How to Fix a Control Board for a Washer That Will Not Start

When your washer won’t start or your control board stops responding, this can be an issue with the control board itself. A malfunctioning control board will cause your washer to not start, and in some cases not function at all. Since the control board manages all communication and power within your appliance, you can think of it as the brains of your machine, and if it’s bad or not working properly, the entire appliance usually stops working properly, too. Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can diagnose and potentially replace your washing machine’s control board so your machine can be back to 100% as soon as possible.

What is the Control Board?

A washer control board is a computer-like board that receives inputs, like what type of cycle you’ve chosen, from the user interface and translates them into wash cycle choices. The control board usually appears as a circuit-board and varies in size and complexity depending on the model. Sometimes, however, your washer may also have a relay board that goes with your control board to manage the power in your appliance – so check with the manufacturer or any available repair manuals before making any repair-related assumptions!

Where is the Control Board Located?

The control board for your washer will most likely be located within the user interface panel, like where your buttons and dials are, depending on your type of washer and model. Refer to the 3D image below for further help locating your control board.

General Location of the Electronic Control Board in a Front Load Washer

A 3D diagram showing the components of a front load washer and specifying the location of the electronic control board

General Location of the Electronic Control Board in a Top Load Washer

A 3D diagram showing the components of a top load washer and specifying the location of the electronic control board

How to Access, Remove, and Inspect the Washer's Control Board

  1. Using a putty knife, screwdriver, or socket wrench, remove any clasps, hinges, or panels that are located near the control board. There may be a number of these, so make sure to take pictures to refer back to when reassembling.
  2. Once you’ve gained access to the control board, disconnect any cables connecting the control board to the rest of the washer.
  3. Remove the control board housing from the machine. For many, this will also be the user interface.
  4. Using a screwdriver or socket wrench, remove any screws securing the control board in the housing.
  5. Unhouse the broken control board.

How to Test the Washer Control Board

Normally it’s easy to identify the control board as the broken component in your washer because the appliance doesn’t respond to any changes or choices you make with the user interface, like starting or changing a cycle. But the most reliable mode of diagnosing a control board is to use a multimeter to test whether the control board is shorted or simply faulty. Follow the steps for replacing the control board to understand how to gain access to it.

How to Remove a Top-Load Washer's Control Board
How to Remove a Front-Load Washer's Control Board

How to Install a New Washing Machine Control Board

Replacing a washer’s control board is similar in difficulty and steps to replacing the user interface. It requires only the appropriate socket wrench or screwdriver, a putty knife, and, in some cases, a set of needle-nose pliers. You’ll want to identify what thread or socket-head you’ll need before unscrewing or disconnecting anything, and where your control board is located. Refer to your user manual for instructions.

  1. Place the new control board within the opened housing.
  2. Connect the user interface back to the washer, and reconnect any wires or clips.
  3. Reconnect any hinges or clasps that keep the housing in place and reconnect whatever panels were originally disconnected to access the control board. Now your repair is complete!

How to Install a Control Board in Your Top-Load Washer
How to Install a Control Board in Your Front-Load Washer

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