My Monkey story involves a new Maytag dishwasher I purchased two years ago. The keyboard failed within the first month, and the second one failed 10 months later, while it was still under warranty.
When the second one failed, I took it out to examine it, and the problem was obvious. The keyboard is made from a flex circuit board and a plastic housing. The flex part has a tail, which ends in a connector that connects to the CPU board. The connector is made by etching the last eighth of an inch of one side of the flex tape so bare copper is exposed. This connection is only inches from where the hot, 100 percent humidity drying vent air passes through the door, with only a foam rubber gasket to contain it.
The bare copper corrodes and loses enough conductivity that the keys can no longer be sensed. I was able to get the second one to work for a while by repositioning it in the CPU board connector and getting a new mating surface. I can’t imagine that it would cost more than a fraction of a penny to plate something on to the copper to give it some corrosion resistance.
When the second one failed, I attempted to get Maytag to warrant the keyboard for as long as I owned the dishwasher, but it would only extend the warranty for one extra year. That year is now up, and the third keyboard is still working. I don’t expect it to continue that way for much longer.
The servicemen who have worked on my dishwasher have told me that they are all alike. None of them work for very long.
On a slightly different subject, the phosphate-free detergents that are available today don’t actually clean very well, either. I may go back to washing dishes by hand.
This entry was submitted by Ron Rowlands and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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