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How the Energy Star Requirements are (unwittingly) Protecting the Appliance Repair Trade

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Appliance Repair Service 18 August 2014 · 510 views
appliance repair, regulations and 1 more...
Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of Big Gubmint-- it is far too impersonal, too easily bought and controlled by large corporate interests, and always anathema to individual liberty, security, and creativity. But, once in a while, Big Gubmint's meddlesome and doltish regulations have the unwitting effect of benefiting a narrow group of little people, like us. The Energy Star requirements are a case-in-point.

Thanks to the Energy Star requirements, manufacturers are making appliances that have a higher retail cost AND higher failure rates which translates into more frequent repairs, higher repair costs, and increased likelihood that the customer will opt to repair over replace. All of this bodes extremely well for the appliance repair industry and I know I have already been reaping the benefits of these regulations in my own service business. If you're a servicer, you probably are, too, but may not realize it.

Below, I'm re-posting an old opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal bemoaning the effects of the Energy Star requirements on top load washers. The deleterious effects on top load washers described in the article are spot-on. However, it's also undeniable that we, as appliance servicers, are reaping a windfall of business from these Energy Star requirements. So, despite my distaste for Big Gubmint and its relentless regulatory avalanche, I proudly embrace my hypocrisy when I proclaim, "All hail, Energy Star!"


***************************************************************


How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine

It might not have been the most stylish, but for decades the top-loading laundry machine was the most affordable and dependable. Now it's ruined—and Americans have politics to thank.

In 1996, top-loaders were pretty much the only type of washer around, and they were uniformly high quality. When Consumer Reports tested 18 models, 13 were "excellent" and five were "very good." By 2007, though, not one was excellent and seven out of 21 were "fair" or "poor." This month came the death knell: Consumer Reports simply dismissed all conventional top-loaders as "often mediocre or worse."

How's that for progress?

The culprit is the federal government's obsession with energy efficiency. Efficiency standards for washing machines aren't as well-known as those for light bulbs, which will effectively prohibit 100-watt incandescent bulbs next year. Nor are they the butt of jokes as low-flow toilets are. But in their quiet destruction of a highly affordable, perfectly satisfactory appliance, washer standards demonstrate the harmfulness of the ever-growing body of efficiency mandates.

The federal government first issued energy standards for washers in the early 1990s. When the Department of Energy ratcheted them up a decade later, it was the beginning of the end for top-loaders. Their costlier and harder-to-use rivals—front-loading washing machines—were poised to dominate.

Front-loaders meet federal standards more easily than top-loaders. Because they don't fully immerse their laundry loads, they use less hot water and therefore less energy. But, as Americans are increasingly learning, front-loaders are expensive, often have mold problems, and don't let you toss in a wayward sock after they've started.

When the Department of Energy began raising the standard, it promised that "consumers will have the same range of clothes washers as they have today," and cleaning ability wouldn't be changed. That's not how it turned out.

In 2007, after the more stringent rules had kicked in, Consumer Reports noted that some top-loaders were leaving its test swatches "nearly as dirty as they were before washing." "For the first time in years," CR said, "we can't call any washer a Best Buy." Contrast that with the magazine's 1996 report that, "given warm enough water and a good detergent, any washing machine will get clothes clean." Those were the good old days.

In 2007, only one conventional top-loader was rated "very good." Front-loaders did better, as did a new type of high-efficiency top-loader that lacks a central agitator. But even though these newer types of washers cost about twice as much as conventional top-loaders, overall they didn't clean as well as the 1996 models.

The situation got so bad that the Competitive Enterprise Institute started a YouTube protest campaign, "Send Your Underwear to the Undersecretary." With the click of a mouse, you could email your choice of virtual bloomers, boxers or Underoos to the Department of Energy. Several hundred Americans did so, but it wasn't enough to stop Congress from mandating even stronger standards a few months later.

Now Congress is at it once again. On March 10, the Senate Energy Committee held hearings on a bill to make efficiency standards even more stringent. The bill claims to implement "national consensus appliance agreements," but those in this consensus are the usual suspects: politicians pushing feel-good generalities, bureaucrats seeking expanded powers, environmentalists with little regard for American pocketbooks, and industries that stand to profit from a de facto ban on low-priced appliances. And there are green tax goodies for manufacturing high-efficiency models—the kind that already give so many tax credits to Whirlpool, for example, that the company will avoid paying taxes on its $619 million profit in 2010.

Amazingly, the consensus also includes so-called consumer groups such as the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union. At last week's hearing, the federation touted a survey supposedly showing overwhelming public support for higher efficiency standards. But not a single question in that survey suggested that these standards might compromise performance. Consumers Union, meanwhile, which publishes Consumer Reports, claims that new washers can't be compared to old ones—but that's belied by the very language in its articles.

We know that politics can be dirty. Who'd have guessed how literal a truth this is?

Mr. Kazman is general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Original article posted at http://online.wsj.co...202212717670514


How to Replace the Custom Door Panels on a Frigidaire FGHC2331PF0 French Door Refrigerator

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 16 August 2014 · 322 views
Frigidaire, refrigerator and 1 more...

Well, the parts list helped. I must say that this was the easiest door change on a side by side with a dispenser I've ever done.
Not sure if this will help anyone but I promised to post something and here it is. Please forgive typos and such...

Disconnect power.
Open freezer and turn off the ice maker.
Remove the top hinge cover and disconnect the three molex connectors - no need to disconnect or shut off the water supply.
Remove the ground screw from the top hinge.
Remove the front grill or kick plate.
Disconnect the water line at the bottom of the door, leaving the John Guest fitting off the line, but still attached to the line from under the refer.
Loosen and remove the two 3/8 screws on the top hinge and carefully remove the hinge and set atop the refer, while holding the door, then pick the door up and set on a flat surface.
Look up into the dispenser and note the two screws holding the narrow plastic cover - remove the narrow plastic cover.
Note the two black colored screws holding the dispenser display and remove the two screws.
Gingerly pull the display away from the dispenser and disconnect the mini wire harnesses.
Take a photo of the remaining dispenser wiring and store it on your phone to refer during reassembly.
Note the two silver colored screws holding the dispenser, and the green ground wire clipped to the upper portion of the door skin.
Remove the ground wire by pushing it off with your finger.
Note the black plastic zip tie holding the water line in place and remove the zip tie.
Note the proximity of the electronic circuit board on the dispenser and use care not to allow water to drip onto it during the next step.
Remove the two silver colored screws and carefully extract the dispenser assembly, while removing the water line from the three clips, and disconnecting the wire connectors.
Remove the wire harness by gently pulling it up through the top of the door and feed it into the new door.
Remove the water line by gently pulling it up through the dispenser area and re feed it into the new door, through the dispenser first and pushing it toward the bottom. Leave about two inches exposed at the bottom.
Carefully remove the plastic sheeting covering the new door around the edges and the gasket area, but leave it intact on the face of the door.
Using a 3/32 allen key remove the two screws holding the handle and gently lift the handle and set aside. Use a 3/8 tool to remove the holding bolts and place on the new door and tighten. Re attach the handle and tighten.
Remove the gasket from the old door and place onto the new door. It's easy!
Re install the dispenser into the new door and place the water line into the three clips, careful not to allow any water drops to spill onto the circuit board.
Carefully place the door back onto the refer and attach the top hinge and two screws, aligning the door. Tighten the screws. Connect the ground wire, but do not connect the three molex connectors yet!
Connect the water line at the bottom and pull the excess back up and into the dispenser area. You may have to play with the length of tubing until it sits right.
Re connect the wiring.
Re attach the green ground clip and wire to the under side of the dispenser area - refer to your photo!
Check your work with the photo on your camera. Check the route of the water line and ensure it is relaxed and correctly positioned.
Connect the wires remaining to the display board and re attach the display.
Re attach the cosmetic faceplate.
Connect the three molex connectors and replace the cosmetic hinge cover. Plug the unit back in.
If you get a trouble code like I did, the unit will beep for about five minutes and then suddenly stop and return to normal display.
It's a snap to change. Remove the rest of the plastic cover protecting the door skin, turn on the ice maker, don't forget the plastic compartments on the inside of the door, and collect!

Parts manual for further insight: http://appliantology...r-parts-manual/


Source: Fridgidaire, Refer, FGHC2331PF0, door replacement, freezer, refer, both


Want an Interesting and Lucrative Career? Skip College and Go Into Appliance Repair!

appliance repair, career, college
I was born in 1960. Both my parents were first-generation Americans, offspring of immigrants; my moms's side from Greece and my dad's side from Ireland via Canada. When I was growing up, the Kool-Aid was that you had to go college if you were going to be "somebody who mattered." My parents, both of the post-WWII Baby Boomer generation, totally drank that Kool-Aid and relentlessly bathed me in the College-Industrial complex propaganda:

"Go to college and you'll earn more money."

"Go to college to get a meaningful and interesting job."

"You can't be a complete person unless you've gone to college."

There was just one problem: I had absolutely no desire to go to college. I hated school. And by "school" I mean the government-funded warehouses most people park their kids in during the school year. In fact, I hated school so much that I quit in my junior year in high school. But, being a government-indoctrinated blood bag, what was my big idea? To go into the Navy and fix airplanes.

Actually, there was a bigger plan there. I wanted to learn a trade. The trade I had in mind was what I saw as an up and coming field: aircraft electronics technician.

I had a great job in the Navy repairing navigational radar equipment for Navy P3 anti-submarine squadrons. I can honestly say that it was the most challenging and interesting job I've ever had in my life, including my life as an engineer with not one but two college degrees-- more on that later.

So the end of my enlistment term rolls around and I opted to get Honorably discharged from Uncle Sam's Navy. While I loved the job, I hated all the micky mouse Navy shit: "Get a haircut, Brown." "Shine your shoes, Brown." "Quit smoking dope, Brown." Hey, I was still a teenager in the 70's - what do you expect?

Anyway, my enlistment term came to an end and me a buddy rode our motorcycles back home from Moffet Field, California-- my buddy to Texas and me to Georgia.

Once back home, the parental pressure resumed: go to college and make something of your train wreck of a life ("train wreck" because I had quit high school, shaming and embarrassing them to their corporate work-a-day friends).

I eventually succumbed to my parent's relentless pressure and guilt-trips. I had taken college courses while in the Navy and scored well enough on the SAT to get accepted into the University of Georgia. This isn't saying much as it was known as Budweiser U back in the 80's, before it somehow got a reputation as an academic hot spot in the South (which I still don't believe). I graduated in 1984 with a degree in Agricultural Engineering under the misguided vision that I would start one of the first legal marijuana farms in the country.

Well, that didn't work out so well.

So I worked for a year as a process engineer at Michelin Tire Corporation in Greenville, SC. That pretty much sucked. So after a year of sucking tire fumes, I was brain damaged enough to go BACK to college. This time for a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering so I could design hazardous waste treatment systems.

I think I reinvented the definition of "naively misguided." Now, when you look up "unbelievably naive" or "pretty fuckin' stupid," you'll see a picture of me.

I ended up with shitty jobs at consulting firms and corporations, primping around in suit and tie, learning to talk that fake professional talk in endless, pointless meetings with blow-hard lawyers, corporate apparatchiks, and hopelessly ignorant yet endlessly arrogant government regulators.

Then, one day, came my day of Epiphany.

I was at a job at a Tombstone pizza plant on an ammonia refrigeration system I had designed (it's a long story how I got into doing that, I'll tell that another time). I struck up a friendship with the head pipe fitter for the job, a union member.

The piping in ammonia refrigeration systems has to be steel because ammonia and copper hate each other. As my dear old dad, Grant Brown once told me, "Any asshole can work with copper; it takes a highly paid asshole to work with steel." And this guy was very highly paid, as I soon found out.

We compared work hours and salary/wages. Turns out he had more time off than me, made waaay more money than me, and enjoyed his job a lot more than me. So I then asked myself, I said, "Self, who got sold a bill of goods here?"

And that's when it hit me.

Most college degrees are about teaching you to become a corporate bureaucrat; to endure arbitrary deadlines and crank out work that has little personal meaning to you.

What you really want to is to be self-employed, not to work for some soul-sucking corporation. I discovered that the initial impulses of my youth were absolutely correct: avoid the college scam, learn a skill, and start your own business. Starting your own business is the essence of the American Dream because it is an expression of personal freedom and creativity.

The day I realized that, I quit my corporate job and began my adventure as an appliance repair tech. It's been much more interesting and challenging work than anything I did as an engineer.

Yanno, maybe back in the day, when getting a job with a Big Corporation meant employment for life, it might have made sense to go to college. But not these days. Nawsir, the name of the game today is to go your own way, make your own path. And starting your own appliance repair business is one of the best ways to do that today according to this report:

Great News: Positive Job Outlook for Appliance Repair Techs!


Do the Evaporators in Whirlpool Dual Evaporator Refrigerators have Leak Problems?

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Refrigerator Repair 21 July 2014 · 803 views
Whirlpool, refrigerator and 1 more...
We're starting to hear lots of reports of frequent instances of leaking evaporators in the newer Whirlpool dual evaporator refrigerators. Brother PDuff brings this Whirlpool Service Pointer to our attention:

There's something going on with these dual evap units, and Whirlpool is aware of it. Per Service Pointer W10666205A dtd March 2014:

Symptoms:

Slow Ice/No Ice
Warmer than normal freezer temperature
Long/Constant run time
Partial frost pattern on the freezer evaporator
discoloration or deterioration of the refrigerator evaporator housing

Note: The first symptom a customer notices is usually a decrease in ice production followed by a noticeable temperature increase in freezer and longer than normal cooling cycles.

Correction:

1. Verify the above symptoms with customer.
2. Check and record freezer, refrigerator and ice box temperatures.
3. Run tech sheet diagnostic test #4 (Compressor/Condenser fan/Evaporator fan) and #56 (I/M error codes) and record the results. Call the Techline (Authorized Servicers Only) from the customers home for further instructions.

Affected Serial Numbers: K217XXX - K335XXX


And Brother CubbieBear84 reports this:

We have scraped 3 of these fridges already. I've heard there's holes in the evap. Tech-line will record all the data and if it fits within their set criteria they give a concession number and send a new one.



Something to keep in mind if you're called out on one of these with a warm compartment complaint.


Source: model WRF989SDAF00 whirlpool frig.


Repairing a Samsung Quatro Refrigerator

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in Repair Videos, Refrigerator Repair 14 June 2014 · 965 views
Samsung, Quatro, refrigerator
Join Samurai Appliance Repair Man on a repair safari into Refrigerator Land. In this scintillating video, I narrate a series of photos I took during a service call I did on a Samsung Quatro refrigerator. These are unusual refrigerators because they have four evaporators (hence the marketing name "Quatro"). In this service call, I fixed problems with two of the compartments-- fortunately, both on the same side!








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