My daughter's new'ish (about 3 yrs old) Maytag DW had exactly the same thing happen and a quick internet search squarely pointed out the front panel board as being the most likely culprit. Buying and replacing the front panel assembly fixed the problem. I am strongly recommending they keep the old assembly based on your analysis - I'll have to take a look at it and see what the contact tails look like. There are a number of sprayon products out there in the hifi world for fixing and improving contacts and that will be the next step. At least they were easily able to do the repair themselves so the repair only cost them the panel replacement cost.
It is tragic that Maytag (actually Whirlpool now) does NOT track these problems and owe up to them. If you can't do the job right (e.g. track your problems and have your engineers work on solutions) then maybe you should be in the business.
Of course, Maytag is no longer in the business (as least as a separate entity). I am somewhat ashamed that a good old US company such as Whirlpool has not stepped up to the plate but the financial pressures are enormous and the bean counter/product manager is supreme. Sigh.
After seeing this post, I start to wonder about the article that was posted a day or two ago about a Korean design firm making a cool dishwasher / sink combo. If they've got the same monkeys doing the final implementation, you won't be able to do your dishes by hand either.
Looks like large U.S. branded appliances are going through a period much like the U.S auto industry in the late 70s and 80s -- a huge drop in quality. The only difference is there is no Japan to pick up the slack and give consumers an alternative. Germany is to some degree. Without some strong competitive from appliance makers who are delivering goods and hold up, this may problem not right itself.
The average American decries how we are sending jobs overseas and the poor "Made in China" quality. It is unfortunate that in many cases, we cannot pass the buck to the manufacturer, but have to follow the trail back here to the design center. This is just one of the reasons cost of consumer goods is skyrocketing; poor design leading to multiple repairs. You would think the manufacturer would be concerned with their reputation, but apparently not.
Issues of connector corrosion are nothing new. Years ago I was working with industrial power coming into our plant on power lines exposed to the elements. One of the things that we had to do was use a special grease to prevent galvanic corrosion when hooking up aluminum and copper cables together. It worked great. I have since used a similar grease (available at hardware stores) to prevent exactly this type of problem. Cost isn’t much of an issue since the amount to protect the contacts in this dishwasher could be applied with a toothpick.
Now if we could get the appliance manufacturers to use this type of product on exposed connections they could cut their service calls dramatically.
Ever since copper wiring products became pricey during the Viet Nam conflict, and aluminum wire became the substitute, there has been a product distributed by IDEAL Industries, called NOALOX. It is a corrosion inhibitor grease to be used when connecting aluminum cable to terminals, regardless of wire gauge. It is available in many places .... electrical supply outlets, LOWES, HOME DEPOT, etc. from small tubes to large containers.
IF the terminations of the flex circuit are solderable, maybe a low-wattage iron and small small diameter flux (rosin) core (electronic grade) solder would eliminate the oxidation problem. However, one MUST be very careful, and it would be imperative to immediately wipe off any excess solder buildup on the individual points. This would be a solution ONLY for those adept w/ soldering techniques.
If you don't order a pile of spare keypads while you can, you'll be stuck like me with an otherwise perfectly good appliace but no keypad avaiable for it. In my case, a GE Microwave oven that's headed for the landfill. I really did try to buy American. Next time, that's not going to be at the top of my list - I just want quality.
The keyboard issue shows how corporate america does not care about quality. I had the same problem. Solution, the traces 'grow' whiskers between the conductors. Under a microscope just cut the whiskers with and exacto, place some nail polish on it and it works like a charm.
It is a manufacturing defect but whirlpool will not admit it.
I bought a new whirlpool dryer, it took the service man 7 tries to fix it. 2 blower wheels, 2 motors later it finnaly worked.
The whirlpool washing machine broke 3 days after it was delivered! Oil ran out of the gear box all over the floor, I bought the 3 year service plan in month 11. The service man came back 2 times a year to fix something on it. Now there is no low agitation. time to buy a korean made washer.
I had the same membrane switch problem on a new Samsung Dryer. It never ran and took more than 2 weeks to get the part in and have it fixed. I think poor quality is universal. I think bean counters don't care about quality. The original problem with the dishwasher could be solved with a liberal coat of silicon dielectric grease after the connector is seated. It's available at auto supply stores.
Where did the product life cycle and stress testing go? Do engineering groups still do this with new products? That has been part of the design and verification process in my company for decades. Many of the flaws mentioned here would have easily been discovered and could have been resolved.
Are you certain the flex circuit was copper? Was the problem a short or an open? It seems you imply an open.
The end you were looking at may be plated with something that looks like copper and the circuit may be silver.
Many flex or membrane control boards are made by the additive process of screen printing by silver OR copper polymer thick film as the primary conductive element. Copper flex boards are typically made by a subtractive process – more expensive - and usually reserved for circuits that need the current carrying or low resistance. Controls traces don’t really need to be super low resistance so I’m surprised. Why would they pay the extra for a flex circuit if the issue was cost?
Ion migration is the most common way these boards fail and they usually fail as a short before they open.
This will happen even when water is room temperature.
Many computer keyboards are made this way that’s why coffee spilled is so damaging.
The water provides a medium for ions to line up and form traces that create shorts especially with DC signal traces in control circuits.
Why not go back to washing your dishes by hand? I'm continually astonished by people who don't seem to know that it's even possible to do that. And doubly astonished by families with children older than six that don't let THEM do the dishes as a way to teach responsibility, teamwork and a host of other virtues.
Some of my family's best conversations took place around the sink (once we finished argueing about who was going to wash and who dry).
Our Bosch dishwasher is great! So quiet that you don't know that its running. My only mistake was buying it from Sears and paying for their "professional installation."
Beware, the installation is subcontracted to bands of idiots, who bent the bottom of the frame carrying it into the house. The bent frame prevented fully opening the door, a fact that I discovered after the fled out home.
Sears replaced the damaged machine, I had the Sears employees leave the new machine in the center of the kitchen, and I installed the replacement. But Sears had no recorse, thank the lord for American Express.
It was interesting to see the Sears employees handling the original dishwasher with the bent frame, it was thrown into the back of the box truck and on it's way to the Sears scratch & dent center. It sustaned more damage being thrown into the truck than the damage that prompted me to reject the machine.
20 years ago we bought a Mytag dishwasher ( back when Maytag actually had engineers). We loved it and considered taking it with us 10 years later when we sold our house. Instead we regrettably bought a new Maytag dishwasher ( this appears to be when they fired the engineers and did outsourcing I suspect).
Anyway it had something go wrong at least once a year. To top things off, Maytag did not have help web pages with technical manuals, so I had to go to 3rd party appliance parts sellers to troubleshoot the dishwasher.
I believe Maytag is a brand name now - nothing more. I suspect the owners of Maytag now would be comfortable selling oven mitts or salsa instead of dishwashers.
Investigate comapnies to see if they manufacture and design in house or are a brand name with a product acquistion and distribution network behind them with no design engineers in house.
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