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Bad Solder Stopped Bosch Dishwasher

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Amclaussen
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Platinum
Lead-free solder perhaps?
Amclaussen   12/31/2013 4:35:29 PM
While Bosch kitchen and laundry products have shown many problems and low reliability, in this particular case the problem could have been the result of overzealous european politicians banning the use of lead in electronic solder, known as RoHS initiative.  Lead gives solder excellent properties, and Lead-free solder is known to carry many failures with it.  If vibration is present, lead-free solder is more prone to mechanical fracturing and failure. On the other side, many products are made today with the cheapest assembly possible, which is causing too many failures.

As the article does not specify if it was a cold solder, solder fatiging and breaking, insufficient solder or any other additional info, it is hard to see which was the root cause.

In my kitchen, a Shiny new Bosch gas stove only lasted two days.  I had to return it as it was badly designed and provided so little heat, that any knob setting below 100% open, would undercook the food...  In the end, it was bad design and too much reliance on fame.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   12/31/2013 6:43:40 PM
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I applaud your statement of the over-zealousness of the RoHS initiative.  For a trace amount of lead, phosphor, berrylium, and a few other "criminal elements" (the actual threat of which is still debatable), the RoHS initiative brought several industries to their knees in costly redesign.   See a recent article I posted earlier this year:

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1365&doc_id=269174

 

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
tekochip   1/1/2014 5:28:31 PM
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I didn't see the board, of course, but I would tend to agree, another RoHS failure.

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
Tool_maker   1/2/2014 11:00:06 AM
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  Is there a web site that lists the problems that have been caused by environmentalists over reach? I am currently mourning the soon-to-be disappearing Incandescent Lightbulb and wondering what I am going to do with all my ceilng fixtures once my stash of 60w bulbs is gone.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
tekochip   1/2/2014 2:24:53 PM
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I populated mine with LED lamps.  They're brighter, look better, run cooler and last forever.

While rohs has certainly been a technological millstone, many of the environmental laws have had quite sudden, and positive results.  As a kid growing up in the Sixties, there were few environmental restrictions.  It was normal to drive through Gary Indiana with your lights on because the visibility was so poor from smog.  DDT had decimated the top of the food chain so badly that I never once saw a heron, egret, hawk or an eagle.  By contrast, today alone I saw four bald eagles fishing on the Fox River, a river so polluted, as a boy that the fish retrieved while fishing were literally covered with tumors.
 
Yes, there is over-reach and some darn silly laws, like rohs, but without some oversight ever country can quickly become as polluted as China.


Larry M
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Platinum
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
Larry M   1/8/2014 11:35:17 PM
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tekochip wrote: "I populated mine with LED lamps.  They're brighter, look better, run cooler and last forever."

Not clear that they do last forever. Early reports are that LED lamps mounted base-up in semi-enclosed fixtures (Think of the lamps on a typical ceiling fan.) fail soon due to overheating of the electronics--same failure as CFLs mounted in this way. It's believed that the failures are due to cooking the electrolytic capacitors, also the same as with CFLs.

Larry

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
Larry M   1/8/2014 11:43:25 PM
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Toolmaker wrote: "Is there a web site that lists the problems that have been caused by environmentalists over reach?"

Uhhh, well, yeah, glad you asked. How about this report from a reoutable agency which identifies the cause of the runaway Toyota acceleration as tin whiskers from lead-free solder on the accelerator assembly?

http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker/reference/tech_papers/2011-NASA-GSFC-whisker-failure-app-sensor.pdf

Wonder if those ivory tower European academics recognize they caused human deaths?

A few more references:

http://www.sc.edu/news/newsarticle.php?nid=5371

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1264373

And from our host publication: http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=247907

Larry

wbswenberg
User Rank
Gold
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
wbswenberg   1/2/2014 12:42:10 PM
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Might have been the wrong orifices.  My brother-in-law had a problem with his Kenmore gas range.  No adjustment in the flame other than full on.  He was on propane and I guess they delivered a nat'l gas unit.  So we got on Sears Part found the model and ordered the orifices for propane.  I was not there but he installed and it fixed the problem.  I suspect you problem is the other way around.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Lead-free solder perhaps?
Amclaussen   1/9/2014 4:14:43 PM
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Your suspiction on wrong orifices was the first idea I checked... and I checked not only for a wrong label, but it wasn't the case.

The burners were way too small for the task.  Simple, stupid bad design.

It was a case where the "design team" decided to keep a 4 burner design stove frame, and replace the burners with six smaller ones. I don't know if the designers just tried to save over the parts cost, or if they just tried to stuff the 6 burners in the already compact stove top area.  I did not choose that stove myself, it was an impulse buy by my wife, who still keeps believing today's designers must know what they are doing (while I continue to find blatant cases of bad design!). And it looked pretty, specially when the color matched the rest of our kitchen nicely.

A good friend of mine had exactly the same experience and confirmed me that model was in fact, badly designed.  He told me in his case, several installers told him that brand was giving them so much trouble, that they now simply reject installing them anymore.  It is hard to understand why this happens, as one would guess there should be some kind of actual testing before fabricating.  But, at least that kind of realities is keeping this blog busy, isn't it?

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Always attempting to do it yourself.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   12/31/2013 6:37:30 PM
Every time an appliance in my house falters, I heave a slow sigh, pull up the bootstraps, and go dig into it.  Without fail, it has always been something that any decent engineer with a little perseverance could fix. 

I always make this attempt first, because I, too was frustrated by the $100 service call which resulted in  bad advice from an untrained repair tech who was wrong on his diagnosis.  No more of that, EVER!

I've now added A/C's, Washers, Dryers, Dishwashers, Pool Pumps, Disposals and Water Heaters to my "successful" repairs list. 

Here is a VERY helpful website to encourage others to do the same:   http://www.repairclinic.com/

This site is extensive, and often includes little videos of the repair, step-by-step (not always).  Their business is to sell the replacement parts.  My last repair (just over this Xmas holiday) was the Washing Machine. Agitator not rotating; a $4.25 cam-lock solved the problem.  Lots of needed extra X-mas money saved!!  

 I highly recommend building up your courage and always attempting to do it yourself. 

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: Always attempting to do it yourself.
notarboca   12/31/2013 7:26:09 PM
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JimT, I'm with you on trying to repair everything around the house; a lot of times it is a simple fix.  If not, at least you diagnosed it yourself.  Thanks for the link as well.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Always attempting to do it yourself.
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   1/15/2014 4:35:52 PM
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'Cripes – just had another issue today – this time it's the pool pump leaking, after it lost it's Prime, due to low water level.  It's ALWAYS something!  Honestly, I don't know how Non-DIY'ers manage; they must literally spend $Thousand's every year on stupid little things!

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Blogger
Relay
TJ McDermott   1/1/2014 6:53:50 PM
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What did the relay actually control?

And was it a mechanical or solid-state relay?

dgreig
User Rank
Bronze
Heating "Engineers"
dgreig   1/2/2014 9:06:40 AM
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Remiiscent of my Dad's Combi gas boiler.

He had called out 2 of the local Pluming Heating "Engineers", neither could solve the problem and both tried to sell more radiators.

Took about 2 minutes for the diagnosis, leaky expansion chamber.

Just serviced it, changed thermistors for more accurate ones and stiped down and cleaned the hot water diversion valve, liberal application of Chrystolube on moving parts.

Never used a garage for vehicle repair. Guess Dad ingrained self suffiency when I was a toddler. Recon it's faster and far less hassle to DIY!

Keithfeldt
User Rank
Iron
Re: Heating "Engineers"
Keithfeldt   1/6/2014 2:10:10 PM
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The solder joint on the main relay is a common problem on Bosch dishwashers going way back.

The point behind the article should be "Why have they not addressed this problem in the past 20 years."

dgreig
User Rank
Bronze
Re: Heating "Engineers"
dgreig   1/6/2014 4:01:23 PM
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Same can be applied to automatic clothes washers.

A hydrophobic coating on the electronics and connections would be a starting point, but would add initial cost, silicone or preferably parylene(6.35 mm spade terminals would cut through the parylene and give a gas tight connection).

As for dishwashers, got 2 functional things at the end of the upper limbs that need a wash from time to time.

No intention of adding more gadgets such as dishwashers, wash yesterdays dishes while cooking today meal. At least the current meal is not going to be burnt whilst washing the dishes in the sink.

Gone are the days when things were made to work for at least a couple of decades.

Ho de hum. If energy to produce > energy consumed throughout life then it is poor design and/or poor manufacture quality control and/or company management.





William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Heating "Engineers"
William K.   1/8/2014 8:39:24 PM
@Keithf,  My previous dishwasher was a 30 year old Kitchenaid that I purchased used for $100. The parts that failed were the timer motors, which after the third failure I could not get just the motor, they would only sell the  timer for $50, which was more than I wanted to spend to repair the 30 year old dish washer. The replacement has had one recall, which was for some failure that made them catch fire. Mine never did, though. Now that membrane keypad is attempting to unstick itself from the panel, which is a pain indeed. I had priced one of those to repair somebody's dishwasher a year ago and that keypad is about $85, a huge price for what it is. For much less money I can purchase good pusbutton switches, and build a good panel that will last at least 20 years. And it will have a good tactile feel.

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Powers of Observation
Tool_maker   1/2/2014 10:54:13 AM
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  I am not an EE nor do I have the equipment to test that I often see mentioned in these posts. However I have been able to do many household appliance repairs simply by looking for loose or dirty connections. Clean and/or solder and away it goes. Sometimes I do not even know what I did, but the problem is fixed so all is cool.

Tom M.
User Rank
Silver
It's not just a solder problem
Tom M.   1/2/2014 11:17:00 AM
Was your PCB charred?  Mine was.  The problem is that the relay Bosch used to drive the heater element is very undersized for the application.  The maximum rating of the relay is 10 A at 120 VAC, and it drivers a 1 kW heater.  The relay runs very hot, so much so that it chars the board and even melts away the solder.  Resoldering helps for a while but unless you replace the relay it will burn the board away again.

Search youtube for "bosch dishwasher relay" you'll find explicite instructions on repairing the board.  I found this link particularly good http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb8gAnMb2zQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nLN3WO3RQY.  The only difference I found was that my board used a 12 V relay vs. the 6 V one the videos called out, I got it from MCM electronics part #R46-5D12-6 for $4.


Tom M.





William K.
User Rank
Platinum
about that lead-free solder decision.
William K.   1/2/2014 3:13:40 PM
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I would agree that the original ROHS legislation and most of the expansions are based primarily on emotions by those unwilling or unable to consider facts and other inconvenient parts of reality. One of the very emotional articles recommending the removal of lead solder gave numbers that implied six pounds of lead were in each scrap0ped computer. A more realistic number would be closer to six grams.

The unfortunate unintended secondary consequences have been that a lot more electronic waste is produced, since the non-lead based solder connections are still not as good as the older solder connections were. So more equipment fails at an earlier age, and less of it is recycled, because there has not been any system for providing a real incentive to recycle.

As an example of what results can be expected, Michigan put a ten cent deposit on carbonated beverage cans and bottles, in order to reduce litter. It would have included all beverage containers except for the really strong lobby efforts from the industry. But the result is that one very seldom sees any of the deposite cans as litter any more. Now imagine what a $5 deposit on most electronics would do. Most of the items would be recycled, either by purchasers recovering their deposits or else by those same folks who glean all the cans from our landscape. So there would be a benefit in two different areas, and a large reduction in landfill-destrined electronic devices.

It is certainly an option worth considering.

kenish
User Rank
Platinum
Re: about that lead-free solder decision.
kenish   1/2/2014 7:28:55 PM
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Here in CA an e-waste deposit is required.  I'm not sure of the exact amount but IIRC it's about $15 on a large flat screen TV.  Most consumers don't bother to recover the cost so there's community e-waste events where the proceeds go to local charities.  The parking lot at our local events looks like a loading dock for Best Buy or Staples with the piles of computers, printers, phones, and TV's.  That said, most e-waste is shipped to the 3rd world where materials are extracted under very unsafe and toxic conditions.

I agree that RoHS claims are very exaggerated, though a 27" CRT contains over 10 pounds of lead for X-ray shielding.  A friend in the space electronics biz was aghast when I brought up RoHS...they put as much lead as possible into their stuff!  I agree the cost and safety impacts of RoHS probably outweigh the trivial environmental benefit especially with e-waste recycling.  (Philips was very involved in RoHS and the exemption for trace amounts of Hg was ironic since Philips was bringing CFL's to market).

Back here in SoCal, I grew up remembering eye-smarting smog.  There would be 10-15 Stage 3 smog alerts every summer and we'd do PE indoors.  It's been 12 years since the last Stage 1 alert and much longer for a Stage 3...and there's a lot more cars if you've used the 405 Freeway lately!

 

 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: about that lead-free solder decision.
William K.   1/3/2014 3:56:47 PM
kenish, I rather doubt that any CRT of any size contains even a pound of lead, for shielding or for any other purpose. There is leaded glass, but there the lead is to make the glass more durable, I believe. Also, the lead in glass is rater tightly bound to the molecular structure, and not subject to leaching out in a landfill. So I would ask about where that assertion about lead shielding came from. With the scrp value of lead being quite high, the scrap collectors around here would be grabbing up every TV that is put out for the trash collection, and yet they are very seldom taken from the curb.

And if a $15 deposite does not bring about an adequate amount of rectcling, then perhaps a $100 deposit would. Also, it should be quite high for all electronics, not just large screen TVs. Cell phones and personal electronic devices should ALLL have the deposite.

Mark Olson
User Rank
Iron
How much lead is there in a CRT?
Mark Olson   1/6/2014 8:12:39 AM
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Re: lead content of CRTs, the first hit when I googled for "lead content of crt" was www.premierinc.com/quality-safety/tools.../k_3_lead_in_crts.pdf‎.

According to that PDF:

Lead in Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) Information Sheet**

 

A CRT is used in most televisions and computer monitors (Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) and plasma displays do not use CRT technology). Lead is used in CRTs to protect users from potentially harmful exposure to x-rays. The lead in CRTs is bound in a glass matrix as lead oxide, and is stable and immobile. According to the data collected, the average CRT for the time period 1995 to 2000, including televisions and monitors, is an 18.63-inch CRT with a lead content that varies from 2.14 lbs to 2.63 lbs.

 

The table lists screen sizes from 8" (just over 1 lb of lead) to 35" (9 to 11 lb of lead). But, as you correctly point out, the lead is not strippable from the glass and it is chemically stable and not going to dissolve out when placed into a landfill.

 

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: How much lead is there in a CRT?
William K.   1/6/2014 12:41:25 PM
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Thanks for the information. I knew that leaded glass is stable, but I was not aware that the weight was that much. My guess is that is the total glass weight, rather than just the weight of the lead. And it would appear that the hysterical individuals who lobbied for the law never considered that it was not elemental lead in an active state.

But it seems that if lead could be recovered from leaded glass that there could be money made in recovering it because that might be cheaper than mining the lead ore and refining it. But possibly separating the lead from the lead oxide combined with the glass is not an economical process.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Good work
Charles Murray   1/6/2014 6:42:48 PM
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I love the line, "I waited one year before writing this to make sure it still works and it does." It's hard to argue with the results. Good detective work, David.

stn564
User Rank
Bronze
Bad soldering
stn564   1/8/2014 7:41:39 PM
I had exactly the same problem with an LG washing machine.  Except that the board was partly encased in a silicone gunk so you could not remove it and resolder it.  So I spent $180 on a new board, only to discover 2 weeks later that there was a recall for just that problem.  I did manage to get my $180 refunded.

ROHS aside, wave soldering on boards with relays, lugs, terminal blocks etc should be banned.  Anything with mechanical movement needs a good meaty solder joint which machines cannot do.  If I has a dollar for every power connector I have resoldered I'd be...well richer than I am now.

 

 

cookiejar
User Rank
Gold
Connection, connections, connections!
cookiejar   1/8/2014 11:49:29 PM
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It's true when they say that in modern electronics, 95% of your problems are due to bad connections.  That's always the first place you should look.

Our Bosch dishwasher is over 25 years old. It has failed us a half dozen times.  I bought a service manual the first time it failed, traced it at the motor driven mechanical controller to be a thermal switch.  After replacing it, with no effect, I did a continuity check and sure enough it was the wire broken open due to its flexing when the door was opened and closed.  I replaced the wire with much more finely stranded heater cord and we were back in business.  A few years later, it was the water level switch.  Sure enough it was again its wire and I did a similar repair.  So now every time it fails, (6 times to date) it's an automatic ring the wiring.  To date, despite being run a couple of times a day, the only failures have been the wire and the plastic wheels for the trays.

It seems obvious to me that Bosch blew it using  coarsely stranded wire that couldn't take the twist every time the door was opened and closed. Others would call it planned obsolescence.  What do you think?

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