Monthly Archives: January 2004

Appliance Tip of the Day: How Hard Will It be to Fix It?

appliance tip of the day archiveYour appliance is broken and your repair quest has brought you to Fixitnow.com. Your knees wobble and your bowels rumble as you contemplate doing the repair yourself. Since he is omniscient (and he knows it), the Samurai hears your question before you even ask it: “What am I in for if I decide to do this repair myself?”

Introducing Samurai’s User-friendly Difficulty Scale (SUDS). Created just for Fixitnow.com Grasshoppers, the Samurai has developed a proprietary scale for rating the difficulty of appliance repairs. SUDS is based on the universally-understood six-pack: the more difficult a repair task is, the more suds it takes to get through it. So now, when I’m helping you do a repair, either in the Appliantology Group or in Live Help, I can quantify the difficulty of the repair task that lies before you using a scale we can all understand: SUDS. Simple. Intuitive. Fermented. That’s the Samurai Way.

After you complete your repair using the myriad resources at Fixitnow.com or the Appliantology Group, you can return the favor and help the Samurai maintain his own supply of suds by giving to the United Samurai Beer Fund. Cheers!

SAMURAI’S USER-FRIENDLY DIFFICULTY SCALE
(SUDS)
for assessing appliance repair task difficulty
everything's better with beer! Cake walk. You’ll be done before your beer gets warm. This is simple stuff that requires few, if any, tools and almost no electrical skills.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
Not too bad, but you’ll need a refill on your beer. You’ll only need ordinary tools, nothing specialized. You may need a multimeter to make a simple continuity check.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
You’ll need a little buzz to get through this one. Basic set of common tools and some specialty tools required. If it’s an electrical problem, you’ll need your multimeter and the wiring diagram.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
Get the kids out of earshot, adult language forthcoming. Settle in and get ready to spend some time on this one. No quick fix here, Hoss.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
A third arm growing out of the middle of your chest would be helpful. Time and pain, that’s what you’re in for here. If it’s an electrical problem, get ready for a brain teaser. If mechanical, you’ll be giving libations of your own blood from the skin scraped off your knuckles.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
What were the engineers smoking when they designed this damn thing? When you’re done with this one, you’ll probably want to hunt down the sadists who designed your appliance so you can give them a taste of the living hell they put you through.

grasshoppers swilling suds with the master after fixing their dryer.

The Maytag Neptune Washer: A Class Act

I subscribe to Maytag’s technical bulletin service that gives monthly tech updates on all Maytag appliances. Many times, the bulletin package is almost entirely devoted to bandaiding the Maytag Neptune’s myriad design blunders. Judging from that, and the Neptune service calls I’ve done, I always figured that the Neptune’s engineering team musta been smokin’ crack when they hit the drawing board. Lots of pissed-off Neptune owners out there, Maytag’s Priority One warranty service notwithstanding. The sell-job to buy a Maytag is that you won’t need warranty service because they’re so reliable. Not this bad boy. Well, this class action lawsuit awwta be a wakeup call for Ol’ Lonely.

The Supreme Samurai Council Investigates Fixitnow.com

After hearing millions of grasshoppers chirping the praises of Fixitnow.com, the Supreme Samurai Council decided to send their top Field Compliance Officer, Kudzuki, to investigate. Kudzuki-san witnessed Samurai Appliance Repair Man in action, battling an appliance, and filed this report with the Supreme Samurai Council.

Mailbag: Whirlpool Old-Style Icemaker Doesn’t Make Much Ice

Richard wrote:

You have one fantastic site. I’ve learned more about icemaker’s in one night then I have through speaking with a dozen local repair people(I live in South Florida). For years now my ice maker has not worked. Since I don’t eat ice, it wasn’t a problem. Unfortunately, the wife started crabing about and threatens to buy a new fridge. Sooo, I decided to fix it.

Last night I took the whole thing and I tested all of the switches for continuity and they all test fine. The water inlet valve is suspect at best. When it is tested it gives me a little hop in OHM’s. When I woke up this morning there was one batch of ice. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Does it work, or doesn’t it? One would think that after 8 hours the thing would make more than eight cubes. The freezer temp is somewhere in the neighborhood of -10f.

Can you help me wizened one?

I would appreciate it.

Richard

please help if you can
do not want to buy new fridge
willing to buy valve

Ahh, Grasshopper, your haiku has earned you special attention.

First, since you described testing the switches, I cleverly deduce that yours is a Whirlpool old-style icemaker. Several suspects to check here. The water valve ain’t one of ’em because if it was bad, you wouldn’t even have gotten your eight measly cubes. But, it’s not a bad idea to test the water valve coil just to cover all the bases.

Make sure the white, plastic timing gear in the front of the control head isn’t missing any teeth and that it’s making full contact with the driver pinion throughout the full rotation.

Next, the water valve switch inside the icemaker control head can be a squirrelly bugger and is famous for deceiving even seasoned technicians. It can test good when it’s near room temperature but then go flakey as it starts to chill down to freezer temps. The other common troublemaker is the thermostat. It, too, can behave in a flakey manner similar to the water valve switch. Determining with certainty that one of these components is bad can be tricky. Fortunately, they’re both very inexpensive so you won’t be out a lot of shekels if you replace both of ’em.

Even new, replacement icemaker kits aren’t terribly expensive. If you don’t feel like tinkering with an old icemaker, you can buy a new icemaker kit here.

Awwite, let’s go make some chill pills!

Inspiration from the Master: Dishwasher Won’t Drain

BOB wrote:

MY KENMORE DISHWASHWER IS NOT DRAINING WELL. MODEL665.15951791.

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

Message sent from IP: 69.14.174.12


the bamboo reveals all


Dishwasher won’t drain,
motor runs. Oy! What a pain.
Clean out the check valve.

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Mailbag: Whirlpool/Kenmore Calypso Washer “LD” Error

Brian wrote:

Oh great consumer of beer! We have had a Whirlpool Calypso for going on three years now 110.21082000. My wife is most perplexed at this digitally impressive/laundry challenged piece of machinery. We are getting the “ld” error.

Forgive me, I am a “handy” challenged bean counter. The repair man is scheduled for this weekend :Oo

The drain hose is not kinked and I have removed the rear manifold. I am afraid to take the drain hose off at the unit itself for fear of flooding the laundry room.

What to do? Aside from grabbing a beer and contributing to your suds fund if you can get me out of this sand trap!!!

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

Message sent from IP: 67.121.191.20

After swilling copious quantities of the sacred fermented grain beverage, I looked up the “LD” code in the Whirlpool Calypso service manual. “LD” stands for “long drain,” meaning it took an excessively long time for water to drain out of the washer. Common causes for this are kinked drain hose or clothing, like panties or socks, caught in the pump suction hose. Why, I’ve even heard of bra wires coming loose and getting stuck in that hose, collecting all sorts of gookus and pinching off the flow of water to the pump. Can you imagine? Yea verily, as surely as the Sacred Suds doth eternally pass my lips, the “LD” error code springs forth from such anomalies. Can I hear an Amen?

“Is This Site for Real?”

You’re surfing the Web looking for do-it-yourself appliance repair help and you come across Fixitnow.com. After the initial shock and awe, you ask yourself, “Is this site for real or is it just a sad and twisted showcase for a delusional personality disorder?”

BBBOnLine Reliability SealThat’s a good question, thanks for not asking. The answer is a shameless, “YES!” Although Samurai Appliance Repair Man does suffer from delusions that your broken appliances mock and dishonor him, Fixitnow.com is an authentic and reliable source of appliance repair help. But you don’t have to take my word for it. See this BBBOnLine emblem? Yeah, that one. Go ahead and click it and you can get background information on Fixitnow.com.

So what does this mean for you? Well, for starters, it means Fixitnow.com has been checked out by an independent group and they verified that it ain’t one o’ them flimflam websites like you find on the seedy underbelly of the Web. Yessir, you got the real deal ratcheer, Hoss. It also means that when you purchase Live Repair Help, I’m not out to scam your money. Fixitnow.com is all about helping you fix your appliances…and maybe with a giggle or two along the way.

Ok, let’s kick some appliance butt!

Mailbag: Whirlpool/Kenmore Dryer Squeals

Janet wrote:

ok – I just wish for the free beer. Since I’m eight months pregnant, perhaps you could consume one (or more) on my behalf oh samurai!

Your site rocks and I was just looking for one additional point of clarification. I have a less than one year old Kenmore dryer. If the idler pulley bearing needs to be replaced (my guess based on the high screeching noise at the beginning of the cycle), can the dryer safely be used for a few loads of laundry or should I go to the laundromat until the weekend when I have time to fix it?

Thanks for your help oh wise one.

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

Message sent from IP: 24.59.36.210

whirlpool/kenmore dryer repair kit--come git you one
Dryer squeals at start.
Run a little: that’s ok.
Buy repair kit now!

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Footnote: if your dryer is really less than one year old then fuggetaboutit–you should call for authorized warranty service so you don’t void the warranty.

Mailbag: Gas Range Repair Guesswork

F*CKED CUSTOMER wrote:

The repair man (not a Samurai that is for shure) came, changed the thermcouple and left me with a charge of $150

The problem was that it stared to miss the Baking target (400F) and we did not have any F1 or otherwise codes in the display.

His wisdom -God help the poor man with it- tells that it is either the microcontroller or the thermocoupler. He opted for the thermcoupler but guess what, the temperature is still 100F off the target and I feel f*cket up down $150.

What do you think?
F*CKED CUSTOMER

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

Message sent from IP: 69.1.5.155

I think you need a vocabulary course so you can expand your runtish repertoire of nicknames. For example, instead of your sophomoric and nebulous “F*CKED CUSTOMER,” you could use any one of the following appellations to more accurately describe yourself:

  • HORNSWAGGLED MUTTONHEAD
  • SWINDLED SUCKER
  • BAMBOOZLED BONEHEAD
  • CHEATED CHUMP
  • DEFRAUDED DUNDERHEAD

You get the idea. I also think all the above monikers apply if you let your non-Samurai repair man get away with cheating you like that. Have you called him back out to finish what you hired him to do? If he had to guess about whether or not the sensor was bad, then he really is a bozo who lacks fundamental appliance knowledge that any competent technician should know. And he should eat the fee he already charged you for the sensor replacement.

Oven temperature sensors can be tested with your ohm meter to determine whether or not they’re bad. This is basic stuff–no guess work involved here.

If the sensor tests ok, then turn your attention to the ERC. On most ERC’s, you can calibrate the cooking temp–your user’s manual will have the specific procedure for your range. For example, one common procedure used by the manufacturers is to punch in a temp of 350ºF and then press and hold the Bake key for 5 seconds, after which you can use the up and down arrow keys to adjust the bake temp up or down. Your range may be different but the calibration procedure will be in your user’s manual. If the ERC won’t calibrate satisfactorily, then replace the ERC.

Go git ’em!

Inspiration from the Master: Range LED Display is Dim

lance wrote:

Jenn Air Oven with a Dim LED readout. Want to troubleshoot without a service call. Took off the back panel but found nothing lose. A few curcuit boards so don’t want to just guess at a replacement part.

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


the bamboo reveals all


Range display is dim.
Need help, not a service call.
Replace ERC.

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Beware of Net2phone!

Here’s a warning to anyone considering installing the Net2phone internet telephone software on your computer. If you really want to jump into the internet telephone craze, the so-called VoIP method of making phone calls from your computer, heed this warning well. If you feel compelled to see what all the hoopla is about, use Skype.com. It’s a well-behaved program, phone calls to other Skype users are free, and sound quality is excellent…unlike Net2phone on all counts. You can call me on Skype, my username is Zenzoidman. Ok, talk to you later.

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Inspiration from the Master: Dryer Vent Length

John wrote:

I have a dryer venting issue. The house I live in has an extremetly long vent, curving in all kinds of places. I am thinking about doing a new one that would run straight out of my house, no more than 20 feet. Is this wise for me to do and is it very expensive. Thank you in advance and if I have reached the Gorge of Eternal Peril, please let me know.

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


the bamboo reveals all


Dryer vent too long.
What’s a grasshopper to do?
Shorten vent as shown.

To learn more about your dryer, or to order parts, click here.