Monthly Archives: October 2008

Buying a Replacement or Add-on Ice Maker

appliance tip of the day archiveLooking to replace your dearly departed icemaker? Sick of filling ice cube trays and you’re finally going to install an icemaker kit in your fridge? Figuring out which kit you need can be confusing. Let this handy table be your guiding light.

Refrigerator Replacement or
Add-On [1]
Icemaker Kit to Buy
Whirlpool and Kenmore with Flat-Style Plug [2] Add-On Whirlpool Add-on Icemaker Kit w/ Flat Plug
Whirlpool and Kenmore with Round-Style Plug [2] Add-On Whirlpool Add-on Icemaker Kit w/ Round Plug
Whirlpool and Kenmore Replacement Whirlpool Replacement Icemaker [3]
Whirlpool and Roper made from 1993 to present. Add-On Whirlpool Icemaker Kit w/ Flat Plug
Maytag, Magic Chef, Admiral and Jenn-Air. 1989 to current. Add-On Maytag Add-On Icemaker Kit
GE and Hotpoint. 1987 to present. Add-On GE Add-On Icemaker Kit
Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Kelvinator, Tappan, Kenmore (253 series), and Gibson brands (IK4, IK7, IK8). Add-On Frigidaire Add-On Icemaker Kit
Amana with Round-Style Plug [2] Add-On Amana Add-On Icemaker Kit
Amana with 4-Pin Male Receptacle [2] Add-On Amana Add-On Icemaker Kit
All Brands Add-On Copper Icemaker Water Installation Kit [4]
Whirlpool and Kenmore with Flex Tray Icemaker Replacement Icemaker Defrost Timer [5]


[1] Replacement means you’re replacing an existing icemaker in a fridge that already had one. Add-On means you’re installing an icemaker kit in a fridge that never had one. Add-on kits come with the water valve and ice bin, replacement kits do not. You can use an add-on kit for a replacement but you can’t use a replacement kit for an add-on.

[2] The style of plug refers to the type of icemaker electrical receptacle that you can see on back wall inside your freezer.

[3] Kit comes with both a flat and round receptacle plug.

[4] This is the type of water installation kit recommended by manufacturers. Uses only genuine copper tubing with a drill-type saddle tap valve. For more information, see this page.

[5] The defrost timer is built into the flex tray icemaker. If you just want to get rid of the flex tray icemaker in your fridge, you’ll need to install this replacement defrost timer kit or your fridge won’t run. You’ll have a hard time finding a replacement flex tray icemaker because they suck so bad. If yours is busted and you can’t fix it, you’re better off without it.

grasshoppers sitting with the master sipping frozen margaritas made with ice from their new replacement icemaker

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

Whirlpool Duet Washer with an F06 Fault Code

An F06 fault code in a Whirlpool Duet washer (the Kenmore HE3/4t’s are also made by Whirlpool) usually means a motor-related problem. It usually pops up when the drum won’t rotate at all or only very sluggishly. Here’s the excerpt from the Whirlpool Duet Service Manual on this:

Drive Motor Tachometer Error

The control is unable to properly detect motor speed and the machine will shut down. If a failure occurs during high-speed spin the door will be unlocked after 3 minutes.

Potential Causes:

  • Check wire harness connections between the Drive Motor/Tachometer and the Motor Control Unit (MCU), and between the MCU and the Central Control Unit (CCU)
  • Check the Drive Motor
  • Check the MCU
  • Check the Wire Harness

drive motor for a whirlpool duet washing machineIn accordance with the 6th Law of the Prophecy, begin troubleshooting right at the motor. Why start there? Because the motor is one of the prime suspects and it’s easy to check. Remove the back panel and unwind the belt from the drum pulley. Now turn the motor pulley (sans belt) by hand. If it doesn’t turn smoothly and easily, you have a bad motor. Come git you one.

If the motor pulley turns smoothly and easily by hand, next step is to run the motor with the belt still removed from the motor pulley. If the motor seems to run fine that way, put the belt back on and run it again. If the motor won’t run under load (with the belt on), then that’s another sign that the motor is bad. Come git you one.

Suppose the motor turns easily and freely by hand but won’t run either with or without the belt. This is a more subtle condition because we’re probably dealing with a bad MCU or flakey wire harness somewhere between the motor and MCU, or between the MCU and the CCU.

One trick that often works at this point is to remove and reinsert all wire connections at the board and motor. This tends to clean the small amount of corrosion that will build up on the connections. After you do this put the machine into a service cycle (see the instructions in the tech sheet found inside the unit or you can borrow mine). Part of the service cycle is running the motor at certain set speeds which checks the tach.

motor control board for a whirlpool duet washerIf you’ve removed/reinserted the wire harnesses and still no joy, then usually the problem is the MCU. Come git you one.

If you’re still confoosed, then come see your friends in the Samurai School of Appliantology.

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

New and Improved Three-Step Samurai Appliance Repair Program and Appliance Repair FAQ Pages

In his never-ending quest to enrich and vivify your online DIY appliance repair experience, the Samurai has re-designed the world-famous Three-Step Samurai Appliance Repair Program and the Appliance Repair FAQ pages. You can see preview images below; click the pix to be there now. Now you can find all the appliance repair troubleshooting and repair information you need and even get expert help from real-life Master Appliantologists all within the refined and luxurious user experience you’ve come to expect from the Samurai.

The World-Famous Three-Step Samurai Appliance Repair Program
These pages step you through the most effective way of getting it fixed: everything from frequently asked questions, to getting personal expert repair help, to finding the part you need to finish the job. Come with me now on a safari through the Serengeti of appliance repair help to the Promised Land of Appliance Nirvana.

Appliance Repair FAQs
Frequently asked questions for all types, makes, and brands of appliances: dishwashers, disposals, dryers, icemakers, microwave ovens, ovens, ranges, refrigerators, stoves, washers, and general appliance repair questions. I’ve written thousands of posts on all this stuff so there’s a good chance you’ll find what you need here.

Replacing the Agitator Dogs in a Whirlpool Direct-Drive Washing Machine

Hey, Bubba, you got you a Whirlpool or Kenmore direct-drive washer where the top part of the agimutator just wallows around and does nothing important anymore? Well, well, well– you got what we professional appliantologists call, “bad dawgs.” Agimutator dawgs, that is. Really, I shi’ite thee not! The pictures below from the gen-u-wine Whirlpool washer DIY repair manual will show how to do it to it.

And you can buy the agimutator dawg kit ratcheer.

How ’bout them dawgs? Georgia Bulldawgs

Replacing the agitator dogs in a Whirlpool Direct-Drive Washing Machine

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Replacing the agitator dogs in a Whirlpool Direct-Drive Washing Machine

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Replacing the agitator dogs in a Whirlpool Direct-Drive Washing Machine

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Step 12: Place the new agimutator on the shaft.

Step 13: Rotate the agimutator until the grooves in the agitmutator match the grooves on the shaft, then push the agimutator down.


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Replacing the agitator dogs in a Whirlpool Direct-Drive Washing Machine

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

Appliantology Newsletter, Fall 2008

appliantology-fall-2008-thumbnail.jpgKonnichiwa, My Friends!

Just in time for Halloween, an all-new edition of our award-winning newsletter, Appliantology, is out terrorizing the neighborhoods! Download it here. (about 250 kb, PDF file)

This issue features cool new stuff added to and lots of appliance tips so hurry and download it today before it gets all used up!


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Appliantology Archive

GE Arctica Refrigerator Gets Really Hot During Defrost

Every now and then, I get a complaint about a GE Arctica refrigerator that warms way up, I mean like 65℉ or more, during the defrost cycle. During these thermally exciting episodes, it’s common to see one of the defrost heaters glowing bright red to pink. And it really shortens the life of delicate perishables stored in the freezer, like meat or fish.

The field-proven solution is to replace the evaporator thermistor in the freezer behind the wall on top right of evaporator and the Mutha Board mounted on the backside of the refrigerator in its own compartment. You can get the parts by clicking on the pictures below:

ge arctica refrigerator evaporator thermistorEvaporator thermistor for a GE Arctica refrigerartor. Click it to git it, Hoss.

ge arctica refrigerator mutha boardMutha board for a GE Arctica refrigerator. Click it to git it, Hoss.

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

Brand-Spankin’ New Bosch Dishwasher Not Drying Dishes

Just paid out some serious jack for one o’ them fancy Bosch dishwashers, like a SHE45m06UC, and the silly thing doesn’t even dry the dishes? Well, turns out there’s a very good reason for this, compadre: none of the newer Bosch dishwashers have a heated dry cycle. It’s part of the whole greenie-weenie, fuzzy-wuzzy navel gazing so in vogue among appliance manufacturers today. Make sure you keep your rinse aid dispenser filled– that’ll help.

Shhh… don’t tell those poor Bosch owners with wet dishes: for just five hundred bucks more, they coulda bought a Miele that comes with not only a great water heater, but its own water softener and it dries the dishes, too!

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

Cooling Fan in a Jenn Air Range Runs On and On and …

Common model numbers of Jenn Air ranges with this affliction are SVE47XXX and SVG47XXX. The problem is almost always the power relay board (PRB) located on the back panel of the range.

power relay board in a jenn air range

Sublime Master Trying to help explains the why’s and how’s in this topic from the Samurai School of Appliantology.

To learn more about your range/stove/oven, or to order parts, click here.

Protect your Electronified Appliances with Surge Suppressors

Most smart compooter owners use a surge suppressor to protect their precious silicon from surges, spikes, and other nasties that frequently haunt home power. This is good. But did you know that almost all home appliances made today also have a compooter inside of them? Yes, my leetle grasshoppers, I shi’ite you not.

Even wet appliances, like washers, dryers, and dishwashers, use a cheesy compooter board to make decisions about what to do when (in violation of the 5th Law of the Prophecy, I might point out). Ovens, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators made these days all use electronic control boards, too. These control boards are nothing more than really dumb, special purpose compooters and are just as vulnerable to voltage surges at your electrical outlet as is the compooter that you’re using to read this post right now.

As a bonus editorial comment, it’s worth noting that these boards have replaced the simple but rugged and ultra-reliable mechanical switches used on older models. Why? Well, after-market parts sales comprise almost a third of the total corporate profits for appliance manufacturers, so…

To protect your appliances and avoid having to shell out big $$ for an overpriced, cheesy electronic board that got fried by garbage on your power lines, you need to use a surge suppressor on all your appliances. They don’t cost much and will pay for themselves many times over in avoided repair costs. Here are three good ones to choose from. These are all for 120vac outlets. If you want protection for your 240vac appliances (for example, your electric oven, electric dryer, or air conditioner) you’ll need a whole-house surge suppressor.