Samsung TV makes a strange clicking sound

Samsung LogoMy Samsung TV (52″ LCD) started clicking several times before finally switching on after 30 seconds, this relay clicking gradually got worse each time I turned the set on. ( It turns out that this is quite a common problem with Samsung TV’s of all sizes). The problem seems to start after the TV is a year or two old (normally outside guarantee) and sounds like a relay clicking on and off. Samsung deny there is a design problem, so I thought rather than spend money on an engineer, I would try and fix the problem myself.

Samsung TV with the back cover off

I thought the first place to look for a problem like this is in the power supply.

  • I unscrewed the back cover of the TV (20 screws)
  • Removed the metal cover of the power supply (4 screws)

    Samsung TV Power Supply Casing

  • I carefully looked over the power supply looking for anything out of the ordinary, low and behold I could see a few capacitors (the cylindrical shaped components) that had raised tops. These raised tops are caused when the capacitor breaks down and forms hydrogen gas, if left, eventually the capacitors will blow, and hopefully the top will split open and release the gas pressure, if not, they may just explode.

Bulging bad capacitors

Check out Capacitor Lab for more details on what to look for when a capacitor fails.

I checked out the replacement cost of a new power supply board, I couldn’t find the exact power supply online but this company has ones for smallers TV starting at around £160. So I was guessing it would be around £200 for a new one. Ouch, definately time to DIY.

I decided to replace all the capacitors in the power supply, I guessed if some were bad, then probably Samsung use cheap or poorly designed capacitors and at some point the others would go bad too. and replacing all the capacitors wouldn’t cost much more .

Each Capacitor has 3 important values

  1. The capacitance measured in μF (micro farads) eg (1000μF)
  2. Voltage (eg 50V)
  3. Temperature (eg 105°C)

This particular Power Supply Unit (PSU) has 3 different types.

  • 1000μF 105°C  at 10V
  • 1000μF 105°C  at 25V
  • 47uF  105°C  at 50V

RS Components have a good selection,  so I opted to buy from there. It cost about £12 including postage for a 5 pack of each of the capacitors.  I took a few photos of the circuit board so I wouldn’t forget what I was doing and set to work.

I re-opened the TV, and completely removed the Power Supply Circuit Board, you need to remove several connectors, again, I took some photos just in case I couldn’t work out where they all went when putting it back together. I made sure the Power Supply didnt have any residual power stored in the capacitors by unplugging the TV (whilst it was turned on) from the plug. This is very important as messing with a power supply even 30 minutes after it has been turned off can still give you a nasty shock.

I then drew a simple diagram marking the polarity of each capacitor. To remove each capacitor takes a little time, you need to heat each pin using a soldering iron and whilst it is still molten pull or wiggle each leg out in turn. I found it easiest when I used the other leg as a pivot and rotate the capacitor around the fixed leg.
Anyway once removed, you I used the de-solder pump to clean up any solder that was clogging up the hole and then I inserted a new capacitor (checking the values again) and making sure the polarity was same as the one I had just removed. turning the board over, I bent the pins a little, soldered the joints, and snipped off any left over wire.

Removing Capacitors with Pliers

Tools I needed

I put the board back in and hey-presto it all worked beautifully. Job took about 2 hours in total and excluding tools £12 for the components and postage.

[Added 21th May 2009]

If you snap off the solder connector on the PCB when doing this replacement, it is worth noting that you can re-attach your component in another place as long as it is electrically equal. The Red Line in the diagram below shows where an existing component was, this component could then be re-soldered into any of the positions marked in green. But in the case of a capacitor which has + positive and – negative legs, you must make sure that the leg is re-attached to the same track, I have marked with a + plus sign which track it must be re-attached too.

pcb

[Added 7th Dec 2009]]

After replacing the capacitors a few people are still having problems, it appears that this can be fixed by resetting the EPROM chip (apparently – a simple matter of shorting two of the pins).  http://www.tv.quuq.org/forum/index.php?topic=2377
and http://www.tv.quuq.org/forum/index.php?topic=1744.0 both detail the procedure, although it hasn’t worked for everyone who tried it. (Thanks to Jason for these links)

[Added 10th March 2010]

You are not alone, there have been almost 65,000 visits to this page in the last year. The answers to many of the questions people are asking are scattered through the previous comments, Most people with little experience have been successful in fixing their TV’s although for a few, it didn’t work, the symptoms were similar but cause was different. A few of the more recent comments reveal that people are becoming more successful with getting Samsung to repair their TV’s, its definitely worth trying before you launch into a self fix.

[Added 28th June 2010]

Before attempting repairs yourself it is probably worth trying to see if Samsung will repair the TV for you, Samsung seem to now accept (unofficially at least ) that there is a defect in these capacitors, and in an increasing number of cases will send out an engineer to fix them.  Skim through the comments below to get more info.. A polite but assertive approach seems to yield best results, remember they are in the wrong and there is plenty of consumer law in most countries covering their liabilites and responsibilities.

If you fail to get Samsung to repair it, 100’s of people have had success with the replacement fix I describe above, a few of the failures are probably due to similar symptoms but a different fault. Again if you are unsure read some of the 100’s of comments below

[Added 25th February 2012]

**** Samsung has settled a Class Action Law Suit (in the U.S.) http://www.samsung.com/us/capacitorsettlement/ *****

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1,715 comments to Samsung TV makes a strange clicking sound

  • gliu

    I have a LN52A550PSFXZC which fails to power up with clicking sound.

  • Ve

    Bought a UE40D tv 2yrs ago and it’s out cold now with the clicking sound. Read this post and saw it was a common problem so I called Samsung help line and complaint.The customer service assistant took all the detail gave me the number of their repair centre in my area then blatant ask if I want them to email me offers.
    I asked her if I was crazy to buy another product from them after they have let me down and con me of near £1000.
    After I bought my TV I even recommended it to some friend, one of who is having similar problem.
    I would have to get one of my male friend now to do the repair you guy have mentioned.
    Thank you

    Ve

  • tony

    My Element TV want power up just makes clicking sound please help thank you.

  • I don’t know how to fine if my TV was named in a class action law suit. I would like to know the cheapest price on capacitor and who sells them. I would also like someone to help me, even if its over the phone me with the repairs.

  • Al

    Helen,
    best bet is to call Samdung and see if your TV is covered. Then they will send out a repairman who will do all the work. The work is very straight forward, I’ve done 2 TVs already, but you need some basic skills before you attempt it. You should feel comfortable take a TV apart and you should be able to solder well. As far as the cost of parts go, they are pretty cheap. Each capacitor should only cost $2-3, or less. The cost of parts is really minimal, well under $10. Most of the cost associated with the repair is taking apart the TV. Figure on about 30 minutes to take it apart, about 10 minutes to replace the capacitors and then another 30 minutes to put the TV back together.

    What this shows is that Samdung screwed over many customers to save less than $1 by using sub-standard parts. That is why I have never bought any Samdung products since they screwed me over with my TV.

  • Cpurvis

    Would have bought a 2nd Samsung for my berm, but not now.
    My tv has been clicking for about a yr now – so I can expect it to become inoperable soon.
    Thank Samsung.
    No longer a happy camper.

    Cpurvis

  • Jerrynan

    I have the same problem. I replaced two bad caps, not working. Bought a new power supply unit and put it on, still not working. I have no idea. won’t buy any samsung tv in future.

  • Mark

    I have a samsung plasma,model ps42q97hdx and serial number z5927sfp601146l version sk01 and built 2007 so has anyone had there’s this old repaired for free through samsung as mine started clicking off and on just before Christmas,turns in as normal then after a few mins it turns off and clicks away for 5-10 mins,comes on again then goes off again over and over.

  • Yong

    I replaced the capacitors myself on my Samsung LCD TV, Model # LN46A750R1FXGA since warranty was over.
    After the fixing, for about 2 years, it have been making loud clicking sounds whenever turning on or changing channels. Lately, it stopped making sound. But it took several minutes to change channel.
    I am wondering if it will quit working at certain point.
    Do I have to replace the capacitors again? Do you have any suggestion?

  • Mark

    Just phoned samsung and got nowhere as she stated it’s not on there website so us not being recalled or and help whatsoever apart from being pointed to there nearest repair site so will
    Be chargeable,I gave up and just hung up.

  • Will

    Hi,

    We found the clicking/not turning on problem too – we have replaced the two 2200uF capacitors as suggested as these had blown. All the others appear to be fine – however the issue persists. Relay is clicking on and off, red LED on the front is still blinking.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions on things to try? We don’t have a receipt so can’t contact Samsung for a repair and it seems silly to pay £100+ for a repair on a TV this age.

    Many thanks,
    Will.

  • angie

    Its sometimes better to replace all the filter capacitors not just the ones that you can seen are faulty , as it is very likely the others are failing or have failed and you just cannot see it.
    Also , sometimes the capacitors knock out the function of the eeprom memory, this can be easliy reset by
    shorting two pins of the eeprom (google the info for eeprom location and what pins need shorting), this is done for about 20 seconds.

  • angie

    To reset the eeprom you need to know the tv model number as these are different on different tv makes.
    Its reset by shorting the pins with a soldered cable connector and is done in seconds. Hope this helps.

  • aahrens

    Does anyone know where to buy the capacitator parts? I live in MT. I have been looking online but having a hard time. A website would be helpful.
    Thanks

  • Al

    You can get parts at digikey.com .

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