In the era of foreclosures, I picked up a two-year-old high-efficiency washer and dryer set. I didn't need them but thought, why not replace a 20-year-old set before its breaks? The gas and power were shut off in the house over the winter, so I was afraid water might have frozen in the valve assembly and cracked it.
My fears were correct, but it was not a problem. With a $100 valve assembly, I figured I should be back in business washing clothes. Unfortunately, while removing the instrument panel to get access to the valve assembly, I fatigued the harness connector to the main controller, and the harness broke off.
Again, no problem. I ordered a new controller. Meanwhile, I put my 20-year-old Kenmore heavy-duty washer back in the laundry room. I have a wife, three young adults, and a granddaughter producing dirty clothes daily.
I soon received a brand-new controller. Before I could even put the new controller on, the harness connection failed and the harness cracked off the controller. The supplier gave me a refund and told me to keep the controller.
So, now I have two good controllers with broken harnesses. I was determined to make one of them work. The pins in the harness were so small I am surprised the vibration of the washing machine didn't fatigue and break them. The weight of the harness is too heavy for the pins, which are soldered directly to the controller.
To solve the problem, I used a soldering vacuum and sucked the broken pins out of the controller. I then cut the harness connector off one wire at a time, and soldered them directly to the controller board. Then, to make sure my solder connections would not fail, I hot glued around the wires for support.
I did the same repair job to the original controller and sold it on eBay for $50 with the promise that it was better than the original equipment. A year and a half later, the new-to-me high-efficiency top loader is still washing a minimum of five loads of laundry every week.
This entry was submitted by Bill De Vries, PE, and edited by Rob Spiegel
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