These made-in-USA controllers are built for a long life. But it is believed that most deaths that occur after only a few years of use are due to a simple power switch failure.
Unfortunately, when this happens most controllers are discarded and replaced . . . . needlessly.
The electrical contacts of the switches are made of silver-plated silver-copper alloy. The copper gives hardness and wear-resistance to the silver. While silver is very resistant to corrosion, copper is not.
Salt and moisture enters the switch over time and corrodes the electrical contact surfaces, and the switch stops working. The salt comes from the fingers and gloves of the salt-spreader operator as he turns the switch on and off.
If there is enough moisture and salt inside the switch, it may not turn off, because saltwater is a fairly good conductor. The blue-green powder in the photo of the failed switch is copper chloride dihydrate, from the corrosion of metallic copper by saltwater (sodium chloride + water). This switch had salt crystals inside and on the back of the switch.
There is a good chance you can resurrect your dead controller by replacing the old power switch. A new switch, plus 15-minutes of your time and a little manual dexterity may save you the cost of a new controller.
All bare printed-circuit boards are vulnerable to electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD is a miniature lightning bolt and will instantly fry micro electronic components.
Before working near any electronic components it is a good idea to discharge any electrostatic charge on your body by grounding yourself — for example, by touching a metal plumbing fixture. It is an even better idea to wear a grounding wrist strap like computer technicians do when working on computers.
(1) Disconnect the 2 MTA connectors of the old switch from the circuit board, using a needle-nose pliers. The red-black pair of wires powers the LED. The orange-orange pair supplies on-off power to the controller.
(2) Remove the old switch from the controller housing front panel. Using a screwdriver or knife blade — gently pry the old switch from the front panel.
(3) Insert the new switch through the front panel, with the switch's LED to the top side. Press into place.
(4) Connect the 2 MTA connectors to the circuit board, using a needle-nose pliers.
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