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Kitchen Aid Dishwasher: Blinking Lights, Unfinished Cycle General Malaise

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My dishwasher is suffering from 'blinking panel lights'/flaky operation, again. I thought I had this licked when I removed the

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Old 10-24-2013, 05:57 PM
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Default Kitchen Aid Dishwasher: Blinking Lights, Unfinished Cycle General Malaise
Model Number: KUDC25CHSS1   Brand: Kitchen Aid   Age: More than 10 years   

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My dishwasher is suffering from 'blinking panel lights'/flaky operation, again. I thought I had this licked when I removed the control circuit board and cleaned the various multi-pin connectors. That seemed to fix things for awhile, but the problem has come back.

I went ahead and replaced the control (circuit) boardyesterday with a "new" one I purchased on "flea play". This really didn'tchange anything. I cut power to thedishwasher overnight since this sometimes has the effect of 'resetting' the appliance.
Today, I applied power and was actually able to select awash cycle and start the machine.

Thedishwasher ran for about 20 minutes (making it thru the pre-wash cycle), then quit. ALL the LEDs on the touch panel went out except for the LED above the "China/Light"button.
This LED flashed on/off at one second intervals. There was also somewater left in the bottom of the tub. Ipressed the CANCEL button. This did nothing except change the pattern of flashingLEDs: the LEDs above the CANCEL and CHINA/LIGHT began to flash in an alternatingpattern.
I attempted to activate aDiagnostic Cycle by pressing the POWER SCRUB/ENERGY SAVE DRY buttons one afterthe other, 2X (per tech service data sheet I have) but these inputs were notrecognized.
I suppose my replacement control board could be bad ... but I'm not sure. What would it take to fix this machine?
BTW, I believe touch switches to be in reasonable shape - we have left the machine in the same cycle for years and basically only use the start button. Translation: membrane switches have "low mileage".
What do you suggest?


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2013, 08:11 AM
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Default Membrane Switch Failure - Hair Dryer Test

Since no one has taken up this issue, I'll reply to my own question ...

I wrote: BTW, I believe touch switches to be in reasonable shape - we have left the machine in the same cycle for years and basically only use the start button. Translation: membrane switches have "low mileage".

Well, after further investigation and contemplation I have come to the conclusion that membrane switches do not deteriorate from use, they deteriorate from exposure to nearby heat and moisture.

Apparently there is a pending lawsuit against Maytag (owned by Whirlpool) to that effect citing:

"(the) poor design of the control panel ... allows moisture to enter the panel, causing many units to fail prematurely. Failures can be traced to the design of the control panel unit used on the dishwashers, which allows moisture to enter and collect in the unit's flexible membrane switch, or FMS, breaking down the coating on circuit traces within and allowing dendrites or metallic "whiskers" to form, causing a short circuit and requiring a $250 replacement unit."

Of course the big question was whether or not replacing the dishwasher control panel (including the touch switches) would solve my problem. This is an expensive part.

To confirm that the membrane switches were truly the culprit, I heated the switch panel with a hair dryer (set on 'high') at close range. After a few minutes of heating, the blinky lights STOPPED. I was then able to get the dishwasher to function to the point where it successfully ran a cycle.

I am now fairly confident that replacing the control panel would fix the problem. However, given the age of the machine (14+ years), I'm going to take my $250 - $300 and invest in a new dishwasher rather than repair this one.
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