 2:05, just after disconnecting the ribbon cables. The video shows you how to access and remove the ribbon cables from the control BOARD. After you remove them from the control BOARD, remove the 4 screws holding on the control PANEL.
Duet Dryer Control Board (part #WP8546219) - How To Replace
- Remove long white 14 pin ribbon cable
- Remove long white 6 pin ribbon cable
- Remove short white 15 pin ribbon cable
Step 2: Use a Heat Gun to Fix Bad Solder Joints
After all the ribbon cables are removed, protect any plastic with tin foil. Inspect the solder joints with a magnifier if possible. I saw milky corrosion on a few of mine but no cracks or anything else obvious.
I used a cheap $20 Harbor Freight heat gun on low. Heat about 2" of circuit board 60 to 80 seconds at a time similar to the video card repair video until you have done both of the front control panel boards. You will melt some plastic posts and some back plastic edges but nothing visible. You don't have to get it hot enough to melt the solder, just really hot.
NOTE: I DID NOT HEAT ANY OF THE CIRCUIT BOARD AROUND THE CONTROL KNOB, I WAS WORRIED ABOUT RUINING THE KNOB ASSEMBLY. Luckily the bad solder joints were not in this area. If anyone figures out how to heat this section please comment.
Put it back together and test! My dryer has had no failures for ~3.5 months and counting.
UPDATE 7/2020: If I had to do it again, I would set the heat gun on high, it should heat up the solder faster so the plastic will be less likely to melt. Also if your dryer is old enough to need a control panel fix, you should check for lint build up in the bottom part of your dryer to prevent fires. It's easy to do, there are a few screws holding on the bottom front cover. Mine had a huge build up even though I constantly clean the lint trap. With the dryer unplugged, I used a vacuum cleaner to remove the lint.