Arduino Technology
Replacing a Pricey Dishwasher Controller with an Arduino

UnaClocker writes:

This is the problematic dishwasher I have. It’s a Maytag (so much for never needed a repairman…). The control panel on the front of it died, it failed from corrosion getting into the laminated plastic PCB that it’s made up of. Not really repairable, just meant to be replaced, except that it’s a $150 part. From what I could find online, it seems to be a common failure, so why buy an overpriced part that’s just going to fail all over again?

This is one of the things I love about the Arduino, it allows me to consider alternatives that I’d have NEVER been able to consider before. If I had to program a controller in assembly, or flat do it with just discrete chips, I’d have never considered this as an option. But with the Arduino, not only can I build my own controller, but it’s almost stupidly simple to do.

Details, photos, and code are available at NeonSquirt.com. [via adafruit]

More:
We’ve indexed some of our best Arduino-related content on the Make: Arduino page.

20 thoughts on “Replacing a Pricey Dishwasher Controller with an Arduino

    1. On one hand, using a dishwasher may use more energy, but it probably also uses less water, unless you’re very conscientious about the faucet while you wash by hand.  In the end, I’d say it’s probably a… “wash?”

    2. On one hand, using a dishwasher may use more energy, but it probably also uses less water, unless you’re very conscientious about the faucet while you wash by hand.  In the end, I’d say it’s probably a… “wash?”

    3. On one hand, using a dishwasher may use more energy, but it probably also uses less water, unless you’re very conscientious about the faucet while you wash by hand.  In the end, I’d say it’s probably a… “wash?”

    4. Energy cost: Roughly eight cents. Or two square meters of solar cell. We’re makers around here.
      Water cost: Around a cent.

      Doing them by hand involves a labor cost which makes it prohibitive.

      1. You’re forgetting to add in the time it takes to load and un-load the dishwasher. :P

        But seriously, I thought of this as my first Arduino project, but I’m still waiting on my dishwasher to die. It probably won’t, as it’s a rotary mechanism vs. digital panel.

        How about adding in a light sensor and a LED to test how clear the water is. That way, when the water runs clear, do a quick rinse and call it a day.

        Image a kit for upgrading old, still mechanically sound washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc… with modern day sensors like humidity levels (dryer), water clarity (dish washer) and fancy programming options (clothes washer).

    5. I found that it was a strain on the relationship with my wife, when she had to wash them by hand. So it’s definitely better to let the machine do the work. :)

    6. I found that it was a strain on the relationship with my wife, when she had to wash them by hand. So it’s definitely better to let the machine do the work. :)

  1. This is great… we had a three year old (!) dishwasher literally throw sparks and flames when it died a spectacular death.  Cool to think we could have reverse-engineered the controls… major props for doing this!

  2. Hi,  About how much $$ in parts for your setup we see here?  How long did it take, start to finish?  Finally, do you have a finished pic or vid?

    Looks like it was fun to do!

    Thanks

Comments are closed.

Tagged

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan