Monthly Archives: December 2007

Happy New Year!

(Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu == Happy New Year)

Peace on Earth Kanji

from Samurai Appliance Repair Man and Mrs. Samurai.

Need a New Year’s resolution? Here’s one: Vote for Ron Paul, President, 2008! He’s the TRUE peace candidate: he has consistently and stridently opposed the war in Iraq, the war on drugs, and all the other loony “wars” that the feral gubmint (federal government) has declared and only ended up making problems worse. Let’s chain the beast in D.C.! Vote Ron Paul!

Domo to Vincent A. Ferri for the cool Kanji.

Kenmore Washer Vibrates Like Crazy During Spin

From: Carlos G
Subject: Question for the Samurai

Your Precious Words: I have a Kenmore Model 80, opened it up to do some cleaning now it vibrates like crazy during the spin cycle. The springs are attached on the bottom. When I move the tub around with my hand it feels unstable, very springy. I heard something about snubber pads…

Any ideas?? Thanks

This washing machine is the venerable direct drive washer made by Whirlpool Corporation. It was one of the best top-loading washers ever made in terms of reliability and serviceability. One of the features of this washer, which was revolutionary when it first came out 25 or so years ago, is self-levelling rear foot pads. Appliance techs loved this feature because it eliminated the drudgery of having to manually adjust the rear foot pads.

Whenever the washer is moved, as it would have been when you cleaned it, the foot pads need to be reset to ensure that each one is bearing about 25% of the machine’s weight. Otherwise, the washer won’t be stable when it goes into spin.

How can you tell the washer’s weight is evenly distributed among the four foot pads? Piece of pie, tovarish! We do this using a patented technique called “Rocking the diagonals.” Looking down at the top of the machine, place your hands on two opposite corners and try to rock the machine. Do this for both diagonal corners. If you get any movement, even the slightest, itsy-bitsiest movement, the washer will gyrate like a drunk at a disco during the spin cycle. Since this is a patented technique, please remember to remit your royalty payment if you use it. Domo!

OK, enough nostalgia and theory– let’s do the three-step fix for this bad boy:

1. Standing in front of the washer, grasp the back of the washer just below the control panel (DO NOT grab the control panel!)

2. Pivot the machine toward you just enough to raise the rear foot pads off the floor. You’ll hear a KER-CHUNK. That’s the sound you want to hear because it means the automatic levelers in the foot pads have done their thang.

3. Now gently lower the machine back down.

Problem solved! Now go crack a cold one and grab me one while you’re at it.

How to Find Appliance Parts Without Having to Know Much

Now it’s easier than ever to find the appliance parts you need using the new pretty yellow appliance parts search box at the top of the page.

Let’s walk through a quick example of how easy it is to find parts with the new Part Detective using the Whirlpool Duet Sport washer as an example. Let’s suppose we have an F-01 error and have determined that this is a bad CCU (central control unit– a fancy word for an unreliable electronic circuit board) and we need to buy a new one. Now the fun part beings!

Just scroll up to the top of the page and use the handy parts search box in the cheerful yellow box and enter “whirlpool duet sport washer” in the form. The search box below is the same one at the repair forum and here at this website. I’ve already typed in the search term, “whirlpool duet sport washer” so we can move things along:

Find Parts Fast!

Search by part number or model number for best results. If you don’t know your model number – try searching by appliance type, brand or part type.

When you click the “Search for Parts” button in the search box above, you’ll go to a page of parts for the Whirlpool Duet Sport washer. Go ahead and click the button, it’ll open in a new page so you can keep reading this one.

Now refine your search using the “Part Type” box on the left hand side. Click the “Circuit Board / Timer” option.

You’ll see a page of mostly CCUs for the various models Duet Sport washers. At this point, you’ll need your model number, this page will help you find it. Once you have your model number, just click the your model number in the top box on the left hand side labelled, oddly enough, “Model Number.” The next page you see will have the exact CCU for your particular model.

You could also enter an appliance part type. For example, if you enter “icemaker valve” in the parts search box, you’ll get pages of pictures of water inlet valves for every type of icemaker. Since you see a picture of each valve, you can usually find the one you need by simply looking at it.

The Famous Three-Step Samurai Appliance Repair Program

So you have a broken appliance; you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. And you’re all flustered because you don’t even know where to start getting help. Well, you just unfurrow that brow and unbunch those panties, Grasshoppah, because the Samurai will walk you through your repair journey with his famous three-step appliance repair program. The three steps are (drum roll, please):

1. Browse the appliance repair FAQs.

2. Get interactive appliance repair help (if needed).

3. Get the parts and tools you need to finish the job!

See, we’re so good, we only need three steps to help you rehabilitate your appliances.

GE Recalls Tens of Thousands of Combination Microwave / Conventional Wall Ovens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. Name of Product: Built-in Combination Wall and Microwave Ovens

Units: About 92,000

Manufacturer: GE Consumer & Industrial, of Louisville, Ky.

Hazard: The door switch in the microwave oven can overheat and ignite plastic components in the control area, posing a fire hazard to consumers. The lower thermal oven does not pose a hazard.

Incidents/Injuries: GE is aware of 35 incidents of minor property damage and one incident in which a fire damaged adjacent kitchen cabinets. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recall includes GE combination microwave and conventional built-in wall ovens sold under the following brand names: GE, GE Profile® and Kenmore. The ovens were sold in white, black, bisque and stainless steel. The brand name is printed on the lower left corner on the front of the microwave door. The following model and serial numbers can be found inside the microwave oven on the left interior wall.

Recalled Models:

GE / GE Profile 
JT965B0F1BB, JT965C0F1CC, JT965S0F1SS, JT965W0F1WW, 

Serial number begins with:

LZ, MZ, RZ, SZ, TZ, 
VZ, ZZ, AA, DA, FA, 

Kenmore (All model numbers start with 911):

41485991, 41485992, 41485993, 41485994, 
41489991,41489992, 41489993, 41489994, 
49485992, 49489992, 47692100, 47699100,
47862100, 47869100, 47812200, 47813200, 
47814200, 47819200, 47792200, 47793200, 
47794200, 47799200 0, 1, 2, 3

Sold at: Department and appliance stores from January 2000 to December 2003 for between $1,500 and $2,000.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the microwave oven immediately. Consumers should contact GE regarding their GE/GE Profile micro-oven combo or Sears for their Kenmore unit. GE is offering a free repair or rebate on a new product, a $300 rebate toward the purchase of a new GE brand unit, or a $600 rebate toward the purchase of a new GE Profile brand unit. Sears is offering a free repair or $300 rebate toward the purchase of a new Kenmore brand unit. Consumers can continue using the lower thermal oven.

Consumer Contact: For additional information on GE /Profile units, contact General Electric toll-free at (888)-240-2745 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday, or visit GE’s Web site at For additional information on Kenmore units, contact Sears toll-free at (888) 679-0282 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday, or visit Sears’ Web site at

GE Side by Side Refrigerator Freezing the Beer

It happened again: you reach for a can of Old Milwaukee only to feel that tell-tale bulge at the top of the can. The beer froze… again. D’OH!

Refrigerator air inlet cover/damper kit with fan motorThe problem is usually the damper door assembly— these have been a real cash cow, er, I mean, headache for servicers since dayo uno.

What usually happens is that the damper door cracks and gets stuck in the wide open position. Look in there and see. If this is what’s happened to yours, then you’ll need to replace the entire damper assembly.

Maytag Neptune MAH3000AWW Won’t Run

You’ve done your due-diligence checks and have verified that R11 on machine control board is not smoked. Now you need to do the motor phase voltage test described in your tech sheet inside the control console. Sublime Master of Appliantology Trying to help gives the CliffNotes version:

You will want to take the front off of the unit but leave the door on. Remove the two screws from the hinges, and the plates opposite of the hinge location on the other side of the opening (for door reversal). The front will then remove. After that, close the door, put the timer in a 6 hour delay, and pull the JP4 (Yellow, Red, Blue and a double White Jumper ) connector off the motor control board which is located behind the front panel on the front right machine floor and let it hang in the air. When you press the start button in this position, JP4 off, in delay, washer door closed you are in a motor test. The motor should start spinning in one direction at 50 RPM’s. If it does, let it run for a minute or two to see if it shuts off or if it will run. If it does not, you will need to do a voltage test on the board at the connector that has a white wire and a black wire (a green ground I believe as well). If you have 120VAC from white to black, and the motor is not turning, you will need the part listed below:

Motor/control conversion kit, Neptune washer

Read the heart-warming story about how one Grasshoppah whupped-up on his Maytag Neptune washing machine. I laughed; I cried; it became a part of me.

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

The Samurai has a Liberty Lunch with Ron Paul

The Samurai has a Liberty Lunch with Ron Paul.

From L to R: Congressman Ron Paul!, Mike Faiella, A Guy, Fr. Andrew Tregubov (my priest), Samurai Appliance Repair Man. Not shown: Mrs. Samurai— she’s taking the picture (click to enlarge).

Monday, December 3, 2007
BJ Bricker’s Restaurant, Claremont, NH

I just found out last Friday that I was going to this lunch. What a rare and unique opportunity to talk with an actual presidential candidate! And not just any candidate either; I was having lunch with the man who could very well become the next commander-in-chief.

As we were eating and making small talk, I waited for just the right moment to ask my question. Then, as the waitress was pouring more coffee for everyone, I got my chance.

“So, Dr. Paul,” I began in my best Perry Mason imitation, “I run an appliance repair website,, perhaps you’ve heard of it…?”

“No, never heard of it,” he answered.

“Oh well,” I replied, “your loss. Anyway, I get email from thousands of people everyday complaining about their broken appliances. What’s the gubmint gonna do about this?” I asked, indignantly.

“Do about what?” he asked back.

“‘About what?’ About all these broken appliances, that’s what!” I struggled to keep my voice down– I was *really* getting hot now. Was he dissin’ me?

Dr. Paul shot a puzzled glance to his campaign manager. I could tell by the expression on his face that he was thinking to himself, “Wow! This guy’s really good! How do I answer this?” Yep, I had him right where I wanted him.

But instead he said, “I don’t think the government has any business doing anything about yours or anyone else’s broken appliance appliances. Things break. If you get the government involved in it, they’ll just break more often, stay broken longer, and be more expensive to fix.”

“Yes, things break,” I replied with narrowing eyes, “and that’s exactly why we need gubmint to take over this vital issue because no one’s better at breaking things than the federal gubmint.” I paused for dramatic effect. Dr. Paul was looking at the other people seated at the table. “We need to create a new Department of Appliantology and elevate it to a cabinet-level position. Are you willing to create the new DOA for the Ameedican sheople, Dr. Paul?” I was smelling blood as I moved in for the kill.

“Department of Appliantology?” he was sounding a little irked now. “Are you on medication? I don’t even know what ‘appliantology’ is but I promise you this: your ‘Department of Appliantology’ truly is DOA. In fact, I’m going to hack back *all* the alphabet soup bureaucracy in Washington. If I’m elected, the IRS, DEA, BATF, CIA and many others are all going on the chopping block. The size and scope of the federal government will be slashed to a fraction of its present state.”

*SLAM* It was like someone cracking a two-by-four over my head at full swing. I literally jerked backwards and fell over in my chair onto the floor.

In an instant Dr. Paul, a gubmint-licensed physician, was kneeling beside me as I lay flat out on the floor. He checked my pulse and then turned to Mrs. Samurai.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Samurai, I should have seen it right away; it appears to be a case of cranial rectitis,” he said somberly. “I’ve been seeing it all over the country while campaigning.”

Cranial rectitis?” Mrs. Samurai asked, her lips quivering slightly. “What is it, Doctor? Is there a cure? Can I get it from the toilet seat?”

Cranial rectitis is where the victim’s head gets, well, let’s just say it’s not in the right place. The disease causes the victim to believe that he needs government in his life. The cure is to simply hear the message of liberty.”

Then he proceeded to explain that freedom is the birthright of every human being on the planet and that the only legitimate purpose of government is to secure and protect that natural freedom. He explained that the federal government today has become a predator and is herding us like cattle into a increasingly restrictive police state. They do this through the proven tactic of problem-reaction-solution: create or exaggerate a problem – whip up emotional reaction to the problem among the sheople – implement a government solution which always involves infringing on more personal freedoms.

As he spoke, I felt my head begin pulling out of my bottom. Slowly at first, then with increasing strength until it suddenly popped out like a cork shooting off a champagne bottle. I gulped in the air like a prisoner who just tunneled his way out of jail. I was cured; I was free man and I knew it!

Dr. Paul cured my cranial rectitis!

Popping sounds are going off all across the country. Catch the cure! Read more about the miracle cures of Dr. Ron Paul:

Key Issues
Cliff Notes Version

Vote Ron Paul!

Working with Electronic Circuit Boards in Appliance Repair

Most appliances today use electronic circuit boards. For example, many appliances use an “electronic control system” consisting of a dime-store calculator LCD display, a plastic touch pad, and a cheesy circuit board, all made in a Chinese sweat shop. Although these boards are manufactured for pennies, replacement circuit boards sell for big bucks, sometimes hundreds of dollars, and are the single most profitable replacement part that any appliance manufacturer sells.

Electronic circuit boards in wet appliances violate the 5th Law of the Prophecy: Electronics and wet appliances do not mix. Nevertheless, it’s hard to find a washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, or dryer today that doesn’t use circuit boards for the user interface. And they’re here to stay so like it or not, we better get used to ’em. Hence the raison d’être for this article.

Here are some all-too-common examples of how you’ll use your new-found circuit board skills in appliance repair:

If you’re going to attempt to repair a circuit board, you need to first understand that, in the course of trying to repair the board, you may accidentally inflict collateral damage to the board. The risk of collateral damage is inversely proportional to your soldering skill and how carefully you handle the board. In other words, as your skills in handling and soldering circuit boards increase, the risk of accidentally damaging the board decreases. YOU, and you alone, are responsible for whatever happens, good or bad, to the circuit board while it’s in your hot little hands. If you’re not prepared to take the blame– as well as the accolades– for whatever happens with the broken circuit board you’re thinking about fixing, then don’t even start! I recommend that you practice– a lot!– on an old circuit board before going live on the real thing.

You need to practice two basic techniques: soldering and desoldering. I’m not going to get into the nuances of making a good solder joint– there are lots of references for this all over the Internet, like this one. So rather than bore you with long, tedious descriptions of how to solder and desolder, what you really need are pictures demonstrating the techniques. And, hey, looky-here at what I just happened to have…

And, for your convenience, here’s a shopping list of the basic tools you’ll need:

Handling Electronic Circuit Boards

Many electronic boards are static sensitive. This means that the static electricity naturally present on your body can fry the delicate little IC chips on the circuit board. Always wear an antistatic wrist strap and ground yourself before working with electronic control boards. Always handle boards by the edge and don’t touch discrete components on the board.

Awwite, Tron, go dab some molten lead on a circuit board.

GE Profile Refrigerator Leaking from the Water Dispenser

The water dispenser on your GE Profile refrigerator has a case of the drips. So, you do what everyone does and place a cup under the dispenser spout to catch the water. Yet, despite its effectiveness, the spousal unit will no longer tolerate this mode of operation. Thus your quest for appliance enlightenment begins… and ends right here because you just found it!

Dual water inlet valve kitAll you need to do is replace the water inlet valve in the back of the refrigerator; can’t miss it– it’s the blue thing with wires and tubes sticking out of it inside the service compartment in the back of your refrigerator. I have more refrigerator anatomy help, if you need it.

Bosch Front Loading Washer Nexxt 500 Series Stops Mid-Cycle and Gives Error Code E04

BigChiefNocaHoma, an Apprentice Appliantologist at the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums, owns a Bosch front washer, model number WFMC3301UC. Recently, his Bosch washer developed a problem where it would stop mid-cycle with an E04 error code in the display and he posted this problem in the Laundry Appliance Repair Forum. Sublime Master talked him through it by leading him to check the pump for gookus (that’s a technical term that refers to anything what ain’t s’posed to be there; please, I *am* and professional, don’t use this word at home). Anyway, the stunningly simple solution and an illustrative page from the service manual are all posted in this topic at the repair forum.

The Samurai Appliance Repair Forums: you got appliance problems, we got The Fix.

Icemaker Fill Tube Freezing

This annoying problem can have a variety of causes. Check these four things first:

  1. Make sure the water supply is greater than 20 psi. If too low, the water valve won’t seat properly and it’ll “weep.” Common causes of low pressure are gunked-up saddle tap valves, kinked water supply line, and using a reverse osmosis filter to supply water to the icemaker.
  2. Check between the valve diaphram and valve seat for sediment. If found, do not attempt to repair, buy a new valve.
  3. Check to see if the black, flexible portion of the fill tube is wrinkled, twisted, or kinked which can cause ice dams that block the fill tube.
  4. Find out if the water has been shut off while the icemaker has kept on cycling. This, too, can cause the fill tube to freeze up.

If all the above checks out and you’re still getting fill tube freeze-ups, there’s still one thing left to try.

It turns out that the manufacturer’s have been scratching their heads about this, too, and have concluded that the new fill tube air slit design helps prevent this problem. Buy your replacement fill tubes for your fridge through the links below:

Well al-l-lrighty then.

Still confoosed, Grasshoppah? Browse all the FAQs on ice maker repair. To learn more about your icemaker, or to order parts, click here.

Oven/Range Troubleshooting and Repair Manual

Oven/Range Troubleshooting and Repair Manual

Problem Possible Solution
[Electric Only]
The bake and/or broil element never gets hot.
  • It’s not getting any power at the outlet…DUH!
  • Well, maybe it’s burned out. Attaway, Hoss, just go ahead and replace it with the assumption that nothing else could cause a no-bake condition. How ’bout checking the continuity of the element? Whoa, there’s a brain flash, ya hey? Should read in the range of 20 to 40 ohms. More help on how to troubleshoot it on this page.
  • ‘Course, it could also be a burnt or loose wire to the bake element. I’ve seen it alot.
  • Could be a bad function selector switch, too.
  • Kids and visitors are great for screwing with the mechanical clock "start" or "stop" knobs and pushing them in so the oven doesn’t work.
  • The oven sensor could be open. You’ll need to ohm it out with… wait for it… your ohm meter.
  • Your electronic range control (ERC) board could be fried. Usually, there are self tests you can do for this and the wiring diagram has the key sequence.
  • The thermal cutout switch might be open. I can help you find it if you’ll start a new topic in the Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum.
[Gas or Electric]
The oven won’t self-clean anymore.
  • Your self clean latch is bent or misaligned. Inspect for proper alignment to make sure that latch is contacting the latch switch.
  • The self clean latch switch is fried. Check continuity.
  • Function selector switch is fried.
[Gas or Electric]
The clock doesn’t work anymore.
  • If you have a mechanical clock, the clock motor winding could be open, in which case you’ll need to replace the entire clock.
  • You might be lucky and only have a burnt wire or bad connection supplying power to clock. Check voltage at the clock motor.
  • Fried ERC (on ovens with LED digital display). Nolo Contendre, compadre. Come git you a new one.
[Electric Only]
Oven works but it just doesn’t get hot enough.
  • Oven sensor is FUBAR. You’ll need to ohm it out using a good digital ohmmeter.
  • Thermostat is fried.
  • Check that oven door gasket for rips and tears. That’ll do it, too, Hoss.
  • Bad voltage at oven electrical receptacle. 240v should be measured at the oven receptacle from L1 to L2. 120v should be measured from L1 to neutral and from L2 to neutral– details on this page. Check circuit breaker to make sure it’s not tripped.
[Electric Only]
"I turn the oven on and it goes straight to balls-to-the-wall high heat. Wassup?"
  • Yo, mon, how ’bout checking that thermostat? Contacts should be open at room temp.
  • Maybe your oven relay is fried. These little gems were mainly used in ovens made by Frikidaire (no, I spelled it that way on purpose). This includes Kenmore ovens made by Frikidaire.
[Electric Only]
Oven temp is as erratic as a bat outta…well, you know.
[Gas or Electric]
"My oven door is stuck closed. I’m gonna die! HELP!"
  • You might have a fried ERC. This would mainly affect ovens that have automatic door latching in self clean (no lever), such as Jenn Air’s and some other Maytag brands. Check for error code in display. If an error code is given, check against manufacturer’s code explanations in owner’s manual or tech data sheet inside oven control panel.
  • The self clean latch is bent or someone tried to do the gorilla routine on it. You’ll need to disassemble the oven to get at it. Have fun, Homer– glad I ain’t doing it!
[Gas or Electric]
Getting an error code on the oven clock.

Appliance manufacturers (praise be their holy names), in their infinite wisdom and mercy have determined that it is in our best interest that they carefully guard the meanings of their precious fault codes. And to make our joy complete, they even vary the codes from model to model! So, even though there are no standard fault codes, even within the same brand, Allah has revealed all appliance fault codes to me in a dream. Yea verily, God bless Allah!

[Gas Only]
The bake and/or broil burner do not fire up.
  • The bake ignitor is shot. Listen, Bubba, you can’t tell it’s bad by just looking at it–you gotsta measure the amperage. Just because it glows orange, doesn’t mean it’s good. On round ignitors, look for a current draw of 2.6 to 2.8 amps. On flat ignitors, look for 3.2 to 3.6 amps. Low current draw will not allow the gas valve to open.
  • The valve is fried. If ignitor checks out OK, remove power from oven, pull the two wires off the valve and ohm test. Should read two to five ohms. If open, replace valve.
  • The pilot is out…DUH! Try reigniting the pilot. If it goes out again, check 1) gas supply (out of gas, crimped line, etc.), 2) pilot orifice clogged or dirty.
  • Pilot flame not wrapping around thermocouple. Reposition the thermocouple bulb so the upper third of the pilot flame wraps around the thermocouple bulb. Did I lose y’on that one, Bubba? If so, you better take it to the repair forum ’cause you ain’t gettin’ any smarter staring at the screen.
  • If pilot is spark ignited and you’re not getting spark to the pilot, replace the spark electrode, spark module, and the ignition wire. These parts are inexpensive enough that it’s not worth the trouble to just replace one, replace the entire ignition system as long as you’re in there.
[Gas Only]
"The oven just doesn’t get hot enough and it ruined my angel food cake. I’m just gonna die!"

Still confoosed, Grasshoppah? Browse all the FAQs for ovens and ranges. To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.