The Samurai has scoured both the Innernet AND the Outernet rounding up those perfect Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus gift ideas for that special Fixer Dude or Dudette in your life. Click the photos for more info or to purchase.
Stay warm AND safe with this Pocket Air Check combustible gas leak detector. Works with Natural and LP gas.
Multimeter. The indispensable tool for every DIYer. Specs: Volts AC 750 , Volts DC 1000, Amps AC 10, Resistance max. (Ohms) 2M, Continuity, Temperature -4 °F to 2498° F, Display (Counts) 2,000, Operating Temperature 32° F to 74° F (0°C to 23°C), Fuse Protection mA: 0.2A/ 250V, Power 9 V Battery (included), Size 5.5″L x 3″W x 1.5″. Temp probe included.
Non-contact A/C voltage detector. Test for voltage without touching any bare wires. This detector works by sensing voltage through the wire’s insulation. Detector has an audible beeper and visible flashing light indicator.
3 in 1 tool for splicing wires. Has wire strippers for stripping off insulation from the wire. Crimpers for crimping solderless connectors and bolt cutters for cutting small bolts. High quality.
240 Volt 240 Volt outlet checkers for checking the outlets on electric ranges and dryers.
Dryer Vent Tester for testing the backpressure on a dryer vent. Excessive backpressure is the single most common cause of overly long dryer times, repeatedly blowing thermal fuses and poor dryer performance. A vent can be free of lint and still be bad! Use this spiffy tool to check your dryer vent. A must-have if you’re a pro in the trade.
Microwave leakage detector.
Refrigerator and freezer thermometer, temps from -20 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Thermometer face has special markings to show where food is safe and where it is at risk of spoilage.
The Kill-A-Watt Energy Usage Meter. This plug-in meter allows you to track total power consumption by hour, day, week, month, or year. Also displays Voltage (V), Line Frequency (Hz), and Power Factor (PF). 15 amp maximum. No batteries required. Accepts standard 110 volt plugs, 2 or 3 prong.
Freezer alarm, sounds if freezer temperature goes above 15 degrees. Never lose expensive frozen foods again!
Gasohol tester. Used to test the alcohol content in the fuel.
Polder 3 function thermometer: large LCD read out displays the temperature of food during cooking. Presettable HI/LOW and inside the range temperature alert. Timer: 24 hour count down and count-up. Clock: Real-time clock. Stainless steel probe. Temperature chart and battery included.
Glide n Guard floor protector for appliance moving.
Affresh HE Washer Cleaner Pack – Use once a month to keep your HE (high efficiency) washer clean and odor-free! 3 Power Puck tablets and 4 Grit Grabber cloths per box.
Affresh Dishwasher and Disposal Cleaner – 6 Tablets.
Glisten dishwasher cleaner
Refrigerator and freezer condenser coil cleaning brush with instructions. Also works great for dryer lint.
Solid-surface range element cleaner (Sponge no longer included).
Vacuum cleaner attachment for condenser and dryer cleaning – This long vacuum cleaner attachment will help to clean dust and lint build-up in and around your refrigerator condenser coils underneath the refrigerator and dryer lint in the area where the lint filter is inserted. Fits 1-1/4 inch vacuum hose.
Dryer vent cleaning brush. For 4″ diameter round ducts. 20 feet long.
Complete Ceramic Cooktop Care Kit – contains a 10 ounce Cooktop Cleaner to clean and polish all glass or ceramic cooktops. A 4 ounce bottle of Cooktop Protectant. Six small cooktop cleaning pads and one larger Cooktop Protectant applicator.
Stainless steel cleaner.
Gas grate cleaner.
Rust remover – Removes rust stains from clothes, dishes, glassware, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, painted surfaces, concrete and water softeners. 16-ounce bottle.
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
Refrigerator and Ice Maker Maintenance
We’re trying out a new concept for a newsletter here in Samurai-land. In
addition to the quarterly (or so) full-blown newsletter with lots of
diverse information, we’re going to experiment with a monthly, shorter
issue that focuses on scheduled preventative maintenance tips for specific
appliances. Let us know whatcha think. If it’s not useful to you, then
please lemme know ‘cuz, if that’s the case, then I’d rather be out hiking
in the mountains instead of playing tippety-tap on the keyboard.
This being early Spring, we usually start getting lots of refrigerator and
ice maker service calls. Here are some things you can do that may help
avoid a service call on these cold appliances.
Refrigerator or stand-alone Freezer
Manual Defrost Refrigerator or Freezer
On manual-defrost refrigerator/freezers, check for frost build up in the
freezer. If there’s more than half an inch, it’s time for a defrosting.
Remove all the food, unplug the unit, and block open the door to let all
the frost melt. On upright units, this can make a wet mess on the floor so
put some towels down. On chest freezers, there will either be a drain or
all the water will collect in the bottom and can then be sponged out.
NEVER ever even think about using a putty knife or any kind of sharp metal
to scrape the frost off. It is very easy to puncture the evaporator and
ruin the refrigerator. Ain’t no going back from that one, Hoss.
Automatic Defrost Refrigerator or Freezer
On self-defrosting refrigerator/freezers, clean the drain pan underneath
the refrigerator that collects water (Some are not accessible. Don’t worry
if you can’t find yours). No need to go crazy, just wipe out the dog hair
and dried gookus so you don’t get a scum floatilla with stinkus when the
flood of condensate starts with the more humid weather.
Clean the refrigerator cooling fan and the condenser coils. The coils are
underneath the refrigerator. They are usually black and look like a series
of small tubes and “fins” connecting the tubes. Order a refrigerator
condenser brush to make the job easier: http://fixitnow.com/?p=6234
Check the door seals to be sure they are sealing properly against the frame
of the refrigerator/freezer. While you can get by with weak seals during
the colder, dryer winter months, they’ll let in lots of heat and moisture
during the humid, warm summer months and cause all kinda weird problems
inside the box. Do the Federal Reserve Note test: take your favorite
Federal Reserve Note and close the door on it, then give it a tug. Should
require some tension to pull it out. If not, that’s a weak spot in the
gasket. Do this all the way around the both doors.
If the gaskets are torn, or don’t seal properly, the refrigerator or
freezer may not cool properly. You may also start seeing frost formations
in weird locations inside the beer compartment or the freezer. This
problem is worse when the weather is warmer and more humid. Clean the
gaskets and frame with warm soapy water so they don’t stick to the frame.
Inspect the back wall of the freezer for any frost build up. It’s not
normal to have any frost on the back wall or floor of a self-defrosting
appliance. The presence of frost is normally an indication the
self-defrosting system has a problem. You can remove the back wall inside
the freezer to get some eyeballs on the evaporator coil. This page will
help you interpret what you see: http://fixitnow.com/?p=6036
For help troubleshooting warm refrigerator problems, use our warm
refrigerator flowchart: http://fixitnow.com/?p=4296
If you have a built-in ice/water filter, replace the filter approximately
every six months. If you don’t have a water filter, and you find your ice
tastes bad and/or smells funny, use a “taste and odor” water filter on the
incoming water supply line. A universal water filter will fix ya right up.
We carry filters for all refrigerator brands and models:
If you don’t have an icemaker, consider installing one now before the
Department of Energy outlaws them. No chit, Mon, they’re really moving to
do exactly that, see this topic at the Samurai School of Appliantology for
Many people don’t realize that virtually all refrigerators are set up to
easily accept an add-on icemaker. Many refrigerators have a tag inside the
freezer at the back that gives a kit number indicating exactly what kind of
icemaker will fit in that refrigerator. We carry add-on icemaker kits that
fit virtually every refrigerator/freezer on the market, most are
conveniently laid out for you on this page:
If you’re having a problem with your refrigerator, freezer, or ice maker,
come get free help from the appliantological masters in the Samurai School
Samurai Appliance Repair Man