Monthly Archives: May 2011

Appliantology Newsletter, May 2011: The Case of the Leaking Refrigerator

Appliantology Newsletter, May 2011: The Case of the Leaking Refrigerator

Greetings and Permutations to all my fellow Appliantologists!

This month, the Samurai brings you glad tidings for a refrigerator problem that lots of folks are having this time of year: water leaking out of the refrigerator.

The good news is that this is easy to repair and usually requires no parts.

The bad news is… well, there is no bad news!

The cause is what we professional Appliantologists call a “plugged condensate drain.”

I hear you; at this moment you’re wondering to yourself, “What, o besotted Samurai, is a condensate drain and in what unspeakable manner does it become plugged?”

Good question and Im’ma splain it to you.

Y’see, Hoss, there’s this coil inside your freezer compartment that gets real cold and that’s where all your cold air for the entire box is made. This coil normally runs at a temperature of about -15F. That’s enough to give anyone a pointy chest! The fan inside the freezer pulls air across those chilly coils and cools it down to about 0F.

Well, it don’t take a nucular fizzisist, like yours kinda truly, to know that at that temperature, water vapor will freeze into white fuzzy ice on that thang faster than fried on rice in a hot wok. After a short while, that frost can build up so thick that the air is no longer contacting the coils but is flowing over the fuzzy ice instead, which is at a considerably higher temperature than -15F.

Okay, enough theory. Periodically, the refrigerator has to defrost that coil in the freezer. When it does this, all that frost is melted into water that we professional Appliantologists called “condensate,” which then runs into a trough with a drain hole underneath the coil and then on down to the condensate drain pan down by the compressor, where it evaporates.

Pop quiz: Where does all that melted condensate go if the drain hole in the trough happens to be plugged?

Answer: Out onto your floor!

To fix this, you have to remove that back wall inside the freezer and clear the trough and drain. Don’t be surprised if you find a slab of ice there. Or there may be an ice plug extending down the condensate drain hole. You just need to patiently work at it with hot salt water. The salt helps melt the ice faster, but be careful not to get the salt water on the coil because it could cause corrosion. If you’re not comfortable using salt, just use plain hot water and add a little more patience.

If you need help taking your fridge apart so you can get at this stuff, come to the Samurai School of Appliantology and start a new topic in the Kitchen Forum. We can post diagrams and instructions that’ll show you how to get to the condensate drain and get ‘er done. In fact, we can help you fix any of your appliances that are givin’ you some trouble.

And if you need appliance parts, get ’em thru the parts search box at the top of the page there at the Samurai School. There’s a one year warranty on all parts ordered thru the site so, if you order a part and it doesn’t fix it, return it for a refund– even special order or electrical parts that you already installed! It’s the deal of a lifetime!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

The Samurai School of Appliantology

Mailbag: How to clear gookus, like bra wires, from the pump in a Bosch washing machine

Mary wrote:

We have the Bosch 500 series washer. The underwire came out of a bra and sounds caught between the pump and drum. Would really like to get it out myself instead of calling someone. I can’t download the page with the diagram (bosch-fl-washer-clearing-pump.pdf ) Any ideas how to get it out?

Ax and ye shall receive, that is the Way of the Samurai:

Clearing Gookus Out of the Pump in a Bosch Front Load Washer

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

Mailbag: How to fix a Maytag Ice2O French Door refrigerator with blinking lights and flapping flappers

Tammi wrote:

I am having the same problem my Maytag ice2o with the board blinking and flap flapping. It is 4 years later than those posts. Is the board still hard to find? Any advice?

Yep, classic sign of a bad control board in these refrigerators. The board is still available, in stock and ready to ship; click here to buy it. Comes with a one year warranty, too.

(click it to git it)

If you need help installing it, come start a new topic in the Kitchen Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology and we’ll step you right through it.

Mailbag: LG washing machine full of water and won’t pump out

Sue wrote:

I have an LG Washer, WM2277HW, and it sounds like the motor?? Kinda loud… and not spinning… and now filled with water in the drum because I can’t get it past the one point to drain… Got a quite from Sears to fix with a 1 year service and all parts would be included for $342. or 90 day on service no parts for $129…. not sure how much these parts will be…I bought this March 1, 2006… and no longer have any service agreement…

Now why would anyone need a Service Agreement when they have Samurai Appliance Repair Man? Why, it’s better than a frog in a blender… er, something like that.


The drain is clogged with what we professional appliantologists call “gookus.” That’s a technical term that refers to coins, nails, bra wires… anything that ain’t supposed to be there.

You’ll need to bail the drum and then access the drain pump so you can open the cleanout and clear the gookus. This purdy pitcher shows you where the drain pump cleanout is on your model:

LG WM2277H Washing Machine Layout Diagram
(click for larger view)

If it’s clear, then there could still be gookus caught in the drain pipe– a little more disassmbly involved with that job and we can help you with that in the Laundry Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology.

It’s also not unusual for these pumps to just go bad; the motor can burn out or seize up, the impeller can shear off or become so boogared up that it can’t pump the water anymore. If that’s the case with yours, come git you a new drain pump.

Mailbag: How to fix a dim display on a Magic Chef range

benny wrote:

i have a magic chef oven model 5898vvv, approx 19 years old, the display in the clock is out out,cannot see the clock,or timer or oven settings,has benn out for quite a while,started working again the other day for a couple of hours then went out again,not sure if its the clock assembly,any hely would be appreciated

This is a bad ERC (electronic range control, a fancy word for “clock assembly”). Slam dunk. I have personally fought this battle many times.

The ERC is still available and you can buy it here.

(click it to git it)

The part comes with a one year guarantee. If it fails for any reason during that time return it for a refund or replacement. You can also return it for a refund if it doesn’t fix the problem! How ’bout them apples?

If you need help installing it, come start a new topic in the Kitchen Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology.

Mailbag: Dispenser on a GE Arctica refrigerator keeps freezing up

Mark wrote:

GE Side By Side GSH25JSTASS water dispenser not working. Water is getting to ice maker. Have replaced valve, but still not working. Don’t think the dispenser is frozen and still need to check to see if power is getting to valve. Could the problem be in the dispenser itself?

Ahh, Grasshoppah, don’t be so quick to assume the dispenser is not freezing up. Dispenser tube freeze-ups are so common in this model group that GE put out a dispenser tube heater kit. Read all about it ratcheer…

If’n that don’t git it fer ya, come start a new topic in the Kitchen Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology and we shall illumine thy path!

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

Mailbag: Bosch Nexxt washer throwing an E04 error code

Maria wrote

Have a Bosch Nexxt 500 series washer and am getting error E:04 message. Checked hoses and all clear. Suspecting something is stuck in pump. Understand that you have a service manual on how to clear the pump. You refer to the attachment: bosch-fl-washer-clearing-pump.pdf . Can you share?

The appliantological wisdom you seek is on this page:

If that’s helpful to you, then you can share the love here:

If not, come start a new topic in the Laundry Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology and we’ll hepya whup up on it.

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

Mailbag: Dryer keeps blowing thermal fuses

Kelley wrote:

Whirlpool Duet Dryer (WED9200SQ1) keeps blowing thermal fuse. I replaced Themistor and Thermal Fuse and ran one load fine. Trying to start a 2nd load and thermal fuse blew again. All lights come on but it won’t run. I then replaced the Theramal Cut-off and High Limit Thermostat and Thermal Fuse and ran one load fine again and blew the Thermal Fuse on the 2nd load. The lint screen is clean, and exhaust is only 5 ft long and clean. I checked the heater element with a meter and it doesn’t appear to be grounded. I also took the heater element out and inspected it and it looks good. When running the exhaust seems strong and warm. I then by-passed the thermal fuse and ran the machine checking things. In automatic mode the heater element heated up, eventually turned off and then turned back on like I think it should. However, when I ran “air only” I noticed the heater element start glowing red and I shut it down. Also, during that test I noticed that the blower seemed to not run continuous. It seemed to be pulsing. I’m not sure what to check next. Any help would be appreciated.

Thermal fuses blow because of a problem with air flow and this is usually in the venting system. If you’re using the slinky-type vent hose, it could be crimped or have a bad case of what we professional appliantologts call, “venterialsclorosis,” like ahso:


Poorly-constructed dryer vents are also the single biggest cause of dryer-related household fires, too. You don’t wanna end up like this guy:

The Heartbreak of Home Dryer Fires

See my award-winning tome, The Ultimate Dryer Venting Guide for details on constructing a good, safe dryer vent.

Also be sure to check the vent exhaust hood outside the house, make sure it doesn’t look like this:

Clogged dryer vent exhaust

If you need more help figuring out what’s wrong with your dryer, come start a new topic in the Laundry Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology.

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

How to figure out why an LG washer takes longer than indicated to complete the cycle

Example model number WM2277H. The control panel says 57 minutes left in the cycle but it actually runs for another 1 hour and 20 minutes. Wassup wif dat, yo?

Someone (not naming any names) has been skimping on the detergent! You can only use HE detergent in this washer. Even occasional use of the regular stuff will screw it up and make it do a “suds kill cycle.”

More info in this topic at the Samurai School of Appliantology…

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

Understanding the water system in the LG condensing steam dryers

This is LG’s line of condensing dryers (no vent) that use steam injected into the drum during the dry cycle to prevent wrinking. Example model number is WM3431HW.

A common problem is for too much cold water to come in to the drum during the drying cycle, leaving the clothes soggy.

Sublime Master john63 in the The Samurai School of Appliantology illumines us with a basic understanding of what’s going on here:

The COLD WATER VALVE ASSY consists of (3) valves.

The valve on the right side (if facing the front of the washer) is a *Misting* Valve that sends a cold mist into the Duct Assy behind the tub. This cold mist helps to convert *steam* from the tub (during the dry cycle) back to a condensation/liquid form.

As your’re aware—this then begins to pool in the Sump Boot & Drain Pump Assy—to be periodically pumped/drained from the combo washer/dryer.

When this valve becomes faulty—too much cold water enters the Duct & Tub (wet laundry).

More info in this topic at the Samurai School of Appliantology…

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

How to fix a GE Arctica refrigerator that’s making ice crystals all over everything in the freezer compartment

So it’s Friday afternoon and you go to pull out some T-bones from the freezer to thaw for grilling tonight with good friends and Michelob only to discover that there are these weird freakin’ ice crystals all over everything in your freezer. The steaks are still frozen and you *hope* they’ve been frozen all along but what’s with the frost all over your stuff?

Couple thangs could be going on here, Hoss. First, listen to the fan in the freezer with the door closed. Listen real good for a while, press your ear up against the door if’n you need to. Does that fan sound steady or is it ramping up and down in speed? If it’s hunting around then you need to replace the Muthaboard ‘cuz it’s sending unsteady voltage to the fan.

Awwite, so the fan sounds steady, no weirdness going on there. Now what? Well, Imma tellya so hang on to yo britches.

Here’s today’s psychrometrics lesson: in a freezer environment, repeated thaw and freeze cycles will form ice crystals on solid surfaces.

“Why is that, Captain Ron?”

Well, nobody knows. All I know is that in these GE refrigamerators, with all that fancy-ass electronified boolsheet, that if the defrost thermistor is the old-style and the freezer fan is running on low speed all the time, the defrost cycle will be controlled by the hi-limit safety thermostat and not by Mr. Thermistor.

So, what does this mean? No, he is NOT the freakin’ Kwisatz Haderach.

It means the freezer has been getting waaay too warm during defrost and making everything in there wet and clamy ‘cuz it was heating up until the high limit finally kicked out the heating element. Then when the compressor turns back on and starts cooling everything down with the fan blowing, all that water vapor desublimates directly to a solid. (Did you like that one, “desublimates?” Oh yeah, we professional appliantologists know all about that fancy scientifical stuff. That’s why we makes the big money! )

Make sure you have the new, upgraded thermistors in your GE fridge. If not, do it now.

Kinda makes you think twice about eating those T-bones tonight, da tovarish? Can you say salmonella?

Still confoosed Grasshoppah? Come start a new topic in the Kitchen appliance repair forum and we’ll straighten yo azz right out.

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

Need a new muthaboard for your GE refrigerator? You may be able to get for FREE from GE!

So, using the expert help available both here and at the Samurai School of Appliantology, you’ve determined that the muthaboard on your GE fridge is FUBAR. A Samurai Grasshoppha, Crouching Schnauzer, has shared with me his journey through the byzantine corporate maze that is GE which resulted in his getting a new replacement muthaboard for FREE and has requested that I make this information available to you. Stand in awe and be amazed at the power of the Samurai Internet.

From Crouching Schnauzer:

Honorable Samurai was most helpful in enlightening me in the ways of defeating the cunning GE refrigerator muthaboard. I have gained much wisdom in my journey, and now ask that the Samurai would share this wisdom with other DIY warriors via his vast web presence:

After reading up on all the GE muthaboard issues, I was preparing to fork over $75-150 bucks for a new one myself. However, I took a shot with GE customer service. I have to give them credit; their poor quality product was balanced out with good customer service (at least in my case).

I called this number:
which I got from this link:

…which is actually for moisture issues on side-by-side fridges. I inquired about recall on my muthaboard, stating that I knew that were recalls on other models (even though mine was not actually an included model).

I made these points:
1) My fridge is only 3 years old
2) If I let GE come out to fix it, I’d be paying at least $200-300, which would be better spent toward a whole new unit.
3) Even the part alone from GE would cost twice as much than from another online seller.

So, after what I consider only a moderate amount of persuading, the kind folks at GE sent me a new muthaboard NO CHARGE! They let me know that I would have no warranty if I installed it myself, but I politely pointed out that I could just get another board for $100, instead of paying $200-300 for a GE service call.

I was pretty excited about this victory, and perhaps it may help others in a similar way. The part they sent was Main Board WR55X10942 (not my original part #), which seems to be the one they use for many models that need replacements.

Thank you for passing this info along!

Crouching Schnauzer

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

Maytag Atlantis washer thrust bearing C-clip wisdom

From Grand Master Funk in the Samurai School of Appliantology:

How many washers do you have under the “C” clip?
if you have a thick and a thin washer…thats ok
if you have 2 thin washers thats ok
if you have 2 thick washers that not ok…

Read more…

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

Google Public DNS

I’ve been happily using the OpenDNS for over a year now. Then, a few days ago, started having problems with my photo hosting site,, not loading. I went thru the usual browser cache clearing and DNS flushing ritual, even tried different browsers (Google Chrime and Mozilla TiredFox; I normally run Apple’s Suckfari) all to no avail. Alas, what was a besotted cyber Samurai to do?

After puttering around some more, I discovered that I could connect to my Smugmug site thru either one of my VPN services (I use both WiTopia and Patriot Internet) which use their own DNS. I could also connect if I disabled OpenDNS and went back to to using Comcast’s DNS without VPN.

So all this seemed to point the problem to OpenDNS. Even with Smugmug whitelisted, I still couldn’t connect. Seems their DNS wasn’t so open. Or maybe it was too open and it has a poisoned DNS cache.

Whatever the cause of the problem, I embarked on a quest for a permanent cure and discovered Google Public DNS.

I know, I know, Google is evil, they’re a CIA startup and an NSA front and they collect personal data and eat puppies but damn it all, it just freakin’ works! And lighting fast, too! I never realized how much DNS affects browsing speed.

If you can stomach the puppy-eating stuff and wanna try it out, the IP for it is and

Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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