Author Topic: Maytag is so cheap that they can't even install some circuit protection.  (Read 2057 times)

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Offline lmesterTopic starter

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My wife was recently complaining that the top oven in our Maytag gas range was not heating.  I found that the gas igniter element was open. Installed a new igniter and it still wouldn't light. Some more troubleshooting found this:

1774319-0

With no circuit protection, the failed igniter had caused some traces to be burned off of the control board. I looked up the part on the internet. It's about $300 for a new control board.

It was an easy fix to bridge the burned traces. Someone without electronics experience would be buying a new board. All because Maytag was so cheap that they didn't put a $0.50 fuse on the board. Or even worse they may have decided that the lack of protection would help them to sell more new ranges.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2023, 02:46:30 pm by lmester »
 

Offline MarkS

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Looks to me like they DID install a fuse!  :-// :-DD
 

Offline thm_w

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Is there one igniter for the entire oven or multiple?

Looks like some use a sparking style, and others a glow-plug heater style.
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Offline lmesterTopic starter

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Is there one igniter for the entire oven or multiple?

Looks like some use a sparking style, and others a glow-plug heater style.

The range has two ovens. There are two hot surface igniters (glow plug) in the upper oven. One for the oven and one for the broiler. The lower oven has a single hot surface igniter. The top burners use the spark gap igniters. I should probably replace the bottom oven igniter. It has about the same amount of use as the top oven. I might not be so lucky if I have another shorted igniter. It's lucky that the short didn't damage the relay. I looked up the relay part #. Mouser electronics lists it. It's made in China and on many months back order.
 

Online coppercone2

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ah the myth of the PCB fuse strikes again

real fuse : vaporizes wire in a closed tube that contains the byproducts. Nice clean disposal with no exposure.
pcb trace fuse : vaporizes some fiberglass, epoxy, copper and colorant and vents it in to your kitchen. Get to scrubbing strange chemicals, son

 :palm: nom nom chemicals

Kinda feel like its just a tad not well thought out. The company risk matrix factors me in as expendable ....
« Last Edit: May 03, 2023, 11:03:06 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline PlainName

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Quote
It was an easy fix to bridge the burned traces. Someone without electronics experience would be buying a new board.

If they're used a pukka fuse, wouldn't the non-experienced user still end up buying a new board? The old one wouldn't work and the fix would be electrically the same, but perhaps the fault would be less obvious.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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The problem with replacement fuses is that some users will replace them with whatever they got on hand. Which most likely is of the wrong value. This led the UL to specify in its overload test to use the highest rated fuse that would fit.

To meet this requirement without catching fire, steered the equipment manufacturers to switch to non-user replaceable fuses.
The next step is a fusible trace. I haven’t been involved with UL testing in decades, I ignore how they would allow it.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 07:05:21 pm by schmitt trigger »
 

Offline james_s

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Seems like the fault of the igniter rather than of the control board. A properly designed igniter module would have a fuse built into it that would blow before it draws enough current to blow up whatever is feeding it. The manufactures don't care though, if they can save 3 cents they will, most people just buy a whole new unit when it breaks down.
 

Offline lmesterTopic starter

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The failed igniter was still sitting on my workbench. I took a close look at it before I discarded it. You can see that there was a short to the grounded metal case.  Either the broken element touched the case or it might have been an arc flash when it failed.

 
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Offline james_s

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Oh it's a silicon carbide hot surface igniter, I was assuming a spark igniter. I can see what happened, it broke while energized and this caused an arc to strike to the grounded bracket. Since the North American 240V is 120-0-120 the arc went from both stubs to the grounded metal and stopped when the trace fused. It probably wouldn't have occurred to me to include a fuse to protect a resistive load like that but in retrospect it's a good idea since failure while energized can result in an arc like you experienced.
 

Offline floobydust

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It was a pretty hot arc to melt and notch out the steel cover  :o
EE's expect the HSI to be a resistor and there is huge pressure to keep costs dirt cheap. There is no igniter fuse even on other appliances that use them such as furnaces. They usually just crack and go open circuit. Unless here there was a mains transient that started that arc or the porcelain holder is defective?
Something has to be the fuse however, or else a circuit board fire can occur.  These boards are designed right to the penny unfortunately.
Newer appliance boards are adding a deliberate short skinny PCB trace as a fuse, because it doesn't add cost. I guess that is better than nothing.

I would report the incident to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission they have other Maytag recalls fire related as well. Mostly law firms looking for material for lawsuits and class actions go there.
 

Online BILLPOD

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If they're used a pukka fuse, wouldn't the non-experienced user still end up buying a new board? The old one wouldn't work and the fix would be electrically the same, but perhaps the fault would be less obvious.
:scared:

Check the fuse

To check the fuse of your Pukka, remove the battery  :-//
 

Offline floobydust

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You're right a fuse would stop major smoke/fire but the repair bill still involves a callout, board swap anyway due to a fuse being non user-replaceable. Oh yeah it's (stove) in a metal enclosure, the flaming burning board... house should be ok, open a window, who cares? Seems to be the mindset - no range manufacturer has any fuses on the boards.

Appliances are pretty much disposable now, a control board is either unobtainium or several hundred bucks. Just go buy a new appliance, consumers are made of unlimited cash.
OP needs a new board and igniter, plus labour for repair time. It's a lot of money households don't have nowadays.

Whirlpool Corp... annual revenue of approximately $21 billion 78,000 employees... Their management team believing cheap is the way to succeed, in the midst of Korean and chinese appliance mega-conglomerates on their heels.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Its a race to the bottom which the Asian brands, regardless of the products they manufacture, always seem to win.
Eventually, the Western brands give up and either close the factories and sell their assets. The Asian brands sweep the ashes and from then on they have the market for themselves.
 

Offline james_s

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People have been treating appliances as disposable for 20+ years now, it's not all the fault of the manufacture, labor is just too expensive vs what it costs to buy a new one, and average people being the way they are, it's common to replace perfectly working appliances simply because the cosmetic styling is out of fashion.
 
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Offline james_s

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It was a pretty hot arc to melt and notch out the steel cover  :o

It's going to be on a 30-50 amp circuit, that's about the range used for arc welding sheetmetal.
 

Offline floobydust

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Its a race to the bottom which the Asian brands, regardless of the products they manufacture, always seem to win.
Eventually, the Western brands give up and either close the factories and sell their assets. The Asian brands sweep the ashes and from then on they have the market for themselves.
I think it's worse - Korea and china- Samsung, LG, Daewoo have been dumping appliances for over a decade. Dumping margin at least 44% for washing machines.
Whirlpool petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission and won, getting 20% tariffs and duties imposed for washing machines. TV's, refrigerators are also on the anti-dumping list.
On the other hand, prices went up and is it keeping the American labour and factories rolling, moving production out of Mexico to some extent. A lot of politics.
Most Whirlpool parts are made in china anyway, so they'll never compete on hardware cost. Korean manufacturers are hard to get parts and service manuals, as well as being real *ssholes with warranty claims and recalls.
 

Offline Seekonk

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I wanted a dishwasher for my off grid camp.  At town recycling someone was about to dump one that looke brand new. Guy said it was from an apartment that was hit by lightning so no warranty. I said load it in my truck. It was sure hit by lightning! All the protection components were smoked.  But, it protected the electronics and I just jumpered a wire past those burned parts. Point is, why add protection?  Nobody is going to fix it when it goes bad.

I got a gas stove for my camp.  Can't use the oven. That damn igniter uses 400W and it has to be on all the time. I don't have that much power to spare!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2023, 12:15:03 am by Seekonk »
 

Online coppercone2

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uhh because lighting is a analog event that can range in severity from soft error to exploded walls  :wtf:

if you know anything about it you know that there is a reasonable benefit to protection... you are using the worst case as if it was the only case

I guess you don't like air bags and car bumpers either, because its a waste of money since it sometimes gets totaled? right on in back to 1930
« Last Edit: June 06, 2023, 01:51:58 am by coppercone2 »
 

Offline james_s

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I wanted a dishwasher for my off grid camp.  At town recycling someone was about to dump one that looke brand new. Guy said it was from an apartment that was hit by lightning so no warranty. I said load it in my truck. It was sure hit by lightning! All the protection components were smoked.  But, it protected the electronics and I just jumpered a wire past those burned parts. Point is, why add protection?  Nobody is going to fix it when it goes bad.

I got a gas stove for my camp.  Can't use the oven. That damn igniter uses 400W and it has to be on all the time. I don't have that much power to spare!

I did almost the same thing, I picked up a dishwasher from a rural area that had suffered a lightning strike, the fuse had exploded and all that was left was a charred spot on the PCB. The input protection MOV had also exploded and the thermal fuse in the transformer primary was blown. I hacked in a new thermal fuse and replaced the line fuse and gave the dishwasher to my grandmother, it was still working about a decade later when she passed away.
 

Offline Seekonk

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I bought a large capacity LG washer for only $150 and he delivered it.  Only 2 years old from the delivery tag and he stored it for a year. He said he wished he got extended warrantee.  I guess he put too much weight on it when it was stored.  One of the buttons was stuck in. A little hit with a file in the plastic fixed it. Computer just kept waiting for button to be released.
 

Offline james_s

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I got a gas stove for my camp.  Can't use the oven. That damn igniter uses 400W and it has to be on all the time. I don't have that much power to spare!

The oven in my gas stove has a spark igniter, I don't know how common they are but they are out there. It has an annoying issue occasionally though where the spark igniter stops working. You can hear it sparking but the flame doesn't ignite and after a few tries it shuts down. I took it apart and cleaned the electrodes and that fixed it for a while then it started happening again. I discovered if I light it by poking a bbq lighter down one of the holes then it will work fine for a few months but I've never figured out exactly what's happening, must be getting dirty and sparking somewhere else not near enough to the gas jets. I found online reviews mentioning the same problem, most people seem to call out a repairman when that happens.
 


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