Monthly Archives: September 2006

Miele Dishwasher – No Water

I went on a service call for a three-year old Miele dishwasher; the complaint was that water wouldn’t enter the basin. Miele coded the call as warranty unless the problem was customer-induced or caused by external factors. After some preliminary troubleshooting, I found that the water inlet hose had been attacked by a rat!

Miele Dishwasher WPS Water Supply Hose - Rat Attack!

Naturally, this job was re-coded to COD since Miele is not responsible for rat attacks. ๐Ÿ˜†

BTW, this is typical of service calls on Miele dishwashers– most problems with these dishwashers are customer-induced.

The other unique aspect of this call, which is typical for Miele but no one else, is that the manufacturer was willing to cover this under warranty *if* it was an internal part failure even though the official warranty had expired two years ago. That’s pretty cool. Of course, this excellent engineering, construction, and support all come with a price– expect to pay at least $2,000 for a Miele dishwasher. Now, let’s zoom out to the more general case of all appliances and brands…

Y’see, Hoss, the deal today with all major appliances is that you can either pay more up front for really good stuff or you can buy your wannabe Bosch, Sub-(standard)-Zero, mediocre Kitchenaid, cheesy Frigidaire or whatever, and then pay-as-you go for repairs. The appliance industry average for the “big brands” is that you’ll be doing some type of repair every two to four years; the only real variable there is how big the repair’s gonna be. For example, will you be replacing the compressor in your Frigidaire refrigerator in two years (this is common) vs. replacing the compressor start relay in a Whirlpool refrigerator (again, common). The difference is hundreds of dollars in parts and labor costs and, in the latter case, is a repair that most do-it-yourselfers can easily do themselves… if they can figure out what the problem is in the first place. But, lucky for you, that’s where I come in… and may even be why you’re reading this right now. :mrgreen:

Water Dispenser in a Maytag Refrigerator Floods the Kitchen

This actually happened on a Maytag model MSD2754FRW but can happen to any of the Maytag MSD side-by-side refrigerators with the in-door water dispenser (also called a “fountain”). The dispenser can turn itself on when you’re nowhere around and just keep spitting out water until the inlet valve burns itself out resulting in an expensive and nasty flood. Sublime Master Trying to Help reveals the solution in this repair forum topic.

This is a good time to review the 5th Law of the Prophecy, “Electronics and wet appliances do not mix.” The only way the manufacturers will comply is if you, as consumers, start demanding it and STOP buying their crap with needless and unreliable electronic controls. You, and you alone are responsible for which appliances you buy. You have been warned. Caveat Emptor. โ—

How to Diagnose the Emitter and Receiver Boards in the Optical-Sensing Icemakers

This topic at the repair forum has some excellent instructions from Sublime Masters of Appliantology on how to diagnose the infernal optics control boards on these over-engineered icemakers that use the optical ice level sensing… as if that’s appropriate technology to have in a silly little icemaker inside your freezer.

What are the manufacturers thinking when they put out this overblown garbage? It’s as though they had a bunch of electrical engineers sitting around one day and said, “Oh, I know! Let’s design an icemaker that uses a bunch of flimsy, expensive electronics to replace a function that could be done more reliably and less expensively by a simple mechanical feeler arm!” Brilliant. ๐Ÿ’ก ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

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

Appliance Repair Radio: Which Washing Machine Should You Buy?

In the market for a new washer? So many choices and you’re agonizing over which one to buy? Sweat thou not the load, my leetle grasshopper, for the Samurai and Mrs. Samurai will give you the low-down on today’s washers, explaining the various washers available and their pro’s and con’s, and introduce a revolutionary new washing machine that you probably haven’t even heard of! Come, listen, and the truth shall set you free.

Listen to this episode | Podcast homepage | Podcast RSS feed

Samurai Appliance Repair Forum Server Migration

We made it! Last night, I moved the entire repair forum, whole and intact, over to a Virtual Private Server (VPS). This should give us more resources and greater reliability resulting in a faster server and more uptime. Things could be a bit bumpy for the next day or so as the domain name for the forum,, propagates throughout all the name servers on the Internet and finally resolves to the IP address of the new server. Enjoy the ride! 8)

Until the domain resolves to our new server, you can reach the forum by going to This domain is already pointing to the VPS so go on in and start browsing and posting.

The other problem some of you may have is that you won’t be able to log in and you may even keep getting a message saying that you need to allow cookies in your browser even though you know that cookies are already enabled. If you run into this, you can easily fix it by simply clearing all cookies in your browser (a good idea to do it periodically, anyway, because cookie files can get REALLY big). More details about this and other fixes for both Firefox and IE browsers in this topic.

Meanwhile, savor the over 3,000 pages of appliance wisdom ratcheer at our main website, :mrgreen:

How to Check the Burner Components in a Gas Dryer

The radiant sensor, ignitor, and valve coils should all show continuity. The ignitor will have a resistance in the range of 100-300 ohms and will increase as the ignitor gets older.

The Mysteries of Gas Dryer Burner Components Revealed!

The resistances of the coils will be higher. This page has detailed explanations and specs on the valve coils.

Checking the Components in a Gas Dryer

The only component not shown in the photo above is the high limit thermostat, which is attached further down the burner cone, shown here.

As always, click the thumbnails for the larger view. Can you believe I have lots of grasshoppers reading this post who didn’t know to do that until just now? ๐Ÿ˜†

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

Checking the Thermistor in GE Refrigerators

The newer GE and Hotpoint refrigerators use a thermistor to sense temperature. The motherboard on the back of the refrigerator sends an electrical pulse to the sensor to measure its change in resistance and thus sense the change in temperature of the refrigerated space. So, checking the thermistor comes down to simply measuring its resistance at a known temperature. This topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum gives you the temperature-resistance information you need to test the thermistor.

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

Kenmore HE3t Washer Stainless Steel Tub Self-Destructed

Mary B. posted this sordid story of schlocky appliance service in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum:

Last week, during a normal load of laundry our HE3 Washer started making a horrible loud sound! It sounded like a car coming through our garage. We got the washer stopped. When we removed our white clothes, there was a rust color all over them. There is a gaping hole under one of the baffles in the seam of the Stainless Steel tub.

I did not buy the extended warranty 3 years ago when we paid $1,000 for this machine. I called Sears, their service guy claims he had never seen this before and handed me an estimate for $1,100 to repair it. I laughed and showed him out!!!! I read in the manual that the Stainless Steel tub has a Limited Lifetime Warranty, so I called Sears to complain. The service guy said nothing about this warranty. When I explained to the woman on the phone what had happened, she looked up my model (Model # 110.42822201) and told me there were two Service Flashes on this model for tub problems. They are sending a different service guy out tomorrow. I am mad that the first service guy did not know the warranty and knew nothing about the Service Flashes.

Split Drum Seal, Kenmore HE3t (Whirlpool Duet) WasherWhere can I go for some of these answers. I have digital pictures of the damage it it helps. (Note from Samurai: the photo Mary posted is shown here, click it for a larger view.)

After a several phone calls to the corporate bureaucrats at Sears and a visit by another Sears tech, Mary ended up with a choice: pay $300 toward the repair cost with Sears covering the rest OR take a $500 store credit toward a new washing machine (limited, of course, to what’s available on the Sears floor). Oh, BTW, they did offer to just give her the parts to do the three-hour, two-man job repair herself. ๐Ÿ™„

Even though the Sears techs claim they have never seen this problem, my latest intel shows that this drum seam failure is an emerging issue with these washers (also sold as the Whirlpool Duet). The problem is aggravated in areas with corrosive water, which apparently accelerates the corrosion at the critical drum seams, resulting in the Mary’s dilemma.

So what should Mary do? I give Mary the same advice I gave Rickie on his Asko washer. Look, if you buy the store brands, you are resigning yourself to bending over for one of the Big Appliance Manufacturers and appliance servicers. Is Sears going to give you technical repair help on the phone or in the form of repair manuals? Is Whirlpool? Is Asko? I think you’ll find that you are SOL, my friend. Why throw good money after bad and buy yet another store brand with all the built-in obsolescence and secretive technical information?

But, hey, this is Ameedica, and we still have some remnant of the free market which means you still have other choices. And your best choice for a washing machine is the Staber washer. You can read my copious writings on the Staber washer here and it was featured in the Fall 2006 issue of our newsletter.

Staber Inner Drum, Looking InsideIs the Staber just as vulnerable to the drum seam failure that we’re starting to see in the Kenmore HE3/4t and Whirlpool Duet washers? Short answer: NO. Why? Completely different construction which doesn’t rely on cheesy little folds in the stainless steel to hold the drum together. I’ve posted a picture here– see for yourself (as always, click the thumbnail for the larger, annotated view).

Isn’t it time to finally wake up from your life-long marketing-induced slumber and buy a Staber? 8)

Pamper your Appliances!

Hello! Mrs. Samurai here to fill you in on a little-known ingredient to maximizing the effectiveness and longevity of your appliances – the right household products. The Samurai has been deep inside the innards of countless appliances over the years, and has seen a difference between those that are used with many of the common-brand detergents and those that are pampered with cleaners like the ones we use in our home. Our cleaners donโ€™t leave any residue or grit in the appliances or piping, whereas a majority of other brands leave varying amounts of residue. The presence of this grit/residue causes excess wear-and-tear on many of the moving parts of washers and dishwashers, causing them to fail more quickly. In the case of washing machines, itโ€™s also hard on your clothes.

There are lots of other advantages to the household products that we use. They are highly concentrated and thus very economical, they are human and pet friendly (hypoallergenic and nontoxic), and they are environmentally sound as well. Bottom line, though – they work great. And even better – theyโ€™ve just updated the products and put together a great Starter Kit to get you going. Click here to read more about your Appliance Care Kit!

Asko? A Former Asko Owner Says, “Oh NO!”

In the Fall 2006 issue of our newsletter, Appliantology, I talked about the Staber washer and the typical happy Staber owner. I mentioned that, “If you’re not a DIYer and expect to call for service, get a commercially available washer from your favorite appliance dealer. Some good ones are Whirlpool Duet, Miele, Asko and Fisher-Paykel.”

Rickie, a frequent reader of these hallowed pages, disagreed vehemently with my mentioning Asko as a suitable brand to consider. In the interest of equal time, I am including her comments here:


This form was submitted: Sep 14 2006 / 13:58:19
by a visitor with this IP Address:
name = Rickie ****
email = ********
country = USA

I have to take issue with your endorsement of Asko washers and dryers. I paid $1000 each for 2 units in 2000, and had NOTHING but trouble with both of them. I got a run around with the 800 number, and the regional rep didn’t return my calls. My washer and dryer had something like 8 service calls each in the first 4 years (I gave them away with my house when I sold it last year–that’s how little I valued them), and I mean for serious stuff that required hours of service and complete tear-downs. I called the company I purchased them from wilthin the first year and wanted to return my lemons, but they wouldn’t deal with me and only referred me to the above mentioned rep and 800#. I went sometimes months without using the units because I couldn’t afford the service charges. I would no more recommend an Asko appliance than I would jump off a cliff. I searched the internet for comments after I had so much trouble (I had done my research before, too, and found good stuff to recommend Asko), but after, I came across forums where people had the same complaints as I, so I know it was not just my units. The company is just plain unworkable. I will never never never use or recommend an Asko anything ever again.

–Rickie ****

Rickie’s saga is a perfect illustration of why you should buy a Staber!

Look, one of the big missions of this website is to empower you, average Joe or Jane appliance owner, to become appliance self-sufficient. That means learning how to fix your own appliances so you’re not at the mercy of know-nothing parts-changing monkeys, jive-turkey “repair” men, or manufacturer bureaucracy. And the simple fact is that if you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, you ARE at the mercy of other people and organizations!

“Ok, Mr. Samurai Cyclops, wouldn’t I still be at the mercy of Staber Industries if I bought a Staber, just like I would any other brand?”

Listen, bubble-boy, if you buy anything from anyone, you are entering into a relationship with that person or company. You are trading Federal Reserve Notes (mistakenly referred to as “Dollars”) for a product or service which you are having to trust is what you are expecting. The only way to avoid this is to live on a deserted island, alone, just you and your coconut.

See, it’s all matter of degree of dependancy. What you’re getting when you buy a Staber is a washer that is designed to be serviced by you, Average Joe or Jane appliance owner. And they help you do that by making available to you, the Staber owner, all the free service information and free manuals you need to repair the washer yourself. Staber offers excellent, free service support to owners– they’ve made it easy for you to have a low energy, low water-consuming, high-efficiency washing machine and be able to maintain it yourself.

That’s why Staber washers and dryers are such a home run with the self-reliant crowd, those living off the grid, and folks like Rickie who are sick and tired of being taken for a ride by manufacturers who could care less that you got stuck with a lemon. As far as they’re concerned, you’re one of the ignorant helpless bastards who expects to call for service every time your machine breaks so you get whatever they damn-well feel like giving you because they know you don’t have a choice. That’s also why I have 10,000 grasshoppers a day visiting this website seeking pearls of appliance repair wisdom to avoid having to call Cheeky the repairclown or 1-800-GE-CARES and then pressing “2” for English and waiting 45 minutes for the corporate bureaucrat to come back from her smoke break and pick up the damn phone.

So, the advice I gave is quite accurate, “If you’re not a DIYer and expect to call for service, get a commercially available washer from your favorite appliance dealer. Some good ones are Whirlpool Duet, Miele, Asko and Fisher-Paykel.” And, as far as the store-bought brands, that, sadly, is about as good as it gets. The corollary to this is, “Why in the world would you NOT want to be a do-it-yourselfer?”

Presumably, if you’re reading this, you have some interest in learning to repair your own appliances. Well, you’ve come to the right place because the Samurai makes it easy for you to do that. With over 3,000 pages of free detailed help, the world-famous Samurai Appliance Repair Forum, a Live Help subscription service for real-time, personal help, and convenient parts ordering, Samurai Appliance Repair Man has everything you need to become appliance self-sufficient.

Grand Opening: Samurai’s Staber Store

The Samurai’s very own appliance store is up and running! The Samurai’s Staber Store features washers and dryers built right here in Ameedica by Staber. We have frequently discussed these fine laundry appliances here at, The Samurai Appliance Repair Forum, and in our newsletter.

You’ll find other appliance notions and sundries in Samurai’s Appliance Emporium so be there now!

Samurai Appliance Repair Forum Down

The Samurai Appliance Repair Forum, the Mecca of DIY appliance repair help, is temporarily down while we resolve some server issues. Should be back online tonight or by Saturday morning at the latest. In the meantime, I’m available for quick questions via AIM, my screen name is Zenzoidman.

Sorry for the inconvenience but persevere and your long-suffering shall be richly rewarded. 8)

UPDATE: The forum is back online!

Appliantology Newsletter, Fall 2006

The long-awaited Fall issue of our award-winning, official newsletter, Appliantology, the oracle of appliance enlightenment, has hit the Internet face-first and screaming. Hurry, download your FREE copy now before it gets all used up! You’ll be glad you did. ๐Ÿ™‚

In case you missed the previous issues ofย Appliantology, you can peruse the archives. And if you want future issues delivered directly to your email, use the signup form below:

Fill out your e-mail addressto receive Appliantology!

Maytag Neptune FAV6800AWW Top Load Washer “OP” Code

A young Samurai Apprentice posted this problem in the repair forum. Sublime Master of Appliantology Stumpowitz rendered the illuminating initial diagnostic advice:

Magnetic reed switch on left side below the gray rubber bumper, shown here. Release two spring clips in front between main top and front panel using putty knife. Lift the main top and access the left and right door locks here. To access and see if the magnet is in place, remove the dispenser from lid. Gently pry the bottom of the plastic inner lid toward you then down. This will let you see if the magnet is in place on the right front corner of the innrer lid.

Which, naturally, was precisely the right prescription.

Corroded Lid Switch in a Maytag Neptune FAV6800AWW WasherFurther investigation by an inquisitive grasshopper revealed the reason why these lid lock switches are failing, click the thumbnail for a larger view.

Seems to be a common problem with this washer. Apparently, the lid isn’t completely watertight and allows water to get into this switch corroding the contacts and the wires. See the attached picture of my water-damaged switch. Note the black wire disconnected.

All is revealed under the power of many good minds focused on a single problem. This is the strength of the forum. Buy your new lid lock switch here.

Appliance Brand Recommendations


This form was submitted: Sep 06 2006 / 22:47:34
by a visitor with this IP Address:

name = John

comments = Again want to thank you for your service. You have provided valuable help twice before oh wise one. I ‘am e-mailing instead of calling the hope that it is more convenient. I am a gen. cont. & helping my customer select appliances. Your last recommendation, that included Dacor gas cooktop, proved quite on the spot. Now its a refer, dishwasher.& stacked micro/oven unit. This humble student seeks your wisdom once again, Thank You again.

Hi, John, nice to hear from you. And since you’re a Live Help subscriber, you’re always welcome to call me– it’s not an intrusion.

As for for your questions…

Refrigerators: Whirlpool makes more than anyone else and has the most opportunity to get it right or to screw up. For the most part, they get it right.  Kitchenaid is their upline, some nice choices there. Amana is not a bad second choice. Avoid like the plague: Sub-(standard)-Zero, GE, and Frikkidaire.

Dishwashers There’s one and only one dishwasher I would recommend today: Miele. Anything else, including the Bosch, will be a troublesome machine. Overwhelmingly, the most common problems I see with the Miele are customer-induced. Get ready to shell out $2,000 but, hey, you get what you pay for… in this particular case.

As for the stacked micro/oven unit– OY! Do you really want to go this route? These are nightmares to work on. I honestly don’t know of any brand that’s better than the others. The usual ground rule applies:  avoid GE.