I have a Fisher and Paykel Washing Machine (model number WL80T65C, well past warranty) which got rained on (a lot) and one of the capacitors blew up. I've done an amateur replacement of the capacitor which might work but when taking the circuit apart I forgot to take a photo until half way through. I've managed to place everything except for two cables, one of which is Green/Yellow and coming from the mains. This is Australia so I presume it's a ground cable.

The only hint I can find as to which is the ground and which is the other is the sad face that's printed on the circuit board, as shown in the photo attached.

Rude frowny face mocking me

The cables connect to where the blue marks are, one on the left and one on the right.

So, is a frown face in a PCB a standard thing and does it tell me which is ground or are Fisher and Paykel mocking me? Is there a place where I can look for the schematics of this thing?

Edit: Here's a better photo of the sad face and its friend, taken in the day time.

NB: It's become apparent that the component was ground and it didn't matter which way around I fixed the cables but I'm still curious as to what the sad face means.

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Engineering SE. The marking on the left bottom of the picture indicates ground. $\endgroup$ Commented May 10, 2015 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ So you think the leftmost pin will be ground? Or do you think it's possible they're both ground for two separate areas of the circuit? In that case it wouldn't matter which way around I placed them. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ Nevermind, they're connected by metal, of course they're both ground, thanks for the help. I'm going to leave the question open since the sad face question is still unresolved, but you've solved my problem. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


I would venture that the sad faces are a type of pictogram to warn "untrained technicians" about the electrical shock hazard present at those connections.

Designers often have to worry about conveying meaningful information in a small amount of space to diverse groups that may not speak a common language. This is particularly true for appliances that are sold internationally.

The PCB looks like it connects to and draws either 230V at 4A or 120V at 6.3A, so you've got almost a kiloWatt of surprise waiting for you if you're handling the board in an unsafe manner while plugged in. That's not necessarily lethal, but certainly an unpleasant shock.

The ISO universal symbol to warn for an electricity hazard looks like this:

ISO Electricity Warning

but I suspect that sort of a symbol may be easily overlooked by someone who isn't trained and simply wants to get their appliance working again. It could also be misconstrued as meaning only "mains connect here." Or it's possible that the PCB designer wasn't aware of the ISO symbol.

In any case, a sad face does a pretty decent job of a) catching your attention while looking at the board and b) attempting to warn you to be careful around those points.

  • $\begingroup$ Actually, since this is labeled as a ground connection, and the machine will still work without a ground connection, the sad face may be to encourage you to connect the ground. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 18:08

The sad faces are where the hand insert components go. If any sad faces are showing, the operator hasn't finished their job.


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