Monthly Archives: February 2011

Appliantology Newsletter, Winter 2011

Appliantology Newsletter, Winter 2011

0. Introduction
1. It’s the exciting dishwasher issue!
2. Uncommonly delicious parts return policy
3. New merit apprenticeship program
4. Samurai News®
5. Mrs. Samurai’s dojo
6. Story time
7. Hillstomping update
8. Domo!

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0. Introduction

From deep within the bowels of frozen Yankeeland, in the foothills of the White Mountains and finally dug out from under 13 feet of fresh, pristine global warming, it’s another steamy issue of Appliantology. Movin’ on…

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1. It’s the exciting dishwasher issue!

This is the issue you’ve all been laying awake at night for, checking the inbox on your iPhone every hour, suffering irritability with your spouse and fatigue at work. Now, the wait is over. Yes, my brothers and sisters, just in time for that visit from your mother-in-law, I bring you _Appliantology: The Dishwasher Issue_.

Here are some recent pearls of dishwasher wisdom I’ve cast since the last issue of Appliantology:

Cheat sheet for whupping up on the “Clean light blinking 7 times” problem in Whirlpool and Kitchenaid dishwashers –

Putting a GE Monogram dishwasher with membrane control pad into Test Mode –

GE Profile dishwasher making a high-pitched squealing noise from control board –

Special repair trick for LG dishwashers with slow or no drain problem –

Maytag dishwasher MDBH955AWB: He’s dead, Jim –

KitchenAid Dishwasher KUDI24SE — No power –

Dishwashers and hard water: getting the best possible results –

A fantastic photo essay detailing the disassembly of the motor-pump on the new Bosch Ascenta dishwashers, an Internet premiere exclusive! –

All dishwasher repair posts –

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2. Uncommonly delicious parts return policy

OMG, so you know my crazy parts partner has finally gone off the deep end. Yeah, they’re like teutally giving a 365-day, no-hassle return policy on ALL appliance parts, even electronic parts that have already been installed! Is that nuts? Ya sure, ya betcha! So they’re like teutally taking the risk out of DIY appliance repair.

Look, I can help you troubleshoot your appliance and I can usually get you right to the problem. But the fact is that you’re out there somewhere and and I’m up here in Yankeeland; it just ain’t the same thing as being right there at the appliance, listening to it, smelling it, feeling it, tasting it… yes, appliance repair is a full contact sport!

Well, to level the playing field, my crazy parts partner is offering an unheard of return policy: return parts for a full year with no hassle. Just use the parts search box in the sidebar at ( ) or the parts search box at the top of ( ) or any of the appliance parts banners or links on those sites to buy parts.

Read more about this insane return policy here:

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3. New merit apprenticeship program

Here at Samurai International Headquarters, we are impassioned supporters of meritocracy. Any meritocracy. As far as we’re concerned, the more the meritier… or something like that. As someone who speaks 17 self-invented languages fluently, it is difficult gearing down to this guttural gum-smacking that you Ameedeekans call “Engrish.”

So, anyone who contributes good repair content can earn an upgrade from Grasshopper to Merit Apprentice in the repair forums.

Apprentices at the Samurai School of Appliantology ( ) enjoy many perks over Grasshoppers:

– request service manuals in the Appliance Service Manual Request forum;
– access the other forums besides just the Kitchen and Laundry forums;
– edit your own posts;
– send and receive private messages (PMs) which can include links to service manuals;
– download/upload/view the thousands of illustrative and illuminating attachments;
– post replies to other topics that you didn’t start.

To be an Apprentice, you can either subscribe to one of the Apprenticeship programs (Basic, Annual, or Permapprenticehip) or you can earn it. Yep, all of us here at Samurai International Headquarters are tickled to the point of incontinence to announce our new Merit Apprenticeship program where you can earn your apprenticeship through a quid pro quo kind of a deal. It made a big splash. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

Here’s the deal: if you contribute original repair material suitable enough to be featured on you will be awarded a Merit Apprenticeship. An example of this would be a series of photos of an appliance repair you did with captions that explain what’s going on. The common way a Grasshopper will earn his (or her) Merit Apprenticeship is by posting photos of his craftsmanship in the Samurai School ( ) as the culmination of their forum topic, kind of like a Master’s thesis. The criteria is this: could another Grasshopper come along later and gain crucial insight into doing the repair from your original photos and commentary? If yes, then *ding-ding-ding!* you win the Golden Calf. But since a grumpy old dude with a shiny face melted down our last golden calf, you’ll have to settle for a Merit Apprenticeship.

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4. Samurai News®

>> I’ve been experimenting with offering help via texting. It’s been great for answering quickie questions, helping folks find information at my site, and resolving site log-in problems. Because of the limiting and kludgy nature of texting, if someone needs more detailed troubleshooting and repair help, I’ll refer them to the Samurai School. But texting can be a good way to get started. Or maybe you just wanna reach out and say, “Konnichiwa, Samurai-san! Anata wa buto des, na?” Bring it: 603-505-8460.

>> The new home of the Samurai appliance repair forums, a.k.a., the Samurai School of Appliantology ( ), is rockin’ along. Stop by and say hey. If you’re a professional appliance repair tech, email me and let me know, tell me a little about your background, and you’ll get upgraded to Master Appliantologist at the forums.

>> Well, after being on Flickr for over five years, I’m being evicted. Seems that someone complained to Flickr about some of my appliance repair photos having the text, “Buy appliance parts at” imprinted on them. They thought it was too commercial on how-to appliance repair photos and diagrams that I was giving away for FREE. Yep, some people will even complain about something when it’s free. And Flickr agreed with them.

So I’ve moved all my photos to ( ) which, as it turns out, is a superior image hosting service anyway and they don’t have a neo-marxist hangup about someone promoting their website or bidness through their photos. But it also means I need to change the photo links embedded in over 400 posts at my blog,, from Flickr to Smugmug. Oy!

BTW, if you want to try out Smugmug, here’s my referral link to signup for a free trial: . If you do decide you like ’em and sign up for a permanent account, I’ll earn a $10 referral credit to use toward my account renewal. Domo!

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5. Mrs. Samurai’s dojo

Take a little respite from your appliance repair concerns in Mrs. Samurai’s dojo. Come on in and make yourself at home, and I’ll serve up some tasty tidbits on other aspects of home living, such as some of the Samurai’s favorite recipes.

Everybody from Popeye to your mama has been telling you to eat more greens because they’re so good for you. But the leafy greens aren’t always popular with folks, especially kids, because they think they are gross in some way. Here is an awesome recipe either for the greens nay-sayers, or those who just want a different way to cook ‘em than what they’ve been doing. My kids fight over these.

Krispy Kale

What you’ll need:

Kale – either one really big bunch or two smaller (see note)
Extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt

large bowl
a couple of large baking sheets
2 wire cooling racks that fit on top of the baking sheets (see note)

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 deg.

Tear the kale leaves off of their stems. They should be torn roughly the size of tortilla chips. Rinse and dry them as much as possible (a salad spinner works perfectly).

In a large bowl, toss the kale with a pretty good-size drizzle of olive oil and some salt, then spread it evenly on the wire racks placed on top of the baking sheets. Bake for about 15 minutes until nice and crispy. The leaves will darken somewhat. Enjoy right away!

Serves about 4-6 as a side dish.

Note: this recipe only seems to work with kale and its curly leaves. Any of the flat-leaved greens don’t crisp up properly. Also, be sure to use the wire racks – if you put the kale directly on the baking sheets, you would have to turn all the pieces halfway through the cooking to avoid sogginess – tedious!

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6. Story time

Lance DeMoi and the Blood Wand

A short story by Stephen Brown

[Lance DeMoi, the top agent of the Department of Paranormal Investigation and Research, is sent on a mission in England where a mysterious group of vampires have threatened to use an ancient artifact against the living. Lance must venture through a dark and menacing forest to stop them, where he will meet both new friends and new enemies. If he does not find and destroy the relic in time, then all of the UK could fall under a vampiric shadow. But will Lance be able to defeat the chief vampire before it is too late?]

Lance DeMoi leaned against a bulkhead in the plane; he could feel the vibrations of the engines on his back. DPIR agents milled about the plane, carrying out different tasks. Lance’s handler, Agent Grey, walked over to where he was sitting.

“DeMoi, you know the mission, you know who to kill, and to retrieve the Blood Wand. You’ll be dropped in this forest,” Grey pulled out a map. “Here, a few miles south of London, the vampire colony is nested here, in some ruins of a faerie fort. We need you to execute this quickly DeMoi – we believe they are on some ceremonial schedule – get the Wand before sunrise.”

Lance nodded sleepily; it was 11:30 PM. He had drunk two cups of coffee, but he was still tired.

“Getting fatigued in my old age,” Lance mumbled.

“Oh please,” Grey sighed as he walked away.

The plane reached London, a great sea of lights in the early morning darkness. Lance pulled on his parachute and proceeded to the hatch. Grey ambled over.

“Parachute?” The handler asked.




“Extra headset?”

(krk)”Check. Over.”(krk).

“Array of stakes?”

Lance slapped his belt, jangling the stakes together.

“Revolver with silver bullets?”

“Shiny.” Lance pulled out his revolver and cocked it.

“All right, Jason open the hatch,” said Grey. The agent by the door opened it; a blast of cold, morning air smacked Lance in the face, and his ears were filled with the roaring of the engine and the wind. He braced himself against the doorway, his face turning slightly green; heights had always bothered him.

“Afraid of heights? Even after all these years?” Grey smirked as he started to walk away.

“Aren’t you going to wish me luck?”

Grey grunted.

“I’m so lucky to have you as my handler.” And with that, he jumped from the plane, into the night and the forest below.

Read the rest of Part 1 of this story here:

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7. Hillstomping update

An Appliantology newsletter just wouldn’t be complete without a hillstomping update. Thankfully, all this global warming has brought tremendous amounts of snowfall and record cold temps, so the winter hiking in the White Mountains has been outstanding this year. The best one so far, though, was the recent hike the Oz Man (my semper fi canine hiking partner) and I did up Mts. Methodius and Elijah in the Northern Saints range (some people still call these by their old political names of Mts. Madison and Adams in the northern presidential range).

Turn your speakers up and click full screen mode to get the full effect of the slideshow. Kick back and enjoy!

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8. Domo!

Finally, I want to shout out a big fat “DOMO!” to all the fine Master Appliantologists who help answer questions in the repair forums. We learn from each other and we freely share our knowledge with all seekers as a totally free-will, voluntary love-offering to you. If one of these fine Masters helped you with your repair and saved you some coin, let ’em know!

Budget Appliance Repair
certified tech group 51
Southern Appliance
Trying to help


Samurai Appliance Repair Man

SMS==> 603-505-8460

Easy troubleshooting technique for a no-heat electric dryer

First, verify that you have 240 VAC at the power cord terminal on the dryer. No cheating here! You gotta get eyeballs and meter on that terminal ‘cuz you might find something like this:

Burnt Lug on a Dryer Power Strip Terminal Block

Okay, if it passes the Essential Eyeball Test®, then it’s time to put your meter on it. Check for the voltages as shown in the diagram below:

Typical Electric Dryer Power Cord Terminal Block
(click to enlarge)

If all that looks good, then and only then are you ready to look for trouble inside the dryer. Here’s a spiffy troubleshooting technique for splitting the problem in half, L1 side from the L2 side, developed by Sublime Master RegUS_PatOff, a sensei at the Samurai School of Appliantology:

Set the Dryer to run a Regular Heat Cycle.
Keep the Door open so the Drum Motor (and Heater) doesn’t run.
Test for 120v AC from each side of each Thermal device to chassis (ground).
and from each side of Heater to chassis (ground).

With the Door open, and the Drum Motor not running, that disconnects L2 power.
L1 power should flow all the way through, from the Timer, (120v measured to chassis, ground) and from each side of the following:
Operating Thermostat, Thermal Fuse, Hi-Limit Thermostat, Heater Element, all the way up to one side of the Motor Centrifugal Switch,
The other side of the Centrifugal Switch will (should) have 120v to chassis (ground), but that would be from L2.

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

How to troubleshoot warm refrigerator problems by reading the evaporator frost pattern

If the beer is getting warm in your refrigerator or the ice cream is melting in your freezer, the first thing you’re gonna want to do is get some eyeballs on the evaporator coil. The evaporator is the aluminum coil hidden behind a panel in the freezer compartment that makes all the cold air in your fridge. Side x Side, Top ‘n Bottom, French Door– doesn’t matter what kind of refrigerator you have, it will have an evaporator coil.

That evaporator coil is supposed to run at a temperature somewhere around -10℉. Well, it don’t take a nucular fizzicist like yours so very freakin’ truly to realize that, at that temperature, the coil will choke up with frost and ice in no time. When that happens, air can’t flow across the coils and get chilled so no cold air circulates throughout the entire box. Now we’re talkin’ warm beer.

Another thing that’ll make warm beer is if the evaporator coil doesn’t get cold enough. This usually means either the refrigerant has leaked or there’s a problem with the compressor or condenser fan motor— the one back in that cubby near the compressor.

For specific diagnostic help as to why the refrigerator is warming up, check out the warm refrigerator flow chart. The point of this post is to show you how to interpret the frost pattern on the evaporator coil when you do that essential eyeball check. Here now, for the first time ever in the history of the Universe, are three self-explanatory photos that reveal this arcane wisdom to the Great Unwashed Refrigerati:

Early Stage Refrigerator Evaporator Leak

Normal Evaporator Frost Pattern

Excessive Frosting on the Evaporator

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

Maytag Neptune MAH6700 washer leaves fabric softener in the dispenser after a wash

Oh my, crusty skivvies!

Okay, let’s stop all this cryin’ and get scientifical on this bad boy. First, feast your peepers on the diagram below:

Maytag Neptune MAH6700 Dispenser Flow
(click to enlarge)

Valves 1 and 2 are energized together so the flow from each valve meets smack dab in the middle and flows down the center dispenser chute to the fabric softener cup. If one or the other valve do not work OR if the flow is greater out of one valve compared to the other, then the flow will not meet in the middle and be sent down the center chute. Use the tech sheet taped to the rear panel of the washer and run the diagnostic mode to power each valve and get a visual on the flows. Also, make sure the top of the dispenser above the softener cup is not clogged with softener.

If the stream does turn out to be off-center, the fix is to replace the water inlet valve, come git you one==>

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

Early model Maytag Neptune stacked laundry unit: washer won’t spin

Model numbers MHS2000 MHW2000 MLE2000

If you have a unit with the MHS model number, it’s the same as the MLE and MHW units. Maytag labeled the washer MHS so they could be tracked at the assembly plant and just to confuse everybody else outside of the assembly plant.

Here are some things to check when this washer isn’t spinning even the though the door lock light is lit:

– The door latch wax motor could have taken out the Machine Control PCB. This was a very common problem back in the “the day” and was a huge débâcle for Maytag. The washer Machine Control board is in the top right hand front corner of the dryer.

– Also check the spin enable switch in the door latch assembly to make sure it’s getting actuated by the wax motor. Sometimes that steel z-spring on the back of the wax motor gets compressed and you need to stretch it a bit. The switch itself may also be bad.

– Run the basic motor and motor control function test. If the motor doesn’t run at 50 RPM for this test, time to install a new motor and control kit.

– Check the drum unbalance switches. There are usually three. Two are push button style switches, one on the bottom and one on the right side of the outer drum assembly. If they fail or trip, the machine will not spin. Can also trip due to excessive movement. The third switch is the most common one I have seen fail, called the inertial unbalance switch. It is located on top of the drum and can become oversensitive to movement and cause a redistribution action to occur instead of spinning.

If you need more detailed help troubleshooting this problem, come start a new topic in the Laundry Forum at the Samurai School of Appliantology.

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

Troubleshooting the “E3” error code in Maytag MAH6700, MAH8700, and MAH9700 washers

These codes in your (made-by-Samsung) Maytag washer might pop up during the rinse/spin cycle with the motor sounding like it wants to spin but it ain’t. In fact, the E3 error code means that the Machine Control wants to make the motor spin but won’t do it because it’s getting a weird reading from the tachometer. This could be because there’s a piece of clothing stuck between the basket and outer drum– open the door and spin the basket by hand to make sure it moves freely. If it doesn’t then there’s either a jammed piece of clothing or, worst case, a burnt out drum bearing– and we’ll deal with these problems at the Samurai School of Appliantology.

If the drum spins by hand, the problem may just be bad wire connection. Turns out the motor harness connector has been a bit of a troublemaker in some vintages of these machines at the washing machine farm in Korea.

Unplug the motor harness connector and pull on each wire. If a wire connector comes loose from the plug, use a small straight slot screw driver and bend the locking tab on the terminal up a tad to help it make a tighter connection.

Also, get some serious eyeball action on the terminals on the motor side of the connector. If you see any bent terminals, use a pair of needle nose pliers to straighten ’em out. Recheck the harness side of the terminal block for bent terminals, too. Bent terminals can indicate a problem with the locking tab inside the plug.

Motor terminal block in Maytag MAH6700, MAH8700, and MAH9700 washers

Okay, if the drum movement and motor connections check out, then the only thing that could be causing the problem is that the Hall Sensor connector is not in there goodntight or the Hall Sensor itself is FUBAR (that’s a technical term for, well, let’s just say it means you need to get a new one). The job of the Hall Sensor is to sense the motor’s RPM. It’s a little printed circuit board (PCB) located on the back of the motor in the locations shown below.

Hall Sensor in Maytag MAH6700, MAH8700, and MAH9700 washers

Undo the wire harness connector to the Hall Sensor and eyeball it carefully for gookus, rust, moisture… anything that isn’t supposed to be there. Should be a good, clean, tight connection. It it looks good, then the problem boils down to one thang: the Hall Sensor itself.

Now, here’s the kick in the pants: the Hall Sensor is not a separate part; it is an integral part of the motor. Which means if the Hall Sensor is FUBAR, you gotta buy a whole new motor. Oh, don’t worry– ol’ Samurai done sent out a hit team to hunt down the squirrelly engineer who designed it that way. Looks like they got him, too, Hoss. Yeee HAWW!

Anyhoo, here are the part links to the motor and Hall Sensor kits by model:

MAH6700 and MAH8700 models (they use the same motor)

MAH9700 models

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

GE Monogram Euro-Style or Chimney Wall Island vent hoods: no lights or no operation

Repeated calls for lights not working on these hoods can be caused by a broken solder joint at the CN4A and CN4B connections on the circuit board, as shown in the diagram below:

GE Monogram Euro-style Vent Hood

In case you’re a little deficient in the soldering department, come grok on my illuminating tome on DIY soldering.

But if your soldering skills fail to resurrect your vent hood circuit board, come git you a new one:

GE venthood circuitboard
(click it to git it, Budrow)

To learn more about your range vent hood, or to order parts, click here.

GE Triton XL Dishwasher Wiring Diagram

GE Triton XL Dishwasher Wiring Diagram

Example model numbers:
PDW7300 PDW7700 PDW7800 PDW7880 GSD6200 GSD6600 GSD6660 GSD6700 EDW4000 EDW4060

GE Triton XL Dishwasher Wiring Diagram
(click to enlarge)

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

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

SMS==> 603-505-8460

“Steam technology” part of Whirlpool’s latest dryer?

From a Whirlpool press release:

Steam relaxes wrinkles and removes odors from garments inside the Whirlpool Duet Steam dryer.

Using the water line from the washer to spray a fine mist on clothes, the dryer converts water into steam that lifts out odors and smoothes wrinkles as it penetrates fabrics. A 15-minute Quick Refresh cycle applies this feature to clothing that isn’t dirty but merely needs deodorizing and de-wrinkling. And a 20-minute Enhanced Touch-Up cycle performs the same tasks on clean clothing left for long periods in the dryer drum after drying is completed. Other dryer features include the AccelerCare system, which minimizes drying time so that loads in both a washer and dryer are completed in more nearly the same time periods. Whirlpool has already begun training authorized service personnel in the technology and service procedures on the product, which has a suggested retail price of $999.

In fact, the Whirlpool “steam dryer” unit just sprays a mist of cold water on the clothes to remove the wrinkles and the heat of the dryer works with this mist to remove wrinkles and odors.

Sounds gimmicky to me.

LG apparently thinks so, too, because they’re suing Whirlpool for using the words “Steam Dryer.” The LG steam dryers have a steam generator that actually makes steam for the clothes to remove wrinkles and odors.

I suppose that technically the Whirlpool dryer is a stream dryer if you’re calling the warmed-up mist steam. But, by that definition, all dryers are “steam dryers” because, as long as the clothes are wet, there is a vapor pressure of steam in the air space inside the drum.

If that’s what you mean, then how ’bout just dampen your wrinkled clothes that sat in the dryer too long with a spray bottle and run ’em another 10 minutes?

To me this just looks like a sales ploy since it does not actually spray steam onto the clothes, just a cold water mist. If you really want a steam dryer for whatever reasons you’ve convinced yourself that you need one, buy the LG unit– at least you’ll be a getting a real steam dryer.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

SMS==> 603-505-8460

Microwave oven repeatedly blowing the internal fuse – what keeps making ’em blow?

Sublime Master Willie in the Samurai School of Appliantology dispenses these indispensable pearls of appliantological wisdom for troubleshooting a microwave oven that keeps blowing the internal fuse:

Quick n’ easy way to see if the high voltage system is blowing the fuse, disconnect the wires to the primary side of the high voltage transformer and make sure they are safely away from any part of the microwave.

Turn the unit on and if all operates OK, (except no heat of course), then the high voltage system is blowing the fuse and you would need to diagnose that section. If fuse still blows with transformer disconnected then it time to replace all the door switches.

To learn more about your microwave oven, or to order parts, click here

Maintenance kit for Whirlpool / Kenmore dryers with the lint filter in the door

Okay, boys and girls, last time on the Freaky Uncle Samurai Show, I told y’all about a nifty maintenance kit for Whirlpool-Kenmore dryers with the lint filter in the top panel. But Whirlpool makes another style of dryer with the lint filter in the front panel where you open the door. This is the so-called DOTT dryer which stands for the “dryer of tomorrow, today.” No chit, boys and girls, that’s really what they call it. Ol’ Samurai may be a little freaky and smell kinda funny, but he ain’t no liar. These dryers aren’t nearly as tough and durable as the other kind with the lint filter in the top panel but I rectum that’s progress for ya.

Whirlpool makes a maintenance kit for these dryers, too. Check it out:

Drum Roller, Belt and Pulley Kit for Whirlpool-Kenmore DOTT dryer
(click it to git it, l’il chillun)

And they’s even a fixemup video for this kit, too. Grab some popcorn and let’s watch:

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

Removing a wash tub in a Fisher Paykel DD603 Dish Drawer

Easy as bip, bap, boom!

Fisher-Paykel DD603 Drawer Removal

If you need more help fixing your own appliances, come see us in the Samurai School of Appliantology.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

SMS==> 603-505-8460

Cheat sheet for whupping up on the “Clean light blinking 7 times” problem in Whirlpool and Kitchenaid dishwashers

Whup-AssGot that Clean light blinking seven times, pausing, then doing it again? Well, it’s time to break open a USDA Grade A can o’ whup ass on that bad boy! Use this cheat sheet to nail down the problem. The Tech Sheet that it refers to is located in a pouch behind the kickplates of your dishwasher.

Whirlpool dishwasher blinking clean light check sheet
(click to enlarge)

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