Question about Viking VIPR101 Kitchen Hood
I have a Viking VIPR101 domndraft ventilator that has completely stopped working. Blower and lifting motor are both inoperable. I have checked that there is power to the unit, and it is not obstructed in any way. This would appear to be a blown fuse or circuit breaker inside the unit. Where is the fuse and how do you access it??
I just took mine a part due to the same problem. I am an EE, so I have some experience in this matter. The problem was indeed the membrane ON/OFF switch. This switch is basically just stuck on the panel like a sticker. You can literally just pull it off and stick it back on. Underneath it is 3 metal "buttons". When you press it, one of these buttons presses on a flex circuit to complete continuity. This send AC line current down to the lift motor under the gear box cover. The lift motor starts moving. After it starts, a cam hits a relay switch, which completes the circuit thru the relay. This is what keeps the vent moving up after you let go of the On/Off Switch.
At first, I through I could just clean the switch up. I figured crud got down in there. But it did not work. I looked at the switch under a microscope, and the problem is the flex circuit was actually burned thru. This is usually caused by a weak spot in the flex combined with too much current. My best guess is this switch is undersized for this application. The switch will also allow current to flow even when the relay takes over, based on how it is wired. I'm not sure I like this, as if one tends to hold the button is all the way up or down, then that just more current thru the switch for a longer time which means more heat and better change of burning thru. Of course if the switch was better quality or design, it wouldn't matter in he first place.
Anyway, I'm going to take the switch to my lab and try and put a jumper wire across the burned area. This probably will not work or it will just burn in another place in the future. So I'll probably have to get another switch. The problem will be finding a good looking one. All one needs is a Single Pole Momentarily ON switch for the application. From it, run the 2 wires the control board connector (polarity does not matter). It is all pretty apparent once you take the top cover of the vent off (4 screws, 2 each side). The cable that runs from the control pad to the unit below uses a S-Video type connector and is keyed, so you can't get it back on incorrectly. Total cost in parts will be very minimal
For you DIY, remember there is AC voltage levels running thru this switch. Make sure YOU TURN POWER OFF when working on it and know what you are doing. You can get shocked.
Posted on Jan 31, 2010
We had the same problem and read the responses above. We did not want to spend $700 so we contacted the Viking Authorized Parts retailer in our area (Call Viking and they will give you the number). In Dallas, the retailer's number is 866-778-1122. You want part number PV300182 (for model number VIPR161SS) and our price was $43.20 plus shipping. This is the replacement switch on the top side of the ventilation unit. Very easy replacement that takes around 30 minutes and doesn't require much expertise. The part plugs in. No wiring.
A note: The switch tends to wear out quickly if you keep your finger on the switch as the unit rises and lowers.....press the button then remove your finger.
Mark and Karen
Posted on Jun 23, 2010
After replacing the Viking switch several times at $60 a pop, I had to do something different. Terrible design flaw.
I read Mark's comments above about using a "Single Pole Momentarily ON switch".
I used this one $6 from amazon and installed it today - and it works very well! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BW0YWG/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I removed the existing membrane switch. When you unplug it, there are two "wires" or connectors sticking out. I soldered and shrink wrapped wires to those connectors. Then I connected the wires to the newly purchased switch.
I then drilled a 1/2 in hole on the side of the vent hood where the original membrane switch is stuck on. It looks great, looks original, and it works for very little money.
Thanks to Mark for his advice. Good luck, this is very easy.
Posted on Apr 17, 2014
Thanks for the advice on the switch. I ordered based on the above recommendations and fixed it in 15 minutes and $50!
Posted on Oct 30, 2012
I just had a repair guy over for the same problem. He ran several tests and came to the conclusion that it was the control pad to the downdraft that was malfunctioning. The On/Off wasn't working.
Unfortunately, you can't just replace the on/off button. You have to replace the entire top piece of the the vent - not surprising. My repair guy told me that Viking said this is a common problem.
The cost of the top panel for the vent and labor is over $500. I am not a happy camper.
Posted on Mar 19, 2008
Thanks to this thread, I was able to replace the switch. and now I have power. With the on/off button, nothing happens, but I can hear a "buzz" in the downdraft. Also, the "Filter Reset" light intermittently now comes on, and I have to just press it to turn the light off.
I assume I need to replace the motor now, but I would like to confirm first.
Posted on Nov 04, 2015
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