Monthly Archives: September 2005

Dishwasher won’t run; no power to dishwasher; dishwasher dead; dishwasher no-op; dishwasher repair

burnt power wire connnections in the power junction box on a dishwasher.  click for larger view.
(click to enlarge)

Went on a dishwasher service call the other day. Complaint was that the dishwasher was completely dead. The customer had already verified that the circuit breaker wasn’t tripped.

First thing I always do on a dead dishwasher complaint is to verify that power is available at the power junction box in the dishwasher. I removed the kickplates, then open the junction box cover and, SHAZAAM! that’s what I saw. It’s a wonder the breaker didn’t trip!

Invariably, I get asked, “What caused those wire connections to burn?” Loose electrical connections generate heat– these wire nuts were probably not installed correctly and loosened enough over time to cause the connection to burn. In this case, the connections were contained by a grounded metal box, so there was little fire danger.

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

GE / Kenmore Dishwasher Check Valve Assembly; No-Drain or Poor Draining; Check Valve; dishwasher repair

GE / Kenmore Dishwasher Check Valve Assembly; No-Drain or Poor Draining = Clean Out Check Valve and/or Replace Flapper Gasket
GE / Kenmore Dishwasher Check Valve Assembly; No-Drain or Poor Draining = Clean Out Check Valve and/or Replace Flapper Gasket (click to enlarge). Located at the very back in the middle – take off the cover.

Parts Link: Piston Assembly for Check Valve

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

Whirlpool Duet Washer: how to remove the front access panel; how to remove the boot (bellows) assembly from the tub, how to replace the boot (bellows), washer repair

Whirlpool Duet Washer:  how to remove the front access panel; how to remove the boot assembly from the tub, how to replace the boot, how to replace the door switch.  (click to enlarge)
Whirlpool Duet / Kenmore HE3t Washer: how to remove the front access panel; how to remove the boot (bellows) assembly from the tub, how to replace the boot, how to replace the door switch. (click to enlarge)

Parts Link: Front Bellows Seal (boot)

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

Background Information on LG, Siemens, and Samsung Appliances for Consumers; appliance reviews

One of the Master Appliantologists at the Samurai School of Appliantology, TomBBY, wrote up a nice backgrounder piece on LG, Siemens, and Samsung appliances. If you’re in the market for new appliances, you need to read this!

____Original Message_____
From: TomBBY
Date: 2005-09-28 12:35:49
Subject: LG and Siemens Appliances

I have noticed reading your site that you had no listing or information for a couple of products we carry, so I thought I might share a little wisdom with you. :)

Siemens washers, dryers, ranges and OTR microwaves are carried by Best Buy, and quite possibly some others. These majors are produced by Bosch of America (in the Carolinas, I believe), while the OTR is manufacturered for them by LG (Lucky-Goldstar).

LG and Samsung are mostly coming from South Korea (the ones from North Korea tend to explode, so we don’t buy them! 8-0 ), and the BEST of the two is definitely the LG. We have only had two LG refrigerators in 2+ years come in with an electrical problem, and it didn’t affect the way they cool. 99.9% of the problems we have with LG is scratch and dent out of the box. Otherwise, they are one of the most trouble free appliances I have ever sold. I actually get customers returning to the store to thank me for selling them this appliance!

The LG laundry products are practically bullet-proof. The only problem we’ve encountered so far, is a door buffeting problem, that was fixed with a free kit of four shim/washers for the inside latch – to bring the door closer to the drum. That was only in the early units – no later units have had even that problem! If you compare the LG washer/dryer to the Whirlpool Duet (which we also sell), it makes it very difficult to sell a Duet. Even with Whirlpool’s name recognition, the LG laundry pair is just such a better performer (and superior in design) than the Duet. LG really made these machines well.

The only loose canon in the whole kitchen group in the Siemens dishwasher, which although VERY quiet (runs at 48 dbs), is decidedly being produced in the same plant as the Bosch – or at least with the same design. However, the Bosch units list a 42db rating over their Siemen’s counterparts. The LG is also rated at 48db, (and ALSO looks suspiciously like the Bosch!) but with it’s sealed sides it’s hard to believe that it produces much noise over a low hum. I have had customers contact me after installing one of these (LG) in their home, remark at it’s low water usage, easy control, and virtually no noise – even when installed into an island!

Samsung refrigerators are doing MUCH better than they did when they first appeared on the MAJAPS scene, but they are still not up to the quality of a Whirlpool or LG product. While they make their own refrigerators (and I believe their own “special design” OTR microwaves) their ranges and dishwashers are CLEARLY built by Maytag. However, since Maytag has left a bad taste in BBY’s mouth, so to speak, the only Maytag built products you will now find on our floor are Hoover products.

If you look hard enough, you will notice that Sears is using both Samsung and LG designs/builds for their Kennmore OTR line! You will also notice that the LG design is being used for Kennmore’s Trio (French door style) refrigerators, as well as Amana.

Thanks, Tom!

Washing Machine Diagnostic and Repair Guide; washer repair; washing machine repair

Washing Machine Diagnostic & Repair Guide
Problem Possible Causes
EEK! My washer is leaking!
  • Your fill hoses might need tightening at either end.
  • I’ve seen where poor draining in the standpipe causes the sudsy water to back up and overflow, making it look like a washer problem when, in fact, it was a plumbing problem.
  • Older Maytag Dependable Care washers can have problems with the tub water injector tube leaking.
  • A pump might be leaking. You gotta open it up and see.
    On Whirlpool/Kenmore direct drive washers, the pump is down in front and you’ll need to remove the cabinet to check it out.
    On old-style GE/Hotpoint washers, the pump is down in back and you’ll need to pull off that back panel to check it out.
    The pump on Maytag washers is down in front and you’ll need to pull the front panel off to check it out.
  • The tub might be leaking. How can you tell? Right, you gotta open ‘er up and look at it. Crystal balls don’t work too good.
  • The new-style GE’s (which suck out loud) are bad for the infamous spin-during-agitate problem. This makes a mess because it sloshes water out of the tub all over the frikkin’ floor. The only cure is to replace the brake package but, man, you might as well go ahead and replace the whole transmission. Prevention is the best thing here: avoid GE like the plague and buy only Maytag or Whirlpool laundry equipment.
  • The fill valve has crud caught in it making it stick open. Replace the fill valve and install sediment filtration on household water supply. More details on this here.
  • Very restricted water flow through the valve. This problem is unique to the older GE/Hotpoint washers. Low water flow will cause the water from the valve’s discharge hose to run back up the hose by capillary action and down to the floor. This is a tricky one to catch, Hoss. Takes real kidneys to spot this one.
The washer doesn’t spin or, if it does, it’s real sluggish.
  • No spin at all: the lid switch is fried. Whaddya do? You test it with your meter.
  • In the Whirlpool/Kenmore washers, a common problem is that the lid plunger stops making contact with the lid switch. Use a pen to manually press the lid switch actuator (with the lid up, duh). If the washer spins…well, you know the rest.
  • Older (belt-drive) Whirlpool/Kenmores: the spin solenoid is burned out or has cut wires. Ohm out that solenoid (20-30 ohms) and test with a test cord. Make sure the wires are intact by giving them a little tug. If this is OK, you may need to adjust/replace the basket drive.
  • Newer (direct-drive) Whirlpool/Kenmores: worn out direct drive coupler.
  • The drive belt has had it. Look for excessive glazing on the sides of the belt or cracks in the power side of the belt. On Maytags, replace the belt set if they look glazed or shiny on the sides even though the belts may look OK otherwise. Belts on other brands will be more obviously bad.
  • Timer is fried. On older timers, it’s sometimes possible to run an external jumper to replace the bad internal contacts. Usually, however, the entire timer must be replaced. The only way to confirm is to use your meter and wiring diagram.
It fills OK, it just won’t agitate.
  • Drive belt could be worn out–see above.
  • On the Whirlpool/Kenmore dual action agitator, the agitator dog cam assembly or drive spindle could be worn out. If the agitator just wobbles around when you turn it by hand, you need to replace the dog cam set.
  • The timer contacts for the agitate cycle could be fried. Time to blow the dust off that meter and read that wiring diagram.
  • On belt-driven Whirlpool/Kenmores: wig-wag plunger/lifter or transmission mode lever could be worn out. You’ll need to look at the action of the agitate solenoid when the machine is in the agitation part of the cycle. If the plunger/lifter slips off the transmission mode lever, replace either the plunger/lifter or the mode lever, as appropriate.
  • On Maytags only: the lid switch could be fried. (Other brands will still agitate with a bad lid switch.)
  • Pressure switch is fried. You’ll need to ohm out the contacts on it. How you gonna know what you’re looking for in the contacts if you don’t use the wiring diagram, too?
  • The air tube connecting to the pressure switch is pinched or you pulled it off by accident when you where tearing the thing apart because you didn’t have a clue about what you were doing.
It doesn’t agitate or spin.
  • Again, broken or worn drive belts.
  • Newer (direct-drive) Whirlpool/Kenmores: worn out direct drive coupler.
  • The drive belt has had it. Look for excessive glazing on the sides of the belt or cracks in the power side of the belt. On Maytags, replace the belt set if they look glazed or shiny on the sides even though the belts may look OK otherwise. Belts on other brands will be more obviously bad.
  • On Whirlpool/Kenmore direct-drive machines: worn direct drive coupler.
  • Motor is fried. If you can’t rig up a test cord and test it, that’s as far as I go with you on this one, Hoss.
  • No power at washer electrical outlet…duh!
"Fool thing won’t pump out and I got a tub full of stinky water in the washer. I’m gonna die! EEEK!"
  • Pump’s fried. If it’s a belt-driven pump, you can tell by feeling how stiff it is to turn. For electric pumps, hook up a test cord and run it. Pull drain hose and watch discharge stream. If stream fluctuates or is pathetic, replace the pump.
  • Again, worn drive belt. In this case, washer won’t spin either (or will have a sluggish spin).
  • The drain hose is clogged (usually with panties or nylon stockings, ya hey). Pull drain hose and watch discharge stream. A good discharge stream will have the same diameter as the hose itself. If less than this, it’s time to play find the panties.
It sounds like a helicopter’s taking off and the whole house shakes when the washer goes into spin.
  • Try leveling the washer, genius. Check for play along the diagonal corners of the washer cabinet by applying downward pressure. If there is any play at all, the washer will shake during spin and the legs must be leveled.
  • You have brilliantly located your heavy-ass washer on a floor that would be condemned for structural weakness if a building inspector saw it. Try placing reinforcing pads or pieces of plywood on the floor under the washer.
  • On Maytag top loaders: worn damper pads.
  • On Whirlpool/Kenmore direct-drive machines: worn snubber pads.
The clothes are still sopping wet at the end of the cycle and take forever to dry.
  • Ain’t but one thing: the washer’s not spinning (although it still pumps out). "Oh no, I know it spins." How do you know it spins, Sherlock, did you bother to actually see it spinning during the spin cycle? Don’t you think that’d be a better idea than shooting your mouth off at me?
"That washer put oil spots all over my clothes. I’m gonna sue!"
  • Take a chill pill, Prudence, it’s probably not the washer’s fault (unless it’s a GE/Hotpoint). Now, get ready to have your little mind blown: most of time, spots on clothes are from a chemical reaction between the fabric softener and the detergent. Oh sure, don’t believe me, go hire a lawyer, I don’t give a rip. But you might unbunch your panties just long enough to do this little test: try handwashing a spotted garment in warm soapy water. If the spots come off, they were caused by fabric softener/detergent interaction. I know, I’m a genius. But talk is cheap–thank me with your wallet, not your lips.
  • Transmission oil leaked back into the tub. This is most common with the older GE/Hotpoint washers. Test by applying solvent to a section of a spotted garment. If the spots come off only with solvent but not with soap and water, then they are oil spots. If you do have a GE/Hotpoint washer, take it to the dump and buy a Maytag or a Whirlpool.
"That horrible washer ate holes in my clothes! I’m gonna die!"
  • Try using less bleach, Nurse Ratchet.
  • Your clothes are getting caught under the agitator. Feel under bottom of agitator for rough spots that can catch clothing.
  • You’re using too little water for the load size you’re running. Look, if you want to save water, get a front-loading machine. Otherwise, fill that sucker up and pollute all the water on the planet in the process.
Clothes are still soapy at the end of the cycle.
  • Your cold water valve is clogged with sediment. Rinse is done with cold water. No cold water, no rinse.
  • Fried timer contact. Less likely but possible. Check the valve first, Hoser.
  • Itd be a good idea to check your water hardness, too.
I don’t get no cold water in my washer.
  • What, are you from Brooklyn and it’s your birthright to talk like a moron? I think you meant to say, "I cannot get cold water to flow into my washer." There, doesn’t that sound better, y’blockhead?
  • Sediment has gotten into the valve from the household water supply and is blocking the flow. Replace the valve.
  • Cold water hand valve at wall turned off…no, I’m not gonna say it.
The washer is completely dead.
  • No power at the outlet…DUH!
  • Timer is fried.
  • Washer went off-balance and tripped the off-balance switch. Open washer lid, redistribute the load and re-start the washer. Wasn’t that a lot quicker than getting on-line, finding this website, and listening to my abuse?

Order Parts for Your Washer

Repairing a Melted Hole in a Dishwasher; dishwasher repair

Annisa McAllister wrote:

Frigidare Gallery Model #GPDB998JC0. Bracket supporting heating element became a free spirit and allowed the heating element to melt a 3-inch long little trench in the bottom of the tub. Don’t think it melted a hole, but pretty close. Can I repair with some type of epoxy, ect. ?? Please help restore my kitchen karma….Thanks !!!


Message sent from IP:

Not to worry, my leetle grasshopper, your karma is unviolated. I’ve done this repair many times using a good-quality, high-temperature epoxy. In extreme cases where a huge, gaping hole is burned into the tub, you’ll need to pick out the charred and curdled plastic around the wound and cover it with a fiberglass patch, and then slather it with epoxy.

Another technique, easier but with less strength, is to use a duct tape patch on the outside and then slather the epoxy on top of it from the inside. Once the epoxy cures, you can peel away the duct tape.

Gas Dryer Fires Up Intermittently; dryer repair

Evie Hump wrote:

I have a question about my dryer. I have a Kenmore that is 3 years old. It has always worked very well, until now. In the last few days the gas does not always turn on. We can start it up, watch what we believe to be the glow plug light up and maybe 75% of the time the gas will start. The other times it does not and the glow plug goes off and after a bit it will try again. Most times it will not heat back up again. Any suggestions!



Message sent from IP:

gas dryer valve coils -- come git you some!

Turn on gas dryer,
flame comes on only sometimes.
Replace valve coils.

GE or Hotpoint Dishwasher Hums but Doesn’t Run; dishwasher repair

stvsue wrote:

I just found your site and fixed my dishwasher thanks to your info!
You provided a picture showing the simple task of giving the fan on the motor a twirl to unstick it and…Yahoo! it worked! Thanks again!


Message sent from IP:

Thanks for your comments! For the benefit of others reading this, the GE dishwasher repair pearl you found is here.

BTW, I’ve noticed that Yahoo seems to be giving much better search results than Google lately. Is King Goo-Goo slipping (*gasp*)?

Roper Dryer Won’t Shut Off; dryer repair

melanie wrote:

Oh noble Samurai, how I love your website. It has already helped me fix my washer, now for the dryer….

Roper model REX3615EW1. Dries and dries, but never stops. Does not matter if it’s on timed dry or auto sense dry….goes and goes and goes…dries the clothes great and then some!

Following your gracious advice, we have THOROUGHLY cleaned the inner and outer duct work. It is directly vented to the outside through a proper vent.

Please help this poor grasshopper, she is truly tired of having to set an alarm clock to remind her to go shut the damn thing off!

Message sent from IP:

Ahh, grasshoppah, Bliss Supreme has come upon you this day for the Samurai has received your plaintive plea.

The reason your dryer never shuts off is because the timer has failed. The solution is simple: replace the timer. Easy job, plug n’ chug, a mere single mug on the world-famous SUDs-o-meter.

War Story: Working on a Stack Laundry Unit that Flooded; washer repair

typical stack laundry unit-- click for larger view
A typical stack laundry unit stuffed into a tight cubby in a bathroom.

the connections behind a stack laundry unit -- click for larger view
Looking behind the stacked laundry unit. Couple things to note: 1) the vent hose, while metallic, which is good, is extremely difficult to disconnect for service and will tend to crimp when the unit is pushed back in place; and 2) since the washer’s water shut off valve is behind the unit and is not accessible for turning off between uses, BOTH fill hoses should be stainless steel braided hoses— that black rubber fill hose is a flood waiting to happen.

the cute plumber's trick -- click for larger view
This stack laundry unit had flooded– that’s why I was called out to repair it. After pulling the water inlet valve, the reason for the flooding was readily apparent: one of the protective inlet screens had been removed! This is called the cute plumber’s trick. Don’t do it! If you have a problem with scale gunking up the valve and restricting flow FIX THAT PROBLEM! Removing the protective inlet screen just creates another problem.

Is it Worth Replacing a Broken Coupler on a Whirlpool or Kenmore Direct Drive Washer?; washer repair

Tammy wrote:

SA BOM NIM — I have a Kenmore 70 Series heavy duty washing machine, model 110.82873120 which is probably 13 to 14 years old (I say probably because it came with the house when we bought it 5 years ago). I think the transmission coupling has broken, because it hums but doesn’t spin or agitate. Is it worth repairing, being this old? (It has seen light use, only 2-3 loads every week for the last 5 years and I assume similar in the preceding years, as it was owned by a retired couple). What is the expected life of these machines?

Thank you for sharing your great wisdom.


Message sent from IP:

This is one of the best top loading washers made today (Whirlpool is the manufacturer– Sears pays them put a Kenmore label on it). And you’re talking about one of the easiest washer repairs in the appliance world, two mugs on the SUDs-o-meter. Combine this with the fact that the replacement coupler costs less than $15 and it’s a no-brainer: fix your washer!

This page gives complete instructions on how to do this repair and even has a link to the part you need.

As for your question about life expectancy of washing machines, read this.

Go git ’em!