Monthly Archives: March 2005

Replacing the Motor in a Maytag Dryer

Bucky wrote:

How do I change the motor in a Maytag Dryer Model# MDE9306AYA, oh great Samurai? And also, oh great one, which side of the belt goes against the dryer drum, ribbed or flat side? Domo orogato!! You are ichi bon. I love you no shit. Fried or steamed?

Message sent from IP:

Motor for Maytag DryerFirst step to replacing the motor is to tear down the dryer. You’ll also need to remove the blower wheel. With all the guts torn out of the dryer, you have unencumbered access to the motor. You will replace the old motor with the new motor that you bought here, which helps to support all this free help you get here at the colossus of appliance repair websites.

I also have a handy page of belt configurations for all dryers, including yours. On older Maytag dryers, the flat side of the belt goes against the drum.

Even in the worst of conditions, this repair rates a mere three mugs on the SUD-o-meter. Piece of pie, comrade!

Steamed, please. And shaken, not stirred.

Rich Repairs on a Maytag Neptune Super Stack Washer

minnownj wrote:

Your website is absolutely fabulous! THANKYOU!
I am one of those unlucky idiots who purchased the Maytag Neptune Super Stack model MLE2000AYW. My machine died yesterday and I had the “lonely” Maytag repairman over to take a look. The $%#%^*&^ computer board is fried. The repair quote is $900. Since the machine broke down after the 8/9/2004 deadline on the class action suit, I am at Maytag’s mercy to either attempt to repair it or give me a Washing Machine Purchase Certificate. But I don’t want to purchase another #%$$# Maytag.

I need a stacking unit due to space constrictions. I’m considering purchasing a Frigidaire Gallery Series GLEH1642DS. But before I do, I wanted your venerable opinion, since it is VERY OBVIOUS that you know what you’re doing.

Well, Mr. Samurai, what do you think?

Message sent from IP:

I think $900 for this repair is very rich indeed! Yanno, if only I charged that much for repairs, then I wouldn’t be running this silly DIY appliance repair website. Hey…

Anyway, I think you should investigate doing this repair yourself. First, confirm the diagnosis– the guy could be blowing huge, billowing clouds of thick, greazy smoke up your keester. Then, buy the part ratcheer and you’ll save yer bad self a whole buttload of moola. Booyah!


So, the guy emails me back:

minnownj wrote:

Hey, thanks for the reply. Already tried to buy the motor control board, no one has it, no one will sell it to me.

What do you think about Frigidaire appliances?

Now, here’s a case where I had taken the time to reply to this guy and he apparently didn’t bother reading my email closely enough to check out the link I sent him. In fact, the machine control board is in-stock and ready to ship at that link. In case there are any other alphabetically-challenged users pretending to read this post, I’ll attempt to make it more obvious: CLICK HERE NOW TO BUY THE MACHINE CONTROL BOARD FOR YOUR CRAPPY MAYTAG WASHER.

Any questions?

Whirlpool Duet Washer Giving Some Not-So-Good Vibrations

rgterzian wrote

Have a Whirlpool Duet HT Washer Model GHW9200LW0. Dryer stacked using
Whirlpool kit Banging or knocking at low speed spin only, noise stops as spin speed
increases. Minimal vibration in all cycles, unit near perfectly level. Performs
well- clothes clean, undamaged, relatively dry after spin. Can you help me,
wise one?

Message sent from IP:

This was a recent topic of discussion in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums. The problem really boils down to inadequate floor support and harmonic mechanical vibrations set up between the washer during the spin cycle and the floor. Read all about it ratcheer.

Burner Flame on Gas Stove Won’t Shut Off Completely

Doug wrote:

Please help! On my gas stove, one burner will NOT turn off. When the knob is
in the off position, a small blue flame is just barely visible at the burner.
It does not go out. Ever. Please enlighten me!


Message sent from IP:

This is a bad burner valve, slam dunk. To see what and where this bad boy lives, click here and and then select the detailed diagram for either Gas Free Standing or Gas Cooktop— either will show you the same thing. Once you know where that valve is, you can order it right here using your model number.

Black Smudges Left on Clothes After Doing Laundry

I had a call from a customer complaining of black smudges on her clothes, she thinks from her washer. She also reported that her dryer needed service because it made an awful noise.

Now, whenever I get a call about black smudges on clothes, I know it’s usually one of two things:

1) A chemical reaction between some detergents and fabric softeners can create black spots on clothes in the washing machine. You can tell if this is the case by seeing if the black spots will come off using soap and water. (Uncommon: if the spots will only come off using petroleum distillates, then this is oil from the washing machine’s transmission.)

2) Rubber and/or metal filings from a wallowed out drum roller in the dryer getting on the clothes. In this case, you’ll see amorphous smudges instead of well-defined, circular spots.

Turns out that, on this service call, the source of the staining was definitely the dryer. When I started up the dryer, it emitted a loud rumbling. I shut it off immediately and disassembled the dryer. After removing the drum, I saw the source of the black smudges right away. You can see it below (click it for a larger view):

Wallowed-Out Drum Roller on a Whirlpool-Built Dryer

As you can see, the drum roller is nuked. Amazingly, the roller shaft was still serviceable. If you looked at the larger view, you may have noticed all the metal shavings on top of the motor and piled in the back corner. With the drum roller so wallowed out, the rear drum seal was sloppy and would let metal filings into the drum while the dryer was running. These metal filings get on the clothes and leave black smudges. I replaced both drum rollers, the belt, and the idler pulley. Since this was a Whirlpool-built dryer, these parts all come in a convenient rebuild kit.

Hunker Down for the Hard Day

I teach my kids to prepare for the Hard Day. No one knows exactly what form the Hard Day will take, but it seems certain that we, as a nation, maybe even as a species, will face a difficult period of privation and hardship within the next five years. We call this the Hard Day. Two conditions in particular are coming together to form the perfect Hard Day storm: the seemingly endless plunge of the dollar precipitated by profligate spending of an undisciplined Congress and a White House consumed with sanctimonious megalomania waging an endless war of imperial hubris in the Middle East; and the imminent oil shortage.

James Howard Kunstler wrote an excellent summary of the oil crisis we face. I’ve included an excerpt below, but you should read the full article.

Now we are faced with the global oil-production peak. The best estimates of when this will actually happen have been somewhere between now and 2010. In 2004, however, after demand from burgeoning China and India shot up, and revelations that Shell Oil wildly misstated its reserves, and Saudi Arabia proved incapable of goosing up its production despite promises to do so, the most knowledgeable experts revised their predictions and now concur that 2005 is apt to be the year of all-time global peak production.

We know that our national leaders are hardly uninformed about this predicament. President George W. Bush has been briefed on the dangers of the oil-peak situation as long ago as before the 2000 election and repeatedly since then. In March, the Department of Energy released a report that officially acknowledges for the first time that peak oil is for real and states plainly that “the world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary.”

[Read the full article…]

Hillstomping Update: Mt. Liberty

As they used to say in Rome, “Et tu Beautay!” The beauty of the scenery so moved me that I pooped stuff I hadn’t even eaten yet. Yeah, check it out… the scenery, that is (click the pics for the full-size view):

The Northerly View Along the Franconia Ridge from Mt. Liberty

Mt. Garfield from Mt. Liberty

Looking through the Pemigewassett Wilderness at the Bonds (foreground) and Snow-Capped Mt. Washington

Cannon Mtn. from Mt. Liberty

Looking at Mt. Flume (and some Bubba butt) from Mt. Liberty

An August Group on the Summit of Mt. Liberty

I met a distinguished group of hikers at the summit. One of them was John Lacroix, the dude who made a cool DVD about hiking the 48, 4000-footers in the White Mountains. It has some great photography and information about peak-bagging in the White Mountains. The DVDs cost less than $18 and all the proceeds go to benefit the American Diabetes Association. You should buy a copy– I did. My little hiker kids and I enjoyed watching it.

I made another 30-second mini-movie of the views from the summit (7 mb, need QuickTime).

Big Brother Moves to Squelch Political Speech on the Internet

Big Brother can’t handle it when people are able to connect with each other freely and effectively outside the constraints of Big Media. So they’ll fix it the way they do every other threat: make it illegal. That’s right, Big Brother in DC has made it illegal for private websites to convey information about political candidates ostensibly to make elections less subject to the influence of Big Bidness and Big Special Interest. Ok, maybe I took the short bus to school, but it seems to me that if millions of little peon websites, such as this one, are not able to express political opinion, doesn’t that INCREASE the influence of Big Bidness and Big Special Interest?

If you use email, or keep a Web journal known as a blog, beware. The
government will soon be out to get you. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform
Act of 2002, better known as McCain-Feingold, has never been just
about keeping money out of politics. Political speech is its main
target. This is clearer than ever, now that the Federal Elections
Commission prepares to regulate the Internet. [read more]

Washing Machine Drain Pipe Backin’ Up Blues

Well, well, well…
I got me an old washer
It’s makin’ me blue
It spits up out the drain pipe
I don’t know what to do.

Can someone help me,
with my scummy water blues?
I got water in my basement,
Oh, Samurai, tell me what to do!

I say I got me a washer…

Ok, that’s enough of that. A little bit of the Blues goes a long way with me, bruthah.

This problem is common in older houses with jack-leg plumbing jobs; with drain pipes that are too small in diameter; or from drain pipes that have become constricted from years of built-up gookus and scum inside of them. Many times, the problem is exacerbated by using too much detergent in your laundry; recommended reading: Your Detergents Suck.

Someone posted this problem in the repair forum and another user posted the photograph below of his very clever solution:

Vertical Surge Pipe Solution for Washing Machine Drain Pipes that Backup During Pumpout
Vertical Surge Pipe Solution for Washing Machine Drain Pipes that Backup During Pumpout

Let’s Call a Spade a Spade

Parents, students and teachers at Berkeley’s Thomas Jefferson
Elementary School will soon vote on whether to rename their school
because the nation’s third president was a slave owner. The question
of whether to rename the school has been debated for more than two
years — since several teachers, including an African American mother
of three former Jefferson students, said Jefferson’s moniker offended
them and suggested a name change. On Monday, Principal Betty Delaney
released a list of potential new names — one nominated by a student,
the rest by adults. Parents, students and teachers must first vote on
a new name, then take a second vote on whether to replace Jefferson
with the new name. The school board must officially approve any name
change. [read more]

I completely agree with this! Thomas Jefferson stood for too many great ideals and is too good a name to be defiled on government schools. Instead, we should re-name all government schools to accurately portray them for what they really are: government indoctrination facilities. Why sugarcoat it with human-sounding names? Schools should have names such as “Government Indoctrination Facility #666.” The only distinction among the various GIFs would be their registration number. So at highschool sports events, it would be the 666ers vs. the 1029ers, and so on. Go team!

And the PC Brownshirts go marching on!

Hillstomping Update: Smarts Mountain

I’ve hiked this mountain many times in the past. It’s a moderate eight mile (round-trip) hike to the summit which has an old fire watch tower that you can climb for tremendous 360 degree views. In the photo below, we’re about halfway up; that’s the summit of Smarts Mountain in the background, behind Bubba. If you click the picture for the larger view, you can just barely see the fire tower.

Bubba Strikes a Contemplative Pose Along the Trail to Our Objective, Smarts Mountain (in the background)

This was the first hike of Spring! Gorgeous day, temps in the low 40’s, full sunshine, clear blue skies, and visibility at the summit went on forever. The picture below was taken from atop the fire watch tower. I’m looking northeast toward the White Mountains. If you click the picture for the larger view, then you’ll see (from left to right) Mt. Moosilauke with a little snow cap on the summit, then next over are Mts. Lafayette and Lincoln, and the white, heaving mound of Mt. Washington is on the right-hand side.

Rare View of the White Mountains from the Smarts Mountain Fire Tower

No matter how many pictures I take, they just fail to capture the expansive grandeur of the mountain vistas. So, I used my digital camera to make a moving panorama of the entire 360 degree view from inside the fire tower on top of Smarts Mountain. You’ll need Quicktime to watch it. You can download the free version here (there’s a Pro version offered on that page for $30 but you don’t need that, just get the free version– it’s just as good for this purpose).

Three Easy Steps to Total Washing Machine Flood Prevention

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard from clients who’ve told me about a washing machine flood horror story. In one case, my client had an upstairs laundry and the washing machine overfilled. Naturally, she had left the house and came back home to over $20,000 worth of water damage to her home. Here are three easy steps to keep this from happening to you.

Install Floodstop on Your Washer Water Supply Valves

FloodstopThis system is awesome! Installs in just a few minutes by simply unscrewing your washer fill hoses, installing the solenoid valves, and then plugging in the sensor. It works by sensing water beneath the washer that shouldn’t be there from overfilling, burst hoses, whatever, and then it shuts off the water supply. Slick!

Install Steel-Braided Fill Hoses on Your Washer

steel braided washer fill hosesIf you’re still using those cheap black rubber hoses (like most folks), you’ve got a time bomb in your laundry room. Unless you diligently shut off the water to your washer after each and every use, it’s just a matter of time before one of those hoses bursts. These steel-braided fill hoses are the cheapest and best flood insurance you can buy!

Place a Leak-Catcher Beneath Your Washer

washing machine leak catcherIf you have an upstairs laundry, you can protect that nice floor from being damaged by soapy, scummy washer water with this handy, easy-to-install leak catcher.

Ok, three easy steps to total flood prevention from the most flood-prone appliance in your home: your washing machine. And all this for less than $150. Like I’m tellink you, dahling, it’s such a bahgain!

The Appliance Repair Hotline Assumes Room Temperature

If you’re a regular to this site, you know that one of the features I offered was a Toll-Free Appliance Repair Hotline. I decided to pull the plug on the Hotline. The reason for having it in the first place was to help grasshoppers find the appliance repair help they needed here at Turns out most people weren’t interested in finding information so they could help themselves; they wanted live appliance repair help, on the phone, real-time, with the Grand Master of Appliantology. And they wanted all that for free. Amazingly, some people would actually cop a ‘tood with me on the phone when I’d refer them to the forum or live help for detailed, personalized instruction in repairing their appliance.

Let’s pause for a reality check.

There are more than 1,000 pages of appliance repair help at, all free for the reading. But, that’s the problem: you gotta read. One thing I learned about my users is that most of them are the Great Unwashed Illiterati, also known as Boobus Americanus; they see the computer monitor as another form of TV and so look for a talking head to tell them what to do and think. (If you’re reading this then congratulations! You’ve evolved beyond Boobus to Surfus Americanus.)

In addition to the vast repository of appliance wisdom contained in the pages of, I offer personalized and interactive help for free in the Appliantology Group. Only trouble is that now, in addition to having to read, Boobus must compose a coherent message describing his appliance dilemma. D’OH!

The other reason for dropping the Hotline is that we’ve completely redesigned the main table on the home page to make it easier for users to find what they need when they first visit the site. This new design should obviate the need for the Hotline. If you have any comments or suggestions on the new main table, let me know by using the comment link at the bottom of this post.

Surprisingly, I just don’t make enough money running a free appliance repair website to be able to offer live, real-time consultations at no charge. However, live appliance repair help is available as a subscription service, albeit a for a subscription fee that’s so ridiculously low that it might as well be free. But, even with such a modest fee, it keeps the live help work load manageable and provides some compensation for my time.

Ok, I have to get back to my day job: licking urinals at the Texaco. Happy fixing!