Category Archives: General Appliance Wisdom

Samsung Appliances?

Dennis wrote:

We are looking to buy a Samsung smoothtop range (convection oven) and when we went price shopping, another local retailer told us to NEVER buy a Samsung range as you can’t get parts for them if something happens. We are in Canada. Is this true or was buddy BSing us to try and get a sale in HIS store with the product lines that he carries?

Ahh, Grasshoppah, see this post for an example of the kind of lobotomized engineering that Samsung inflicts upon their refrigerators:

All Samsung Refrigerators have a Lurking Defrost Nightmare Problem: An Uncool Haiku

I have seen similar nightmares with their other appliances.

Some manufacturers compensate for their shortcomings in product design by making their technical information readily available to both servicers and customers. Sadly, Samsung is not one of them. So you get the worst of both worlds. For more info about kitchen and laundry appliance brands, see this post:

What Brand of Kitchen and Laundry Appliances Would the Samurai Buy?

Alas, it appears that the pot-bellied, curly-headed Buddha doth not grin down upon Samsung.

the pot-bellied, curly-headed Buddha is displeased with Samsung.

Apprenticeships in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums

Anyone can surf into the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums, search topics and read all they want absotootly free. You can even register as a Grasshopper for free. But if you want to start a new topic, reply to existing topics, send private messages, and download any of the thousands of illustrative and illuminating attachments, you have to be an Apprentice Appliantologist.

Back in March 2009, I unveiled the new forum Apprenticeships available to seekers of higher appliantological wisdom. Here they be:

After you’ve registered in the forum, you can select your type of apprenticeship on the subscriptions page.

As indicated, the Permanent Apprenticeship is the best value because not only does it never expire (so you never pay again, even if we have to raise the fee) but you get access to the Samurai’s coveted repair manual stash. I’m adding new manuals all the time and the file collection continues to grow. We’re busting at the seams! As you probably guessed, the repair manual stash uses a huge amount of disk space for storage and bandwidth to serve all those files. For now, my costs for this are stable and I don’t anticipate having to raise the fee. Hopefully this won’t change too much when the mis-named Dollar (really just a Federal Reserve Note, read the back of one) finally takes the nose-dive that everyone’s expecting.

I’ve had several people email me complaining that full access to the forum should be free, “… ‘cuz it’s on the innernet, an’ all.” And I thought to myself, I said, “Self, that’s a ding-dang good line, I’m gonna try that one on my web host and file service provider and my other site-related vendors that I use to keep my sites running.” Well, guess what? They all told me to go jump in a frozen New Hampshire lake. And I guess my time running the site (which is considerable) shouldn’t count for anything either.

Nevertheless, since the Samurai is merciful and compassionate, slow to anger and of great gootness, I recognize the tough financial times we live in and so created the Appliantologist Merit Exam as a way for folks to earn an apprenticeship without having to pay anything.

Lots of folks have taken the exam. As they say in the Dojo, “Many have tried; many have died.” Nah, it’s not that hard– the exam has a pass rate of about 60% so most folks who take the exam pass it. You have to score over 75% on the exam to pass and you’ll become a Merit Apprentice Appliantologist. If you ace the exam, you’ll join a small, elite group of Buckaroo Banzai Appliantologists— less that 5% of examinees achieve this distinction.

But there are a couple of downsides (aren’t there always?) to going the exam route vs. paying:

  • The exams are graded by hand, which means you won’t have full access until I grade your exam. Since I’m just one guy (albeit, one very talented and good-looking guy) and I get slammed with lots of exam results every day, it could be a few days to a couple of weeks (sometimes more *gasp*) before I get to your exam. But, maybe the wait is worth five measly beans to you. Your call.
  • The current Merit Apprentices (but not the Buckaroo Banzais) will all expire when the new exam is released. I originally intended to write a new exam every quarter but, as usual, that was waaay too unrealistic. However, a new exam will be written sooner or later. When that happens, the Merit Apprentices will all revert back to Grasshopper status with its limitations. At that time, you can either take the new exam or purchase an Apprenticeship.

The Appliantologist Merit Exam is meant as an alternate route to Apprenticeship. So if you’re already an Apprentice Appliantologist of one flavor or another, help save what’s left of a senile Samurai’s sanity and don’t take the exam– I barely have enough time to grade all the exams from Grasshoppers as it is. Muy domos, compadre!

Warning: Appliantology Newsletter Has Escaped!

appliantology winter 2010 thmb.pngWe are issuing this urgent warning to the general public: the latest issue of our newsletter, Appliantology: The Oracle of Appliance Enlightenment, has somehow escaped the plantation. It was last seen running naked and screaming incoherently across the Web. If you happen to come across it, please DO NOT approach it; keep your distance as it may be armed with lethal ideas which could endanger the health and well-being of the statist control grid. Please contact the Internet Newsletter Authority (INA) immediately.


The Concerned Crew at Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Safely Subscribe to Appliantology

Locating the Series Number on Maytag Appliances

Lots of times, when you’re working on Maytag appliances, you need to know the series number to order the correct part. Not to be confoosed with the model number, the series number refers to different production series within the same model. In the world of manufacturing, it’s common to substitute originally-specified components with upgraded or re-designed ones based on failure reports from the field. Since these component changes may affect other components in the machine, which may have been modified, you need a way to keep track of what component goes with which production run. In the Maytag world, this is done via “series numbers.” Series numbers are simply the first two digits of the serial number, located on the model number tag, like ahso:


If you’re having trouble locating the model number tag on your appliance, come feast your bloodshot squinties on these diagrams.

Important Things You Need to Know About Buying Appliance Parts Online! 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. And all at great prices! By clicking through to RepairClinic using the links below or anywhere else at or, 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, how ’bout using the links on this website to ensure that the Samurai will be here the next time you need appliance repair help? Rock on!

Like to shop locally?  Hey, you can’t get anymore local than right here on your compooter screen!     

And does your "local" parts house give you a 365-day no-hassle return policy?  Even on electronic control boards that you already installed?  No?  So… why do you buy there?

I‘ve got some convenient parts search tools right on this page, too. You can either use the yellow parts search box at the top of the page or browse by brand below:

Browse by Brand


























Hampton Bay







JC Penney

Jenn Air



Kitchen Aid




Magic Chef




Modern Maid

Montgomery Wards














Speed Queen









Waste King

West Bend






Visualize Your Appliance Repair Experience

Appliance Breakdown Diagrams

Grok on these mind-expanding, interactive breakdown diagrams of various appliances so you can see how they’re put together. An indispensible troubleshooting and repair aid! Just click on the appliance you’re working on and run your mouse over the diagrams. It’ll popup pictures of the various key components inside as well as give you insight into how to disassemble. It’s the miracle of Flash!

If you need more detailed help, start a new topic in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forum and we can get you more info.

Air Conditioning






Ice Makers

Microwave Ovens

Ovens, Ranges, and Stoves


Trash Compactors

Washing Machines

Help for Determining the Age of Common Appliance Brands

First thang you’ll need to do is get the serial number off the model number tag. Armed with this key information, proceed to the appropriate section below:

For Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, Roper, Estate, Maytag, and Magic Chef appliances, use the Appliance Age Finder to find out how old it is.

For GE appliances, use the table below:

(click for larger image)

For Frigidaire appliances, use this table:

(click for larger image)

What Brand of Kitchen and Laundry Appliances Would the Samurai Buy?

John wrote:

I need to buy all new kitchen and laundry appliances. Which brand would you stick with (Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, Maytag). I am looking for a frenchdoor and all appliances should match…Stainless too.



Let us open our Appliantology hymnals to the Second Law of the Prophecy wherein it is written, “All appliances break.” With this wisdom firmly implanted in that muck betwixt our ears, we begin to see your question from a new perspective.

Like so many propagandized Ameedicans victimized by the slick marketing campaigns assaulting us in the corporate media organs, we see that you have placed aesthetics ahead of practical considerations, such as repairability. In other words, you have placed more importance on form over function, exactly as you have been programmed to do as a good little consumer.

But fear not, my mushy-headed grasshopper, for the Samurai is here to break the spell that the marketing wizards have placed you under. Lo, with his mighty katana, he shall cut asunder the chains of your programming and free you from the trap of mindless consumerism! Let us begin by re-phrasing your question in the way the Samurai would ax it, “Knowing that all modern appliance brands and models are mediocre at best and that all fall short of the glory of the Samurai, which piece of junk am I going to have the easiest time fixing?”

Ahh, Grasshoppah, now you’re beginning to pierce the veil and to do what we professional appliantologists call, “critical thinking.” Using this new, enlightened paradigm, which emphasizes function over form and recognizes the Second Law of the Prophecy, the question further reduces to, “Which appliance manufacturers make their service manuals and technical bulletins freely and readily available to professional appliantologists as well as Joe Do-it-yourselfer?” Eggzellent question, my querying grasshoppah, domo fer axin’!

Currently, there are only three brands which make their service information freely available: Whirlpool (which includes Kitchenaid, Roper, and Maytag brands), Frigidaire (which includes Electrolux brands), and Dacor (which includes, well, just Dacor). Emphasis on the word, “currently” because Whirlpool is considering restricting access to their technical information to professional appliantologists only– you can thank the over-abundance of lawyers and the bidness-killing tort system in Ameedica for that.

At the other end of the information spectrum are companies that are very restrictive with their technical service information and, for that reason, I would never even consider buying their stuff. The worst offenders in the infowar are Viking and GE. In the case of Viking, they’re not only tight-fisted with their service manuals, but their ranges are the shoddiest on the market. And you get to pay a premium price tag just to have the “Viking” badge in your kitchen. Viking is the poster boy of what I mean by placing form over function.

Awwite, armed with this sacred wisdom and enlightened perspective, gird up thy loins and go git ’em!

Applianetics: Beyond the Appliantology 3000 Microchip Implant

The science of applianetics– the merger of humans with appliances– has expanded exponentially since announcing the Appliantology 3000 microchip implant four years ago. At long last, the dream of a comfortable and complete merger of man and appliance has been realized. Ladies and gentlemen, boyz and gurlz, and all genders in between, behold the current state of the art in applianetics:

Cash for Appliances

Emboldened by the stunning success of their Cash for Clunkers program at screwing lower income folks, the geniuses at the Feral Gubmint have a new program: Cash for Appliances. They’re plugging it in just in time for October, which got designated by someone as National Kitchen & Bath Month.

Just as the Cash for Clunkers program was a bailout for the auto industry, the Cash for Appliances program is a bailout for appliance manufacturers. Domestic appliance manufacturers, like Whirlpool (Benton Harbor, MI) and Frigidaire (Martinez, GA), have gotten slammed during this engineered economic collapse of Ameedica.

But there’s a slight difference.

Unlike the Detroit auto makers, Whirlpool and Frigidaire actually make decent stuff. Both companies have an enlightened policy of making technical information on their products readily and freely available to professional appliance servicers.

I especially like Whirlpool appliances because, with a few exceptions, their products are decent quality and servicer-friendly. In the past, Frigidaire had a horrible reputation for being nightmares to work on; but they’ve made big improvements in this regard.

Happy shopping!

Electrical Symbols on Wiring and Schematic Diagrams

Appliances are what we in the bidness call “electro-mechanical devices.” Oh yeah, mmm hmm, we professionals can throw around all kinda two-dollah words like that– that’s why we makes the big money!

Anyway, “electro-mechanical” just means that they have both electrical and mechanical components, any of which can fail and require troubleshooting and repair. So, on any given service call, there’s at least a 50% chance that you’ll need to troubleshoot an electrical circuit to figger out why that washer ain’t washin’, that dryer ain’t dryin’, that dishwasher ain’t dishin’…. well, you get the idear.

To troubleshoot electrical circuits, we use either a wiring diagram or schematic (or both) that come with the appliance. These diagrams are usually included with the tech sheet that’s carefully and cleverly hidden inside the appliance, safely out of sight of owners who usually just end up losing it if they happen to stumble on it. If you’re working on an electrical problem and you don’t have the wiring or schematic diagram, it’s like trying to drive around an unfamiliar city without a map. Gotta have it!

And really, that’s all a schematic or wiring diagram is: a road map for electrons. If you can learn how to use a street map, you can learn how to use a wiring diagram. Just like in a street map, you have to know what the symbols mean in order to understand what the map is telling you. Same deal with a wiring diagram or schematic.

To help you get started learning how to read circuit diagrams, here’s a handy legend of common symbols used on electrical diagrams. It’s not comprehensive– there’s a bunch of stuff that’s not there– but this’ll get you started. Click it for the larger version.