Monthly Archives: May 2005

GE: Bringing Anything-but-Good Appliances to Life

For years now at this website, I have warned grasshoppers about GE Appliances. I warn my local service call customers, too. But, people keep buying GE because they sell ’em cheap at Home Despot or because builders get ’em at rock-bottom prices. Even GE’s supposedly higher-end appliances suck out loud. Oh, but don’t just take it from me. Frustrated and angry GE appliance owners are organizing and fighting back in a David vs. Goliath class-action court battle. More power to ’em; they woulda been a helluva lot better off buying Whirlpool but, hey, I ain’t one to say, “I told ya so.”

If you’re another one of the poor schlumps who bought GE appliances, you might wanna check out BringGoodThingsToLife.Org.

Hillstomping Update, Bond Cliff 05172005

I made my bi-annual pilgrimage to the Bonds last week. The Bonds are three mountains, Bond Cliff, Mt. Bond, and West Bond, smack in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area; the jewels of the Pemi. All three are on the NH 4,000 footer list so you always see peak baggers making the trek to tick ’em off the list.

Bond Cliff El Classico… just like in the brochures!

It’s a long day hike, about 22 miles, no matter which direction you approach it. And the Bonds are a spectacular backpacking destination.

For this trip, my semper-fi hiking partner, Bubba, and I started from the Lincoln Woods trailhead and slogged north for eleven miles to Bond Cliff and then Mt. Bond.

Weather was mostly cloudy but no rain. Significant snow and ice pack left on the trail above 3,000 feet but post-holing wasn’t a problem and I bare-booted it the entire way.

Passed a group of about half a dozen young dudes, all in their 20’s, heading up to Guyot Campsite on the other side of Mt. Bond. Lucky bastards! Bubba and I have spent many a very pleasant night up there at the Guyot shelter so we were a little envious.

Check out all the pics from this hike.

War Story: Leaking Frigidaire Front Loader

It was a gray and rainy Saturday when the call came in: Frigidaire front-loading washer (stack unit) on the second floor of the house had leaked, enough so that the ceiling beneath the laundry unit was water stained. Samurai International Headquarters went to Defcon 2.

I guzzled the remaining beer in my sumo-sized 64-ounce beer boot and donned my battle garments. Within hours, I was in the Samurai’s Armored Fixite Do Battle Van, careening through school zones to do battle with another insolent appliance.

Upon arrival, I unsheathed my katana and pushed the customer aside as I dashed to the battle scene. This was fight between the Samurai and an appliance who dared to challenge him; the customer was merely collateral damage.

My master and mentor, Miyamoto Musashi, taught me that victory in war is impossible without a sound, well-reasoned strategy. In the battlefield of appliance repair, this means having access to technical information on the appliance you’re battling. With the Appliantology 3000 Total Appliance Awareness Microchip Implant (TAAMI) surgically implanted into the base of my spine, I had total access to all appliance information at the speed of thought.

I quickly consulted TAMMI and was advised to remove the front quarter panel to inspect the pump area for leaks. Closer inspection revealed that the leak originated at the pump suction hose, as seen below:

The leak originated from the pump suction hose (that’s the accordion-looking hose). Click for larger view.

This was odd indeed. I’ve not seen this hose be a source of leaks and TAAMI had no records of it, either. I was flying blind, like a pilot at night without instruments… and no aircraft, either, just flying by the seat of his pants… or something like that. Ok, nevermind. Anyway, I felt around the hose and felt the jagged end of a piece of metal, shown below:

Feeling around the suction hose a bit, I felt something metal poking out. I pulled out this 5″ long, thin piece of metal. Click for larger view.

Hmmm, the heat of the battle was now a raging inferno. It was not safe inside that laundry room for any civilian unprepared to fight to the death. But I am the Samurai, and I live only to battle insolent appliances; if I die in the process, then may the pot-bellied Buddha grant that I die with honor… and holding a cold beer.

So, I pulled out the bomber can of Fosters Lager that I keep in my tool bag for just such emergencies and popped it open. The mere sound of that can of fermented nirvana popping open cleared my head and revealed the source of the problem to me in a sparkling moment of pure satori: the long metal splinter was probably from the support wire from a bra that had worked its way down into the suction boot. Replaced the boot and returned the washer to service.

Hillstomping Update, Sandwich Dome 05052005

A most splendiferous day for a spring hike in the Sandwich Range of New Hampster’s White Mountains yesterday. The sky was speckled with those cotton ball clouds and casting moving shadows on the rolling landscape creating an aquatic wonderland. While I love a clear blue sky for its crystalline purity, the watery, undersea effect is unique to partly cloudy skies. Here’s a landscape shot from atop Sandwich dome that illustrates what I mean, click it for a larger view:

From left to right: Mt. Tecumseh, the Franconia Ridge, and Mt. Osceola.

Hiking in the White Mountains this time of year is tricky. While the lowlands are in full spring mode, the alpine zones are only just now realizing that it’s not winter any more. Looking at the mountains from the base, one could get the mistaken notion that the summits are clear of snow. Oh, but how wrong you’d be!

Snow patches started appearing at about 3,000 feet with solid coverage above 3,500 feet. The last 500 feet (about 0.6 miles) to the summit of Sandwich Dome, I was hiking on a condensed snow base that was at least three feet deep. I didn’t bring crampons or snowshoes, didn’t need ’em either. The snow was consolidated enough that I could just kick in and keep going. Postholing wasn’t a problem. The ice patches were covered with enough blown down spruce needles and branches that traction was like, *not* a problem, y’know? Fer sher, fer sher.

Had a great view of snow-capped Mt. Washington, click it for a bigger view:

The vista toward Mt. Washington as seen from atop Sandwich Dome.

And then I took the same picture above but cropped in on Mt. Washington, click it for a bigger view:

Same as above except zoomed in on Mt. Washington.

The reason you see all the snow on Mt. Washington and not on the surrounding mountains is because Mt. Washington (along with most of the rest of the Presidential Range) is above treeline. The fact is that all the 4,000-footer summits in the White Mountains are still buried in snow. The spruce trees around the summit on the lower peaks cast shadows that prolong the snow cover into the spring and early summer, long after the above-treeline peaks are cleared back to naked granite and schist.

You see those photos above? THAT is why I hike. When I hit a summit on a day like yesterday, I plant my skinny butt on a rock, whip out my binoculars, and feast my myopic peepers on those fabulous vistas. Running my eyes over those peaks and valleys makes my bowels rumble. But that’s a story for another time. Giddyup.

Appliantology Newsletter for April 2005

Appliance Wisdom

Oven Thermostat Repair Lab Report

What’s All the Fuss About Power Quality?

The Samurai School of Appliantology

Washer Eating Bra Wires

Fisher & Paykel GWL10 Washer Not Draining

Maytag Dryer Motor Stops After 15 Seconds of Turning

Jenn Air Fridge Warm, Adaptive Defrost Control Board

Mailbag: GE Dishwashers Flooding

Mailbag: Kenmore Dishwasher Not Cleaning Well in the Upper Rack

Mailbag: Initiating the Harvest Cycle on a Modular Icemaker

Kenmore Refrigerator – bottom of door collapsed?

Maytag Range F1 Error Code

Frigidaire FWX445RF Washer – Won’t Drain

Whirlpool Refrigerator Getting Warm

Mayday, Mayday! RepairClinic Down!

Panasonic Inverter Microwaves – Advanced or retrograde?

KitchenAid oven disaster

GE Triton XL tripped breaker

Fisher & Paykel GW608 Slow Filling

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Samurai in the News

The Karaoke Lounge

Hott Stuff

Save the Salamanders!

A Day in the Life of the Samurai

Hillstomping Update: Mt. Flume and Mt. Sunapee

Appliantology Newsletter for March 2005


Here’s a sorry story: a five-year old GE washer and the transmission is fried. And, naturally, it’s just out of warranty. Yep, a common story with GE. As much as we keep warning people about GE, folks keep buying GE crap, “‘cuz they sell ’em at Home Despot, an’ all.” So, the freak show continues.

Here’s a clue: just because it’s good to own GE stock, that does not mean it’s good to own their appliances. Think on these things.

Harisutosu hukkatsu! Jitsu ni hukkatsu!

Today is Easter (Pascha) for Orthodox Christians. Millions of Orthodox Christians all over the world are greeting each other with the traditional greeting, “Christ is risen!” And the traditional response, “Indeed He is risen!” In their own language, of course.

For example, in Japanese, the Samurai’s pseudo-native tongue, the greeting is, “Harisutosu hukkatsu!” And the reply, “Jitsu ni Hukkatsu!”

In another example, Orthodox Christians in Minnesota greet each other, “So, Christ is up dere den!” And the response, “Ya shure, ya betcha, He’s up dere den!”

Below is the traditional Paschal icon. Click it for a larger view.

After He died on the cross, Jesus descended into Hell and restored humanity’s fallen nature, represented here as freeing Adam and Eve. Hell was unable to withstand the Light of Christ and so was destroyed by the very presence of the Lord.