Monthly Archives: May 2003

Mailbag: Washing Machine Overfills and Floods

Michelle wrote:

My washing mach. fills up, but it never stops filling up. The house has flooded twice now. Please HELP.

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

Yea verily, Grasshopper, you must replace the water inlet valve on your washer. To prevent this problem from occurring again, take counsel from this sacred Samurai scripture of Appliance Repair. Go in peace, my child.

No Excuses!

The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just remember . . .

NOAH was a drunk.

ABRAHAM was too old.

ISAAC was a daydreamer.

JACOB was a liar.

LEAH was ugly.

JOSEPH was abused.

MOSES had a stuttering problem.

GIDEON was afraid.

SAMSON was a long-haired womanizer!

RAHAB was a prostitute!

JEREMIAH and TIMOTHY were too young.

DAVID had an affair and was a murderer.

ELIJAH was suicidal.

ISAIAH preached naked.

JONAH ran from God.

NAOMI was a widow.

JOB went bankrupt.

JOHN the Baptist ate bugs.

PETER denied Christ.

The Disciples fell asleep while praying.

MARTHA worried about everything.

The SAMARITAN WOMAN was divorced … more than once!

ZACCHEUS was too small.

PAUL was too religious.

TIMOTHY had an ulcer … AND


No more excuses now!
God’s waiting to use your full potential.

(Shamelessly stolen from the Orthodox Christianity group.)

Mailbag: Kenmore Washer won’t Agitate

Don wrote:

Kenmore washer 70 series. My washer will fill up with water, but will not wash. You can manually turn the dial to spin and get it to spin out; however it will not complete a wash cycle.
Could this be a timer problem or something else?

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

It could be a timer problem, but I usually find the culprit is a bad water level control switch (also called a pressure switch or a fill switch). Look at this simplified schematic of the circuit in your washer that controls fill and agitate. You’ll notice that both the timer and the fill switch are involved in this action. I would start troubleshooting at the fill switch and make sure it’s doing its job by switching over from fill to run mode once the water level in the tub is reached. You can do this as either a continuity test with the machine unplugged or a voltage test with power applied to the circuit–your choice depending on your comfort with electricity. More help on making electrical tests here. The wiring diagram for your washer will show the exact terminals and wires to check.

If you’re still confused, post your question in the repair forum.

Mailbag: Stinky Ice!

Dave Robinson wrote:

I have a ~1986 GE side-by-side (model #TFX22ZGB, S/N VS-211967) with their standard crescent-cube icemaker. Recently the ice has developed a foul taste and odor– it is clear with no particles, but it just stinks! I can find no filter to replace on the water line. Which filter do you recommend I install? Do I need to install it on the supply water line before the solenoid valve, or can I install it on the plastic line on the backside of the fridge between the valve and the icemaker? Thanks for your help.

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

In-line water filters can be installed on any refrigerator. They’re easy to install and they literally snap in-place in the 1/4″ water supply tubing behind the fridge. The filter kit comes with instructions and all the fittings you need to install it. After a while, the filter becomes saturated with icky stuff so it should be changed every six months–read more about that here.

New Web Pages at

The Samurai hears his Grasshoppers when they chirp. You wanted an easy way to find my Mission Reports and Lessons in Liberty and the Samurai has harkened his pointy, fuzzy ears to your peeping and twittering. In my relentless efforts to make my pearls of wisdom more accessible to you, my loyal Grasshoppers, I’ve added two new webpages:

  • Samurai on Assignment
    As many of you know, the CIA frequently calls upon the Samurai for special assignments to defend truth, justice, and the American Way. Here is an on-going collection of my mission reports for the various assignments I’ve completed.
  • Lessons in Liberty
    Short lessons in the American heritage of Liberty to help you cut through all the Orwellian doublespeak polluting your brain.

Now, please, stop emailing me about this. Mucho domos.

Liberty Quote of the Day

"IN the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." read more…

–Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

Appliance Tip of the Day: Indoor Air Pollution Control

appliance tip of the day archive

The best product for home or office indoor air pollution control is thisĀ  Air Purifier. We use one at our house and it does a great job eliminating odors and airborne allergens such as pollen and cat dander (both big problems this time of year).

The filterless purifier is the only one with an exclusive patent-pending combination of two technologies: Phyotohydroionization and Electron Generation, which work together to quietly and safely clean up to 3,000 square feet of air.

This air purifier reduces all three major forms of indoor air pollution:

  • Particulates: 95% of larger particulates (like pollen) were reduced twice as fast as normal; very small particulates (like those found in cigarette smoke) were reduced one-and-a-half times faster
  • Microbes: Mold and yeast counts were reduced by an average of 94% over a six-day period and bacteria counts were reduced by an average of 95%
  • Odors & Gases: Butyl acetate, a solvent used in paints, lacquer, plastics, and adhesives was reduced by 31%; Methyl methacrylate, a chemical found in plastics and countertops, was reduced by 44%; d-Limonene, a common cleaning chemical, was reduced by 84%

Learn more about this air purifier and order yours here.

grasshoppers breathing easy with the master

Mailbag: Water Flows into the Washer and then Right Out the Drain Hose

Tara wrote:

Got a newer GE washer from a friend…will pull water to fill tub, but tub won’t hold. Goes right into pump and out the other hose. Pump will kick on if set on rinse cycle, but obviously there is no need to pump water out, because it is on a continuous flow into the tub, thru the pump, and out of the drainage hose. Should the pump be controlling the tub filling, or is it something else?

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

This is the infamous water siphoning problem resulting from your drain hose not being raised high enough. Observe:

drain hose height criteria for washing machines

Now go and do likewise.

Mailbag: Whirlpool Dryer Noise

Richard wrote:

I have a Whirlpool Gas Dryer #LGR4634E00 that is only 2 years old. The stupid thing is making a grinding noise that sounds as if it is coming from the bottom/back of the drum . I removed the back and top and couldn’t see anything. With the dryer running I can pull the drum toward the door and the noise stops. Could this be the rollers? I have tried to find a drawing of this model to what type of rollers or bearing it has but to no avail. I need this fixed so my wife can get back to work!! Cna you give me some advice, I heard you were pretty good at this stuff!!!!!!

The above message was sent when you were offline, via your LivePerson site.

Message sent from IP:

First problem is that you wrote down the model number wrong. Read The Ten Commandments for Reading Appliance Model Numbers. I believe you mistook a ‘Q’ or a ‘0’ when you wrote down your model number–the correct number for your dryer is LGR4634EQ0. With a good model number, you can easily find a parts breakdown diagram for your dryer.

Based on your problem description, the problem could be the drum rollers, a worn plastic bearing ring at the front of the dryer drum, or something caught in the blower chute
. You’ll need to remove the drum to check all these things out. A genuine Whirlpool dryer repair manual is definitely worth a few shekels and will pay for itself over and over again.

Awwite, go whup-up on that bad boy.

Appliance Tip of the Day: The Ten Commandments for Reading Appliance Model Numbers

appliance tip of the day archive
I can’t tell you how many times grasshoppers ask me for help repairing their appliance and they either give me a bad model number or none at all. Without a valid model number, I can’t look up diagrams or find out anything about your appliance. If you can’t provide a good model number, don’t waste your time or mine typing out a question to email me or to post in the repair forum. So, here are the Ten Commandments for Reading Appliance Model Numbers:

  1. Thou shalt read the model number directly off the manufacturer’s tag affixed to the appliance.

  2. Thou shalt use these diagrams to help you locate the manufacturer’s tag if you are having trouble.

  3. Thou shalt not offer up the excuse that the manufacturer’s tag could not be located on the appliance; yea verily, this is bullsheist that doth stinketh in my nostrils.

  4. Thou shalt read the model number under the illumination of a flashlight.

  5. Thou shalt not offer up the model number unless it was read under the illumination of a flashlight.

  6. Thou shalt double and triple check the accuracy of the model number before offering it up.

  7. Thou shalt not offer up a model number until its accuracy has been double and triple checked.

  8. Thou shalt not offer up any model number found on any printed manuals associated with the appliance.

  9. Thou shalt not omit the three digit number to the left of the decimal point in the model number for a Kenmore appliance.

  10. Thou shalt offer up thy fermented praises to the United Samurai Beer Fund.

grasshoppers offering their verified and accurate model numbers to the master

Appliance Tip of the Day: Adapting to Adaptive Defrost

appliance tip of the day archive
Ahh, the good ol’ days when refrigerator defrost cycles were controlled by simple mechanical defrost timers. Yeah, used to be a man could go out on a refrigerator service call and make an easy $150 replacing a silly little $25 timer. The old mechanical timers would simply click the fridge into defrost mode every six or eight hours and fire up the evaporator defrost heaters for 21 minutes or so whether it needed it or not. But life never stays simple, does it? Alas, those days are rapidly disappearing.

Instead, the manufacturers have starting using the fancy-schmancy electronic timer boards so they could add an "adaptive defrost" feature. Supposedly, adaptive defrost makes the fridge more energy efficient by making the defrost cycle contingent on the number of door openings and other factors. I think it’s just an excuse to sell more expensive electronic parts that don’t really perform as advertised. It’s probably driven by some gubmint bureaucratic program–you know, the same geniuses who gave us the load of crap about how we can’t use R-12 anymore because it hurts the ozone layer.

Well, no use whining about it ’cause adaptive defrost is the wave of the future, for better or worse. And if you have a newer, high-end fridge, chances are that it has adaptive defrost. And one day, at the worst possible time, it will break.

The adaptive defrost board on Maytag fridges looks like this. To put this board into defrost, short "L1" and "Test" with a small screwdriver and wait three seconds. You should hear a clicking noise from the relay and the fridge will shut off and go through a defrost cycle.

The adaptive defrost on Amana fridges is a little different. A test procedure for this board is shown here. To initiate the defrost cycle, press refrigerator light switch five times in six seconds. If you press it five more times within six seconds, this will cancel defrost and take the fridge straight into run mode. The operation is similar on both the bottom mount and side-by-side fridges. After the defrost terminator/thermostat opens, there will be a six minute delay before the compressor and condenser fan motor start running again, and a 10 minutes delay before the evaporator fan motor starts running. This is important to know because you can really start chasing your tail when things don’t start running when you think they should.

Whirlpool also has some adaptive defrost boards out there. I don’t need to post the diagnostic info on them here because it’s all in the mini-manual that comes with your fridge, usually folded up into a little itty-bitty square and tucked into a slot on the backside of the condenser grill, in front of the fridge.

Ok, so let’s say you’ve determined that your adaptive defrost board is fried. Well, you’ll need to replace that bad boy. Come git you one:

Maytag Adaptive Defrost Control Board
Maytag Adaptive Defrost Control Board
Amana Adaptive Control Board for Side-by-Side Models
Amana Adaptive Control Board for Side-by-Side Models
Amana Adaptive Control Board for Bottom Freezer Models
Amana Adaptive Control Board for Bottom Freezer Models
Whirlpool Defrost Control Board
Whirlpool Defrost Control Board
Whirlpool Defrost Timer Control Board
Whirlpool Defrost Timer Control Board
Whirlpool Defrost Control
Whirlpool Defrost Control

grasshoppers adapting to the master's awesome wisdom

Special Offer from the 21st Century Zenzoid Man

Small book of prayers with icons.While supplies last, the 21st Century Zenzoid Man is giving away this Small Book of Prayers with Icons free!

This book is a product of Tregubov Studios, makers of fine iconographic products: greeting cards, festal cards, prayer books, embroidery instructions, and free email cards. Here’s their description of it:

This is a very useful, small book, in which Word and Image together bring us into the presence of God. Anybody with a busy lifestyle can keep this book in his/her pocket.

There is a full color icon reproduction on every other page of the book (Yes, it means 12 of them.) And there is a selection of the most essential prayers, including the prayers to the saints and guardian angels, for peace, for friends and families, and for the sick.

The composition on the cover of the book symbolizes the Tree of Life, the fruit of which is the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Taste this book and see!

And I can tell ya’, this makes one helluva addition to any toolbox! To get your free copy of this book, simply a mail self-addressed, large-size envelope with $0.60 postage affixed to:

The 21st Century Zenzoid Man
P.O. Box 809
New London, NH 03257

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

appliance tip of the day archiveThis 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

Appliance Tip of the Day: Preventing Washer Floods

this is you, grasshopperYou put a load of dirty clothes in your washer, start it up and walk away to watch Jerry Springer just like you have a thousand times before. Only this time, something goes wrong…very wrong!

After the booing and cheering on the Jerry Springer show stops, you hear an unfamiliar sound of running water coming from the laundry cubby just down the hall in your trailer. You set the bag of Doritos aside, grab your can of Old Milwaukee and grunt your way out of your Lazy Boy as you exhale the last drag of your Marlboro and shuffle down the hall to investigate. You don’t get 10 steps before your pink bunny slippers are sloshing through a huge pool of water. Now the bile starts burning the back of your throat and you feel your sphincter dilate as you prepare to do battle with the single greatest horror of your lifetime: a washer flood out.

FloodstopYes, it finally happened: your washer dutifully filled with water and then…it just kept right on filling, and filling, and filling… Turns out that the water level control switch in your washer decided to take a permanent vacation and so never told your washer to stop filling with water. Hi. Welcome to my world. Oh! But if only you’d listened to that nice appliance repair guy not long ago who told you that you really, really needed to have a Floodcontrol on your washer and that it was cheap insurance against a devastating washer overfill. But that money was earmarked for that Dish TV you’ve been lusting after for so long and, besides, you’re not sure you trust people who can throw around fancy words like "devastating." Damn straight! Well, Bubba, now you’ve got one helluva mess to clean up in your trailer, ain’t ya? Hey, newsflash: do yourself a favor and come git you some o’ dis.

Universal Stainless Steel Water Fill HoseAnd while you’re at it, go ahead and upgrade those cheesy 12-year old rubber fill hoses on your washer to the steel braided hoses. What, you’re gonna wait for those to burst and find water spraying out from behind your washer like a firehose on that ’71 Cutlass you got parked out front? Haven’t we learned our lesson by now? How long? How long? I say, how long must this bullshit go on? How ’bout when we do a job, we go ahead and do it right? Ok then, come git you some steel braided hoses, too.

grasshoppers watching jerry springer with the master while they do a load of wash confident that their trailer won't get flooded out on them because they just installed a floodcontrol.