Monthly Archives: June 2003

Mailbag: Appliance Service Ripoff Update

Thought y’all might be interested in this update that Rebecca sent me on the outcome of her washer repair ripoff dilemma:

rebecca wrote:

Hi there! Thanks for your reply.

In response to your post, I called Sears and spent another 2 or so hours on the phone with various (surly) people in a number of departments. I finally reached someone reasonable and had the opportunity to explain this whole fiasco. Long story short, we will not be charged for the parts – including the one we already paid for! Big shout out to the nice lady at Sears who finally listened to us and straightened out this whole fiasco. Sears has been redeemed.

Anway, thanks a million for your post!

In my not-so-humble opinion, Sears hasn’t redeemed anything! You should never have had to go through such an ordeal to get the service you hired them to do.

The Sears tech should never have charged you for the bogus repair in the first place. If he screwed up, or needed to order a different part, or was simply confused, he should have told you that up front and assured you that he was going to make it right.

I’m glad you stuck to your guns!

Samurai and Rebecca: 1, Sears: 0. BOOYAH!

Mailbag: Preventing Mold and Mildew in Basement Carpet

Michele wrote:

Hi There,

Right now we are finishing our basement and we hired a contractor to do the job. They do all the phyisical work, but there are some decisions we need to make. We live in Virginia and constant rain has made us very aware of flooding, mold and mildew. The basement currently has a cement floor but we would like to put down carpet for obvious reasons. What can be done to keep mildew and mold to a minimum once the carpet is laid down? Are there special mattings or mold-resistant paddings that can be laid underneath the carpet? I appreciate any help you can give me.


The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

The first line of defense for any mold and mildew prevention program is to make sure you have a dehumidifier installed and running in your basement. This will reduce the humidity in the basement and make the environment less hospitable to unwanted little nasties that can wreak havoc on carpet, wood, etc.

Next, I recommend using an air purifier which features both phyotohydroionization and electron generation, which work together to quietly and safely clean up to 3,000 square feet of air. The only product I know of that offers both of these features is the AirSource 3000. In scientific studies, the AirSource 3000 reduced mold and yeast counts by an average of 94% over a six-day period and bacteria counts were reduced by an average of 95%. We use two in our house: one for the upstair living area and in the basement (along with a dehumidifier). Since using the AirSource 3000, we have never had a mold, mildew or odor problem and allergic symptoms from pollen and pet dander disappeared. It’s a good investment for the health of any home. Learn more about the AirSource 3000 and buy yours today here.

Mailbag: No Water from the Fridge Water Dispenser

David wrote:

I have a 4-yr. old Kenmore (Whirlpool) side-by-side fridge with water & ice through the door. I broke the little plastic water dispenser tube off and replaced it with a FSP part ($55 !!) It worked for a few minutes while I was filling a pot with water to brew beer (I’m a home-brewer) and the water stopped. I still get water to the ice maker, but none to the water dispenser. Can you help?


The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

Your fridge has a dual solenoid valve–one side serves the icemaker and the other side serves the water dispenser. The dispenser solenoid may have burned out but the icemaker side is still good. More troubleshooting information–check the continuity of the coil.

Mailbag: Appliance Service Ripoff?

rebecca wrote:

We write this as we sit drowning our sorrows in a six pack of Franziskaner.We have a Kenmore front loading ridiculously expensive and unreliable washer. We spent $172 in repairs today and the *?>*!! thing still doesn’t work. They say it will cost an add’l 300 clams to fix it. Hoping you can help us. We will be around today and most of tomorrow. Thanks!

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

Sounds to me like you may have a warranty issue with whoever serviced your washer. Any repair company worth their salt will warranty their work. If they didn’t fix the problem you hired them to fix, then they failed to provide the service you paid for, plain n’ simple. You don’t care that the whatchamahoosit was bad and they fixed that but they failed to also fix the thingamabob that was contributing to the same problem. As far as you’re concerned, you paid for your washer to be fixed, and it wasn’t.

Now, on the other hand, if they fixed the problem and it worked fine for a while and then something else went wrong and it crapped out again, that’s a different deal. That kind of thing happens and there’s no predicting it.

If you want to try fixing it yourself, use the repair forum at the Appliantology group. And be sure to include your model number.

Mailbag: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome



The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

Sidney is obviously the tragic product of yet another trailer-park momma drinking way too much malt liquor while pregnant.

Did you know that in the United States alone, literally billions of babies are born each second with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? There is just no excuse for this type of child abuse to continue in the wealthiest nation on earth!

Even if I were able to somehow divine the information Sidney needed, it is very doubtful he would know how to apply that information. Let’s look at the signs of Fetal Alcohol syndrome so painfully evident in poor Sidney’s email:

  • he omits any reference to the type or brand of appliance he’s working on,
  • he writes in ALL CAPS,
  • he is unable to use any kind of punctuation when writing his thoughts.

Folks, you know the Samurai loves beer as much as anyone, but listen to me now, believe me later and hear me next week: don’t drink and gestate!

Mailbag: Replacing the Cabinet on a Whirlpool-Style Direct-Drive Washer

Mike Glasser wrote:

I love your site. It guided me through the diagnosis and process of replacing my whirlpool washer (LA8800XTW1) coupler. However, the moron that I must be, I can’t figure how to put the cabinet on the right way – and each time I mess with the thing, the plastic water spout(?) that is attached to the back panel keeps coming off! So, I just put the thing together as best I could and if you look down at the washer it kind of resembles the great pyramids. Is this normal? Is there a way I could possibly get this thing on right? Will you stop by my house and do it for me while I watch the baseball game? My wife just brought a six of Miller High Life.

Thanks for your help.

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

Well, if you live in the New London, New Hampshire area, you could call me for a service call. But if you’ve gotten this far on your own (with a little help from my website), you probably wouldn’t want to pay for a service call.

You’re almost there, sounds like you’re doing something just a little bit wrong. Look at the base of the washer on the sides. You will see two extrusions or metal tabs that mate with slots in the bottom of the cabinet. The cabinet has a lip on the bottom front that goes under the bottom frame of the washer, shown here. Place the lip under the base, let the cabinet down to mate to the extrusions on the base. Line the back up to the cabinet and replace the brass colored clips that hold the back of the washer to the cabinet. Plug the lid switch back in. Put console back in place and install the screws holding console.

Now, go break open one o’ them brewskis. Grab me one, while you’re at it.

Appliance Tip of the Day: Appliance Power Usage

appliance tip of the day archiveMany grasshoppers often ask me, "Oh, most wise and beloved Samurai, which appliances use the most power and what can be done to make them more efficient?" To which I sagely reply, "Look, I’m Samurai Appliance Repair Man, not a friggin’ power meter. How ’bout you measure the power usage of your appliances yourself?" Yes, grasshopper, until recently, power consumption test instruments were very expensive. However, a new product, called the Kill-a-Watt meter can help you determine which appliance is hogging the most energy in your home.

Kill-a-Watt Meter-- come git you one!

Is your refrigerator running too much, or is your window air conditioner causing your electric bill to skyrocket? With the Kill-a-Watt meter, you can determine energy usage of any standard household appliance that plugs into a 110 volt outlet.

Refrigerators use a lot of power — between 300 and 500 watts while running. If the condenser coil is dirty, or the door gaskets are torn, they’ll use even more. Check the efficiency of your refrigerator and other appliances regularly, and clean or maintain them as needed to make sure they’re running as efficiently as possible.

You can also use the Kill-a-Watt meter to check computers, table lamps and most other devices that plug into standard wall receptacles. You’ll learn many devices, such as TVs and stereos, actually use energy when they’re turned off.

The Kill-a-Watt meter costs less than $30. This is a small price to pay to potentially save hundreds of dollars in electricity over time. Come git you one!

grasshoppers not bothering the master with inane questions about appliance power usage because they're measuring it themselves with a Kill-A-Watt meter

Appliance Tip Of the Day: Phixit Photos

appliance tip of the day archive
Hello, my precious grasshoppers. First, let me say how honored I am that you have chosen to spend a few minutes of your empty life with me here in this shrine to my own empty life. Come, let us combine our emptiness and together we shall create a huge sucking sound.

If you prefer to avoid reading any more of the drivel that you have just read, perhaps you could be better served with repair photographs. Your all-benevolent Samurai has warehoused hundreds of appliance repair photographs to assist you in your journey to appliance satori. Yes, it is true. Would you like to see them? Alright, they are listed below. Hare Krishna!

And checkout my more recent appliance repair pics.

grasshoppers thumbing through repair photos, relieved that they do not have to listen to the master pontificate.

Live Help Update

I’ll be online this evening and available for Live Help. If you see a face in the Live Person box in the gray column on the right hand side, that means I’m online and you can click it for Live Help. If you’ve already purchased a Live Help Session or a Live Help Subscription, just identify yourself as such and we’ll get to work fixing your appliance. If you haven’t purchased Live Help yet, you can do so here. Talk to you later!

Battleship Cove

The battleship USS MassachusettsHello, my friends. I just returned from an overnight camping trip with my two boyz aboard the USS Massachusetts ("Big Mamie") at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA. This was a field trip with Cub Scout Pack 71 in New London, NH.

For young boys (and old boys like me!) this trip was endlessly fascinating. Battleship Cove hosts several other naval warships besides its famous battleship: the USS Lionfish, an attack submarine, the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, a destroyer, the Hidensee, a Russian-built rocket launching ship built for coastal defense, and a couple of PT boats. And you just can’t beat the price: $35 per person and this includes three square Navy-style meals (served onboard Big Mamie), berthing in the crew’s quarters and various educational and entertainment events. I loved one of the movies they showed onboard the ship that night, "Chips, the War Dog." mostly ’cause Chips looked almost exactly like our own German Shepherd, Ouzo.

If you ever get a chance to stay overnight on Big Mamie with your kids, I highly recommend it!