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Monday, September 19, 2011

Smeg Dishwasher on / off button replacement - a how-to guide

Total loss of power on Smeg Dishwasher - Model Number: DF 612 SE - during wash cycle.


Hardly funny - a Smeg dishwasher fully loaded, stopping in the middle of a washing cycle due to some form of total electrical failure.


First step was to remove all the dirty pots and wash them by hand - didn't like to risk that there was still powerful cleaning agents that hadn't been rinsed off etc. This just left a pool of very murky water in the bottom of the dishwasher.


Next I tried replacing the fuse on the mains plug (where the dishwasher plugs into the 'mains' wall socket) but this had no effect.


The control panel on the front of the dishwasher was completely dead - no lights, no indicators and repeated pushing of the On/Off button wasn't going to solve anything.


So I turned to the Internet and typed in my problem. What I got back was lots of forums and suggestions on possible causes and one or two "we'll answer any question - our experts are online and waiting to answer your question now" type websites that after a few basic question screens then want to charge you if you go further.


However, the 'free advice' from others all seemed to point to the power (on / off button) on the dishwasher and the fact that the insulation on the wires on the back of the switch can become worn, allowing a shorting of the electrics to occur.




This seemed like a good one to rule out - gaining entry to inspect (and remove) the power button involved opening the dishwasher door and unscrewing the screws around the top of the door frame.


You'll find the top control panel portion of the dishwasher door will then lift away towards you.


There's a white plastic cover, covering the switch and electronics on the LH side of the door panel - you'll see it just slots into place. Simply lift it out (no clips to undo) and put to one side.



You'll now see the mains switch has 4 separate wire terminals going to the back of it.


Draw yourself a little diagram of which wire goes where and remove them by pulling the connector (not the wire) off the back of the switch.


To remove the switch itself, I found it best to use the thin blade of a small electronics screwdriver. Looking at the new switch for a minute, you'll notice the little 'barbed' clip that holds the switch into the plastic mounting on the door panel.


I carefully slotted the screwdriver down the gap between the switch and the door mount and gently prised upwards. This removed the switch.


Re-attach the wire connectors to the new switch, and re-attach to the door mount. Check the on/off button pushes and clicks.


Carefully re-feed the wiring loom back into the door as you re-locate the door panel - don't forget to fit that plastic cover first!


Then re-attach the door panel securely, plug the dishwasher in at the mains and hey-presto - it should work.


Well that's the theory.


Unfortunately, it didn't work on this occasion so i quickly went to the Internet for an answer.


The best I could find out is, having ruled out the power switch, that it is either the printed circuit board (PCB) that controls the power distribution and is actually located underneath that white plastic cover we removed to access the power switch.


You can visually check the pcb for burn marks - a visual clue it's blown although there's no guarantee.


The other cause could be the pump itself.


Either way, I deemed it un-economical to continue the repair. ESpares prices for a new power pcb (there's a second pcb controls the functions) were around the £100 mark whilst a new pump could be as much as £170. And as it's difficult to determine which part needs replacing, it's not worth taking the risk.


The power with was only £7.25 so it was worth ruling out and could well have fixed the problem.


No drama without a crisis.


It's worth reporting that initially, having used ESpares before and being impressed with their customer service, I experienced some trouble getting the switch delivered.


The item was in stock and showed as available for next day delivery so I paid the next day delivery premium of £6.99. This was the Thursday.


The item didn't arrive until the following Monday so I emailed ESpares to enquire about a refund on the next day delivery cost.


After emailing Tuesday and Wednesday without reply, I tweeted a general query on response times to complaints.


ESpares, to their credit came straight back to me on Twitter and after a small exchange of details, speedily agreed and refunded my delivery premium. To apologise for the delay, they also sent me a £5 voucher off my next order.


Now that's service.


Please note - all the eSpares links in this post are non-affiliate. They're just provided to help you track down the right parts yourself.


On/Off Push Button Switch Assembly (ES970161)


This is Smeg spares reference: 816450164

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