Sunday, November 21, 2010

Samsung follow-up

This is just a follow-up to my last post about our Samsung FP-T5084 plasma TV.  After our TV failed to power up the other day (for the second time within a year) and Samsung rejected our warranty claim because the warranty had expired, I found out from the Samsung service rep that the power supply unit had been replaced last year (under warranty, of course).  When I priced the power supply online, it was available for about $130 at most electronics specialty shops, but eBay also had it for about $90 plus shipping. 

It was then that I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a guy who had the same problem I did with the Samsung FP-T5084 TV.  In the video he shows how to remove the back panel and replace one of three small fuses found on the power supply board.  Problem is, no one seems to carry the fuse in brick & mortar stores.  Places like Radio Shack, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes didn't carry it.  Since I work in Philadelphia, I thought for sure I'd be able to pick up the fuse at either a hardware store, an electrical supply store or a television specialty shop.  Unfortunately, it never panned out.  The closest I came was a referral from Dara Electronics in Maple Shade, NJ (who were the ones scheduled to come out to do the in-home repair) to a place called HBF Electronics in North East Philadelphia.  Dara Electronics told me that they were planning to replace the power supply.  The cost would have been at least $200 (about $100 for the power supply, $60 for the trip charge, plus the labor to install it), so i told them I was going to try replacing the fuses first before having to spend that much money to fix it.  The guy understood and recommended the other place as a source for parts. 

Angie helped me take the TV down from above the fireplace.  I was then able to remove the back panel and located all three fuses on the power supply board.  I had no way of testing them (and they are ceramic, so you can't see inside of them like a typical glass fuse), but someone I work with told me he could test them if I brought them into the office.  We tested all three at work the next day and one of them came up bad.  At this point, I was pretty confident that replacing the fuse would bring the TV back to life.  I must have called 20 different places, but no one within 25 miles of Philly carries these damned things (12 Amp 250 Volt 5mm x 20mm ceramic "slow blow" fuses).  I called HBF and spoke to someone there who assured me that they had them in stock, they came in a pack of five, and were available for $5.  I was suspicious that the guy was wrong because on most web sites, these fuses were selling for $3 a piece.  Of course, when I got there the guy showed me a pack of five glass fuses (and they weren't "slow blow").  He assured me that they would work (and I bought them anyway since I'd driven all the way out to him), but I had no intention of installing glass fuses permanently.  I'd use one to test with, just to see if the set would power up (it did).

I ended up ordering a pack of five ceramic fuses from DivineLighting.com for $1.39 for a pack of five.  I called them just to make sure I had read the price correctly.  I paid $20 for Express Mail shipping from Atlanta, GA and had the fuses the next day. I threw away the bad fuse from the TV, and replaced all three with three of the five new ones.  I now have four "spares," just in case one blows out next year (since this seems to be a yearly occurrence).

I think I probably spent about $30 in gas, fuses, and shipping costs to fix the TV.  A substantial savings from the potential $200 parts and service fee I would've paid.

Here's a link to the YouTube video, just in case anyone else is looking for help with their Samsung television:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E17Wp0MyFe4

2 comments:

Chris said...

Thanks for the info. I came across your page since I have the same problem.

I was just wondering if you had to replace the fuses again, and if you did, how long did it last?

Thanks

Mark Hampton said...

Not since replacing them in November. As I mentioned in my post, this originally happened not long after we purchased the TV (within 9 months), and Samsung had the power supply replaced under warranty. I believe that was December of 2009. Then, one year later it happened again, but this time Samsung wouldn't replace it under warranty. That's when I found out about the fuses. I bought extra fuses so if it happens again, I'll just replace them. The worst part is that the TV is mounted on our wall, so it means we'd have to take it down to replace the fuses, but I think it's worth it.