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Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog

Tech Tip # VIII: Wood Tools

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in General Appliance Repair Wisdom 12 January 2012 · 483 views

On the Service van I carry................

A piece of 24" X 24" ..1/2 " plywood to help the hand truck up 'N' over sliding glass door tracks........

A pair of 1" X 3/4" X 28" furring strips to hold up a cook top, up 'N' out of it's hole...........

A 12" X 30 " of cabinet paneling for lifting, holding items, ( Sub O evap. coils )...in place. ( see "Frigid glass top replacement" for use )....................

A 4" X 4" X 14" to hold a tipped back washer,,,,,,,,,,

A 3/8 " X 24 " wooden dowel with a small finishing nail in one end, to hold up a lid on a dryer, washer,..... ( watch the video on changing a W/P dryer blower wheel, Who has that much room ?? )....

Another pair of furring strips that are 12" long to hold up the top of a range....Most wire harness will only allow that much lift.... Pictures to follow.....

Source: Tech. Tip # VIII wood tools

Ohms Law Pie Chart

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in General Appliance Repair Wisdom 02 January 2012 · 1,284 views

Download and share with your friends! Makes a great gift!

Posted Image

Source: From: Ohms Law Pie Chart

Some service call tips for Professional Appliantologists to avoid call-backs, insurance claims, and lawsuits (and keep happy customers)

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in General Appliance Repair Wisdom 30 December 2011 · 602 views

Leaving the appliance (and your work area) *cleaner* than it was before you arrived---is another win-win with the customer.

Quadruple check the refrigerator / dishwasher / washer water hoses---and at both ends. Even if you haven't touched them. Chances are someone else (before you arrived) has---and left the hose(s) only finger-tight.
A little movement of the appliance---and the hose begins to leak after a few cycles (or use of the appliance).
The sudden pressure build-up in a hose---when the valve closes---can spring a drip-drip-drip type leak.

Gas pipe connections---tighten 'em---leak test 'em. Check again. Replace the gas pipe when in doubt of it's overall condition.

Floors---wood or congoleum---notify the customer of any/all blemishes---the moment that you enter the kitchen or laundry room.
Most customers (in my area at least) are appreciative of a technician that demonstrates immediate *situational awareness*.
Not some guy plodding through their home in a "Mental Holiday" state-of-mind.

Lastly---if you *do* goof/screw-up---own up to it.
People are amazed when someone takes responsibility for their errors---they'll also likely continue to use your services---even if an insurance claim was required. Been there,done that.

Source: "Duh" repair follow ups and how to avoid them

Ultimate Appliance Gift Ideas

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in General Appliance Repair Wisdom 14 December 2011 · 895 views

The Samurai has scoured both the Innernet AND the Outernet rounding up those perfect Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus gift ideas for that special Fixer Dude or Dudette in your life.  Click the photos for more info or to purchase.


Stay warm AND safe with this Pocket Air Check combustible gas leak detector. Works with Natural and LP gas.


Multimeter.  The indispensable tool for every DIYer.  Specs: Volts AC 750 , Volts DC 1000, Amps AC 10, Resistance max. (Ohms) 2M, Continuity, Temperature -4 °F to 2498° F, Display (Counts) 2,000, Operating Temperature 32° F to 74° F (0°C to 23°C), Fuse Protection mA: 0.2A/ 250V, Power 9 V Battery (included), Size 5.5"L x 3"W x 1.5". Temp probe included.

Multimeter - Part # 964740 Mfg Part # DM10T


Non-contact A/C voltage detector. Test for voltage without touching any bare wires. This detector works by sensing voltage through the wire's insulation. Detector has an audible beeper and visible flashing light indicator.

Voltage Tester - Part # 1255942 Mfg Part # 1000100009


3 in 1 tool for splicing wires. Has wire strippers for stripping off insulation from the wire. Crimpers for crimping solderless connectors and bolt cutters for cutting small bolts. High quality.

Wire Splicing Tool - Part # 967613 Mfg Part # 1002


240 Volt 240 Volt outlet checkers for checking the outlets on electric ranges and dryers.

Tool - Part # 1176379 Mfg Part # 4396932


Dryer Vent Tester for testing the backpressure on a dryer vent.  Excessive backpressure is the single most common cause of overly long dryer times, repeatedly blowing thermal fuses and poor dryer performance.  A vent can be free of lint and still be bad!  Use this spiffy tool to check your dryer vent.  A must-have if you're a pro in the trade.

Tool - Part # 1447456 Mfg Part # W10106710


Microwave leakage detector.

Microwave Test Kit - Part # 1668485 Mfg Part # A138


Refrigerator and freezer thermometer, temps from -20 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Thermometer face has special markings to show where food is safe and where it is at risk of spoilage.

Thermometer - Part # 903650 Mfg Part # 8171720


The Kill-A-Watt Energy Usage Meter. This plug-in meter allows you to track total power consumption by hour, day, week, month, or year. Also displays Voltage (V), Line Frequency (Hz), and Power Factor (PF). 15 amp maximum. No batteries required. Accepts standard 110 volt plugs, 2 or 3 prong.

Energy Usage Meter - Part # 1012487 Mfg Part # P4400


Freezer alarm, sounds if freezer temperature goes above 15 degrees.  Never lose expensive frozen foods again!

Freezer Alarm - Part # 786349 Mfg Part # 8171458


Gasohol tester.  Used to test the alcohol content in the fuel.

Gasohol Tester - Part # 1611245 Mfg Part # 795161


Polder 3 function thermometer: large LCD read out displays the temperature of food during cooking. Presettable HI/LOW and inside the range temperature alert. Timer: 24 hour count down and count-up. Clock: Real-time clock. Stainless steel probe. Temperature chart and battery included.

Digital Meat Thermometer - Part # 905158 Mfg Part # 601-90


Glide n Guard floor protector for appliance moving.

Floor Protectors for Moving Appliance - Part # 12914 Mfg Part # 93001


Affresh HE Washer Cleaner Pack - Use once a month to keep your HE (high efficiency) washer clean and odor-free! 3 Power Puck tablets and 4 Grit Grabber cloths per box.

Cleaner Kit - Part # 1914804 Mfg Part # W10306172


Affresh Dishwasher and Disposal Cleaner - 6 Tablets.

Dishwasher and Disposer Cleaner - Part # 1552531 Mfg Part # W10282479


Glisten dishwasher cleaner

Dishwasher Cleaner - Part # 1915432 Mfg Part # 5304482929


Refrigerator and freezer condenser coil cleaning brush with instructions. Also works great for dryer lint.

Long Handled Bristle Brush - Part # 12859 Mfg Part # 5303318693


Solid-surface range element cleaner (Sponge no longer included).

Solid Surface Element Cleaner - Part # 12830 Mfg Part # 5303310267


Vacuum cleaner attachment for condenser and dryer cleaning - This long vacuum cleaner attachment will help to clean dust and lint build-up in and around your refrigerator condenser coils underneath the refrigerator and dryer lint in the area where the lint filter is inserted. Fits 1-1/4 inch vacuum hose.

Vacuum Hose Attachment - Part # 1544893 Mfg Part # 8171579A


Dryer vent cleaning brush. For 4" diameter round ducts. 20 feet long.

20 Foot Vent Cleaning Brush - Part # 424663 Mfg Part # 18001034


Complete Ceramic Cooktop Care Kit - contains a 10 ounce Cooktop Cleaner to clean and polish all glass or ceramic cooktops. A 4 ounce bottle of Cooktop Protectant. Six small cooktop cleaning pads and one larger Cooktop Protectant applicator.

Glass Cooktop Cleaner - Part # 959474 Mfg Part # 31605


Stainless steel cleaner.

Stainless Steel Cleaner - Part # 1542817 Mfg Part # 31462A


Gas grate cleaner.

Grate Cleaner - Part # 496592 Mfg Part # 316119700


Rust remover - Removes rust stains from clothes, dishes, glassware, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, painted surfaces, concrete and water softeners. 16-ounce bottle.

Rust Remover - Part # 1550725 Mfg Part # W10278629


Appliantology Newsletter, August 2011: Appliances and Disasters

Appliantology Newsletter, August 2011: Appliances and Disasters

0. Introduction
1. Can I use my appliances during a disaster?
2. Does it hurt my appliances to run them or have them plugged in while the power is blinking on and off?
3. Can running my appliances off a generator damage them?
4. What about water?
5. How do I store food safely while the power is out?
6. Epilogue

### ### ### ###

0. Introduction

With Hurricane Irene rampaging up the East Coast and record-breaking earthquakes off the coast of Virginia (or a nuclear detonation in a sea bed bunker, depending on who you're listening to), disaster prep seemed like the obvious topic du jour for this Special Irene Edition of *Appliantology*.

### ### ### ###

1. Can I use my appliances during a disaster?

Using appliances during a storm or other disaster can be risky to the appliance because of the power going on and off, voltage spikes (more on that below), trees falling on power lines, etc.

Even most gas appliances need electricity. For example, the spark module for your gas stove burners won't work though the burners are still usable by manually lighting the gas, which is perfectly fine; it's safe and doesn't hurt the appliance. Just don't use the gas stove to heat your house!

Most modern gas ovens with hot surface ignition require 120vac to heat up the ignitor and there's no manual bypass for that so, without a power source, you won't have an oven.

### ### ### ###

2. Does it hurt my appliances to run them or have them plugged in while the power is blinking on and off?

Absolutely! Every time that power blinks off and goes back on, it slams your appliances with transient voltage spikes. Depending on the severity of the spikes, these can fry control boards right away or slowly degrade them over time through a process called electronic rust. After getting slammed with a finite number of such spikes, the electronic control board(s) will eventually fail (at great expense and inconvenience to you).

To prevent this unhappy and completely avoidable scenario, any appliance with an electronic control board in it-- which is most of 'em today-- should be plugged into a surge suppressor, not directly into the wall. Surge suppressors for common household 120vac outlets are inexpensive and you can get 'em at your local hardware store. This will provide reasonable protection for all your 120vac appliances. Read more about surge protection for your appliances here... http://fixitnow.com/?p=1523

To protect your 240vac appliances with fancy control boards during a storm, such as an electric range with a digital display, you should switch off the circuit breaker to that appliance until the coast is clear.

### ### ### ###

3. Can running my appliances off a generator damage them?

If you haven't purchased a generator by now, it's probably too late for the Irene event. But in case you can (or already have a generator you're planning to use), here are some fun facts to know and tell about using generators with appliances.

For appliances with electronic control boards-- which is most appliances today-- you should only use generators that produce a pure sine wave output.

Most generators produce a modified sine wave output, which is not a pure sine wave but more of a stylized square wave. This is fine for motors but not good for the AC-to-DC rectifiers in appliances. The modified sine wave messes with the rectifier, making it overheat and crank out off-spec voltages for the control board. The result is often burned out rectifiers and fried control boards.

Producing a pure sine wave output requires much more sophisticated circuitry in the inverter and usually only comes with more expensive, higher-end generators. It's a big selling point, too, so if a generator doesn't specifically say it's a pure sine wave generator, then it's safest to assume that it only puts out a modified sine wave.

So, if you do not have a generator that produces a pure sine wave output, be careful to only run appliances that do not have electronic control boards.

Oh, and one point of safety: don't run your generator inside the house. I know, it sounds crazy to even say it but there are knuckleheads out there who do that kind of thing. Like this guy... http://fixitnow.com/?p=693

### ### ### ###

4. What about water?

Flood waters in urban areas are a lethal cocktail of sewage, petroleum products, and just about every kind of chemical you can imagine. Simple disinfection (e.g., boiling, chlorine drops, iodine drops, etc.) is woefully inadequate for this water. You can treat the water so it's safe from pathogens and it can still be lethal because of the gasoline, mercury, or any one of thousands of other contaminants commonly found in urban Ameedika.

The other problem is that coastal flood waters will also be either salty or brackish which, in itself, renders the water undrinkable.

The best treatment for making flood waters potable is distillation. Reverse osmosis is the next best thing. If you can't treat flood waters using either of these two methods, don't drink it at all!

Bottled water is the best bet but there are logistical limitations on how much you can store.

### ### ### ###

5. How do I store food safely while the power is out?

I posted some information on food preservation and safety during disasters. You can read it here: http://fixitnow.com/?p=6515.

### ### ### ###

6. Epilogue

As we say in Fukushima, "Rots of ruck, GI!"

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

The Samurai School of Appliantology

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