Spring 2013 is finally here! When I think about spring, I think, "Oh, goodie: Refrigerator Season!" Why do I get excited and squeal like a little piglet in a donut shop about Refrigerator Season? Because I know my phone is about to explode with a whole lotta high-dolla warm refrigerator repair calls. Here are five simple things you can do to your refrigerator right now to keep your beer tooth-crackin' cold right on through the up-coming summer heat wave.
2. Clean, gap-check, and replace-as-needed your refrigerator door gaskets
Use some Simple Green to wipe down the door gaskets and their mating surface on the refrigerator cabinet. Check for gaps, tears, or sags all the way around the perimeter of the door where the gasket meets the cabinet. If you see any gaps or damage to the gaskets, it's time to replace 'em. RepairClinic carries a complete line of replacement gaskets for all brands and models of refrigerators, all with a one year guarantee.
3. If your refrigerator has a digital display, make sure it's plugged into a surge suppressor
A digital display on a refrigerator (or any appliance) is a sure sign that it has at least one electronic control board in it. These electronic boards are just like the electronic boards used in your computer and they are subject to the same vulnerabilities as your computer. And, just like you would always use a surge suppressor to protect your computer from voltage spikes and other junk coming in on the power lines, you need to do the same thing with your home appliances that use electronic boards, which include almost all appliances manufactured within the last few years.
4. Replace your refrigerator water filter
This will both protect you from gookus in the water as well as prevent flow and pressure problems with your dispenser or ice maker. We carry a complete line of refrigerator water filters for all brands and models all at great prices and conveniently delivered to right to your home.
5. Beat the stink!
With warmer temperatures come more odors. Use this inexpensive refrigerator deodorizer to gobble up odors in your refrigerator and keep it smelling clean and fresh.
To learn more about your refrigerator or to order parts, click here.
When the electromagnet pulls the plunger down, it doesn't close the drain flapper all the way, (only about 3/4 of the way closed), then the water pressure hits the flapper and holds it sealed against the spray arm outlet so the water goes out the drain.
When the water pressure hits the drain flapper and opens it the rest of the way it takes the load off the solenoid. The solenoid is only energized for about 30 seconds and if it finishes draining before the the timer turns off power to the drain solenoid then the return springs will pull pressure against the magnetic force of the solenoid and can cause the buzzing noise.
I just wanted to share a part number I recently received from Whirlpool after much arguing and tons of recalls for this issue. I work in Northern VA area, and we have ran a lot of builder calls around here with the top shelf freezing on the SXS for the last 2 years. Whirlpool made us change sensors, pcb, dampers, blame the customer for blocking the back shelves, applying permgum inside damper area, etc. There haven't been many techs on our team that have run into this as much as the few of us stuck running new home calls. I found out they made a new damper design to fix this issue, but did not have a part# for a long time. I was to the point of telling the customer not to call us back for this issue and contact their builder and Whirlpool, so they could get this new damper. Well the part# for this new damper is W10572852. I hope this helps anyone that may run into this issue. I do not have specific model numbers, but it has mainly been the SXS manufactured in the last couple years with the ice makers located on the freezer door.
We all love those jobs where, given the brand, model, and problem description, you walk into the house already knowing what the problem is. After you've worked as an appliance tech for a while, you start noting that every machine has weak points and particular failure patterns. Some failures become so well-known that the manufacturer will issue a service bulletin on it. But what about those jobs where it's not a clear case of plug n' chug, in other words, where you DON'T know exactly what part to replace to fix the problem? Well, that may be when you have to use the tech sheet schematic, your trusty meter, and that gray swirling muck betwixt your ears to track down a pesky electrical problem.
If you don't have much experience using schematics to solve problems, this article will give you some good, practical foundational information that'll help bring you up to speed. This won't be a theoretical primer on basic electricity and making electrical measurements-- I expect most of you reading this already have that-- nawsir, we's just gonna jump right into real-world appliance problems and get stuff fixed using schematic diagrams.
In this excursion into Appliantological Excellence, we're going to review three recent service calls I did on two refrigerators and a front load washer where I used the tech sheet schematic to ruthlessly hunt down the troublesome gremlins and terminate them with extreme prejudice. In all three cases, you'll see the actual schematics used and how they were crucial to planning and executing my victorious assault.
Fixing A No-Drum Movement Problem In A Frigidaire Front-Load Washing Machine
We've all been on the no-spin complaints in these Frigidaire front load washers. As long as the drum moves during tumble, you know with 98.76% certainty that the problem is a bad door lock assembly, like in this case. Easy repair, badda-bing, badda-boom, skip n' pluck to the next job and life is good.
But what about the case where the drum isn't moving at all, no tumble, no spin, no nuttin'? Could be a bad motor control board. Could be a bad motor. Could be a bad wire connection. Could be lotsa things. But when we're on a service call, "could be's" don't do us any good; we need to slam-dunk, dead-nutz KNOW what the problem is. After all, ain't that why we professional Appliantologists makes the big money?
This video shows that sometimes finding the problem is just as much about finding voltage where it shouldn't be as much as it is about finding voltage where it should be. Using the schematic and ladder diagram on the tech sheet, I was able to prove that the problem was the motor control board because it was backfeeding 120vac to the pressure switch. Something had shorted on that board and it was toast. This justified the huge PITA of pulling this stack unit out of the closet in which it was installed (in a kitchen with new hardwood floors, no less!) to install the new board. And problem solved.
Fixing A Whirlpool Refrigerator That Intermittently Warms Up
This unit is the one with the small ADC board and mechanical cold control in the fresh food compartment control panel. It was intermittently warming up for randomly-varying lengths of time. A really tricky problem, this is one you need to catch in the act to effectively troubleshoot. In fact, I had already been out on this one two days prior to this call for the same complaint and could not find the problem since both compartments were cooling just fine when I arrived. The second time she called back, I got right out and caught this tricky bugger in the act.
Having two things bad at the same time on any one appliance is rare but it does happen and you have to be thorough and persistent to root out all the evil-doers. In this case, both the ADC board and the compressor start relay were bad.
Fixing a No-Cool Problem in a GE Side-by-Side Refrigerator
In this problem, the complaint was that the fresh food compartment was warm. A quick check in the freezer revealed that the evaporator fan motor wasn't running. Rather than tear apart the freezer right away, it's much easier on these refrigerators with a muthaboard in back to just go around behind the unit and do some quick checks right at the muthaboard to see if its sending voltage to the fan.
This is a case, also, where the original minimanual supplied with the unit was AWOL (as in gone) and I was using the copy that I had pre-loaded onto my Kindle Fire just in case. Having been burned like this before, I now always try to load the tech sheet, Fast Track manual, or minimanual onto my Kindle Fire before I run a service call on a unit. So in this video, you'll see me using the schematic on my Kindle Fire.
The lesson on this one is to expect the unexpected and don't get so caught up in the schematic that you overlook the simple things, like loose or unplugged wire harness connectors!
What's It All Mean, Seymour?
Using the schematic diagrams to troubleshoot electrical problems in appliances is not optional unless it's a very simple circuit or there's something visually burnt or disconnected. Knowing how to use the schematic can take away the guess work when trying to figure out which part to replace. The most authoritative schematic to use is the one that's on the tech sheet that came with the appliance. It supersedes the schematics in the service manual because there may have been late production revisions on that model that aren't reflected in the service manual schematics.
But don't count on the tech sheet to still be there with the appliance when you need it! About a third of the time I go out on service calls, the tech sheet is missing; either it was stolen by the sleaze bag who worked on the unit before me or the customer removed it for "safe keeping"... and then lost it. So always try to have the tech sheet for the model you're working on pre-loaded on your Kindle Fire, iPad or whatever tablet you use for storing and carrying technical documents on service calls before you run the call.
If you're not using some type of tablet computer as an information tool, you're really shooting yourself in the foot. You can buy a Kindle Fire for a little as $160! If you can't afford that for a bidness information tool, then there's something wrong with how you're pricing your service and you need to start using the Appliance Blue Book.
And if you'd like to see more videos like the ones in this article, subscribe to my YouTube channel! I'm usually filming these while literally single-handedly whuppin' up on some appliance bootay, so what they lack in production value they make up with edge-of-your seat excitement of live appliance repair action!
Sensor Dry Mode automatically measures the moisture in the load and shuts the dryer off when the proper level of dryness is reached. This sensor dry should not be confused with a temperature sensor, the sensor bars measure moisture and the temperature sensor “thermistor” measures temperature. Sensor dry uses nothing more than two metal bars inside the edge of the drum. These bars do not go bad unless they are physically damaged however it is always a good practice to clean them whenever servicing using some rubbing alcohol, especially when the unit gets older. Never use sand paper or other abrasive methods.
At the start of the cycle an estimated time will be displayed as the Main PCB monitors the sensor circuit for 3 minute after the 3 minutes the estimated time can increase decrease, stay the same or advance to off based upon the moisture detected. The unit will do this assessment multiple times during the auto cycle and can adjust the estimated time as needed.
The sensor dry bars can be checked easily by placing a coin across both bars and checking for continuity. Being more specific the resistance values are listed below Dry Clothes = Infinity Wet Clothes = ~190 ohms ±10%
The sensor bars can be also tested in diagnostic mode. Place a slightly damp cloth in the dryer, start a normal cycle then press the Temp + Signal buttons for 3 seconds. When there are wet items being dried, data will add up (from 0 to 1200 and repeating) as the wet clothes touch the sensor bars. If the sensor bar value does not increase as wet items contact it the sensor is defective.
NOTE: Select any Auto cycle without clothes hit start unit should run for 3-5 minutes and shut off.
Sensor Dry Mode automatically measures the moisture in the load and shuts the dryer off when the proper level of dryness is reached. At the start of the cycle an estimated time will be displayed as the Main PCB monitors the sensor circuit for 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes the estimated time can increase, decrease, stay the same or advance to off based upon the moisture detected. The unit will sample moisture level multiple times during the auto cycle and can adjust the estimated time as needed.
The length of the dry time will be proportional to the size of the load as well as the moisture in the clothes. However there are several factors that will effect dry time. These can be installation issues such as improper venting or a clogged lint filter. Another reason for clothes not being fully dried is the fabric itself. For example, towels or jeans are very thick and can contain some moisture even though the outward edge is dry. For best results always wash like items such as towels with towels jeans with jeans etc. It is important that loads are large enough to make adequate contact with sensing bars for feature to work properly. The customer complaint for undersized loads would be “clothes not dry at end of cycle”. If consumer has the need to wash and dry just a few articles of clothing recommend using time dry for those loads.
NOTE: Always remember the time being displayed is an estimated time and can increase, decrease, stay the same or advance to off anytime during the cycle.
NOTE: Wrinkle Prevent Feature will extend cycle for 90 minutes. Drum will tumble with no heat and lights in control panel will oscillate. Wrinkle Prevent is often overlooked as possible cause for long dry times or dryer never shuts off..
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