Top Four Most Common Causes of Printed Circuit Board Failures

Printed circuit boards (PCB) are the core of most electronics, and with component malfunction, they might as well be considered the headache of circuit board repair repair. Anything from the weather to age can wreak havoc on a circuit board, causing intermittent or complete power failure. Here are the most common causes of PCB failures found at AER Technologies, Inc.:

1. Burnt Components

Burnt Printed Circuit Board
Burnt Printed Circuit Board

It is common for PCB’s components to burn due to the high temperatures they undergo, especially if there is insufficient space around the component. Each component only has a certain amount of heat that it can absorb which is dependent on size and structure.

2. Poorly Manufactured Components

There is always a possibility of acquiring a poorly manufactured PCB. Some signs and symptoms include loose components, connection issues, even a bad solder or left over flux. One example of a bad solder job is a cold solder. This symptom occurs when the soldering technician fails to properly heat the solder at a through hole or surface mount connection joint. This causes a bad connection and has the potential to lead to burnt components and power issues. Left over flux, a substance used to aid in the soldering process, can also do harm to your component as it can cause corrosion on a PCB.

PCB Component Failure
PCB Component Failure

3. Environmental Factors

Temperature change could be the cause of a PCB’s malfunction. This phenomenon is commonly seen in Pool and Spa equipment due to their component’s high electrical currents. With temperature change, expansion and contraction of the PCB is possible, potentially risking a warped board and damaged soldering joints.

Environmental Damaged to a PCB
Environmental Damaged to a PCB

Moisture is also a PCB’s enemy as it can cause rusting, oxidation, and corrosion. This is also common in Pool and Spa equipment due to their outside location which may allow rain water or condensation easy access.

A third environmental issue that can cause problems with a PCB is the buildup of debris such as dust, dirt, and even insects. These pesky items can get into equipment, causing it to clog and/ or overheat; this is common in most electronics.

4. Age

Finally, with age comes component failure. A failing capacitor will generate intermittent power issues. The same goes with other PCB parts. Old parts can be changed out for new ones.

Old PCB Components Cause Failure
Old PCB Components

Of course with damage comes the fear of high pricing on a completely new circuit board. Fortunately, most PCB issues can be fixed for a fraction of the price of a newly manufactured PCB. Some of the previously mentioned issues, such as a burnt component, can be diagnosed through visual inspection; however, deep rooted issues need to be diagnosed by a trained technician. At AER Technologies, Inc. our trained and highly qualified technicians diagnose, fix, and test circuit boards for quality assurance. Give us a call today with any PCB issue and receive a free quote from a customer service representative. Don’t settle for the high price of a new circuit board when, chances are, it can be fixed at a fraction of the price.

<< Back