Monthly Archives: December 2005

Gas oven goes boom when starts

I have been having an issue w/ my Whirlpool gas oven , Model SF365BEY

I saw your posting regarding a manufacturing defect with the burner tube
Can you tell me if my model had this defect

Also I am very concerned – I have already had gas company replace the ignitor
Now I recently am hearing when I am cleaning mode the boom many many times – should I stop using this oven ? How dangerous could that be ?
Does it sound like the ignitor is broke again ?

Is it normal for it turn off and on like that so often ???

Thank you for your help in advance

Get Ready! (for the Hard Day)

Get ready for the Hard Day

It’s not a question of if, but when and how bad the next emergency will impact your life. Even the various tentacles of the federal gubmint are urging people to make preparations for at least a 72 hour emergency, but anyone with any common sense is preparing for a much more protracted scenario. When I talk about this with my family, we call this the Hard Day.

To help people prepare for the inevitable, I’ve started a new message board completely dedicated to helping everyone and anyone prepare for the coming Hard Day. It’s brand, spankin’ new so I only have a few things posted right now but it’s not about me– it’s about we the sheeple pooling our knowledge and resources to help each other survive and prosper during the Hard Day. In turn, we have a responsibility to help our neighbors and communities prepare. Don’t rely on the gubmint to do for you what you should do for yourself; remember Katrina.

The new message board is called Get Ready! It looks the same as the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum and runs the same software, so it’s already familiar to regular users of this site. So come on in and become a part of our preparedness community:

Staber Washer: A Customer’s First Impression

The Staber washer is a horizontal axis washer (commonly referred to as “front-loaders”) but with the unique feature of loading from top. It has all the advantages that come with horizontal axis washers: uses much less washer and electricity, no inefficient, clunky transmission, needs less detergent, and clothes last longer because they’re not whipped back and forth by an agitator. You can read more about the Staber here.

Recently, one of my site users bought a Staber and I asked him if he would share his honest first impression of the machine. He was gracious enough to write the following excellent report on his first impression upon receiving, unpacking, installing, and running his new Staber. If you’re considering buying a Staber, this report is required reading:

John wrote:

It came nicely packed, but after opening it, my neighbor said, ‘is it used?’. There were greasy fingerprints, dust, etc. Since I know you are into the Apple packaging thing, you can unnerstan what I’m talkin’ ’bout. It didn’t bother me much. I read that they test each unit, etc. which is comforting. I also would give the ‘fit and finish’ a B-. I like the overall look of the machine, but when you look closely, the sheet metal does not match up to the plastic top very well. Again, not a big deal to me.

I installed new filter washers because the old ones had started to fall apart. I tried to scrape the remnants out of the valve before hooking things up. I really should replace the valves, but was very excited to hook things up and blew it off.

With my wife’s help, we had it leveled on our uneven, poured-concrete floor in about 15 mins. The manual indicated that each adjustable foot also had a locknut, which it did not (design change?). Also, it stated that we should install the rubber feet onto the metal feet, but they were already on…

Following their advice to wash our clothes sans detergent a couple of times because of residual soap residue due to our old, ineffective washer, we threw a colors load in to use both cold and hot water on a warm cycle. I was amazed at how quickly it started to agitate due to the short time needed to add water. I’m not sure I get Staber’s logic when they state that it is gentler than traditional washers yet cleans better. Do they mean that it is tumbling rather than tugging on the clothes?

Anyway, it sounded like it was really agitating things nicely. Could be a little quieter, but not bad. I’m glad it isn’t near our bedrooms, tho. I made sure to be in the room when the spin started. I was surprised by the long duration of the spin compared to traditional washers, but their slower spin speed (750 rpm?) probably explains this. It does, as others have noted, sound like a plane taking off. I
didn’t time the dryer duration for this load, but the clothes did come out ‘feeling’ dryer than our old 10 Y.O. maytag POS’s spin.

I guess I’ll reserve judgement on cleaning ability until I wash one of our heavily soiled, kid’s clothes loads with detergent. Some of their pant’s knees and socks have mud stains that are still obvious after a dozen washings in the maytag.

So, I guess I’d say, ‘So far, so good’ at this point. I’m more hopeful now that I’ve interacted with it a little. I felt like we took a gamble buying it without actually being able to inspect it like one could in a bricks and mortar. A suggestion: why not use quicktime to create an image of one which you can inspect online?

Thanks again,


Good suggestion on the movie! I’ll find one and add it to this post as an addendum. Also, if John has any followup reports on washability and usage issues, I’ll post those here as well. Or John can post it as a follow-up comment. 😉

UPDATE 12/13/2005: Here, now, by popular demand is the long-awaited Staber video. Be forewarned: it’s a 139 mb mpg file, could take a couple minutes to download on broadband, couple more if you’re on dial-up connection.

UPDATE 12/22/2005: I’m getting killed on bandwidth so the link in the previous update no longer works. But, never fear: The Samurai has come up with a mo’ bettah solution. If you want the video, just email me and I’ll send you the access link: samurai AT

Refrigerator Warming Up and Makes an Occasional Clicking Noise

This is usually a burned out start relay on the compressor. The function of the start relay is to momentarily energize the start winding in the compressor motor and then cut power to the start winding as soon as the motor is running. In the good ol’ days, these relays were mechanical: heavy copper wire wound around a plunger that would open and close in response to current… and they almost never failed.

Most of the start relays on modern compressors are solid state and use a special material whose resistance increases with temperature. So, as current flows through the relay and the relay heats up, its resistance increases to the point that the start winding is isolated from the rest of the circuit, accomplishing the same thing as the old relays. A common failure of these relays is that the solid state material “cooks” and breaks up, staying open and thus never allowing the start winding in the compressor motor to energize. The end result is that the compressor tries to start, usually you’ll hear a humming noise, and then, after a few seconds, the compressor’s overload protector takes the compressor offline with a loud CLICK!

Easy way to tell if the start relay is bad is by simply removing it from the compressor’s control pod and shaking it. If you hear any rattling, it’s fried.

The most common start relays are shown below. Match ’em up to yours by sight. If you don’t see yours, you can use the 3-in-1 start kit or look it up here using your model number.

The other, more ominous possibility is that the compressor itself is FUBAR. You can check this with your ohm meter. Set it on the lowest setting and then measure the resistance between each of the three pegs sticking out from the compressor in the control pod– the same ones that the start relay and overload connect to. Should read something in the low ohms. If the reading between any two pegs is infinite resistance, then one of the windings in the compressor motor is burned out. You should also measure from one of the compressor pegs to ground with your ohm meter on the highest setting. If you read anything, the compressor has developed a path to ground and is bad.

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