How to Fix a Sony TV That Won’t Turn On

by Michael on October 24, 2009 · 215 comments

Back in 2003, we got a beast of a 36 inch Sony WEGA TV. It was a great TV for us over the years, but yesterday it refused to power up. The power supply would click like it was trying to power up, but it just wouldn’t come on.

We tried unplugging it to see if that would help, but it didn’t. Frustrated, I turned my attention to the internet. What I discovered surprised me…

For starters there are a number of people out there with similar Sony TV models that won’t turn on. It seems that the most common cause of this problem is a bad power supply (or some component thereof), and having it fixed professionally will likely cost $300-$500. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a (perhaps temporary) fix that you can do yourself in just a few minutes.

Fixing a Sony WEGA TV that won’t turn on

The power supply on this style of TV is located near the bottom of the unit in the back right corner (as you view the TV from the front). Beyond this, there is (apparently) a humidity sensor of some sort on the power supply that prevents the TV from coming on when there is too much ambient moisture.

Here’s the fix:

Start by unplugging your TV set. Next, simply direct a hair dryer (on high heat) through the vents along the lower, back corner of the right side of your TV set. Here again, “right side” assumes that you’re looking at the TV set from the front. Let it blow through the vents for a good 2-3 minutes then plug it back in and fire it up. If you’re lucky, it will function normally.

When I tried this yesterday, it didn’t work at first. After a bit more blowing, however, the TV powered up and continued to work for the remainder of the day. This morning, it turned on just fine, but then failed to turn back on a short while later. We then tried it after lunch and it worked fine again (all without firing up the hair dryer).

It’s unclear to me why this works. It may be that the humidity sensor is going bad and had become, or perhaps there’s a problem with dust somehow interfering. It seems unlikely to be the latter, as the heat appears to be necessary to get things back up and running.

Regardless, our TV is now functional if a bit unstable. I’m guessing that we’ll be able to limp along for awhile before it completely fails, but at least this buys us some time to shop for a replacement.

Oh, and just for reference, our Sony TV is model # KV-36HS500, and one of the key symptoms of this problem (aside from a failure to turn on) is that the power light will flash six times after hitting the power button.

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