DIY Repair your SONOS devices! YES WE CAN!

  • 6 January 2013
  • 13 replies

Userlevel 2

I recently picked up a mint Sonos bundle, ZP100, bridge unit & controller for $35 at a salvation army surplus store. YES! What a greet deal your thinking, after testing at home, the only thing wrong with it is that left speaker terminal post was snapped off. Every thing else is working flawlessly.
I decided to start a thread on doing general repairs on your SONOS equipment.

Hence, currently I am searching online for original SONOS speaker terminals and have found that there is very little replacement vendors out there.

But, if anyone out there who might know of a good resource, please post those links here and I'm sure this in hand is common and will help the next person. :))


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13 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +14
I don't think Sonos manufacture the terminals themselves. They would probably be pretty much the same as these (without knowing the innards of the ZP100 or CONNECT:AMP):

However, you could consider switching them for goldplated banana contacts or similar, I assume it's just a round hole in the player? And you can probably get these in any assorted electronics shop.
Userlevel 2
I have been trying to repair two zp120's for 3 months.
My logic with tech support is;
Their paranoia is unfounded. If I want to copy their system, I would buy a new one and clone it.
If I am a hobbiest, and I want to repair my Zp120, why can't I buy the most failed part, the power board?
I now have three Zp's and all have power transistor issues. I would prefer to replace them with new boards. Out of stubbornness I will eventually map the board and buy the components. I need a new hobby.
I like the idea of a forum associated with repairs and parts.
Userlevel 2
Just would like to bump this thread. DIY all the way!
I don't know the SONOS internal policy arguments, but some other manufacturers are afraid of legal complications if the manufacturer supports a DIY repair and the unit is subsequently involved in a fire or causes personal injury (such as a shock).
Userlevel 2
I've repaired a few Play 3's that I've bought. Even faulty they still go for more than half the new price. It's a gamble - if it's the main logic board, then it can be very difficult to repair and you've lost out - especially if the price of two faulty units = 1 new one.

Out of all that I've repaired, not one has had the same root cause.
I am trying to repair a Play 5.

Initially some of the power rails were not coming up. But now with that fixed, the unit still doesn't show a whole lot of life (though the white LED comes on now - it didn't do that before).

Since somebody said they'd repaired a few units, I wonder if they might share some details on the root causes, and how they might go about determining if the system is trying to boot, stuck in reset, etc.

If I had a schematic, I would fully check the power+reset sequence, but a bit hard to do it fully without schematic.

Is there a serial port or anything to check for boot-up messages?
Good tread here I suppose, hope I can get help with my zp100. I bought it on Ebay as refurbished and I think it's out of warranty. After about 3 month, it will only flash white light. Please what can I do to get this to work? I've tried to see if I can get someone to fix it but to no avail. I'm fairly handy with electronics been a computer tech before.....
What and what can I check to see what's wrong and to fix?????????

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Step one call Sonos and see what can be done, once you have opened it up your options for working a deal with Sonos aren't so good.

For self repair searching the web is your best bet, the built-in forum search is poor, and you'll find some good topics and tips.
I would say once you've opened it the chances of getting Sonos to do much would be round about nil. Contact Sonos product support and enquire about the cost of an out of warranty repair first. You may be surprised at what comes back, if not you've not lost anything and can choose to continue down the DIY route if you wish.

I've been repairing digital circuitry on and off for nearly 20 years now so was well placed to repair mine myself but I was aware that Sonos don't like you doing that and it's an expensive bit of kit, so I got one of my Play:5 Gen 1's fixed by Sonos 8 years into it's life. I'm not prepared to go into detail of the deal publicly because I don't know if it's something I should share. Needless to say I'm still a happy customer.
My ZP120 got absolutely soaked yesterday and I had to literally pour the water out of it. This was after I got an electric shock from the case when I tried to pick it up. Sonos have given me a crazy figure for repair so I want to try and have a go myself. Is there anywhere online where you can buy the spare components ?

What is the most common fault that water would cause?
The most immediate step is to remove power and disconnect all wires. As noted above, be aware of personal safety if the area is wet.

If the unit is powered during the flood, there could be massive damage due to stray conductive paths. If the unit was more or less fully wet, rinse the unit with clean water. Impure water can result in chemical ractions that will corrode metals -- causing them to disappear into a green mess. Sugary drinks are very destructive. Fully dry the unit as soon as possible.

Note that SONOS will not repair a unit that has been opened. If you have decided to DIY, then continue.

Open the unit and, if it had been thoroughly wet, give it another flush and dry. Clear water in an unpowered unit is not much of an issue. One should see what happens on the production line -- there are all sorts of nasty liquids. Try not to flush debris into controls and switch contacts. Thoroughly dry the unit.

I don't recommend applying power until the internals have been given a thorough flush and visual inspection. Look for deposits and mechanical issues. Now, you can power the unit and fully assess the damage, if any.

You'll need to be capable of component level diagnosis and repair because there are no complete assemblies available. Things can become very complicated if you need to replace any of the FLASH RAM because you'll need to program the replacement.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I'd recommend distilled water for rinsing the system, no minerals in it to leave behind when it evaporates.

Once rinsed low pressure compressed air or canned air (warm it often) will do to remove the water. Pay particular attention to the spaces under components, get them very dry.

There are repair posts around here with parts sources and tips but you'll have to dig for them. If the forum search fails try a real search engine and restrict it to just this site.
Unless the liquid is grossly caustic or acidic, relatively brief exposure to a liquid is not much of an issue (assuming that the unit is not powered), it's what the liquid leaves behind after evaporation that can cause trouble. Sugary liquids (especially soda -- which usually contains phosphoric acid) evaporating will leave their sugar behind. Over time this coating will use water from the atmosphere to form acids that will eat away the metal -- many months after the original exposure. I've seen boards where the printed circuit traces and some smaller components were gone -- converted to a sticky green mess. After the original spill and casual drying, it seemed like the unit was working and the user claimed victory. Months later the unit failed and repair was not practical. Proper flush after the spill would have saved the unit.

Stanley_4's comment about using compressed air to remove the water is helpful. Mechanical removal of the water is better than evaporation. Pay attention to the low pressure comment. High pressure blasts can blast components off of the board along with the water.