Model #MDB7601AWW, this tall tub dishwasher was still operational and the customer could select the cycles using the buttons on top of the door, but the display showing the time remaining was no longer working. The start button next to the display worked too, but the delay start button was doing nothing. The display would show what appeared to be random lines, but nothing that resembled numbers.
Most dishwashers are not to difficult to diagnose an electrical problem, simply because there really aren’t that many parts involved. When a dishwasher is operating, water enters the tub through a fill valve, the wash motor will pump the water spraying it around the tub, a dispenser will open at the appropriate time of the cycle, a drain pump turns on to drain the soiled water and the heating element will turn on to aid in drying. Those are the key components of most any dishwasher so when looking around for a problem, its usually going to be associated with one of them.
Because this dishwasher was working and it was only the display at issue, I didn’t need to get much further than to look at the panel itself. By removing the screws holding the inner door panel in lace, I was able to get to the control board and the two ribbon cables that connect to the front and top door panel buttons. A good place to always start is to ensure any ribbon cable is seated securely into the connector and clean. These cable ends can oxidise which causes poor electrical contact, but they are easily cleaned with a pencil eraser.
A dirty connector will cause problems with buttons not working, but this dishwasher was suffering from a display issue. The display output, being controlled by the dishwasher control panel, had most likely stopped working due to a board problem. The only real was to be sure is to replace the board.
Fortunately, the control board was the problem and by installing a new one, the display was again illuminated. The failure could also have been due to the display itself, but I took an educated guess that it was the board because the display would still show unrecognizable characters. So when a technician tells you it could be one or the other, its usually not because they don’t what the problem is, its more likely they don’t know what the problem is for sure.
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