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Maytag Refrigerator Control Panel Not Working? (Explained)

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Like human beings coming down with a fever or headache after being exposed to specific amounts of stress, electrical appliances have their downtimes.

This issue about the control panel of Maytag refrigerators has been reported severally by various users.

However, the comforting part is that you can fix the problem quickly. You can set it by yourself by following the proven steps outlined later in this article. 

The primary reasons why your Maytag refrigerator control panel might not be working are a faulty User Interface (UI) board and a faulty main control board. There are several other reasons why this might be happening. I will highlight these reasons in the following section.

Why Is This Happening?

A reliable and significant amount of data garnered from several user reviews over the years have powerfully shown that French door Maytag refrigerators, especially those that have bottom freezers, are most likely to give a fault with regards to the refrigerator control panel. 

Most people have speculated that This bizarre but true statistic resulted from widespread defects in manufacturing.

These include a faulty control board design or some in-depth technical issue with the overall design and the relationship between the control board’s various parts.

Over the years, the following are the reasons engineers have agreed upon and reported as the causes for Maytag refrigerator control panel malfunction.

#1. Faulty Main Control Board

Typically, most refrigerators contain several control boards. These boards are essential to the normal functioning of the various processes in the fridge.

For optimum functioning, they give instructions to and receive signals from the different parts of the refrigerating unit per time. 

The refrigerator front panel serves as the input source for user instructions. Various buttons are usually made available on this panel.

Each button punch signals the appropriate control board, relaying the call to the main control board.

The main control board decides the overall response and communicates such information via the connectors to the appropriate control board for necessary action.

Furthermore, when the main control board is faulty, one of the tell-tale signs is a continually blinking light on the LCD screen of the refrigerator front panel.

In some cases, the opening to the ice dispenser compartment might open and close repeatedly without any form of user initiation. 

A major confirmatory test is that this particular problem persists even after you reset the Maytag refrigerator without changing the main control board. 

At this point, the LCD unit on the refrigerator front panel displays a ‘PE’ error message alongside a 4-digit code.

This communicates a program error that you must resolve as soon as possible.

As the name implies, a faulty main control board can cause a wide variety of malfunctions in a refrigerator. 

Furthermore, these malfunctions are not limited to the refrigerator front panel alone.

This explains why the refrigeration capacity of the fridge might drop to as little as possible, or it might shut down all refrigeration capability. 

Control boards are known to fail under high heat and moisture conditions. In addition, electric voltage surges are also well known to damage this highly essential component of refrigerators. 

Thus, the only fix for this type of damage is to purchase a new central control board (usually about $250 in regular stores and about $120 at Sears), fix it properly, and reset the Maytag refrigerator.

Voilà, your good old Maytag refrigerator and freezer are back!

#2. A Faulty User Interface

The problem might be due to an issue with the user panel on the refrigerator front panel.

Usually, it is due to faulty connecting wires, a malfunctioning key on the interface, a faulty UI board, or a faulty main control board.

#3. Recent Power Outage

Unlike other refrigerators, Maytag refrigerators do not automatically start working after restoring electric power. Instead, they switch to power outage mode, displayed as ‘PO mode.

‘ The dispenser function and control panels are disabled in this mode, and a red power outage icon keeps flashing, with a ‘PO’ notification on the User Interface screen. 

This usually happens after a power outage or when your refrigerator or freezer reaches a temperature of about 18°F (Equiv. – 8°C).

Everything should return to normal functioning once you acknowledge the power outage via the front panel.

#4. Demo Mode Is On

Otherwise referred to as the showroom model. In this mode, all refrigeration functions are disabled. Only the interior lights come up, and that’s all.

Since your house is not a showroom, you need to get the refrigerator out of this mode.

To get out of this mode, refer to your user manual. The methods for switching out of demo mode vary from one model to another.

#5. Sabbath Mode Is On

In line with the practice of Judaism, some electrical appliances now have the sabbath mode on their panels. That is when the device goes to rest from any electrical activity.

Thus, the refrigerator’s control panel and other essential components might have gone on a sabbath vacation. 

The method of switching out of sabbath mode is model specific. Thus, if your user panel displays Sabbath Mode, consult your manual for a proper fix.

How Do I Fix The Control Panel On My Refrigerator?

Do the following to fix your Maytag refrigerator’s control panel:

  • First, unplug the fridge from the main supply or socket. Then, shift it into a position that would allow easy access to the back panel.

    The panel is usually located at the back of the refrigerator, with about four screws securing access to the board.
  • Get your tools ready, especially a flat-mouthed screwdriver. This would be useful in popping out the faulty control board from its default position.

    Unscrew the covering panel. By now, the panel should be open.
  • Disconnect the four connecting wires from the control board. To avoid mix-ups while finishing the fox, you can take a picture of the panel before removing the connecting wires.
  • Use the flat-mouthed (or slot) screwdriver to remove the pins on the control board and gently guide the control panel out of its secure position.

    By now, you should have removed the control board from the refrigerator.
  • Now, replace it with the new control board you have acquired. First, ensure it clicks into place. Then, attach the connecting wires to their designated ports on the control board.
  • Replace the back panel cover and screw the pins correctly.

Voilà, you have successfully installed a new control board/panel!

The next task is to reprogram your refrigerator.

To enable the control panel to start working, here’s how to reprogram your refrigerator:

  1. Note the code on your refrigerator’s serial plate. This code is highly needed. Some models would find it on a sticker inside the refrigerating compartment. 
  2. Press and hold the door alarm button.
  3.  while holding the door alarm button, press and hold the freezer temperature keypad (the down button).
  4. Now, release the door alarm button and wait three seconds while maintaining the freezer temperature keypad.
  5. Now, the refrigerator should display a ‘PE’ notification. This shows that it intends to enter programming mode.
  6. Press the down freezer temperature keypad to confirm the choice. Next, the screen should show your current programming mode.

    If it is the same as the one on your refrigerator’s serial number, there is no need for other settings. 

Next, exit programming mode by clicking and holding on the door alarm button for three seconds.

If the code is not the same, you must change it to match the serial code you found on your appliance. 

To do this, use the freezer temperature up keypad to select your desired digit and engage the up and down refrigerator temperature buttons to alter the digit value.

  1. Once the code on display matches your serial code, press and hold the down freezer temperature keypad for code confirmation. Therefore, immediately the code starts flashing, you are assured that the code has been entered correctly and accepted by your appliance.

The refrigerator should start working usually now.

Conclusion

The primary reason why Maytag refrigerator control panels stop working is due to exposure of the control panel to excessive heat and moisture.

Once the control panel is faulty, almost all refrigerator parts (and, of course, proper functioning) are negatively affected; the user interfaces included.

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