Monthly Archives: July 2002

Forum Fools Hall of Fame Inductees

And now, for your reading pleasure, here are the current Forum Fools Hall of Fame inductees–selections from some of the online weirdos I occasionally have to deal with in the forum: (Note: best viewed with a beer)

Kitchen Fools

Laundry Fools

Small Appliance Fools

  • Moostafa–likes animals and children in a very, umm, special way.
  • Dierdre Holmes–“PETA” activist threatened to close the forum if I didn’t change my banner.
  • Trish–like, omigod!, my fridge is, like, broken, y’know?
  • James–there’s something wrong with his refrigerator…VERY wrong!
  • fvon–asks what to do about his backache…in an appliance repair forum?
  • dolton-percy–locked is cat in his microwave oven and somehow it’s my fault?
  • Mrs. Charles Corey–needed her oven fixed, and I think something else, too…

    Natalie Cervello–uses her “psychic gift” to perceive that her fridge compressor is about to self-destruct.

  • Dizzy-Dazey–can’t stop whining and babbling long enough to fix her washer.
  • Steve–filing a lawsuit against Whirlpool because he was injured while using his washer in a very, umm, unusual way.
  • Priscilla–her washer ate her bra and she hates men.
  • Scrub Daddy–trying to repair a very personal small appliance.
  • Mr. Harvey–Oops! Looks like Grandpa forgot his prozac again.

Appliance Tip of the Day: Use and Care Manuals

appliance tip of the day archiveJust moved into a house or you’re renting a place and you can’t find any of the manuals to your appliances? Ahh, Grasshopper, unforrow that brow and unbunch those panties because you can get replacement owner’s manuals for most major appliances, usually for free and conveniently online, too.

grasshoppers relaxing with the master after flipping through the owner's manuals for their appliances that they downloaded for free on the web

Live Help Update

Live Help Update

I’m heading up to EMS this afternoon for some hiking supplies. After I get back, I’ll be online and available for live help later this afternoon and into the evening. In the meantime, don’t be bashful about posting your most intimate appliance woes in the forum. Talk to you later.

Appliance Tip of the Day: Buying a New Refrigerator

So, Old Betsy just ain’t keeping the beer cold anymore and she’s making more noise than Grandpa on the toilet. You’ve had enough and you’re ready to go buy a new fridge. You surf the the web to see what’s out there and now you’re really confused. So many brands, so many styles, what’s a grasshopper to do? Well, you just go grab a cold one, budrow, and plop your pooper at the feet of the master for another magic carpet ride into appliance enlightenment.

If you were to base your selection only on the familiar yellow and black Energy Guide pasted on all new appliances, picking your new fridge would be a no-brainer. But life is never that easy. In addition to energy usage, you’re also concerned about little things like:

  • storage space — will it have enough room to hold your case of beer AND your tubs of potato salad?
  • configuration — side-by-side or top-and-bottom?
  • cabinet size — will it even fit in the space now occupied by your old fridge?

Scarey stuff, ey? Well, here are some energy considerations to keep in mind when purchasing or using your new beer-cooling buddy:

  • Top freezer models use 7-13% less energy than side-by-side models.
  • Automatic icemakers and through-the-door dispensers can increase energy usage by 14-20%.
  • Consider your needs and lifestyle when selecting the size of your new fridge. A refrigerator that has either too much empty space or that is overloaded will have to run more frequently.
  • Select a fridge that has earned the EPA’s Energy Star. Energy Star fridges have several advanced features to save energy and must exceed the new 2001 standards by at least 10%. Fun fact to know and tell: if your refrigerator is at least 10 years old, it uses as much energy as two Energy Star labelled fridges.
  • Placement of the fridge has a big effect on energy usage. Direct sunlight and close contact with hot appliances, like ranges, will make the compressor work harder.
  • Don’t crowd food items stored in the fridge. Overcrowding a refrigerator restricts air circulation and prevents the fridge from cooling evenly.

Happy shopping!

grasshoppers enjoying an ice cold beer from their new fridge with the master

Appliance Tip of the Day: Your Detergents Suck

There are many brands of commercially available detergents out there and they all SUCK. Why do they suck? Because they all contain fillers–inert, abrasive crap added to the detergent mix simply to take up space and to help clean your clothes or dishes by the abrasive action of the added silicates (sand). These fillers actually harm your dishwasher, washing machine, and clothes! Fillers in commercial detergents cause a whole host of problems including: clogging washing machine and dishwasher drain hoses, binding washing machine pumps, gunking up dishwasher impellers, creating foul odors in washing machines by providing nice homes for bacteria, creating leaks in dishwashers by working in between the tub gaskets and surfaces.

In addition to fillers, all commercially available detergents contain fragrances which give many people rashes, especially in sensitive nether regions, and other more subtle forms of allergic reactions, such as headaches and fatigue.

Many commercial detergents also add phosphates. For those customers on septic systems, phosphates are some of the worst things to put into your septic system. This is because phosphates are not readily biodegradeable and can accumulate in your septic tank creating nasty problems like overflowing and backing up.

Unless you enjoy adding these extra afflictions to your life, stop using those polluted detergents you buy at Piggly-Wiggly, SafeWay, or Wal-mart and start using real detergents that don’t have all that extra crap in ’em. “Ok, wise-guy Samurai, got any suggestions?” Sure do, thanks for asking.

Laundry Detergents

Power Formula Basic-L cleans clothes their whitest and brightest – especially when used with Nature Bright All-Fabric Laundry Brightener. Yet it’s easy on fabrics and gentle on sensitive skin. Basic-L also helps to guard against color transfer, so whites stay whiter and colors stay truer. Performs in all temperatures – even in hard water. If you have allergies and sensitivity to fragrances, Power Formula Basic-L Free, with no fragrance, dyes, or masking agents, is the product for you. Has the same powerful cleansing formula as Basic-L. Since it is sold as a concentrate, Basic-L saves you money, too. When used as directed, one nine pound box of Basic-L does the same number of loads as about 3.8 boxes of Arm & Hammer detergent.

Dishwasher Detergents

Use Basic-D Automatic Dishwashing Concentrate for sparkling clean dishes without all the added fillers. Cuts grease and baked-on food without chlorine. Top cleaning performance and phosphate free! Effective even in hard water. Again, this product is a concentrate and so saves you money. When used as directed, one 50-oz. box of Basic-D does the same number of dishwasher loads as 4, 45-oz. boxes of Cascade.

Try these products risk-free because they’re all backed by a 100% money-back guarantee! Best of all, your purchase helps support this free appliance repair website. Domo arigato!

grasshoppers enjoying their robes freshly washed in Basic-L without the embarrassing male itching

Appliance Tip of the Day: Washer Water Usage

Did you know that the typical top loading washer uses 46 gallons of water per full load of wash vs. the typical front loader using 12 (that’s right, count ’em, 12) gallons? In addition to the substantial water savings with a front loading washer, you’ll also use less detergent per load of wash and your clothes will last longer washing them in a front loader because you don’t have that damn agitator whipping them back and forth. Oh, sure, a front loader will cost you a little more up front but you’ll more than get your money back by using less water and detergent and by not having to buy replacement clothes as often. Fun facts to know and tell.

grasshoppers basking in the light and wisdom of the master

Hillstomping Update

Hillstomping Update

...and I just took a really good dump, too!Ahhh, great hike in the Sandwich Range today! This one was a serenade, no, a symphony of beauty and serenity: perfect hiking weather, knee-friendly trail, expansive views, diminimis blood-sucker activity–a stark contrast to that trail-abortion-that-lived at Evans Notch a couple days ago. And only half the drive time, too! Bagged both Jenning’s Peak and Sandwich Dome in a nine-mile, four-hour walking meditation therapy hike. I feel better now.

Appliance Recall Alert

Whirlpool is recalling the door latch wiring in their dishwashers with model numbers beginning with DU8, DP8, DU9, and GPD. An example model number affected by this recall would be DU8700XY-1. The problem is the wire harness in the door latch can overheat and possibly cause a fire. Whirlpool has issued a repair kit, part number 4387485, to correct this. The kit includes four wire harness connections in the door latch area, two door switches, a door latch bolt, a door latch lever, and instructions.

Appliance Tip of the Day: Loud or Weird Noises in Your Fridge

This topic comes up a lot in the forum in various ways, some of them pretty bizarre. In my tireless efforts to help my precious grasshoppers achieve ultimate appliance satori, I’ve put together this handy list of common sources of fridge noises.

  1. Some of the newer-design compressors produce a higher pitched sound which can be mistaken as being louder.
  2. The evaporator fan (the one in the freezer) makes noise while it does it’s job of pushing cold air around the freezer and fresh food compartments. That’s just what happens when you move air around rapidly in a confined space. On some models, this fan can sound louder than on others.
  3. If your fridge is on a floor that’s not level or is weak and buckling, this can cause distortions in the cabinet and make buzzing or rattling sounds, especially around the compressor and condensate drip pan.
  4. Occasionally, you may hear a sizzling sound from the freezer. This is just part of the defrost process where ice accumulated on the evaporator is melting and dripping on the defrost heaters below. Defrosting: it’s a good thing.
  5. When the fridge goes through its defrost cycle and then cools back down to operating temperature, they’s a whole lotta expandin’ and contractin’ goin’ on in there. This can cause all those mass-produced metal and plastic parts that’re smooshed together to move a little bit and you’ll hear popping and crackling. Don’t sweat the load, everything’s fine.
  6. Sometimes, you’ll hear a bubbling or gurgling sound, like boiling water, inside the fridge. Relax, it’s just the refrigerant doing it’s job. The refrigerant boils at a much lower temperature than water. So when it boils and goes from a liquid to a vapor, it’s sucking up heat from inside your fridge. So, this all boils down to this: boiling refrigerant = cold fridge.
  7. If you hear a dripping sound from underneath the fridge, it’s just condensate water dripping into the drain pan like it’s supposed to. By the way, if you have a problem with your fridge leaking water on the inside and you pull the condensate drip pan from underneath and it’s bone-dry, that’s a sure sign that the condensate drain port inside the fridge is plugged with ice or gookus.
  8. Mechanical defrost timers can make noticeable clicking noises when they switch into and out of defrost mode.
  9. Icemakers make some of their own noises. The water valve buzzes when it opens to let water into the icemaker mold. You may hear a trickling sound as water flows into the icemaker. And then there’s the periodic and welcome rattling sound as the icemaker dumps ice into the tray.

grasshoppers basking in the light and wisdom of the master

HumanClick Problems

Ok, it’s HumanClick’s turn to take a dump. It won’t even connect to the internet so live help is down until they get it fixed. The other thing it’s doing is not ringing me up when someone clicks the Live Person icon when it showed I was online. So you’d just sit there waiting for me to answer and I never would ’cause it never rang me up! Patience, grasshoppers, patience–all will be restored soon.

Hilstomping Update

That hike sucked! Over 10 miles of almost pure hell with no rewarding views. I didn’t even take a single picture. Now that I’m back home, I’m applying the cleansing power of beer to purge the memory of this hike from my mind. Mmm…beer! But the good news: since I’m back earlier than I planned, I’ll be available for live help today. No schedule, I’ll be on and off all day, just keep checking back ’till you get me. Later, yo.

Forum Update

Forum Update

Ok, even I couldn’t stand that damn popup window. That thing was like Jason, it just would not die. After running it for about two hours, I was about to gnash my teeth on my monitor screen. But you can still click on the Pass-It-On button here and in the forum to refer this site.

get this gear!

Ok then.

Forum Update

Forum Update

It’s shameless self-promotion time here at Actually, I’d like you to do the promoting by telling your friends about this website. You may notice a new button in the upper right hand side of each page in the Samurai School of Appliantology. That’s my Recommend-It button. And here’s the really good news: it comes with its very own pop-up window! Yeah, baby! Ooo, it’s so cool, I wrote a haiku about it. Wanna hear it? Here it goes…

the bamboo reveals all

New popup window.
Refer this site to a friend.
It’s quid pro quo, yo.

Hillstomping Update we're up on the Wildcat Ridge and there's this insane old guy strutting around like a rooster.

Got the rest of the pictures in for the Franconia Ridge hike and for the Wildcat D and Carter Dome hike. Check ’em out, yo.

Speaking of hillstomping, Ouzo and me are taking off for the White Mountains again tomorrow for a couple days. We’ll leave tomorrow (Wed.) late morning, hike somewhere, then we’ll stay overnight at the Cold River campground on Rte 113 by the Main border. Then on Thursday, we’ll do a full day hike somewhere and be home for dinner. Depending on how beat up I feel, I may be online for live help again later Thursday night.