Monthly Archives: November 2006

Tales from the Buttcrack, Episode No. 1,897: Defective Customers

And now, for your reading pleasure, another inspirational episode of Tales from the Buttcrack, with your host, Samurai Appliance Repair Man.

Today’s episode is brought to us by “Trying to Help,” one of the Sublime Masters of Appliantology in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum. “Trying to Help” is a technical manager with the service division of a large, national appliance manufacturer. He describes a recent service call that one of his service techs went on. Let’s listen…

Sent a tech out yesterday on a 8 year old Jenn-Air DD slide in. Call marked COD and tech confirms charges at the door. Complaint is no display, tech has the clock with him and provides the quote prior to installing it. Customer is happy that we have the part and agrees to the charges.

Also wants the DD fan looked at because it has never worked. Tech tries it and sure enough it does not come on. Pulls the front panel off and presto! No DD fan has ever been installed! No vent hole cut either! Tech explains this to consumer and advises if they know the local people they bought it from possibly they could supply the motor.

Tech tries to collect for payment for clock repair and now consumer (husband) tells tech, oh, we have a 10 year warranty parts and labor. Tech shows consumer in use and care that the major controls are covered for 5 years parts only and reminds them that they agreed to the charges not more then 10 minutes ago. Consumer becomes irate and still refuses to pay.

Tech calls me from home with consumer yelling and I advised tech inform consumer that we will remove part and be on our way if that is what they want, this is agreed to and tech removes the part and gets out of Dodge (Augusta actually).

About 30 minutes goes by and I am asked to call the consumer regarding a complaint on the tech. They do not know I was the one he called earlier when I call. They then accuse the tech of stealing the DD fan assembly and the venting!!! Claiming it worked fine before he got there and now the clock has no display as well.

I advised them that the call out there was for clock has no display and that the tech had told me from there kitchen that the units DD system has never worked because there was no motor and no venting was ever even run. I was informed at this point that they will not call us anymore because we were not giving them the quality of service they desired!!

I’m sorry, you jipped us out of our diagnostic charge, wasted an hour of our time and had my tech install a part you had no intention of paying for in the first place. Oh yea, then accusing him of theft!! All for the low onetime reasonable price of … NOTHING! Where else can you get that service these days! Oh yea, had to listen to the mandatory we will tell all our other freeloading friends to not call you again nonsense.

USDA Grade-A Cheesedorks.

Join us again next week for another inspiring episode of Tales from the Buttcrack.

Whirlpool-Kenmore Direct-Drive Washer with a Lazy Spin

If you have a Whirlpool or Kenmore direct-drive washer with a weak or lazy spin which gets worse with a heavier load, it may have a bad clutch or transmission. How’s a grasshopper to know which it is? Fret thou not, my leetle seeker of arcane appliance wisdom, for this topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum offers some excellent diagnostic advice from seasoned Master Appliantologists and will gently guide you to appliance enlightenment.

Travails and Ultimate Triumph in a Maytag Refrigerator Repair

A big fat domo to Faz, an Apprentice Appliantologist in the world-famous, award-winning Samurai Appliance Repair Forum, for posting his refrigerator repair saga in the Kitchen Forum. It was such a compelling and well-written epic that I had to re-post it here:

Thank You for running this great website!

I am an electrical engineer and do all my own maintenance on my cars and motorcycles, but never did any work on appliances before.

Our 4 year old Maytag MSD2756GD side by side refrigerator was starting to act up, not cooling down enough for a few weeks, until I noticed the frost in the back side of the freezer section, after I came across the ice cream that was changed to milk shake in the freezer!

After a few google searches, I came across this site and pretty well realized that the ADC circuit should be the problem. But with a new baby that just arrived 5 weeks ago, and having visitors and such, I couldn’t get the time to go look at the problem myself. I turned off and defrosted the fridge that Sunday afternoon for a few hours, plugged it back in and it started working better, not great though.

On Monday I looked in the local craigslist and found a posting from a so called technician with years of experience and warranty on all work done, etc. . Called him and had him go check the refrigerator while I was at work. He went suggested the air ducts/blades in the back were dirty and needed cleaning. I thought he was talking about the air circulation vents inside the refrigerator. I was happy and asked the wife to pay him the $50 he asked for. Later I found out that he did not check any circuits or anything else (unlike what he told me, that he checked). Later, the temperature didn’t go as low as I wanted it, and stayed in the high 40s in the fridge side. I couldn’t get the guy to call me back again, left a few messages and nothing. The fridge was working constantly without ever shutting off, so after reading more info on this site, I realized the defrost system is not kicking in as it should. I decided I knew enough about it to not spend any more money on the labor … and take a “if you want it done right, do it yourself (while informed)” kind of approach.

I bought a second fridge for the garage during the week (always wanted to have an extra one) and this past saturday transferred all of the food from the faulty fridge (which had warmed up quite a bit by then) to this newer one. I left the faulty fridge to defrost overnight, and Sunday morning went to work on it: checked the continuity and resistance on the thermostat and they were all good (later found a wiring diagram hidden by the ADC board, which said the thermostat had to have 240k ohm resistance for continuity check. I reopened that side and confirmed this.) I then proceeded to remove the ADC board and called around, and found a local appliance parts store that had many in stock for $57. Picked it up an hour later, and the lady at the counter told me that they sell ‘a lot’ of those!

Replaced the board with the new one, cleaned the fridge, and everything is working like a clock now. The refrigerator shuts down and starts up on its own, and temp is in the low 37 or so while setting is in the middle of the range.

I must say, compared to working on my motorcycles and cars (valve adjustments, engine work, etc.), this repair was on the easy and fun side of things for me.

I just had to do a contribution to this site that offered me the info I needed to get the job done myself. Thanks for running a great site. You will see me back here for other appliance related stuff.

Home on the Range

The most commonly misunderstood aspect of oven operation that we encounter in the field is oven temperature regulation. We find that many of our customers mistakenly believe that when they set their oven to cook at, say, 350ºF, that the oven will bake at exactly 350ºF for the duration of the cook. In fact, this is rarely the case.

The actual sequence of operation is this:

When the oven is initially turned on and set at the target bake temperature, again say 350ºF for illustrative purposes, the oven will fire the bake burner or energize the bake element until the thermostat senses that the oven temperature has overshot the target temperature by as much as 80ºF in some models. At this point, the thermostat will turn off the bake burner or de-energize the bake element until the oven cools to a temperature below the target temperature, again by as much as 80ºF in some models. The end result is that the oven cooks at an average temperature of 350ºF (again, in this example).

The better, higher-end ovens will have tighter deviations from the target temperature but the basic operation is the same: all ovens achieve the target temperature by an average of the temperature fluctuations above and below the target.

“But,” you may ask, “if that’s true, why does that cheap oven thermometer I bought at the hardware store read 350ºF when I set the oven to 350ºF?” Or, “How come it now says it’s 425ºF in the oven when I set it to 350ºF?” The answer is that the oven thermometers that you place in the oven are, by design, slow to react to temperature variations in the oven so you are, in effect, reading an average temperature on your hardware-store thermometer.

The other possibilities are that your thermometer is showing you an erroneous reading or that your oven thermostat calibration has actually changed. Many people don’t realize that it requires a sophisticated thermocouple-type thermometer to measure temperature accurately and precisely. If your oven thermostat seems to be out of calibration, don’t despair–most thermostats can be recalibrated and adjusted.

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Recommended Reading:

My Oven Temperature is Out of Whack.”

Tres Oven Tips Just in the Nick o’ Time for Cooking Season

Dryer Venting Wisdom


name = Greg

email = *********
country =   USA
comments = You have given me a TON of info about my dryer vent, and I appreciate it. Can you help me with the one problem that is driving me mad? I can’t get my vent to stay attached to the back of my drier! Is it safe to use duct tape to tape it in place? How long does the hose have to be? My dryer is close to a wall (in a closet) and I am wondering if I am using too long a vent hose and this might be making it easier for the thing to fall off. OH GREAT SAMURAI, HELP ME!!!

Please open your appliance repair hymnal to page 127: The Ultimate Dryer Venting Guide. Wherein it is written… well, lots of stuff about dryer venting and dryer venting materials. Of particular interest to you would be the 4″ vent hose clamps at the bottom of the list. Here’s a free tip: always make your 90-degree turns using a pre-formed, aluminum fitting, such as this one. And the spiral-wound slinky hose should only be used sparingly, to make tricky connections. See The Ultimate Dryer Venting Guide for lots of other dryer vent construction materials and kits.

Dryer Vent LenghtAs for dryer vent length, that depends on several things, like the vent material, number of turns and bends, and type of discharge hood. The diagram shown here explains, click it for a larger view.

For more information about your dryer or to order parts, click here.

Meet Cheeky the Appliance Repairclown…

Cheeky the Repairclown-- click for larger view... IF you dare!Or not. You know the drill: you have a broken appliance but you’re dreading calling Cheeky the Repairclown. Good news: you don’t have to! Fix it yourself and save big bucks. This website is all about helping you fix your own appliances so you don’t have to gouge out your eyeballs after getting an eye full of Cheeky in action.

So let me list all the helps available to you here at this cornucopia of appliance repair help:

So grab a tall mug of your flavorite fermented grain beverage, get comfy and look around. The truth is out there… here, I mean; the truth is here.

Use the Form, Luke!

This website has over 3,000 pages packed with pearls of appliance repair wisdom just waiting for you to feast your bleary, blood-shot squinties upon them. Just use the search form below.

In my vast and awesome experience running this website for 10 years now, I’ve realized that most people don’t know how to use a search function. Quick review: in searching, always start with the most general terms and then add terms to narrow your search. For example, if you have a Maytag Neptune MAH3000AWW that leaks, your first search should be something like, “washer leak.” Then, to narrow the results, progressively add more terms such as, “Maytag,” or “Neptune.” Ok, now you try…

Using a GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) with Appliances

Seems to be a lot of confusion about this among Grasshoppers. And lots of people have at least one major appliance on a GFI, usually the refrigerator on the kitchen GFI circuit. But most appliance manufacturers explicitly state that GFIs should not be used on appliances. For more info, see this topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum.

Your Online Jenn Air Stove Cartridge Store

In stock and ready to ship; 30-day money-back guarantee; 100% safe and secure ordering; next-day delivery available. Click it to git it.

Jenn Air Cartridge - Conventional Coil, Stainless Steel Jenn Air Cartridge – Conventional Coil, Stainless Steel (Manufacturer’s Number A100) – Designer Collection. Stainless steel.

Jenn Air Cartridge - Conventional Coil, Black (Manufacturer's Number A100B) - Designer Collection. Black.Jenn Air Cartridge – Conventional Coil, Black (Manufacturer’s Number A100B) – Designer Collection. Black.

Jenn Air Griddle - Electric (Manufacturer's Number A302) - Electric Designer Line. Griddle for electric range or cooktop.Jenn Air Griddle – Electric (Manufacturer’s Number A302) – Electric Designer Line. Griddle for electric range or cooktop.

Jenn-Air Griddle for Gas Range - Designer Line (Manufacturer's Number AG302) - Jenn-Air Designer Line griddle for gas range. (Manufacturer Number AG302) Jenn-Air Griddle for Gas Range – Designer Line (Manufacturer’s Number AG302) – Jenn-Air Designer Line griddle for gas range. (Manufacturer Number AG302)

Jenn Air Cartridge - Gas Two-Burner Module (Manufacturer's Number AG202MG) - Porcelain-on-cast-iron burner grates. White with matte gray grates.Jenn Air Cartridge – Gas Two-Burner Module (Manufacturer’s Number AG202MG) – Porcelain-on-cast-iron burner grates. White with matte gray grates.

Jenn Air Cartridge - Radiant Element (Manufacturer's Number AR141B) - Expressions Collection. Black.Jenn Air Cartridge – Radiant Element (Manufacturer’s Number AR141B) – Expressions Collection. Black.

Jenn Air Cartridge - Radiant Element (Manufacturer's Number A122W) - Smooth top stove cartridge, white trim. Designer Line. WhiteJenn Air Cartridge – Radiant Element (Manufacturer’s Number A122W) – Smooth top stove cartridge, white trim. Designer Line. White

Jenn Air Cartridge - Radiant Element (Manufacturer's Number A122B) - Stove cartridge assembly, smooth top, black. Designer Line.Jenn Air Cartridge – Radiant Element (Manufacturer’s Number A122B) – Stove cartridge assembly, smooth top, black. Designer Line.

Jenn Air Cartridge - Energy Saver Electric Grill Assembly (Manufacturer's Number A158) - Designer Line. Excalibur nonstick grill grate finish. 2800-watt grill element. For cooktop or range.Jenn Air Cartridge – Energy Saver Electric Grill Assembly (Manufacturer’s Number A158) – Designer Line. Excalibur nonstick grill grate finish. 2800-watt grill element. For cooktop or range.

Jenn Air Grill Cover (Manufacturer's Number A341) - Electric Designer Line. Black.Jenn Air Grill Cover (Manufacturer’s Number A341) – Electric Designer Line. Black.

Whirlpool Calypso Washer: RIP

Nickfixit, a veteran appliance servicer with a large, national retail and appliance service company and one of the fine Sublime Masters of Appliantology in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum, offered this erudite analysis of the ill-fated Whirlpool Calypso washing machine. Take ye heed…

Ok, I can see Whirlpool had good intentions when they came out with the Calypso. They wanted it to work, but things pretty much went to sh1t. So over the years, Whirlpool has brought out the Duet and now the Cabrio to meet the high efficiency needs of todays market. As the Calypso’s die off, we steer them to the new, and better, product. So far, so good.

But, today I had a customer who had an older Calypso die when covered under a service contract. They replaced it with a NEW Calypso. Here we are waiting for these fetid piles of stinking monkey dung to die off and go away, and these stupid bastards are putting brand new units in peoples homes. This is the last straw, if they are going to be this stupid, I going to start telling the CUSTOMERS what I think.

Some things I have or will say…

“I hate to even touch these, I don’t want the stench of failure to follow me all day.”

“I wouldn’t take one of these as a gift.”

“A child could have built a better machine.”

“I could fix it so it’s like new, but that ain’t saying much.”

Or maybe I should tell every customer to do a web search for “Calypso class action suit.”


The Samurai Appliance Repair Forum Ch-ch-ch-changes

So, we just completed a detailed and exhaustive accounting of all the income and expenses associated with running and the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum and we discovered something verrrry interestink: the forum generates less than 7% of the revenue that the main site,, does yet it comprises more than 82% of the overhead because of higher hosting fees and bandwidth charges! In other words, I’m losing my a$$ running this forum. 😯

But I figured out a way to keep the forum running…

Access to the forum will continue to be free on a read-only basis. As an unregistered user (Lurking at the Threshold), you will not be able to search the forum, send private messages, start a new topic or reply to an existing topic. As a registered user (Grasshopper), still free, you may search the forum (a very server CPU time-intensive operation which was causing problems with the server). But in order to start a new topic or reply to an existing topic, Grasshoppers will need to pay a one-time access fee of $5, after which they’ll be promoted to Apprentice Appliantologist and have full posting rights forever. BTW, if you have ever donated any amount over $5 to the United Samurai Beer Fund, you don’t need to pay the one-time forum fee– just let me know the email address from which you made the donation and, wallah!, I’ll make you an Apprentice Appliantologist.

In order to get posting access, first register as a Grasshopper and then go to the “Subscriptions” tab in your account and select, “Lifetime Membership in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum,” here’s the direct link.

Of course, professional appliance techs will never be charged because they contribute to the forum intellectually by answering questions. If you’re a professional appliance tech and would like to participate in the forum, just contact me (samurai _AT_ or one of the forum moderators and you’ll get promoted to Master Appliantologist without ever having to pay the one-time fee. The idea is to only charge a one-time nominal fee to Grasshoppers and then *only* if they’d like to post in the forum.

This forum is successful and popular because people get expert help from lots of different techs. Thanks for helping to ensure that the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum will continue to be here both now and the next time you need help fixing your broken appliances! 8)