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Friday, September 30, 2005

Audioblog Post
Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 17:46 ET.  [permalink]
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Dishwasher won't run; no power to dishwasher; dishwasher dead; dishwasher no-op; dishwasher repair

burnt power wire connnections in the power junction box on a dishwasher.  click for larger view.
(click to enlarge)

Went on a dishwasher service call the other day. Complaint was that the dishwasher was completely dead. The customer had already verified that the circuit breaker wasn't tripped.

First thing I always do on a dead dishwasher complaint is to verify that power is available at the power junction box in the dishwasher. I removed the kickplates, then open the junction box cover and, SHAZAAM! that's what I saw. It's a wonder the breaker didn't trip!

Invariably, I get asked, "What caused those wire connections to burn?" Loose electrical connections generate heat-- these wire nuts were probably not installed correctly and loosened enough over time to cause the connection to burn. In this case, the connections were contained by a grounded metal box, so there was little fire danger.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 07:08 ET.  [permalink]
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Unveiling a New Mac iBook: A voyeuristic peek into a disturbing moment in the life of a certifiable geek.

Unveiling a New Mac iBook
Unveiling a New Mac iBook: A voyeuristic peek into a disturbing moment in the life of a certifiable geek.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 06:52 ET.  [permalink]
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GE / Kenmore Dishwasher Check Valve Assembly; No-Drain or Poor Draining; Check Valve; dishwasher repair

GE / Kenmore Dishwasher Check Valve Assembly; No-Drain or Poor Draining = Clean Out Check Valve and/or Replace Flapper Gasket
GE / Kenmore Dishwasher Check Valve Assembly; No-Drain or Poor Draining = Clean Out Check Valve and/or Replace Flapper Gasket (click to enlarge)

Parts Links:

Piston Assembly for Check Valve

Flapper Check Valve

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 06:30 ET.  [permalink]
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Whirlpool / Kenmore Calypso Washer Component Access Diagram (valve, pump, motor, washer plate, u-joint, pressure switch, etc.); washer repair

Whirlpool / Kenmore Calypso Washer Component Access Diagram
Whirlpool / Kenmore Calypso Washer Component Access Diagram (click to enlarge)

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 06:10 ET.  [permalink]
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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Whirlpool Duet Washer: how to remove the front access panel; how to remove the boot assembly from the tub, how to replace the boot, washer repair

Whirlpool Duet Washer:  how to remove the front access panel; how to remove the boot assembly from the tub, how to replace the boot, how to replace the door switch.  (click to enlarge)
Whirlpool Duet / Kenmore HE3t Washer: how to remove the front access panel; how to remove the boot assembly from the tub, how to replace the boot, how to replace the door switch. (click to enlarge)

Parts Link: Front Bellows Seal (boot)

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 20:46 ET.  [permalink]
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Background Information on LG, Siemens, and Samsung Appliances for Consumers; appliance reviews

One of the Master Appliantologists at the Samurai School of Appliantology, TomBBY, wrote up a nice backgrounder piece on LG, Siemens, and Samsung appliances. If you're in the market for new appliances, you need to read this!

____Original Message_____
From: TomBBY
Date: 2005-09-28 12:35:49
Subject: LG and Siemens Appliances

I have noticed reading your site that you had no listing or information for a couple of products we carry, so I thought I might share a little wisdom with you. :)

Siemens washers, dryers, ranges and OTR microwaves are carried by Best Buy, and quite possibly some others. These majors are produced by Bosch of America (in the Carolinas, I believe), while the OTR is manufacturered for them by LG (Lucky-Goldstar).

LG and Samsung are mostly coming from South Korea (the ones from North Korea tend to explode, so we don't buy them! 8-0 ), and the BEST of the two is definitely the LG. We have only had two LG refrigerators in 2+ years come in with an electrical problem, and it didn't affect the way they cool. 99.9% of the problems we have with LG is scratch and dent out of the box. Otherwise, they are one of the most trouble free appliances I have ever sold. I actually get customers returning to the store to thank me for selling them this appliance!

The LG laundry products are practically bullet-proof. The only problem we've encountered so far, is a door buffeting problem, that was fixed with a free kit of four shim/washers for the inside latch - to bring the door closer to the drum. That was only in the early units - no later units have had even that problem! If you compare the LG washer/dryer to the Whirlpool Duet (which we also sell), it makes it very difficult to sell a Duet. Even with Whirlpool's name recognition, the LG laundry pair is just such a better performer (and superior in design) than the Duet. LG really made these machines well.

The only loose canon in the whole kitchen group in the Siemens dishwasher, which although VERY quiet (runs at 48 dbs), is decidedly being produced in the same plant as the Bosch - or at least with the same design. However, the Bosch units list a 42db rating over their Siemen's counterparts. The LG is also rated at 48db, (and ALSO looks suspiciously like the Bosch!) but with it's sealed sides it's hard to believe that it produces much noise over a low hum. I have had customers contact me after installing one of these (LG) in their home, remark at it's low water usage, easy control, and virtually no noise - even when installed into an island!

Samsung refrigerators are doing MUCH better than they did when they first appeared on the MAJAPS scene, but they are still not up to the quality of a Whirlpool or LG product. While they make their own refrigerators (and I believe their own "special design" OTR microwaves) their ranges and dishwashers are CLEARLY built by Maytag. However, since Maytag has left a bad taste in BBY's mouth, so to speak, the only Maytag built products you will now find on our floor are Hoover products.

If you look hard enough, you will notice that Sears is using both Samsung and LG designs/builds for their Kennmore OTR line! You will also notice that the LG design is being used for Kennmore's Trio (French door style) refrigerators, as well as Amana.

Thanks, Tom!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 00:31 ET.  [permalink]
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Washing Machine Diagnostic and Repair Guide; washer repair; washing machine repair
Washing Machine Diagnostic & Repair Guide
Problem Possible Causes
EEK! My washer is leaking!
  • Your fill hoses might need tightening at either end.
  • I've seen where poor draining in the standpipe causes the sudsy water to back up and overflow, making it look like a washer problem when, in fact, it was a plumbing problem.
  • Maytags can have problems with the water injector leaking.
  • A pump might be leaking. You gotta open it up and see.
    On Whirlpool/Kenmore direct drive washers, the pump is down in front and you'll need to remove the cabinet to check it out.
    On old-style GE/Hotpoint washers, the pump is down in back and you'll need to pull off that back panel to check it out.
    The pump on Maytag washers is down in front and you'll need to pull the front panel off to check it out.
  • The tub might be leaking. How can you tell? Right, you gotta open 'er up and look at it. Crystal balls don't work too good.
  • The new-style GE's (which suck out loud) are bad for the infamous spin-during-agitate problem. This makes a mess because it sloshes water out of the tub all over the frikkin' floor. The only cure is to replace the brake package but, man, you might as well go ahead and replace the whole transmission. Prevention is the best thing here: avoid GE like the plague and buy only Maytag or Whirlpool laundry equipment.
  • The fill valve has crud caught in it making it stick open. Replace the fill valve and install sediment filtration on household water supply. More details on this here.
  • Very restricted water flow through the valve. This problem is unique to the older GE/Hotpoint washers. Low water flow will cause the water from the valve's discharge hose to run back up the hose by capillary action and down to the floor. This is a tricky one to catch, Hoss. Takes real kidneys to spot this one.
The washer doesn't spin or, if it does, it's real sluggish.
  • No spin at all: the lid switch is fried. Whaddya do? You test it with your meter.
  • In the Whirlpool/Kenmore washers, a common problem is that the lid plunger stops making contact with the lid switch. Use a pen to manually press the lid switch actuator (with the lid up, duh). If the washer spins...well, you know the rest.
  • Older (belt-drive) Whirlpool/Kenmores: the spin solenoid is burned out or has cut wires. Ohm out that solenoid (20-30 ohms) and test with a test cord. Make sure the wires are intact by giving them a little tug. If this is OK, you may need to adjust/replace the basket drive.
  • Newer (direct-drive) Whirlpool/Kenmores: worn out direct drive coupler.
  • The drive belt has had it. Look for excessive glazing on the sides of the belt or cracks in the power side of the belt. On Maytags, replace the belt set if they look glazed or shiny on the sides even though the belts may look OK otherwise. Belts on other brands will be more obviously bad. Here's how to replace the belt on older Whirlpool/Kenmore belt-drive washers, and on old-style GE/Hotpoint washers.
  • Timer is fried. On older timers, it's sometimes possible to run an external jumper to replace the bad internal contacts. Usually, however, the entire timer must be replaced. The only way to confirm is to use your meter and wiring diagram.
It fills OK, it just won't agitate.
  • Drive belt could be worn out--see above.
  • On the Whirlpool/Kenmore dual action agitator, the agitator dog cam assembly or drive spindle could be worn out. If the agitator just wobbles around when you turn it by hand, you need to replace the dog cam set.
  • The timer contacts for the agitate cycle could be fried. Time to blow the dust off that meter and read that wiring diagram.
  • On belt-driven Whirlpool/Kenmores: wig-wag plunger/lifter or transmission mode lever could be worn out. You'll need to look at the action of the agitate solenoid when the machine is in the agitation part of the cycle. If the plunger/lifter slips off the transmission mode lever, replace either the plunger/lifter or the mode lever, as appropriate.
  • On Maytags only: the lid switch could be fried. (Other brands will still agitate with a bad lid switch.)
  • Pressure switch is fried. You'll need to ohm out the contacts on it. How you gonna know what you're looking for in the contacts if you don't use the wiring diagram, too?
  • The air tube connecting to the pressure switch is pinched or you pulled it off by accident when you where tearing the thing apart because you didn't have a clue about what you were doing.
It doesn't agitate or spin.
"Fool thing won't pump out and I got a tub full of stinky water in the washer. I'm gonna die! EEEK!"
  • Pump's fried. If it's a belt-driven pump, you can tell by feeling how stiff it is to turn. For electric pumps, hook up a test cord and run it. Pull drain hose and watch discharge stream. If stream fluctuates or is pathetic, replace the pump.
  • Again, worn drive belt. In this case, washer won't spin either (or will have a sluggish spin).
  • The drain hose is clogged (usually with panties or nylon stockings, ya hey). Pull drain hose and watch discharge stream. A good discharge stream will have the same diameter as the hose itself. If less than this, it's time to play find the panties.
It sounds like a helicopter's taking off and the whole house shakes when the washer goes into spin.
  • Try leveling the washer, genius. Check for play along the diagonal corners of the washer cabinet by applying downward pressure. If there is any play at all, the washer will shake during spin and the legs must be leveled.
  • You have brilliantly located your heavy-ass washer on a floor that would be condemned for structural weakness if a building inspector saw it. Try placing reinforcing pads or pieces of plywood on the floor under the washer.
  • On Maytag top loaders: worn damper pads.
  • On Whirlpool/Kenmore direct-drive machines: worn snubber pads.
The clothes are still sopping wet at the end of the cycle and take forever to dry.
  • Ain't but one thing: the washer's not spinning (although it still pumps out). "Oh no, I know it spins." How do you know it spins, Sherlock, did you bother to actually see it spinning during the spin cycle? Don't you think that'd be a better idea than shooting your mouth off at me?
"That washer put oil spots all over my clothes. I'm gonna sue!"
  • Take a chill pill, Prudence, it's probably not the washer's fault (unless it's a GE/Hotpoint). Now, get ready to have your little mind blown: most of time, spots on clothes are from a chemical reaction between the fabric softener and the detergent. Oh sure, don't believe me, go hire a lawyer, I don't give a rip. But you might unbunch your panties just long enough to do this little test: try handwashing a spotted garment in warm soapy water. If the spots come off, they were caused by fabric softener/detergent interaction. I know, I'm a genius. But talk is cheap--thank me with your wallet, not your lips.
  • Transmission oil leaked back into the tub. This is most common with the older GE/Hotpoint washers. Test by applying solvent to a section of a spotted garment. If the spots come off only with solvent but not with soap and water, then they are oil spots. If you do have a GE/Hotpoint washer, take it to the dump and buy a Maytag or a Whirlpool.
"That horrible washer ate holes in my clothes! I'm gonna die!"
  • Try using less bleach, Nurse Ratchet.
  • Your clothes are getting caught under the agitator. Feel under bottom of agitator for rough spots that can catch clothing.
  • You're using too little water for the load size you're running. Look, if you want to save water, get a front-loading machine. Otherwise, fill that sucker up and pollute all the water on the planet in the process.
Clothes are still soapy at the end of the cycle.
  • Your cold water valve is clogged with sediment. Rinse is done with cold water. No cold water, no rinse.
  • Fried timer contact. Less likely but possible. Check the valve first, Hoser.
  • Itd be a good idea to check your water hardness, too.
I don't get no cold water in my washer.
  • What, are you from Brooklyn and it's your birthright to talk like a moron? I think you meant to say, "I cannot get cold water to flow into my washer." There, doesn't that sound better, y'blockhead?
  • Sediment has gotten into the valve from the household water supply and is blocking the flow. Replace the valve.
  • Cold water hand valve at wall turned, I'm not gonna say it.
The washer is completely dead.
  • No power at the outlet...DUH!
  • Timer is fried.
  • Washer went off-balance and tripped the off-balance switch. Open washer lid, redistribute the load and re-start the washer. Wasn't that a lot quicker than getting on-line, finding this website, and listening to my abuse?

Washing Machine Common Problems and FAQs

Order Parts for Your Washer -- NOW!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 21:39 ET.  [permalink]
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Repairing a Melted Hole in a Dishwasher; dishwasher repair

Annisa McAllister wrote:

Frigidare Gallery Model #GPDB998JC0. Bracket supporting heating element became a free spirit and allowed the heating element to melt a 3-inch long little trench in the bottom of the tub. Don't think it melted a hole, but pretty close. Can I repair with some type of epoxy, ect. ?? Please help restore my kitchen karma....Thanks !!!

Message sent from IP:

Not to worry, my leetle grasshopper, your karma is unviolated. I've done this repair many times using a good-quality, high-temperature epoxy. In extreme cases where a huge, gaping hole is burned into the tub, you'll need to pick out the charred and curdled plastic around the wound and cover it with a fiberglass patch, and then slather it with epoxy.

Another technique, easier but with less strength, is to use a duct tape patch on the outside and then slather the epoxy on top of it from the inside. Once the epoxy cures, you can peel away the duct tape.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 23:48 ET.  [permalink]
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Appliantology Newsletter for July-August-September 2005

The Appliantology newsletter for July-August-September 2005 is out! Amaze your friends, confound your enemies with your esoteric appliance repair wisdom. To get your very own, FREE, personal copy of this widely-sought after and award-winning journal of appliance enlightenment, just click here.

Happy fixing!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 12:33 ET.  [permalink]
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Gas Dryer Fires Up Intermittently; dryer repair

Evie Hump wrote:

I have a question about my dryer. I have a Kenmore that is 3 years old. It has always worked very well, until now. In the last few days the gas does not always turn on. We can start it up, watch what we believe to be the glow plug light up and maybe 75% of the time the gas will start. The other times it does not and the glow plug goes off and after a bit it will try again. Most times it will not heat back up again. Any suggestions!


Message sent from IP:

gas dryer valve coils -- come git you some!
Turn on gas dryer,
flame comes on only sometimes.
Replace valve coils.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 06:21 ET.  [permalink]
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GE or Hotpoint Dishwasher Hums but Doesn't Run; dishwasher repair

stvsue wrote:

I just found your site and fixed my dishwasher thanks to your info! You provided a picture showing the simple task of giving the fan on the motor a twirl to unstick it and...Yahoo! it worked! Thanks again!

Message sent from IP:

Thanks for your comments! For the benefit of others reading this, the GE dishwasher repair pearl you found is here.

BTW, I've noticed that Yahoo seems to be giving much better search results than Google lately. Is King Goo-Goo slipping (*gasp*)?

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 01:16 ET.  [permalink]
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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Roper Dryer Won't Shut Off; dryer repair

melanie wrote:

Oh noble Samurai, how I love your website. It has already helped me fix my washer, now for the dryer....

Roper model REX3615EW1. Dries and dries, but never stops. Does not matter if it's on timed dry or auto sense dry....goes and goes and goes...dries the clothes great and then some!

Following your gracious advice, we have THOROUGHLY cleaned the inner and outer duct work. It is directly vented to the outside through a proper vent.

Please help this poor grasshopper, she is truly tired of having to set an alarm clock to remind her to go shut the damn thing off!

Message sent from IP:

Ahh, grasshoppah, Bliss Supreme has come upon you this day for the Samurai has received your plaintive plea.

The reason your dryer never shuts off is because the timer has failed. The solution is simple: replace the timer. Easy job, plug n' chug, a mere single mug on the world-famous SUDs-o-meter.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 10:48 ET.  [permalink]
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Saturday, September 24, 2005

War Story: Working on a Stack Laundry Unit that Flooded; washer repair

typical stack laundry unit-- click for larger view
A typical stack laundry unit stuffed into a tight cubby in a bathroom.

the connections behind a stack laundry unit -- click for larger view
Looking behind the stacked laundry unit. Couple things to note: 1) the vent hose, while metallic, which is good, is extremely difficult to disconnect for service and will tend to crimp when the unit is pushed back in place; and 2) since the washer's water shut off valve is behind the unit and is not accessible for turning off between uses, BOTH fill hoses should be stainless steel braided hoses-- that black rubber fill hose is a flood waiting to happen.

the cute plumber's trick -- click for larger view
This stack laundry unit had flooded-- that's why I was called out to repair it. After pulling the water inlet valve, the reason for the flooding was readily apparent: one of the protective inlet screens had been removed! This is called the cute plumber's trick. Don't do it! If you have a problem with scale gunking up the valve and restricting flow FIX THAT PROBLEM! Removing the protective inlet screen just creates another problem.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 00:00 ET.  [permalink]
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Friday, September 23, 2005

Is it Worth Replacing a Broken Coupler on a Whirlpool or Kenmore Direct Drive Washer?; washer repair

Tammy wrote:

SA BOM NIM -- I have a Kenmore 70 Series heavy duty washing machine, model 110.82873120 which is probably 13 to 14 years old (I say probably because it came with the house when we bought it 5 years ago). I think the transmission coupling has broken, because it hums but doesn't spin or agitate. Is it worth repairing, being this old? (It has seen light use, only 2-3 loads every week for the last 5 years and I assume similar in the preceding years, as it was owned by a retired couple). What is the expected life of these machines?

Thank you for sharing your great wisdom.


Message sent from IP:

This is one of the best top loading washers made today (Whirlpool is the manufacturer-- Sears pays them put a Kenmore label on it). And you're talking about one of the easiest washer repairs in the appliance world, two mugs on the SUDs-o-meter. Combine this with the fact that the replacement coupler costs less than $15 and it's a no-brainer: fix your washer!

This page gives complete instructions on how to do this repair and even has a link to the part you need.

As for your question about life expectancy of washing machines, read this.

Go git 'em!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 17:20 ET.  [permalink]
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Samurai's 12 Laws of Appliance Repair

Samurai's Ichiban Law of Appliance Repair: Never replace a part unless you have proof that the part is bad.

This distinguishes the Samurai School of Appliantology from the Monkey Boy School of Appliance Repair. When I replace an appliance part, it's because I have proven that the part is bad. This proof could be something subtle, like an electrical measurement, or something simple, like laying eyeballs on a burned wire connection.

Samurai's 2nd Law of Appliance Repair: All machines break.

I don't care how much you paid, who made it, or what the salesperson told you, appliances are just another type of machine. And all machines, like everything else in the physical world (including our bodies) tend inexorably toward entropy, i.e., they wear out and breakdown. The corollary to the 2nd Law is to buy appliances that are easy to repair because, at some point during its useful life, you will be repairing it. Speaking of useful life, how long should appliances last?

Samurai's 3rd Law of Appliance Repair: Measure twice, order once.

Ok, you've diligently observed Samurai's Ichiban Law of Appliance Repair and have proven that a part is bad based on some type of objective observation. If this observation involved making an electrical measurement, such as voltage, current, or resistance, then make that measurement TWICE just to be doubly-woubly sure that you didn't make a mistake. Common mistakes in making electrical measurements include not making good contact with your probe and not removing at least one wire from the component before making a continuity or resistance measurement.

Samurai's 4th Law of Appliance Repair: Beliefs are for religion, not appliance repair.

In appliance repair, we use test instruments to quantify the problem and draw definitive conclusions about cause and effect. Hope, beliefs, and wishful thinking don't get stuff fixed, unless it's by pure, blind luck.

Samurai's 5th Law of Appliance Repair: Electronics and wet appliances do not mix.

Manufacturers love using fancy electronical boards for things that used to be done by simple, reliable mechanical switches. I see these boards fail frequently and at far greater expense than the good ol' mechanical switches. But the failure rate of these cheesy, over-priced electronical boards in the wet appliances (washer, dishwasher, ice and water dispensers on refrigerators) is excessively high. If you have a choice when buying new appliances, opt for the models with few or no electronic boards.

Samurai's 6th Law of Appliance Repair: Begin troubleshooting right at the problem.

Where else you gonna start? No water coming in your dishwasher? Start at the water inlet valve. Gas oven won't bake? Start at the ignitor. Go right to the main thing that ain't doing its thang.

Samurai's 7th Law of Appliance Repair: All leaks are visual.

Let's say your washer is leaking. You see the water seeping from under the washer cabinet. So you go online to the Samurai School of Appliantology and say, "my washer is leaking, what should I do?" And we'll tell you to remove the front panel and get some eyeballs on where exactly the leak is coming from. Same deal with your dishwasher-- remove the kickplate and peer underneath with a flashlight while it's running to spot the source of the leak. Get the picture?

Samurai's 8th Law of Appliance Repair: Fix the obvious problems first.

If you have an appliance that you think may have several things wrong with it, you have to break down the problem into smaller component problems and then fix each one. Usually, when you fix the obvious problem first, you find that it was the only problem all along. Other times, you cannot even diagnose the other problems until you've fixed the obvious one(s).

Samurai's 9th Law of Appliance Repair: Nothing kills bio-gookus like chlorine.

Just remember this next time you're dealing with a restricted condensate drain in your refrigerator. Bio-gookus loves to grow in dark, moist environments like condensate drain tubes and they'll restrict the flow the same way plaque does in arteries.

Samurai's 10th Law of Appliance Repair: Never move an appliance to make a repair unless you absolutely have to.

This is one I learned the hard way. You never know what you're gonna run into (that you didn't need to) when you move an appliance. And, worse yet, you may end up creating a new repair that you hadn't planned on. The classic example is pulling a dryer out just a few inches only to find that it had some impossible dryer vent connection that requires a contortionist/gymnast to re-attach. Oy!

Samurai's 11th Law of Appliance Repair: Raw power is dirty power.

All electricity is not created equal. Power quality varies widely from place to place. Depending on where you live, power at the wall outlets in your house could have all kinds of garbage on it. Stuff like voltage surges, sags, swells, and spikes can kill electrical and electronics equipment. In this modern era of using electronic control boards in appliances for the jobs that simple, reliable mechanical switches used to do, all your appliances should be protected by simple surge protectors at the least. Just like you wouldn't (or shouldn't) plug your computer directly into the wall outlet without using some type of surge protection, neither should you expose your appliances to naked, raw power.

Samurai's 12th Law of Appliance Repair: Neutral is not ground; ground is not neutral.

Under normal circumstances, neutral and ground should have the same, or close to the same, electrical potential. But, electrically, neutral and ground are not the same thing and serve entirely different purposes. Back in the old days, they were often used interchangeably, as with the old three-wire dryer and range cords. But, after lots of people got themselves fried or burned their houses down due to a ground fault, "They" decided it would be a good idea to respect the distinction between ground and neutral. Hence the new four-wire dryer and range connections.

Samurai's Golden Rule of Appliance Repair: Never trust customer diagnostics.

I'm too embarrassed to admit how many times I've been burned by violating the Golden Rule. You'll get some customers that are so eloquent and seem so erudite and technically proficient that you'll be tempted to accept their diagnosis over the phone (at their insistence-- to save money, of course). So when you bop on over with the special-ordered part that doesn't fix the problem, you're now in a quandary: how do you charge for this wasted repair effort and the cost of returning a special-ordered part...if you can even return it? Most electronic boards cannot be returned once they're installed. The hard lesson is to always do your own diagnosis, no matter how much the customer insists otherwise.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 15:32 ET.  [permalink]
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Whirlpool Duet / Kenmore HE3t Washer Repair Manual

washer repair manual.  come git you one!If you have a Whirlpool Duet (or the Kenmore-labeled equivalent, the HE3t), and if you're a do-it-yourself kinda guy or gal, then you would do well to spend a few shekels on the genuine manufacturer's repair manual for this washer. It's a great machine but, let's face it, it's still a machine and, eventually, it'll break.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 11:31 ET.  [permalink]
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Dishwasher Repair At Your Fingertips

Stephan wrote:

My dishwasher was not working tonight, Saturday, 10pm. What a pain in the a...

But no, I found a solution in 2 seconds on your webpage.

Thanks a lot!

Message sent from IP:

I assume you're referring to my Dishwasher FAQ page. Glad to hear you whupped up on that bad boy!

And thanks for your feedback!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 10:20 ET.  [permalink]
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Gas Stove Goes Boom When It's Turned Off; stove repair, range repair, oven repair

rvancott wrote:

I have a kenmore stove. Inconsistantly after the stove is turned on after several minutes I heard a boom from the stove. The kitchen smells like gas, but the stove is on. I would assume from your trouble shooting guide that the ignitor was the case. Do you have any insights/surgestions....Master

Message sent from IP:

Ahh, grasshoppah, the problem with your insolent range runs deeper than merely a bad igniter. What's happening is the gas valve is not snapping shut the way it's supposed to and it's letting gas leak at the end of the cycle when it should be shut off. This rogue gas hits the igniter, which is still hot but cooling off, and flashes, creating the mini-boom that you report.

Solution: replace the gas valve; three mugs on the SUDs-o-meter.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 10:11 ET.  [permalink]
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Kenmore Washer Won't Spin; washer repair

george gerrts wrote:

hi, have a kenmore washer model 110.20872990......unit agitates but won,t spin........does it need a new pump and if so, which does it have?

Message sent from IP:

lid switch for your washer.  click it to git it, hoss.A no-spin condition on this washer, the top-loading direct drive washer built by Whirlpool (with a Kenmore name stuck on it, in your case) is almost always a sure sign of a bad lid switch. As far as repairs go, they don't get much easier than this one-- it rates a mere single mug on the SUDs-o-meter. Got illustrated instructions fer ya ratcheer.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 09:59 ET.  [permalink]
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Kenmore Electric Dryer Works for 5 Minutes Then Shuts off; dryer repair

Bern Williams wrote:

I have a Kenmore electric dryer-110.60612990. It was humming for a period of time. Yesterday when I push the start button it hums, works for about 5 mins then shuts off. Today, I pressed the start button, there is noise. Is it just the motor or could it be a variety of problems. I had this dryer since in 2000.

desperate need for help.

Thanks Bern

Message sent from IP:

Here's whatcha do, compadre. Open the dryer door and try to turn the drum by hand. If it won't turn or you have to be Hercules to get it to budge, then you have something stuck in the blower chute-- clean it out.

motor for a whirlpool or kenmore dryerOn the other hand, if the drums seems to turn ok, then you got yerself a bad motor. Slam dunk. Come git you one.

Recommended reading: Dryer Disassembly.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 09:32 ET.  [permalink]
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Are Maintenance Agreements Worth the Money?

I get asked this a lot. Ordinarily, I'd say no. But there is one HUGE exception. Check it out, yo.

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Frigidaire Gallery Front Load Washer Won't Drain or Spin; washer repair

You're probably freaking out thinking it's the motor or some expensive part that needs replacing. Nah, probably just got some gookus in the pump. Piece of pie, comrade. Read all about it.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 03:00 ET.  [permalink]
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Thursday, September 15, 2005

GE Refrigerator Defrost System Problems; refrigerator repair

Got a perplexing defrosting problem with your refrigerator? Our good friend, Moostafa, helps a grasshopper troubleshoot a defrosting problem in his GE refrigerator.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 09:56 ET.  [permalink]
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GE Microwave: Turntable doesn't turn any more

What's the use of having a turntable if it no longer turns? This thread from the Samurai School of Appliantology will help you get the turn back in your table.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 09:51 ET.  [permalink]
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Replacing the Handle on a Maytag MDBTT79A Dishwasher

Yes, grasshopper, there is a trick which is revealed here.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 05:39 ET.  [permalink]
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google Blog Search

Google has just added a new Blog search capability. Some of you are wrinkling your nose and asking, "What's a 'blog'?" Well, in case you hadn't noticed, this website is a blog. The blurb you're reading at this moment is called a "blog entry"or simply a "post."

Anyway, you can play with Google's latest search offering here.

Just for giggles, I searched "appliance repair" in the Google Blog Search and came up with this page. See anything familiar? ;)

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 16:22 ET.  [permalink]
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Monday, September 12, 2005

Google Talk and iChat SSL Error - 9843

So I was happily using iChat to connect to the AIM and Google Talk instant messaging networks (RE: my previous post on the subject). Then one day, I go to log in to Google Talk and I get a weird error message: SSL error 9843. I didn't know if the problem was in iChat or with Google Talk. I downloaded and installed Addium and it connected flawlessly to Google Talk. I figured the problem must be in iChat. Just for grins, I Googled, "ichat stopped working with google talk" and pulled up this page at the O'Reilly Mac Devcenter. Turns out the problem is with Google Talk and Google is aware of the problem and working on a fix.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 09:01 ET.  [permalink]
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Saturday, September 03, 2005

XM DieFi

As you know, I'm a big fan of satellite radio and subscribe to both the major services, XM and Sirius. I subscribed to Sirius first and have previously described my travail when my Sirius Orbiter reciever crashed and burned. Then, late last year, I subscribed to XM and bought the XM MyFi setup. Well, now it was XM's turn to crash and burn.

Since I had Sirius to listen to, this hardware crash wasn't quite as traumatic (or dramatic) as it was when my Sirius Orbiter crashed-- there was no driving to the store at 6am in my underwear and assaulting the olfactory of the clerk with my special vapors.

But still, losing XM was a psychologically damaging experience. I had gotten into a habit of listening to news and talk every evening at bedtime; shows like Phil Hendrie, Rollye James and Coast to Coast AM. Oh, it was a whole cozy ritual: Mrs. Samurai, Bubba, and I would snuggle down into our queen-size bed. Mrs. Samurai would usually read for a while, I'd be laying beside her 'pooting on my Mac iBook (easily the coolest little compooter I've ever used), and Bubba would snuggle in betwixt us, lick himself a little bit, maybe nibble a paw or a rib and we'd all settle in for the night.

I also had my MyFi set up to record the Starstreams show on Ch. 77 (Audio Visions) which aired every day from 4 to 6 pm ET. So I always had five hours of fresh music stored in the MyFi ready to listen to anytime or even take with me. If you haven't heard of Starstreams, you don't know what you're missing! You can also listen to them online via Live365. They play mostly ambient electronica from all your favorite artists such as Sounds from the Ground, Open Canvas, TUU, Bluetech, Omnimotion, Liquid Zen, Zero One and many others too numerous to name.

So, I had this nice assortment of news, talk radio, and music which I had become accustomed to having conveniently and readily available to me through XM radio on the MyFi receiver. Life was beautiful; life was precious.

And then it happened.

The XM MyFi shat the bed. In an instant, my six-month old MyFi melted down into a DieFi and our entire way of life was obliterated. Specifically what happened is that the receiver was no longer able to tune to channels 77 and above-- which were the only ones I ever listened to. I could still get all the rock, rap, and other doo-doo music if I wanted to but half the channels available on XM radio were no longer available to me. The weeping, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Oh, Death, where is thy sting?

Only by tripling my usual dose of lithium in the subsequent days, from 10,000 mg to 30,000 mg per day, was I able to pull myself together enough to undertake the arduous process of contacting Delphi to get a warranty return number and send it back. Ten days passed in what seemed like ten thousand years.

Then the golden day arrived when the UPS man in the nice brown truck brought me my replacement XM MyFi receiver. I was so ecstatic that I stayed up for five straight days, listening to XM radio the entire time, before collapsing into a heap in front of the toilet, breaking it in half with my head.

When I awoke in the hospital, the first thing I saw was my dear, dear wife... holding my XM MyFi receiver in front of my face. She told me that I had been in a coma for three weeks and that she had set up my XM MyFi docking station in my hospital room where it played constantly on Audio Visions. This is a testament to the sheer power of XM radio-- it can pull people out of comas. I later heard from a guy in my group therapy sessions that XM radio brought a dead guy back to life. Healing the sick, raising the dead, could XM radio be the Second Coming...?

Then, it happened again: my replacement MyFi started flaking out on channels 77 and above. A cosmically cruel joke or merely an inherent flaw in the MyFi? I don't know and don't care to find out.

I decided I just could not risk another cold turkey deprivation of XM due to shoddy hardware so I ordered a Roady 2 from Amazon for a mere $50, which includes everything you need to set it up on your vehicle. And a mere $30 gets you the home docking and antenna kit. I'll post a review of the Roady 2 after I've had a chance to use it for a while.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 20:02 ET.  [permalink]
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