Panaonic NI-R73NR Iron suddenly stopped
Okay, here's what fixed mine. But first, understand this is a $23 iron and it may not be worth your effort. I'm an engineer and like fixing things, and I hate throwing stuff into the landfill, so I took the time to repair mine. If you can use a screwdriver and are good at taking things apart (and putting them back together) this will take less than an hour. NOTE: I often make use of a digital camera while taking things apart. Take a picture of things as you go, so you can see how to put them back together later.
The problem is the switch is corroded, from oxidation or carbon buildup, or both. Getting to it is most of the trouble. Follow these instructions:
1. Unplug the iron (helpful hint for the simple-minded. Can't iron if you're dead.) Dump out any water that's in it.
2. Remove two phillips-head screws from bottom of cord winder at base of iron.
3. Pull cord winder housing away from iron to expose electrical wiring.
4. Remove the small gray insulator card from it's slot to expose the screws that attach all the wires.
5. A red, blue, and black wire go up into the handle and attach to the shut-off circuit board. Tug on them gently to slide the circuit board out of the handle, remembering which side is up.
6. There's a screw inside the handle. Look where the circuit card came out and you'll see it in there. Use a screwdriver to remove it. Now you can lift up on the back of the small curved cover where the steam and squirt buttons are, and it will come off. Don't lose the steam setting button, it may fall off.
7. Now you can see the water jet nozzle. Lift it out of the way to find a screw under there. Take that screw out. I call this screw #1 for a reason.
8. There are three screws in the back of the iron, near the wires. They hold the iron together. Left and right are like screw #1. Take them out. The other one is a machine screw that's in the center, going down into the base. Take it out.
9. You can now lift the plastic part of the iron up off the metal part and set it aside. On top of the black plastic where screw #1 went through, near the pointy end of the iron, there should be a small washer. Locate it and set it aside. You'll want to make sure it gets back where it belongs when you reassemble.
10. There is a lamp that turns on when the iron is heating. It has two fine bare wires, a copper one (on the right if the iron is lying flat and you're looking at the base), and a silver one to the left. Find the screw where the silver one attaches and loosen that screw. Gently pull that wire off the screw. Note the routing of that silver wire around the black plastic, including where the tube insulator on the wire lays-- you will need to put this back right later. Lift the lamp out and the silver wire so it's more or less sticking up in line with the screw where the copper wire attaches. This will facilitate the next step.
11. Separate the black plastic cover from the brass-colored metal iron base by lifting at the pointy end of the iron. The wires will try to hang you up in the back, but if you wiggle things just right you'll be able to get them mostly separated. The lamp will need to descend down through the black plastic where the wires go as you lift the plastic cover off. As you lift it off, look inside. You can see where the rotary switch is inside there.
12. So here's the deal: the rotary switch controls a thermostatic set of contacts. This means there's metal in there that bends as it gets hot; the hotter, the more it bends. This controls your iron's temperature. When it bends enough, it opens a set of "points", which are tiny cylindrical contacts at the bottom of the rotary switch mechanism. Put on your glasses and look under the mechanism as you rotate the rotary control and you'll see them click open and closed. You need to clean them.
13. Get a small strip of fine sandpaper (400 grit or finer), about 1/4" wide and 2" long. Turn the control until the points are open and slip the sandpaper in between them. Now turn the switch the other way to get the points to close on the sandpaper. Pull the sandpaper back and forth between the points; that'll clean the contact on the gritty side of the paper. Now open the points again, pull the sandpaper out, flip it over, put it back in, and close the points. Now another few pulls on the paper to clean the other contact.
14.Remove the sandpaper. Put the iron back together in reverse order. Some things to watch out for: When you put the black plastic part back down onto the metal iron base, you'll need to make sure the wires and the lamp go the right way. You also need to make sure that the grey rubber grommet that lets water from the plastic tank down into the heated elements is properly pushed up through the hole in the black plastic. If you have trouble seating the black plastic onto the metal iron base, it's probably because that grommet is stuck halfway through the hole. Make sure you put the steam selector button back where it goes before you put the curved cover onto the top of the plastic tank. Getting the screw up through the hollow handle and into the hole it goes into can be tricky. I held the phillips screwdriver point-up and set the screw on top. Then I held the iron point-up and slowly put the screw up through the handle and into the hole. This might take a couple of tries; be patient-- you'll get it. Be sure to put the circuit card back into the handle the right way. Finally, be VERY SURE to route the lamp wires through the plastic parts correctly, and also make sure that you have correctly routed the red, blue, and black wires from the circuit card correctly before you re-install the cord winder housing.
on Dec 31, 2018