Bad washing machine control boards can cause all sorts of problems, from skipping cycles to complete failure.
If your washing machine won’t start, or you’re noticing any odd behavior from your machine, it might be worth checking to see if the control board is the problem.
Quite often, a faulty control board will be the reason why your washing machine is acting up.
But the question is always, how do I tell if my washer control board is bad?
Here is how to tell if your washing machine control board is bad:
The easiest signal to tell if your washer’s control board is bad is that your washer will not start when you turn it on even when plugged in. Secondly, none of the buttons works when you press them, or the washer goes off immediately after you start it.
In this article, we are going to show you the easiest way to tell whether your control board is bad and how you can test it to confirm.
Although hard to diagnose at times, you can try out the tips we will discuss in this article before calling in an appliance technician if necessary.
Table of Contents
What is a washing machine control board and what does it do?
A washing machine control board (WBCB) is a small electronic circuit board that controls most of the functions of a washing machine.
The WBCB receives signals from sensors that measure various factors related to the wash cycle, such as water temperature, spin speed, and pressure.
It then sends appropriate commands to the washing machine’s motor, drum, and agitator to carry out the desired action.
The washing machine control board can be shorted out and when that happens, your washer will stay off or may only light up but will not respond to any commands.
In top load washing machines, the control board is located in the top control panel whiles in front load washers, it is located behind the control pad in the front.
Here are some of the components of a washing machine that is controlled by the control board:
- Drain pump
- Temperature sensor
- Water inlet valves
- Pressure switch
- Water level sensor
- Lid lock
- The power capacitor
Signs that your washing machine control board is bad
Your washer’s control board is one of the essential components that keep your washer running.
When it gets damaged or faulty in any way, you will see that your washer malfunctions.
Here are some of the signs that warn you that your control board may be bad.
- Your washer will not go into the spin cycle.
- All or some of the lights turn on and blink alternately
- Your washing machine does not stop the cycle, it continues without stopping at the set time.
- No wash option functions
- The drum or tub does not spin or spins very slowly
- There may be an error code indicating clearly that your control board is faulty.
- Your washer either doesn’t drain water or drains when you have not set it to drain
Related article: Kenmore washer hums and does not spin
How to test a washing machine control board
When your washing machine is malfunctioning, you may be right to think that there is a problem with the control board.
Especially if it exhibits any of the signs we have outlined in this article.
Although a bad control board may be the reason why your washer is malfunctioning, it may not always be the case.
So how do you know there is a problem with your washer’s control board?
The answer is to test the control board.
You need to test your washer’s control board and verify that it’s a problem before ordering a replacement only for the problem to be something else.
Unfortunately, in most cases when the control board is difficult to test and repair and you’ll need to replace it altogether.
Here is how to test a washing machine control board with a multimeter:
- Locate the control board in your washer (usually behind the control panel in most washers)
- Use a multimeter and check for continuity between the terminals on the control board.
- If you see continuity, then the control board may not be the problem.
- If you don’t see continuity, your control board may be bad and you need to replace it.
How to replace the control board on a washing machine
Washing machine control boards like other appliances are usually difficult to test and repair.
So when your washer’s control board goes bad, you may have to replace it.
You can quite easily replace a washing machine control board by following this step-by-step video guide below.
How much does it cost to replace a washer control board?
In general, most washer control boards cost between $99 and $250. If you will hire a technician, you should budget a total of about $250 to $400 to completely replace your washer’s control board.
Replacing a washer control board can be costly, depending on the model of the machine.
In some cases, the entire control panel must be replaced. In other cases, only specific components may need to be replaced.
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If you observe that your washing machine is exhibiting any of the signs of a bad control board that we discussed in this article, be sure to test the control board before buying a replacement.
You can also choose to get a repair technician to diagnose the problem for you.