Monthly Archives: April 2004

Mailbag: Cold Air Port Periodically Freezes Up and Blocks Cold Air

Barry Humphus wrote:

I have a 1997 KitchenAid top freezer refrigerator, 22cf. It cools, it freezes but periodically (every three to four weeks)ice forms in the plenum between the freezer and refrigerator and blocks cold air from the freezer being blown into the refrig. Seems like an automatic defrost issue but I’m not sure. Model is KTLS22QDWHO. Help!

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

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Sounds like the condensate drain is plugging up causing the condensate to backup and freeze in the plenum. More information and the recommended fix in this Whirlpool service update.

New Economy Appliance Repair Service Coming Soon to Your Town!

Broken appliance?

       Don’t wanna spend much money?

              Suspicious of greedy repairmen?

Call Monkey Boy Appliance Repair!

at Monkey Boy, we're laughing all the way to the bank!


Appliance broken but you don’t want to hire one of those over-priced, greedy repairmen just to replace a simple part? Then don’t! Put your wallet at ease by calling for a genuine parts-changing monkey from Monkey Boy Appliance Repair.

At Monkey Boy, we absolutely guarantee that you’ll never get one of those greedy, overpriced humans…because we don’t have any! All Monkey Boy parts changers are imported directly from the deepest jungles of Africa and then genetically tested to ensure that they are 100% genuine simians, free of any traces of human genetic material.

a skilled monkey boy parts changer honing his craftThen, we put all our verified, 100%-pure monkeys through a proprietary 30-minute training program on changing appliance parts using, not one, but three different hammers! And some of our fully-trained monkeys may even be housebroken, too!

trained monkey boy parts changers pleasure themselves while waiting for your callJust think, you could have your appliance fixed right now by a fully-trained and possibly-housebroken Monkey Boy parts-changing monkey. And, best of all, Monkey Boy Appliance Repair caters to special customers just like you so you know our prices are cheap, cheap, cheap!

If you have a broken appliance, don’t just call the first human bubba you find in the Yellow Pages. Call Monkey Boy! Monkey Boy parts changers are here lounging around, eating bananas and scratching themselves while awaiting your call so, please…

Call Monkey Boy now!


Because you deserve the very cheapest appliance repair.

Disclaimer: Proven effective in laboratory experiments. Not responsible for bites or scratches inflicted on occupants at the home. Keep away from pets and small children. Monkeys may suddenly fling feces without provocation. Avoid contact with skin. Don’t quote me on that. Don’t quote me on anything. Other restrictions may apply. No warranty, express or implied, regarding the efficacy of the repair or the quality of the workmanship. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for.

Appliance Tip of the Day: How Hard Will It be to Fix It?

appliance tip of the day archiveYour appliance is broken and your repair quest has brought you to Your knees wobble and your bowels rumble as you contemplate doing the repair yourself. Since he is omniscient (and he knows it), the Samurai hears your question before you even ask it: “What am I in for if I decide to do this repair myself?”

Introducing Samurai’s User-friendly Difficulty Scale (SUDS). Created just for Grasshoppers, the Samurai has developed a proprietary scale for rating the difficulty of appliance repairs. SUDS is based on the universally-understood six-pack: the more difficult a repair task is, the more suds it takes to get through it. So now, when I’m helping you do a repair, either in the Appliantology Group or in Live Help, I can quantify the difficulty of the repair task that lies before you using a scale we can all understand: SUDS. Simple. Intuitive. Fermented. That’s the Samurai Way.

After you complete your repair using the myriad resources at or the Appliantology Group, you can return the favor and help the Samurai maintain his own supply of suds by giving to the United Samurai Beer Fund. Cheers!

for assessing appliance repair task difficulty
everything's better with beer! Cake walk. You’ll be done before your beer gets warm. This is simple stuff that requires few, if any, tools and almost no electrical skills.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
Not too bad, but you’ll need a refill on your beer. You’ll only need ordinary tools, nothing specialized. You may need a multimeter to make a simple continuity check.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
You’ll need a little buzz to get through this one. Basic set of common tools and some specialty tools required. If it’s an electrical problem, you’ll need your multimeter and the wiring diagram.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
Get the kids out of earshot, adult language forthcoming. Settle in and get ready to spend some time on this one. No quick fix here, Hoss.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
A third arm growing out of the middle of your chest would be helpful. Time and pain, that’s what you’re in for here. If it’s an electrical problem, get ready for a brain teaser. If mechanical, you’ll be giving libations of your own blood from the skin scraped off your knuckles.
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
everything's better with beer!
What were the engineers smoking when they designed this damn thing? When you’re done with this one, you’ll probably want to hunt down the sadists who designed your appliance so you can give them a taste of the living hell they put you through.

grasshoppers swilling suds with the master after fixing their dryer.

Samurai to Go!

Now you can get each of the Samurai’s pearls of wisdom as they’re unleashed, er, I mean, released to the web. Yep, you can use your flavorite RSS reader to scoop up the latests pearls without ever having to actually click over to Now how fain�ant is that? It’s even easier if you have a My Yahoo page. Just click here and all the latest posts here at the Samurai School of Appliantology will show up right on your My Yahoo page. Oh, it’s tres cool. Oui, papa.

Click here to add the Samurai School of Appliantology to your My Yahoo page.
Add to My Yahoo

Mailbag: Toaster Repair

ken kutzleb wrote:

I have a GE toaster oven, model 116932. The thermostat broke. It is a poor quality piece. I don’t want to replace it to have it break again. Can you suggest another one to replace ti with? thnaks Ken

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

Message sent from IP:

If you’d like to try repairing it, Mr. Harvey and Martha have lots of good toaster repair information. Or, you could buy a Black and Decker toaster.

Mailbag: Diagnosing Refrigerator Defrosting Problems

“There are some who call me….Tim” wrote:

Konichiwa Appliance Samurai,
My freezer ices over. So I figure it’s something related to the defrost system that’s not working, but how do you know if it’s the timer, heater, or thermostat? I manually defrosted and it took a few months to freeze up again. Is this worth my time to try to fix myself with a $20-50 part, or should I just bite the cheap-ass bullet and call a repair guy to fix my GE Model TFX20JASM WH icy freezer? I’m not the handiest girl, but I do own a drill.
Thanks for your help.

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

Message sent from IP:

Now why would a drill-totin’ gal even dream of calling a repair guy when she’s found Samurai Appliance Repair Man? Come with me now on journey through your refrigerator’s defrost system.

For your refrigerator with a defrost system failure, you have correctly reduced the problem to one of three components: defrost timer, defrost thermostat (also called a defrost terminator), or the defrost heaters. Now, we could get all technical talking about esoteric gobbledy-gook like measuring current, voltage and resistance at various points but the Samurai is gonna show you a low-tech way to diagnose these no-defrost problems.

refrigerator defrost timerrefrigerator defrost timerFirst, let’s turn our Vulcan squinties to the defrost timer. On your fridge, the timer is item #257 in the fresh food compartment but can be located in different places on different refrigerators. Whatever you do, unplug the refrigerator before you go rootin’ around for the timer.

The topside of the defrost timer is shown to the left, and the bottomside is shown to the right. Now, the reason I’m showing the seedy underbelly of this beast is because there’s a knob that I want you to turn. Dig into your purse and pull out quarter to turn the knob with–New Hampshire commemorative quarters work the best. Turn the knob slowly clockwise until you hear a big click. This means the defrost timer is now in defrost mode.

defrost heater and terminator kit for ge-built refrigeratorsNow pull your head outta the refrigerator and plug it back in. The light should come on, but you should not hear any motors running. Open the freezer and wait a few minutes. If the heaters and terminator are working properly, you may hear sizzling or even see an orange glow. Listen and look carefully. The other thing to look for is a steady trickle of water dripping into the condensate pan underneath the refrigerator. Give it a good five minutes. If it looks like the defrosting system is doing its thang, then the defrost timer was stuck in run mode–replace it. Otherwise, if nothing seems to be happening, then you can conclude that the problem is either the defrost heaters or the defrost terminator. How do you tell which one is bad? You don’t care–replace ’em both! Yep, the glass rod defrost heaters are usually the problem in this case but the terminator is so cheap that it’s not worth quibbling about–replace it, too. In fact, you can buy the defrost heaters and terminator as a single kit, shown here to the right.

Now, this bidness of replacing the defrost heaters and the defrost terminator at the same time is only true for refrigerators with glass rod defrost heaters. Some refrigerators, like Whirlpool-built refrigerators, use calrod defrost heaters instead of glass rod. Calrod is the type of material that electric range elements use in the oven or stove top. Calrod defrost heaters rarely fail and to fix defrost system problems on these refrigerators, replace both the defrost terminator and the defrost timer–these parts are inexpensive and prone to failure.

Still confoosed, grasshopper? Check out this interactive diagram of refrigerator guts. Go git ’em.

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

Appliance Satori

Our mission here at The Samurai School of Appliantology is to prepare our students for that moment of appliance satori–a profound and simultaneous awareness of all appliances everywhere. It often strikes like a lightning bolt when a student least expects it, such as while working on an appliance that’s still plugged in. Conversely, the cherished moment of appliance satori can occur in the absence of any electricity, as revealed in this haiku from grasshopper Brad. His haiku is presented below for your appliance meditations. The Samurai recommends burning incense while slowly turning his haiku over in your mind with your eyes softly fixed on the accompanying icon. Hare Krishna.

Bradley Borch wrote:

refrigerator icon to accompany the appliance haikuDear Mr. Samurai Appliance Guy,

I thought you might appreciate this. It meant a lot to me.

the bamboo reveals all

Silence and stillness,
food rotting, decomposing…
a power outage.

Thanks for listening.


Common Replacement Parts for Whirlpool/Kenmore Gas and Electric Dryers

You’ll be able to fix most problems with your Whirlpool-built dryer (this includes most Kenmores) with one of these replacment parts.

Complete Whirlpool dryer repair kit, includes 2 rollers, felt seal, idler pulley, belt and adhesive.
Dryer lint screen for most standard capacity Whirlpool dryers with pull-out lint screens, measures 17 5/8If the drum thumps and bumps as it turns, you need one o’ these. Also, replace ripped, torn, or deformed lint screens promptly to prevent big problems, like burnt out motors or vent fires.

Most common Whirlpool-style dryer heating element.
Thermal cut-out (fuse) L360 and high-limit thermostat L250.This element fits almost all Whirlpool-built dryers (yes, that includes Kenmore) that have the lint filter in the top panel (that’s the most common and also the best one). This is the most common thermal cutoff switch. You’ll find this mounted on the heating element can.

Thermal fuse, on blower housing cover of Whirlpool dryers.  Cannot be re-set, must be replaced if is open (no continuity between pins). 3/16 inch terminals.
Thermal fuse, on blower housing cover of Whirlpool stacked laundry dryers.  Cannot be re-set, must be replaced if is open (no continuity between pins). 1/4 inch terminals--used in stack laundry models.If your dryer is part of a stack laundry center, then your thermal fuse probably looks like the one shown here to the right. Otherwise, it’s probably like the one to the left. The look the same but they differ in one important way: the size of the terminal spades. The spades on the statcked laundry thermal fuse are ¼” wide whereas the other one has 3/16″ wide spades.

Thermal fuse, disposable, on exhaust duct of Whirlpool dryers.On some models, the thermal fuse looks like this.

Igniter kit, will replace round or flat style, with bracket, wire nuts and mounting screw. Caution! The black heating element portion of this part is EXTREMELY fragile. Use caution when handling.
Gas dryer sensor for igniter and flame.
Gas valve solenoid coil kit, 2 and 3 wire, new style.

Gas dryer not firing up? Common troublemakers are shown here. From top to bottom they are: the ignitor, the radiant sensor, and the gas valve coils. A blown thermal fuse will also create a no-heat condition so be sure to ohm out the thermal fuse with your meter.

Remember Samurai’s Ichiban Law of Appliance Repair: Never replace a part unless you have proof that the part is bad. For help in getting that proof, read the Gas Dryer Problem Solver.

Buy Appliance Parts Here offers a complete line of appliance parts for all brands and models through our parts partner, RepairClinic. We could have partnered with any number of other appliance parts retailers on the web, but we chose RepairClinic. You won’t find a more complete selection of appliance parts, better customer service, or a more lenient return policy anywhere else. By clicking through to RepairClinic using the links below or anywhere else at, a small percentage of your purchase goes to supporting this website without costing you one penny more for the parts you order. So, if you’re going to order appliance parts anyway, please use the links on this website to ensure that the Samurai will continue to be here to help you fix your appliances. Domo.


























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Appliance Jive Turkey Award: A Sears/A&E Servicer in South Florida

This latest Appliance Jive Turkey Award goes to a parts changing monkey who works for Sears/A&E in south Florida. Reason for award: this monkey boy tells customers with refrigerators that have had a sealed system leak that the sulfur in their water corrodes the copper and causes the leak.

Our story begins with Charlie, in Florida, who has a two year old Whirlpool refrigerator model number ET21PKXGT02. Recently, the nearly-new refrigerator stopped getting cold. She went through all the basic checks with guidance from several appliance gurus at the Appliantology Group and it became apparent that the refrigerator had developed a sealed system problem. Since the sealed system is covered by a five-year warranty, we advised her to call for warranty service and have it repaired. What happened next reads like something out of a Franz Kafka novel. Charlie tells the story in the forum, but I’ll summarize it here.

The jive turkey who came out to the house was not a Whirlpool employee–he works for A&E Factory Service, a service company owned by Sears and is, in fact, a Sears employee with a different uniform. A&E is given priority on all Whirlpool-dispatched service calls, but Whirlpool has no real control over A&E operations or targeted markets. This is a really bad situation for both Whirlpool and the consumer because, through this arrangement with Sears, Whirlpool has lost all control of its warranty service to Sears. You can read more about this sick saga of corporate inbreeding here.

Anyway, our illustrious Appliance Jive Turkey Award recipient took one look at the blackened copper tubing in back and fed her a line about how sulfur in her water was corroding the copper tubing, causing them to leak and that this was not covered by warranty. He wrote the service ticket up as non-repairable, passing the buck to Whirlpool, and left. Intrigued by this novel line of bullsheist from an obviously accomplished jive turkey, Charlie called his employer, A&E Factory Service.

Now, here’s where it gets Kafkaesque. A&E told her that she should have known to paint the tubing with acrylic paint to protect them from the sulfur. I guess the fact that her previous refrigerator (a Frigidaire) only lasted 15 years in that same location should have been a clue that sulfur is a problem! It reminds me of Franz Kafka’s The Trial where a bank clerk is arrested and put on trial. He never learns the nature of the charges but is told that he should have known better. (Not a happy ending, either. In the end, he is taken away by knife-weilding officials who kill him ‘like a dog.’)

Another tech in the forum, fixum1, gave her the number to the Whirlpool partner line and suggested she might have more luck with that office. But they just gave her the run around, seemingly reluctant to get involved. Whirlpool’s authorized warranty service company, A&E, has become completely enamored of their star jive turkey’s line of horse manure and has reported this “sulfur corrosion” phenomenon to Whirlpool…without laughing too much. Whirlpool is probably wondering what those parts changing monkeys at Sears/A&E down in south Florida are smoking.

Obviously, the line about sulfur in the water corroding the copper was a very creative bald-faced lie told to avoid doing a lengthy sealed system repair at 4:30 in the afternoon. According to forum guru, fixum1, the real reason the copper tubing turned black was that a faulty brazed joint in the copper tubing around the filter-drier released compressor oil in the tubing around there. Although this jive turkey repairman is a Sears/A&E employee, Whirlpool is still on the hook for the repair. A warranty is a warranty and they have yet to make good on it. Stay tuned for updates on this situation as we follow it to final resolution.

Appliance Servicers: Advertise Your Bidness on for FREE!

How would you like to advertise your appliance service bidness right here at, the muthah of all appliance repair websites, for FREE! Yep, absotootely free. It’s the Appliance Servicer AD-vantage Program offered here, and ONLY here, at! All you have to do is actively participate in the repair forum at the Appliantology Group, dispensing your pearls of appliance wisdom to the teeming masses yearning for free wisdom and your ad will run in the text ad box that appears on almost every web page here at The ad boxes look like this:

(Just imagine, your ad could be here!)

As you can see, the ad consists of a linkable header and a message that you create. Your ad will rotate with all the other ads in the queue for free as long as you’re an active participant in the forum. Sound like a great deal? That’s ‘cuz it is! To get started, set up a free user account with the Ad Server and create your ad. Don’t worry about the payment part. I’ll see the ad when I log in and if I recognize you from the repair forum, I’ll inject your ad into the system to run on the website indefinitely. Oh, did I mention that it’s FREE?