Author Topic: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?  (Read 4507 times)

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Offline Simon

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Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« on: June 10, 2018, 07:42:15 am »
My dad's washing machine started refusing to pump water out. We contacted them and for 50% the price of the machine agreed to have them come an repair "any" fault.

This machine has a separate control board and front panel board for the controls..... I was not there but dad said he plugged a computer in and from this seemed to determine that the waste pipe was too low..... It has done 150 washes like this with no issue (yes he makes notes of every time he uses it) and incidentally according to the board in the machine it has done 250...... So "he did something" on the computer and moved the pipe........

So as far as I know if you put the waste pipe too low you will simply keep loosing water from the machine and it won't be able to work. But this was working it just would not pump water out......

Could it just be that the machine has a count down counter like printers and he has reset it? If indeed my dad had done 250 washes it might well have been out of warranty.
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Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 11:07:28 am »
Wow.
Well, the easy test is for your dad to now put the pipe back as he had it before, then see if the machine works.
If not, return the pipe to the position the service tech guy put it. Now does it work?

If it works the same in either position, the guy was just making up shit as cover for resetting a counter.
That would be quite a thing.

Mind you, with extreme legislation about appliances these days, maybe the machine detects water loss due to a pipe too low, and refuses to operate? Have you read the stuff about water usage-type restrictions in California recently?

What's the brand?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 11:09:55 am by TerraHertz »
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Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 11:18:59 am »
Refusing to pump the water out normally only means one thing: there is a foreign object in the pump preventing it from turning. (yes of course there is always that 1% other causes...)
If the waste pipe is too low then the machine would not be able to fill up with water, a completely different problem. Oh, I don't buy the counter thing, it would be out on the streets in no time.
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Offline tsman

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 11:51:16 am »
Could it just be that the machine has a count down counter like printers and he has reset it? If indeed my dad had done 250 washes it might well have been out of warranty.
The counter on printers is for the consumables to stop refilling. It isn't on the printer itself. There are washing machines now that have a liquid cartridge system but they still have the powder tray and the cartridges can be refilled by the owner. It'd be a brave manufacturer that tries to change that and only allow the usage of proprietary cartridges that can't be refilled.

Besides, 250 washes is easily done in a less than a year.

What model was this?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 01:47:17 pm »
Besides, 250 washes is easily done in a less than a year.

With a family of four we'd average almost two washes a day.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 02:00:34 pm »
Could it just be that the machine has a count down counter like printers and he has reset it? If indeed my dad had done 250 washes it might well have been out of warranty.
No, probably he cleared an error code if done anything at all except just looking for errors.
 

Online wraper

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2018, 02:03:00 pm »
The counter on printers is for the consumables to stop refilling. It isn't on the printer itself.
There is also a counter for waste ink tank on inkjet printers.
 
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Offline madires

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2018, 02:32:28 pm »
We have an entertaining washing machine too. From time to time the water sensor clogs up (a hose with a pressure sensor). This is fixed by opening the fluff filter and draining the water. Two months ago the washing programs started repeating the last few steps over and over again. Luckily this was fixed by resoldering the connection between the controller board and the MCU daughterboard. What I've found out is that the controller has a serial interface for service and firmware upgrades. The vendor uses the same controller for several washing machine models, just with different firmwares. Any washing machine hackers around? :)
 

Offline madires

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2018, 03:12:59 pm »
And more fun with household appliances. My sister has a fancy Samsung side-by-side fridge/froster. After a while the evaporator in the fridge was clogged up with ice. After some testing it was clear that the defrost sensor (an NTC) had a nice failure mode. Above 0°C the NTC had a reasonable resistance, but below 0°C the value was completely out of spec. So I replaced it and also the cracked water chiller which is mounted in front of the evaporator. It ran fine for 6 weeks. Clogged up with ice again. NTC is fine, defrost heater is fine, temperature fuses are fine, found nothing obvious. Learned about a hidden service menu to force the fridge into defrost mode. Defrost works also fine. Slowly I figured out that the cause was the clogging up of the drain. The defroster wasn't able to defrost the evaporator and the drain reliably. I took a strip of thin aluminum sheet, clamped it on the defrost heater and stuck the other end into the drain. No problems since then :) In some service manual for another fridge model I've seen a picture of a small piece of aluminum, very similar to my custom part, later on. It's a known design problem :(
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 03:23:43 pm by madires »
 

Offline Dielectric

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2018, 03:18:36 pm »
It's a known design problem :(

I'm pretty convinced that white goods are basically a known design problem in a box.  Cheap plastics and stupid cost reductions abound.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2018, 03:23:51 pm »
It sounds like what they do with cars these days. If there is a fault condition from one of the sensor the computer detects it and then refuse to activate the machine (even if you fix the problem). In order to clear the fault you have to use a computer to talk to the machine. The companies can then sell "diagnostics software" to authorized repair shops very expensively and you can't repair it yourself so you either have to pay for it to be repaired, or buy a new one.  :-\
 

Offline Kleinstein

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2018, 03:45:27 pm »
The counter on printers is for the consumables to stop refilling. It isn't on the printer itself.
There is also a counter for waste ink tank on inkjet printers.
Those waste Ink tank counter was very annoying - especially with no real tank, but just a kind of sponge that might get saturated if used in very humid climate. When I got hat message there was already free software out to reset that stupid counter. Thas stupid sponge finally lived longer than the printer.

With quite some white goods there are descriptions out in the web or even in the instructions to tell the meaning of the error messages and the likely cause (e.g. foreign object in the pump). Repairs got really expensive - it is the rather high wages and appliances getting so cheap. 150 or 250 runs might still be under warranty - so I really doubt this would be a counter, more like a poor design.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2018, 04:16:33 pm »
It sounds like what they do with cars these days. If there is a fault condition from one of the sensor the computer detects it and then refuse to activate the machine (even if you fix the problem). In order to clear the fault you have to use a computer to talk to the machine. The companies can then sell "diagnostics software" to authorized repair shops very expensively and you can't repair it yourself so you either have to pay for it to be repaired, or buy a new one.  :-\

Well, it is like that because the computer has no way to know you have actually fixed it (the issue could be intermittent or someone could simply override/disable the sensor). If you kill yourself on a motorway because it was e.g. a brake line losing fluid and not only a wonky sensor, the manufacturer doesn't want to get sued because some bozo has only reset the fault indication. By requiring a tech with a diagnostic tool to go look at it they are at least off the hook legally - the tech is supposed to actually check the faulty system, not just clear the error - if they didn't they will be responsible for any problems.

Of course, it has also the "convenient" effect that the diagnostic tools are proprietary and force you to go to a dealer/authorized mechanic for the repair if it involves anything electronic (independent garages typically can't buy these tools, you need a contract with the manufacturer), as you say. But that isn't the primary reason for it, it is mostly the CYA aspect. If someone is doing repairs of e.g. Volkswagen cars, the cost of the diagnostic tooling gets amortized pretty quickly.

Also the new EU rules about the mandatory technical checks/revisions of cars stipulate that any fault light lit up on the dash when it shouldn't be is a reason to fail the check, so this will get even more use.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2018, 05:30:40 pm »
For Christs sake it's only a washing machine not a safety critical system. I was not there so but no work was done to the actual machine other than comms.
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Online wraper

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2018, 05:40:11 pm »
For Christs sake it's only a washing machine not a safety critical system. I was not there so but no work was done to the actual machine other than comms.
Though if it fails leaking, it could damage your apartment and those beneath you. Could cost more than a new car in repairs.
 
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Offline Simon

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2018, 05:44:31 pm »
Leaking? as far as I know a washing machine drum leads straight to the pump and out to the discharge hose. If the hose was too low and it could not fill properly it would never work instead id would wash but then refuse to pump out so it hardly feels like it could detect the hose being too low and has done 150 washes like this. Turns out it was not a new machine as it had done 250 washes. If there was to be any leak it would not be preventable by not pumping out.
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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 05:56:15 pm »
If there was to be any leak it would not be preventable by not pumping out.
If washing machine detects that there is something not right with waste pipe or something around it, it's completely reasonable to prevent pumping water out. It could be not only pipe placed too low but an actual leakage.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2018, 06:00:38 pm »
yes but given that it has worked fine for 150 washes I doubt it detected anything. The only thing it could detect is if the drum is not filling because the waste pipe is too low and letting all of the water out again therefore the wash would never start, the problem only occured on pumping out time when all it wants to do IS loose water.
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Online CJay

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 06:04:42 pm »
Any washing machine hackers around? :)

Yeah, actually there are, there was  a guy over on the EPE magazine Chatzones who was into washing machines and was building replacement controller boards for his 'collection' so if there's anyone to ask it'd be him :)
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Offline Simon

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2018, 06:11:04 pm »
I was just amazed that there were 2 boards in this machine. Unless you are going to have some sort of power handling board why? but then if you can charge 50% the value of the machine and have your customer less pissed off then hey why not, i mean why not just build washing machines with debit card readers that charge per wash and sell the machines for a few quid - seems to work for printers. Ever teared of the guy that returned 3! Lexmark printers to Tesco because they all stopped at 16 prints....
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Offline Simon

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2018, 06:12:31 pm »
My old printer gave up for no good reason and i was using a refillable inking system with self resetting cartridges, yes they do put a limit in the printer as well. No issues, it just stopped!
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Online wraper

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2018, 06:53:41 pm »
I was just amazed that there were 2 boards in this machine. Unless you are going to have some sort of power handling board why?
What is that machine? If it's LG, it should have direct drive BLDC motor and respectively inverter board.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2018, 06:58:11 pm »
indesit

A BLDC would have it's own onboard controller. This thing is specific, one computer board and one front panel controls board.
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Offline madires

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2018, 07:12:06 pm »
Indesit uses the same controller board for several models and customizes the front panel and firmware.
 

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Re: Remember printers with countdowns? now washing machines?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2018, 07:12:34 pm »
A BLDC would have it's own onboard controller.
No it would not. As well as, say, BLDC for RC have separate controller as well.



 


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