Monthly Archives: November 2008

How to Test the Defrost System in a GE Arctica or Profile Refrigerator

All refrigerators need to be defrosted every few hours. Older refrigerators used a simple, inexpensive, and very reliable mechanical timer. In many models made today, the defrost cycle, temperature control, and other hoo-hahs are all handled by an over-priced and highly failure-prone electronic circuit board. GE calls theirs a motherboard. I call it a muthaboard. Sometimes mutha-something else.

ge arctica muthaboardOn GE Profile and Arctica refrigerators, the muthaboard is located on the back of the refrigerator, behind the metal panel. Remove the panel and you’ll see the board, shown here (click pic for larger view).

ge muthaboard defrost jumperTo put the refrigerator into defrost mode, use a jumper wire with alligator clips (you can buy a bag of ’em at Radio Shack for a buck two-eighty) to jumper the two terminals shown here in this pic.

This will put the refrigerator into defrost mode and makes it easy to troubleshoot defrost system problems. While in defrost mode, you can check to see if the electric heaters on the evaporator are getting hot. If not, then use your light stick to see if you’re getting voltage to the heater wires. If voltage isn’t making it to the heaters, then the possibilities are:

  • open defrost thermostat
  • bad connection between the muthaboard and the defrost components in the freezer
  • bad muthaboard

OTOH, if you are getting voltage at the defrost heater but no heat, then replace the defrost heaters. You’ll need to order the set based on your model number, which you can do ratcheer.

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

Samurai Certification for Electronic Circuit Board Analysis

Almost all major home appliances built today have at least one electronic control board inside of them. Because they are so ubiquitous in the world of major appliances, electronic circuit board analysis is a crucial skill for successfully repairing appliances.

Most grasshoppers are not skilled in the ancient and mystical ways of analyzing electronic circuits. But for those of you out there who are, we here at Samurai International Headquarters would like to identify and honor you with the Samurai Certification for Electronic Circuit Board Analysis (SCECBA; pronounced “skek-bah“). Your SCECBA certification says to the world that you know a thing or two about electronics… and that you do other stuff online besides playing Texas hold ’em.

If you think you have what it takes for SCECBA certification, then here’s your chance to prove it: take the SCECBA exam.

If you pass, you will receive a cool electronic SCECBA decal to be proudly displayed on your website.

Requiem for Xdrive

xdrive_logo.jpgI used to store and share my vast library of appliance repair service manuals using Xdrive, which was, at one time, the premier secure file sharing service. Sometime in 2007, AOL bought ’em out and, as you would expect, Xdrive went steadily downhill after that because AOL has a gift for turning everything they touch into a steaming pile of monkey dung (they have a lot in common with Microsoft in this respect).

After suffering through numerous problems and technical glitches with Xdrive under the new AOL management, the unthinkable happened: Xdrive shat the bed and lost all my files. Since I was dealing with AOL staff, I wasn’t surprised to discover that the “tech support” drones were utterly useless creatures and a colossal waste of calories and air. The most helpful person I spoke to was in billing when I cancelled my account. And I was pleasantly surprised to find later on that she actually did cancel it when my credit card wasn’t re-billed for the “service.”

Then I stumbled across a recent announcement that AOL is shutting down Xdrive permanently at the end of the year. Now I’m gleefully awaiting the announcement that AOL itself will shut down at the end of the year.

The biggest thing at my site affected by this is the Live Help program. I’ve had to temporarily suspend it whilst I setup a new file hosting and sharing service since unlimited access to all my appliance service manuals was a key feature of the program. I still have all the manuals on my local hard drive but now I have to locate a new secure file sharing service and set up shop there.

But fear not, my intrepid seeker of higher appliantological wisdom! You can still get help fixing your appliance from Master Appliantologists, including your fermented host, in the world-famous Samurai Appliance Repair Forums.