Monthly Archives: November 2005

Gookus on a Gas Connection

Renee wrote:

The gas line connection to my dryer has what appears to be some sort of mineral deposits growing on the ouside of the coupling. It looks like off-white, delicate crystals. The connection is only a year old and was professionally installed. Is this dangerous?

Message sent from IP:

Could just be residue from when the connection was leak tested after installation… assuming that it was, in fact, leak tested. These days, you just never know. I’ve seen so much freaky shi’ite out there that I don’t assume anything anymore.

Post a photo of what you’re looking at and I might be able to comment further.

Get Ready to Pay More for New Appliances

Looks like all the big US appliance manufacturers will be raising their prices for new appliances this year. With the prices for new appliances increasing, appliances will become less disposable and the repair vs. replace decision will be skewed in favor of doing the repair. This bodes well for the appliance repair trade. If people have to pay more for appliances, repair companies will be able to charge more for their services. We’re going to have to charge more anyway because of increasing gas prices, so it’ll probably end up being a wash at the bottom line. But this also means that more people will be fixing their own appliances so I predict steady growth in traffic, parts sales, and live help subscriptions here at Samurai Appliance Repair Man. 😀

When consumers buy a refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine made by Whirlpool this year, they will be paying up to 10 per cent more than last year.

Whirlpool, the biggest US manufacturer of home appliances, decided to raise prices to compensate for sharply higher raw material and transport costs.

“I don’t think this industry has ever seen the order of magnitude of cost increases and shortage issues with both materials and transports that we’re seeing,” Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool’s president and chief executive, told analysts recently.

Maytag, another home appliance manufacturer, also increased prices after being hurt by higher steel costs.

Analysts say that attempts by appliance makers to raise prices have failed before because companies would undercut one another, bringing prices back down.

But higher materials costs mean all appliance makers are in the same boat. “We are seeing no sign that any of the suppliers are breaking ranks on pricing,” analysts at FTN Midwest Securities say in a research note.

[Read full article…]

Speed Queen Dryer Blew Thermal Fuse and Now Thermostat

Manas wrote:

About 6 months ago I replaced the thermal fuse on my Speed queen Dryer. It seemed to fix the ‘no heat’ problem (the vent is clean). Recently, I have lost heat again, appears the the thermostat (p.# 62641) is bust (no continuity). This manifested by the heating taking longer and longer, to now being totally cold. Oh wise one, what does this trend indicate?

Message sent from IP:

Whenever a thermal fuse blows, I always check the vent. What am I checking for, just the presence of lint? Nay, nay, intrepid grasshopper, there is much more to good dryer venting than merely the absence of the flammable mixture of human skin, mites, and clothing fibers, a.k.a. dryer lint. How much more? Read and learn.

Best maintenance practices also dictate that whenever either the thermal fuse or the thermostat are found to be bad, that both parts are replaced at the same time to avoid exactly the situation you’re now in.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In this fifth Thanksgiving Day of the new millennium, I am filled with gratitude and thanks for cheating death another day. Life is the greatest gift of all and we tend to get so bogged down by the frustrations and minutia of day-to-day living that we lose sight of the bigger picture. That’s the really cool thing about Thanksgiving– regardless of your religion or personal philosophy, Thanksgiving is a day that calls each of us to step back from the tasks in our lives and to simply be grateful that we are alive. And it’s not even about being thankful for all the toys and crap we have in our lives, it’s about being thankful for Life itself and for that little spark of Life that infuses and animates the being of every living creature in the universe. As humans, we have a unique relationship with Life because we alone have the capacity to be grateful and thus enter into a unique and personal relationship with Life. And because we all share the same Life, regardless of our religion, ethnicity, or race, we are literally brothers and sisters.

My human brothers and sisters, let us lay aside our petty differences and earthly cares, even if only for this day, and recognize that we are all connected simply by virtue of being alive.

It is good to be here.

Whirlpool/KitchenAid Tall-tub Dishwashers Won’t Operate

Service pointer from Whirlpool on this problem.

Models affected: Whirlpool DU1050XTP, DU1100XTP, DU1101XTP, DU1145XTP, DU1148XTP, DUC600XTP, DUL240XTP, GU2400XTP, GU2500XTP, GU2548XTP, GU2600XTP, GU3200XTP; KitchenAid KUD x 01-6 (where “x? is any letter). All serial codes.

IF you encounter a dishwasher from among those listed that doesn’t operate, look to the possibility of a heater fault-detection problem. Under these conditions, the clean LED blinks seven times and the unit stops operating. The condition can also apply to a dishwasher that has had the electronic control replaced.

The cause of the problem is an insufficient rise in water temperature during a given period. The heater fault-detection program that was added to the electronic control is designed to shut down the dishwasher if the board-test for proper water temperature rise is not sufficient.

The details: The cycle was modified to add 8 minutes 45 seconds of heat at the beginning of the main wash cycle. If the inlet water at the thermistor is below 110°F, the thermistor looks for a water rise of 4°F. If the inlet water is over 110°F, the test is for an increase of 2°F. If the temperature rise is below specifications, the unit will drain and the clean light will blink seven times.

The detection described above is ignored if the temperature is out of the normal temperature range of 64°F to 160°F during this heat period. This thermistor temperature test is not done to increase water temperature for better washability, but to only assure that the heater is functioning.

Remember, proper incoming water temperatures should be between 120°F to 140°F. You will need to identify possible causes of insufficient temperature rise. These causes may include checking the wiring to/failure of the control, the heating element, the thermistor, the inlet valve, door switch, motor or capacitor. Be certain water is not siphoning during fill. Once the heater fault detection has occurred and the condition resolved, the electronic control must be reset by initiating a special diagnostic cycle. Use the Product Tech Sheet shipped with each dishwasher to identify the correct cycle sequence. The rapid advance cycle will not properly reset the electronic control.

For more information on your dishwasher or to order parts, CLICK HERE.

Upper Part of a Two-Part Agitator in a Whirlpool Washer Not Working

Michael wrote:

I have a whirlpool washer. I replaced the transmission with shaft about six months ago. It was working fine.

The agiator goes back and forth but the top agiator that is suppose to turn the cloths down in the tub is not working. I removed the softner cup and o ring lid to check if the nut was tight inside. It was. Any suggestions.  system is about 10 years old. Also replaced the plastic coupler and rubbers.


M. Hudson

If the lower half of the agitator is doing it’s back and forth thing but the upper half ain’t, then you need to replace the agitator dogs (or “dawgs” as they say at my alma mater, the University of Georgia).

Glorious Washer Repair

Just when I’m getting burned out from spending every waking moment working on this website and wearing my finger tips to bloody, boney stumps from answering posts in the repair forum, someone goes and sends me an email like this:

Carolyn wrote:

Dearest Samuraifolk(s)

Thank you ever so much for having such a wonderful, comprehensive, A-B-C, easy to read, plain old English, with links to picutres website with ANSWERS! When the washer wouldn’t spin&drain, we thought perhaps as long as we were gonna have to buy a new washer (why pay almost as much for an in home repair when we could get something more energy efficient) that we should have fun learning on the old “broken” washer. Clicking around led us to you. We found that the problem was a broken lid switch actuator, learned how to take the washer apart without ripping it off it’s moorings, found the broken bit, and know where to go to get a new bit, all for less than $10. What a wonderful thing, your website! Glorious, truely. We are so grateful to you. Really. A $10 part! And we know so much more, now!

The above message was sent when you were offline.
Message sent from IP:

Fixed a Washer With Dad

I had the privilege of going on a job with my dad (the Samurai) last week. It was a stack laundry unit, and the washer wasn’t working. So we went to the lady’s house – it was a neat old Victorian house. We put on our booties (not our behinds, the things you put on your shoes to keep dirt off the floor) and she absolutely loved them. Probably three times she thanked us and said how thoughtful it was. We looked at the washer, pulled it out a bit, and scratched our heads as we thought about it. Then, the brilliant Samurai realized the circut breaker had tripped! Even though it was something simple, she was still honored that he could come out to look at her washer and respect her floor.

~~ Ivey ~~

Appliantology Newsletter, November 2005

1. New Look and Feel

2. New Blog Posts During October

3. The Samurai Appliance Repair Forums

4. Got Parts?

1. New Look and Feel

The biggest news this month is the total make-over of You can read about all the details in this post but what I want to emphasize here are the key changes in the site as they affect your efficiently finding the appliance repair information you need.

First thing is the new site search box, on the top right-hand side, just below the logo. This is a built-in search engine, not a third-party Yahoo or Google search. That means it’s much more detailed, comprehensive, and up-to-date than a third-party search utility could ever be. Use it! Alot! You can start with a specific search term, such as “Kenmore model 417.36465 dryer will not get hot.” If you don’t get any results or nothing answers your question, then zoom out to more general search terms such as, “dryer no heat.”

Just below the site search utility in the right-hand sidebar is the LivePerson box. If I’m online, you’ll see a face in the box. Click it and I can help you find stuff. For more detailed help, start a new topic in the repair forum. In fact, that’s the first of the three main sections just below the LivePerson box. Let’s go ahead and talk about those.

You’ll find the three sections immediately below the LivePerson box to be particularly illuminating. They are:

1) The Awesome Do-It-Yourself Forums
The first section is a link to the World-Famous Samurai Appliance Repair Forums where you’ll get personalized help from myself and other master appliance techs who can help you troubleshoot and repair any major appliance.

2) Appliance Troubleshooting Help
This is a list of links by appliance to the repair help section of our parts partner’s website. They have lots of great illustrations, diagrams, and diagnostic information at their site and you can turn around and buy the part right there. Hey, why reinvent the wheel?

3) Key Pages
These are static pages (i.e., non-blog pages) with commonly sought-after information.

Just below this is the section of Post Categories. Here, you can browse all the posts in a category, such as “Dryer Repair,” “Washer Repair,” etc.

Another change is that future non-appliance repair posts, such as my libertarian rants, Hillstomping Updates, and philosophical ramblings will be posted in my new personal blog, The Zenzoid Files. If you get bored jamming bamboo splints under your toe nails, come check out the train wreck at

Table of Contents

2. New Blog Posts During October

October was a very heavy month for blog posts, 34 total, and almost all of them focused on some aspect of appliance repair– too many to list or summarize; to list them would be unusually cruel and boring, and to summarize them would be a frivolous exercise in wasting time. But you can easily and quickly browse them yourself by checking out the October archive. Here’s another cool feature of WordPress, the new publishing software I’m using for the monthly archive pages contain summaries of each post during that month, not the complete, full-length post, a la Blogger, my old publishing system. While skimming the archive page, just click on the title to read the full article.

Table of Contents

3. The Samurai Appliance Repair Forums

The Samurai Appliance Repair Forums are rockin’. Here are a few summary stats on the forum for the month of October:

Visitors, total: 2,266
Visitors per day (average): 73
New Posts: 2,705
New Posts per day (average): 87

Lots of folks are going to the repair forum and getting stuff fixed. And they should. It truly is the premiere appliance repair forum on the web with an unrivalled lineup of master appliance techs from all over the world who donate their time to help grasshoppers with their vexing appliance problems.

Table of Contents

4. Got Parts?

I always think it’s obvious that you can buy parts through my website; in fact, I don’t like to be in-your-face about it because it could detract from the ambiance of the site. But I’m always shocked when I find out, usually either in the repair forum or in an email exchange, that someone had no idea that they could buy parts through my website. This just in from the newswires: FLASH– IF YOU NEED APPLIANCE PARTS, BUY THEM THROUGH THE PARTS LINKS AT FIXITNOW.COM.

I know, you’re wondering why you should buy parts through my parts links instead of buying somewhere, anywhere, else. Fair questions, I’ll give you three reasons:

1) The prices are as good or better than you’ll find anywhere else.

2) But on top of great prices, you get world-class customer service and the best return policy anywhere: you can return any part for any reason. Period. Yep, even electronic or electrical parts that have already been installed and, oops!, that didn’t fix the problem (but allow me to remind you, gentle reader, of Samurai’s Ichiban Law of Appliance Repair).

3) My website and repair forum survive because do-it-yourselfers like you buy their replacement parts through my affiliate links. Whether you buy the parts through my parts links or go directly to my parts partner, RepairClinic, it doesn’t cost you any extra, the only difference is that if you go through my links, I get a small commission on the sale. Hey, a few pennies here, a few pennies there and before you know it, I have enough money for a bomber can of Bud.

But, in addition to the foregoing, they really do have some very good repair information over there. For your convenience (because that is all ever think about), I’ve included the list of links to the appliance repair troubleshooting sections at RepairClinic:

Table of Contents

Finally I just want to thank you for visiting and making it a part of your Internet experience. There are bizzillions of websites out there and I’m glad you found ours!


Welcome to Our New Digs!

If you’re one of those enlightened and extremely intelligent individuals who visits this site regularly then you’ve noticed the make-over. Yep, I finally got fed up enough with Blogger to convert my entire site over to WordPress. Much greater control over the site, the ability to group posts by category (dryer repair, gubmint, etc.), built-in non-branded site search engine, all PHP and MySQL-based, and dynamic pages which eliminate the need to republish the entire site (almost 1,000 posts!) when I make one little template change.

I’ll still keep the old pages on my server– they’ve all been indexed by the major search engines and there’s no sense in deleting them. If you’re new to this site, you can check out the old look here. Among the changes you’ll notice are the elimination of the main table to get you right into the most recent content; smaller font and fewer colors lending a more polished (dare I say, professional?) look to the site. Also, the site looks and feels best using the open-source browser, Firefox. (WordPress is open-source software, too, by the way.)

One of the many cool feature of WordPress is that you, the user, can start a post. You betcha, just like this post about dishwasher life spans and this one about a dryer that won’t work. To start a post or to comment on one, just register using the link at the bottom of the gray sidebar on the homepage.

Still moving in, though: have to finish categorizing the posts and setting up the static supporting pages. Should be all moved in in another two weeks. The final result will hopefully be a website that is more interactive and that makes it even easier for you to find the appliance repair information you’re looking for. Thank you for your forbearance and patience during this difficult but exciting transition for

Dishwasher Lifespan

Grasshopper writes:

How long do dishwashers last? Specifically a Frigidaire Ultra Quiet I. What is the point (dollar amount) where you would buy a new dishwasher instead of repairing the old? Daughter dropped a glass in dishwasher – pump quit in agony after grinding on glass chips – dishwasher full of water.

I’ve used your website to fix my 20 yr old wash machine and drier. Your wisdom is appreciated.

According to my illuminating and inspiring epistle, “How Long Should Appliances Last?” the half-life for built in dishwashers is about 13 years. You should read the linked article carefully because the concept of appliance half-life originated here at and you’ve not heard of it before.

Another salient point to consider in your repair vs. replace deliberations is whether or not you’ll be doing the repair yourself. Obviously, doing it yourself greatly tilts the economics in favor of repair over replace.