Range Hood Membrane Switch

Kenmore Elite Range Hood. I don't think it's even been 5 years since I put it in. It has a 3 speed fan and 3 light levels for a pair of halogen floods. The control is electronic with membrane buttons and includes a temperature sensor that turns on the fan automatically.
The membrane switch for the max position for the lights has already worn out (no one ever intentionally uses the medium or low). So what are my options?
Replace the entire switch/electronics unit. (I haven't looked up the price yet.) Which will probably last only as long as the original.
See if I can cut some traces and jumper to make one or both of the other brightness settings be the high setting. That'll buy us a few years until they wear out as well.
The more drastic option would be to drill a hole and install an ordinary mechanical switch, probably a little toggle. If it's an SPDT, with the pole feeding the lights, one side could connect to live power while the other, instead of just being off, could connect back to the original panel in off chance someone wanted to use one of the dimmer positions.
Or, even more drastically, wire the lights to an actual wall switch.
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Decide if you plan to sell the property. If anytime soon fix it right otherwise you may have to replace the entir unit when you do sell.
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some membrame switches can be disassembled to clean the contacts, which likely are contaminated with cooking vapors like grease
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Are you saying I can't have a toggle switch on a range hood?
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On 12/11/2012 10:35 AM, Steve Kraus wrote:

He's just spreading fud instead of aid...
If as another noted you can't clean contacts or find a replacement (look for a manufacturer on the switch; often you can find the same or equivalent switches from Newark or Mouser or other suppliers) then other than the cosmetics there's nothing to prevent such a modification.
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Just been through the process of buying and selling several properties.
Unless the repair looks like an OEM fix the inspector (if they are good) will note the repair as a technical deficiency and the lender is *very* likely to say 'make it OEM or no funding.'
It's a heads up. Heed or not, your option.
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yep home inspectors have become very picky. you may have to replace the range hood.....
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I have no idea whether this is actually feasible, but it's theoretically feasible: You could swap some wires around to make the low or medium switch into a high switch, or short the lamps or lamp filaments together so that any button results in high illumination.
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No, don't mess it up.
Simply type into Google:
kenmore elite range hood parts
You'll need the model number.
The new switch may not fail as quickly as the original.
Also, you may want to try unplugging or killing power to the unit for 60 seconds. There are computers in the most unlikely places these days.
--
Dan Espen

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No objection to fixing things properly. I'd prefer it. But not if it's going to require replacing the control panel (it's one membrane all the way across for 3 fan speeds and 3 light levels) every five years.
Depends if what Sears Parts refers to as Control Panel for $18.99 is all I need or if I need Control Assembly for $100.49. I guess some disassembly is indicated to make sure the former is not just some cosmetic thing. Twenty bucks every so many years would be okay.

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