aircon PCB

Guide to Faulty AC Printed Circuit Board (PCB): Repair or Replace?

The AC printed circuit board is the most expensive component of your air conditioner. If you have a faulty PCB, you need to know if it’s worth repairing or replacing. We’ll walk through what causes faults in this component and how to make a cost-effective decision about whether to repair or replace your faulty PCB.

What Is An Aircon PCB?

The term PCB is an abbreviation for ‘Printed Circuit Board’. These devices are similar to a computer’s ‘Motherboard’ or CPU. It is important to note that an AC still contains a Motherboard. 

PCB is a greenish board that serves as a wiring for various components like resistors, capacitors, transistors, and others. The connections between different components are known as conductive trucks, and it is made from a copper layer and masked with a silkscreen of fibreglass.

The primary function of a PCB is designed to include various components so that it can perform a specific command, data communication, or calculate the output to control the AC.

What Causes PCB Damages in An AC?

PCB circuits are extremely sensitive to various elements and electrostatic discharge (ESD). It is important to note that even a small discharge of ESD can damage components on the PCB. Below are other common reasons why AC PCBs get damages:

  • Incorrect input voltage in the AC PCB during installation by a technician
  • Short circuit. This is far the most common cause of PCB damages
  • Small insects like ants and cockroaches. It is common knowledge that insects like cockroaches love a warm place. As such, they often hid in electrical and electronic devices, which produce heat (of course they all do). For this reason, when a cockroach gets into the circuit board, it is most likely going to cause damage through short circuits, creating static charges, and others.
  • Exposure to the elements. The most common causes of damage to PCB is exposure to heat, moisture, and dust.
  • Accidental impact. This involves accidents like dropping it during AC cleaning
  • Age is another very common factor. Everything in this world has its age limit, and unfortunately, most PCB components have a limited age limit.

Is It Possible to Repair A PCB?

The good news is that a PCB can be repaired, but it is a task that demands technical knowledge and correctly diagnosing and repairing tools.

However, some circuit boards cannot be repaired on-site and will demand being fixed in a workshop environment. After repairs, a test must be done to ascertain if the PCB is working.

Why Replace A PCB Rather Than Repair?

It is wise always to replace a faulty PCB rather than working to repair it. That is because the repairing process may take longer and demands the services of a skilled technician, which may end up being expensive for you.  In fact, experts and technicians recommend repairs as the last result if all fails and if the AC’s PCB in question was discontinued.

Let’s not forget the error aspect of repairs. In other words, when it comes to repairs, there is always a high probability of errors.

What Is the Cost Of Replacing An AC Circuit Board?

The cost of replacing a failed PCB will depend on many factors, such as the model, brand, and year of the AC unit. As such, for newer air conditioner models, it will cost you about $500 (of course, depending on the mentioned factors). Because clearly, this is not cheap, it would be favourable to consider a second-hand PCB as an option, especially for new AC models.

For example, the new Mitsubishi Mxy-3a28va printed circuit board will make you cough up about $600. But if you choose the second-hand option, it will cost you about $300. With this option, you will be able to save $300.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there is no right answer to whether you should repair or replace your PCB. It depends on the damage it has sustained and how much work would be required for a successful repair job.

However, if your AC circuit board is faulty enough that replacement seems like an option worth exploring, contact us today to help!

Related Read: The Ultimate Guide To The List Of Air Conditioner Parts

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