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Old 08-31-2019, 02:41 AM   #21
Log_on_Bob
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Quote:
Originally Posted by R_J View Post
The circuit does'nt look that complicated, what are the markings on Q2 & Q3? You have the board so draw out the schematic and post it if you can. I don't think you will find a schematic anywhere.
I have the same board and the same flickering lights. With my best magnifying glass I can't make out anything on Q3, Q3 has a faint circle with either "ON" or "NO" depending which way you hold it. Not much help.

My R15 got hot enough to burn a small hole on top and lost it's markings but it still showed as 179 ohms with a meter. I went to my local spot to get a 137 ohm resistor and somehow came home with a 330, my fault. Store closed and I did have a 100 and a 180 in stock so I soldered on a 180 1/4 watt. Brightness seemed about the same. Flickering returned within the first hour.

My R17 910 shows as 90.5 ohms and seems to be fine and the 910 marking is like new . I don't see anything else, no black marks anywhere.

Now, Googling around there is a Youtube vid to use a heat gun or hair dryer on it,, Right I thought but I tried it anyway. The first time much to my surprise lasted 3 days and I had zero hope for it. Second time about 3 hours and the last time maybe an hour.

So my current theory that If it were not in a refrigerator it could be a bad solder joint getting hot, or a crack that is expanding and then fail over and over, cool down it works until it gets hot again. But I think it is moisture issue. I did recoat mine but with clear Gel nail polish, didn't help.

I know enough to be dangerous, so no solution here. One comment was a bad LED. All four of mine have a tiny grey dot and I have no clue if that is Black Death dot or not. Thing is, they will light up just fine after the Heat Gun trick. oh,, I also left it out the sun all day, 90F most of the day and no love there either. I am assuming if they light at all they are not the problem, or????

Will advise if I find anything out. I just bought a Mega328 tester,,, :-)
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:19 AM   #22
R_J
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

The transistors could be 2SC3138-O, KRC113S or KRC413, What part are you heating with the heat gun? A heat gun would heat a large area, the whole board, so it could be anything that is bad, you would need to only heat a couple parts at a time. It could be a bad feedthrough that is causing the flickering.
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File Type: jpg NO marking.JPG (20.1 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by R_J; 08-31-2019 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:29 AM   #23
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

RJ - agreed, heating the entire board would not pin point the issue, I was just following the YouTube vid. So, to narrow things down, I first made sure it was at failure , flickering lights , wrapped the half with the most components with a rag and heat gunned the other side the one Cap side and only applied heat on the Cap side , call it Top. Installed but not in the case and it worked again. Left it out of the case and manually closed the door switch 8 or 9 times and it worked just fine. Closed the door and checked every few minutes, Failed around 10 mins., but it came back on it's own for a few more mins while I opened and closed the door switch.

After heating, the heated side was unconfortable hot to touch and the covered side was cool but not cold and damp.

So Failed, pulled a did the same to the other side heating all the bulk component side with just about the same results. No clue now...

Next is was just sitting on my desk for maybe 30 mins, no heat applied and I got the same results again.

Then I was wondering about supplied power. J1 pin the yellow wires, wider connector, switch open is 118 V A/c, but closed is still 24v A/c that I don't understand.


Testing various components with my new Mega328 has raised more questions than answers so far. , I will post what I have found tomorrow...
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:51 PM   #24
redwire
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Flickering and cutting in and out like people describe is what LED's do that are failing.
The LED dies are basically glued down inside and heating things can temporarily restore a bad-bonding wire connection or cracked die. But it doesn't last as a fix. There should be no black dots visible in the LED's.

I think Whirlpool cheaped out on the LEDs as there are pcb footprints to take higher power SMD5050 w/thermal pad LED's U3-U6. In other words, there are high power and low power LED versions of this board. Companies push a low cost, low power version hard to make up for it.

The question is who failed first, the power supply or the LED string? I would guess the LED's fail and then the power supply resistor cooks?

The semiconductor numbers can be read under a microscope and very bright light, at a sharp angle. Conformal coating makes it difficult. I use sharp needle probes to poke through the coating to test parts.
We really need a schematic drawn up to figure out what is failing in these boards.

They are $50 each and Sears offers a 16-pack of WPW10515058 for $3,000. ??!?
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:53 PM   #25
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

I think you are on to the cause with the bad LEDs leading to burning out the resistors. My fridge light is just about dead now. I think replacing the caps extended its life just at a little. Now the flickering is back. If I cycle the door switch a few times, it will come on. And then if the door is opened again a short time later it will also come on. But if the light has been off for a while (and thus sitting in the cold), the flicker comes back. This also supports the notion that heating up the board will help temporarily. Perhaps the LEDs were not rated for low temperature usage? I suppose I should pull out the secondary modules (lower fridge and freezer) and check those for black dots also.

So I am not sure what else can be done to fix this except for replacing it every ~2.5 years. I guess one could try replacing the SMD LEDs, but my Digikey search skills are lacking in the surface mount LED department.

It is such a joke that crap like this that is supposed to be more efficient and long lasting ends up being just the opposite. How efficient is it to spend $$$ to replace the LED lighting modules several times over the 10+ year life of the appliance. I might just try to figure out how to put a 40 watt light bulb in there.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:45 PM   #26
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Hey Bluto... similar results here, manually working the switch and they might come or not. Searching, I didn't check Digi but Mouser shows many. I came up with 5630 by measuring then I re-read redwires early post,,:-( so yeah it appears to be 5630 but...

Which one, I get the 4 mounting points but then there are either ...

1. Standard or High Power
2. color,, I think somewhere around 4K would be fine for me.
3. would be, do they all have the Heat Sink built in, no mention that I see.

Once I have a suggestion or two, I will give it a go for fun. There is a article where a repair guy removed all three lights and replaced them with ones claimed to be at Home Depot. No details as to what was used, picture looks like he tore the unit out of something.

Link to Mouser: Still many to choose from.
https://www.mouser.com/Search/Refine...d=5630+SMD+LED

Digikey:
https://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/p...ower-led/83412

Last edited by Log_on_Bob; 09-04-2019 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:23 PM   #27
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Would it work to remove the light, cut the end of the power wire connection and wire it to a $8 LED light? I hope it would still turn off and on with the door switch. I would lose the freezer light but I have nothing now, plus you use the fridge more than the freezer

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westek-C...W-N1/305104482

Last edited by Dave125; 09-05-2019 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:56 PM   #28
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

I was thinking about something along those lines. I think I would de-solder the 2 connectors from the LED board. Then I could solder a pigtail going to a light socket, LED strip, etc. to that connector and would be able to plug into the fridge's 120v connector. Then I might also do the same thing with the lower fridge light and the freezer light. The output connector on the upper light would also be fed with 120v in order to feed these other two lights. The only trouble would be if the LED strip can't handle the cold of the fridge/freezer.

The good part of this is that without modifying the fridges wiring, all of this would be easily reversible if the manufacturer ever gets their stuff together and fixes the design of the replacement parts.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:03 AM   #29
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

OK, here is the link to the outfit that used some LED found at Home Depot for all three lights and though I have not looked at the other two lights there appears the other two have their own circuit boards. They are a business and most likely why exact part used is not mentioned, I get it.
https://sunnyappliancerepair.com/ref...n-jose-ca.html

I would say by looking at it, it was taken out of something based only on the shape is rather strange. One can see how the wiring was done at least on the top light. Note the Red connector gets crossed over with the White/Yellow

Next issue, Voltage to the Top Board. I thought I figured out the Wide connector, White/Yellow supplies the 115v. My meter across White/Yellow says zero door switch closed and 118v open. The Red/red yellow smaller connector shows about 1.5v closed and 3v open. So, I assumed the smaller connector was just going down stream to the other two lights and supplying 3v as many LEDs are around 3v.

I have not tried all combo's , I think I was on Red to the White , switch open and saw 45v's. I quit at that point as I was trying not to get shocked. :-)

Well, I tried to bench test the the top circuit board, I applied 115v to the Wide connector and nothing. I took it back the fridge and found out both connectors need to be connected or nothing. So I don't know how the Red/Red-Yellow is being powered to 3v when not connected to the top board. I then assume the LED of all three lights might be in series as the top one will not light without both connectors.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:29 AM   #30
bluto
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Log_on_Bob View Post
OK, here is the link to the outfit that used some LED found at Home Depot for all three lights and though I have not looked at the other two lights there appears the other two have their own circuit boards. They are a business and most likely why exact part used is not mentioned, I get it.
https://sunnyappliancerepair.com/ref...n-jose-ca.html
The guy in that link did exactly what I was suggesting. Except he cut off all the connectors in order to just crimp connectors onto the ends of the wires. What he has done to the two down line lights is to feed them 120v instead of DC output of the top LED board. So the lights are all getting 120v (wired in parallel)

Edit: I studied the pictures in the blog post a little more and this may not work... The output plug on the top LED has red & yellow wires. The lower fridge light has what looks like red and gray wires. And the freezer light has yellow and gray wires. The lower fridge and freezer lights will have to be in series. I guess a 120v LED might work with only 60v, but more study is needed.

Here is a diagram:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg fridge.jpg (48.9 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg fridge2.jpg (66.5 KB, 58 views)

Last edited by bluto; 09-06-2019 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: Additional information
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:41 PM   #31
redwire
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

I would try fit in a COB LED board with 110V circuit $0.99 on fleaBay, 3W.
The larger square COB boards are are too high power, at >30W.
A G9 LED bulb might work too.

Some irony a simple circuit is 50X cheaper than what Whirlpool came up with, for a 4W LED fixture.
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File Type: jpg eBay COB LED 110VAC.jpg (18.9 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg eBay COB LED 110VAC_30W.jpg (85.8 KB, 10 views)
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:36 PM   #32
R_J
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

What connects to J2 on the board?
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:19 PM   #33
bluto
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

The lower fridge and freezer lights connect to the second connector. On those the modules the circuit board looks the same but it is only populated with the LEDs, all other components are omitted. The arrangement is that all the LEDs are in series. If you unplug the lower fridge light or the freezer light, all three will stop working.

See my diagram above for a visual representation.

Last edited by bluto; 09-06-2019 at 03:23 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:43 PM   #34
R_J
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

So all the other led's flicker when the problem occurs. Any chance of a poor plug connection between the other two the led fixtures. or a bad led in one of the others.

Last edited by R_J; 09-06-2019 at 03:45 PM..
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:03 PM   #35
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Yeah they all flicker at once if not working properly. I think bad LEDs is the cause since there seem to be so many of there out there that are failing early in life.
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:20 PM   #36
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Has anyone ever checked the voltage across the whole led string? and count the total led's.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:24 PM   #37
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

I remembered with the old fridge there's a service Schematic. Side by Side, open both doors, two screws and remove the Kick Plate, should be taped there.

No Circuit board itself but the wiring for all three Modules is there. I was going to make a copy to post but it's so tiny, I am tracing with a magnifying glass and a highlighter. :-(

It appears so far to be in series , I have NOT found the switch yet. Still looking but I got excited to let you know..:-) oh,, assuming you might have the same model or schematic,, printed on both sides and one side has what is called a Master Driving 2DC Slave Diamond LED,,, not clear yet what it says and the other side is the tiny print and follow the wires,,,
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Old 09-07-2019, 12:31 AM   #38
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Yes, in series. I am going to try to upload the Master Driving LED circuit, we shall see if it can be read. This is only helpful if the plan is to do new lights.

This is what this non-expert gets from this, so with a grain of salt. . All LED's in series.

Module on the right, label = LED AC Input. That is my Top Refer light, J1 is the wide plug, Yellow & White/Tan . This will show 118v AC across PIN 1&5, there is no 2,3 or 4. with the Door Switch Open.

J2 - Red & Yellow/Red in series with Red going though the Crisper Light and it say LED DC TOP but that should be the Freeze Side light so through that and back up to the Refer side as Yellow/Red.

Again, since plugging only the J1 Connector to the board and the LED's on just that upper Refer light will not come on then I would assume all LED's are in series and the rest is done on the circuit board.
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File Type: pdf LED Modules Wiring.PDF (48.0 KB, 12 views)
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:22 AM   #39
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

Well, I most likely blew up my board or something on it. I tried bench testing again, applied 115v to J1 and I want to measure the voltage going out on J2. I was getting 3.6 v DC. note on the schematic it says AC INPUT for J1 and the other two modules say LED DC module,, Now my meter would hold pretty steady at 3.6 DV for maybe 3-4 seconds, jump to 5.x quickly then back down to 3.6 holding for 3-4 seconds. No clue why it was not steady but if I were to guess since we AC going in and 3 v DC there's a bridge rectifier onboard and a voltage regulator.

So here was my mistake. I have many Normal LED's and I grabbed a Red which should be about a 3 volt LED and just touched the lead across J2 pins ans WaLa, the red LED flashed and the LED's on the Board lit up for a second or two and My connection broke and I tried again but nothing.. oh oh.. Meter now says 34v DC so I don't thing I will be plugging it into the Refer. So, don't try this at home.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:49 PM   #40
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Default Re: Whirlpool Refrigerator LED lights flickering

They control the voltage going out to the led's to keep a constant current, you measured 3 volts on the open circuit, once you added the single led across J2 the voltage jumped up and likely blew all the leds on the board and shorted the transistor.
This is why I asked for the total number of led's in the complete series
There are 4 led's on the main board, my guess is 4 on each of the other boards? 12 (3v) leds supplied by 35 volts

Last edited by R_J; 09-07-2019 at 04:55 PM..
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