Monthly Archives: July 2005

Appliance Repair Revelation, Mystery Leak from a Frigidaire (Kenmore 417.xxxxx) Front Loading Washer

So, you did your due diligence and eliminated all the usual suspects: water supply hose, drain pump boot, door seal boot, but you still get that pesky leak. What’s a grasshopper to do?

Ahh, Grasshoppah, have you considered the tub gasket? Observe:

Note the wet-warped envelope that holds the tech sheet. This is a sure sign that the tub gasket is leaking in a Frigidaire-built front-loading washer (also sold under the Kenmore brand). Click the picture for larger view.

Loose tub bolts will make a leak. Ya sure, ya betcha. Yep, I fixed this one by reachin’ waaaaay up in the tub and crankin’ down on those tub bolts. Got half a dozen turns on three o’them bad boyz. Problem solved. We bad!

Now go git ’em!

Mailbag: Burning Smell in Dryer After Replacing the Heating Element

Jim H wrote:

I have a Kenmore Dryer with the lint trap in the door. I just replaced the heating element as it went bad. Once I reassembled the dryer and turned it on to check it out, it seemed to me that it smelled hot and that it was getting pretty hot. I took the bottom cover off again so I could see the heating element and the insides. I did not see anything unusual but did smell the heat. Smelled like something was burning. So, I unplugged it and am writing to you to ask what you think it might be. My only guess is that the thermostat is not turning the thing off like its supposed to. Ofcourse you are the expert, not I. So, what is your advice master?

Message sent from IP:

OH. MY. GAWD! Get out of there NOW! Your dryer is about to explode!

Or it could just be lint balls that got dislodged when you changed the heating element and were harmlessly incinerated when the element fired up. Hard to tell ‘cuz I’m, like, on the other side of your computer, an’ all.

Run the dryer for about 10 minutes while monitoring it. That’s plenty of time for the smell to dissipate… if it’s gonna. If it doesn’t, then there’s something horribly wrong, like a grounded heating element or a bad cycling thermostat.

War Story: Converting a Gas Dryer to Run on Propane

Gas dryers come from the factory ready to run on natural gas. If you want to run it on propane, you’ll have to convert it. What happens if you don’t convert the dryer or (more commonly) you convert it wrong?

House go boom. Pants go brown.

Well, it might not be quite that bad, but it would at a minimum be a sooty mess. From time to time, I get called in for a cleanup service call on a botched gas dryer conversion. Did one just yesterday.

They had a parts changing monkey from a large appliance dealer in Concord, NH, attempt the conversion. Monkey boy changed the burner orifice but didn’t install the blocking pin, didn’t tag the dryer, and left the rest of the conversion kit inside the dryer, by the burner. It took me a few minutes just to figure out what he did and did not do.

To top it off, the dryer wouldn’t fire up because, as he told the customer, “the igniter was bad.” This was another indication of monkey boy’s competence because, as it turned out, the igniter did, in fact, glow upon starting (thereby proving that the igniter was good) but the burner didn’t fire up. A couple of valve coils took care of that and the burner fired up with the proper flame.

Now, a new problem had appeared: there was a strong gas smell. A plumber had installed the flex gas supply line for the dryer. What’s the rule about getting Buttcrack Bubba to do an appliance tech’s job? I don’t know either, but there awwta be one! I got my bubble leak detector bottle to check it out and found the leak location. Turns out that ol’ Buttcrack musta been tossin’ back the Newcastles ‘cuz he had two mis-matched flare fittings which I discovered when I attempted to tightened the connections and the fittings fell apart in my hand!

Oh, it was a rich comedy of errors. ‘Course, it woulda been a black ‘n crispy comedy if the house had burned down with their two little kids!

Some of the shi’it that goes on out there is downright freaky!

For information on propane’s Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) and health effects, see this page.

Appliantology Newsletter for May/June 2005

Appliance Wisdom

Water Leaking into Dryer Outlet


Broken Icemaker? Buy a New Refrigerator!

Whirlpool Microwave Ovens Overheating

How to Avoid Dryer Fires

Kenmore Oven Door Lock Problem

Too much detergent… dishwasher won’t drain!

War Story: Leaking Frigidaire Front Loader

ASKO Dryer- belt stringing (T700)

GE: Bringing Anything-but-Good Appliances to Life

Fisher Paykel Dishwasher, DD602, Won’t Start

Technique of the Master: Wiring in a New Defrost Thermostat

The Way of the Samurai

Field Notes: Maytag Side-by-Side Refrigerator Warming Up

Field Notes: Maytag MAV Washer Won’t Run, Just Buzzes

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Harisutosu hukkatsu! Jitsu ni hukkatsu!

Hillstomping Update, Mt. Kearsarge

Hillstomping Update, Sandwich Dome 05052005

Hillstomping Update, Bond Cliff 05172005

Hillstomping Update, Cannon Mountain 05242005

Hillstomping Update, Edmands Col 06012005

Will You Survive the Coming Financial Crash?

Hillstomping Update, Mt. Garfield 06032005

Hillstomping Update, Mt. Monroe 06082005

Appliantology Newsletter for April 2005

Happy Dependence Day!

Happy Dependence Day to all my fellow Ameedicans. I’ve re-named the 4th of July as Dependence Day in recognition of our complete and utter dependency on the government from the cradle to the grave. I present, for your reading pleasure on this auspicious occasion, an article from Harry Browne, former Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. Enjoy!

Uncelebrating the Fourth

by Harry Browne

Unfortunately, July 4th has become a day of deceit.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declared its
independence from Great Britain. Thirteen years later, after a
difficult war to secure that independence, the new country was open
for business.

It was truly unique — the first nation in all of history in which the
individual was considered more important than the government, and the
government was tied down by a written Constitution.

It was the one nation where you could live your life secure in the
knowledge that no one would ask for your papers, where you weren’t
identified by a number, and where the government wouldn’t extort a
percentage of your income as the price of holding a job.

And so each year July 4th has been a commemoration of the freest
country in history.

False Celebration

But the America that’s celebrated no longer exists.

The holiday oratory deceitfully describes America as though it were
the unique land of liberty that once was. Politicians thank the
Almighty for conferring the blessings of liberty on a country that no
longer enjoys those blessings. The original freedom and security have
disappeared — even though the oratory lingers on.

What made America unique is now gone, and we are much the same as
Germany, France, England, or Spain, with:

– confiscatory taxes,

– a Constitution and Bill of Rights that are symbolic only — merely
documents used to justify governmental actions that are in fact
prohibited by those documents,

– business regulated by the state in the most minute detail,

– no limits on what Congress or the President might decide to do.

Yes, there are some freedoms left, but nothing like the America that
was — and nothing that you can’t find in a few dozen other countries.

The Empire

Gone, too, is the sense of peace and security that once reigned
throughout the land. America — bound by two huge oceans and two
friendly neighbors — was subject to none of the never-ending wars and
destruction that plagued Europe and Asia.

Now, however, everyone’s business is America’s business. Our
Presidents consider themselves the rulers of the world — deciding who
may govern any country on earth and sending Americans to die enforcing
those decisions.

Whereas America was once an inspiration to the entire world — its
very existence was proof that peace and liberty really were possible
— Americans now live in fear of the rest of the world and the rest of
the world lives in fear of America.

The Future

Because the education of our children was turned over to government in
the 19th century, generations of Americans have been taught that
freedom means taxes, regulations, civic duty, and responsibility for
the whole world. They have no conception of the better life that could
exist in a society in which government doesn’t manage health care,
education, welfare, and business — and in which individuals are free
to plot their own destinies.

Human beings are born with the desire to make their own decisions and
control their own lives. But in most countries government and social
pressures work to teach people to expect very little autonomy.

Fortunately, in America a remnant has kept alive the ideas of liberty,
peace, and self-respect — passing the concepts on from generation to
generation. And so today millions of Americans know that the present
system isn’t the right system — that human beings aren’t born to
serve the state and police the world.

Millions more would be receptive upon being shown that it’s possible
to have better lives than what they’re living now.

Both groups need encouragement to quit supporting those who are taking
freedom away from them.

You and I may not have the money and influence to change America by
ourselves, but we can keep spreading the word — describing a better
society in which individuals are truly free and government is in
chains (instead of the opposite).

And someday we may reach the people who do have the money and
influence to persuade tens of millions of Americans to change our
country for the better.

I don’t know that it’s going to happen, but I do know it’s possible. I
know that the urge to live one’s own life is as basic in human beings
as the will to live and the desire to procreate. If we keep plugging
away, we may eventually tap into that urge and rally the forces
necessary to restore the real America.

And then the 4th of July will be worth celebrating again.

The URL of this article is:

Shakin’ and Bakin’ at the Samurai School

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting as frequently of late, it’s because I’ve been so busy answering posts and tending to my duties as HMFIC at the repair forum, a.k.a., the Samurai School of Appliantology. With more than 20 new grasshoppers and 100+ new posts every day, it keeps me and the other Master Appliantologists hoppin’, ya sure, ya betcha!

We opened the doors at our new campus in April and, in a little over three months, we have over 1,700 grasshoppers seeking appliance repair know-how. To help fill these tender skulls with knowledge, the School has more than 30 Master Appliantologists, including yours so very truly, the Exalted Grand Master of Appliantology, guiding these grasshoppers on their path to appliance enlightenment. Yea verily, the fields are ripe for the harvest.

And I recently added a chat room (or Chatto Ru-mu in Japanese) to the Samurai School. It’s a great place for light chat, clearing up misunderstandings, or just tawkin’ smack. However, chat is far too cumbersome and intensive a medium for technical how-to discussions– that’s what the forum is for. OTOH, if grasshoppers are confused about how to post an attachment or a link in the forum, or what further information they should provide so you can answer their question, that’s exactly the kind of confusion that chat can clear up. The Chatto Ru-mu, just like the Samurai School itself, is completely free and is open 24/7 to all registered grasshoppers, apprentices, and Master Appliantologists.

So, if you need help fixing your own appliances, register in the Samurai School of Appliantology Forum (it’s free) and you’ll be plugged in to the premier do-it-yourself appliance repair resource on the web.

The Samurai School of Appliantology: it’s not what’s for dinner ‘cuz you can’t eat it; but it does have some damn fine appliance repair help.