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Pearls of appliance repair wisdom from the Appliantology Forums

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Appliantology: GOOD News and BETTER News!

Well, mah breverens, I have GOOD news and I have BETTER news!

First, the GOOD news: Appliantology will continue to be here as the web’s premiere appliance tech support community for the foreseeable future! Also, our increased focus on professional tech support (rather than DIYers) over the last couple of years has transformed the site into a strong community of techs with a vastly improved quality of posts and tech resources.

Now, the BETTER news: The membership fee for a Professional Appliantologist membership is going up by ONLY $3.34/month! 

I know, crazy, right? In spite of all the enhancements and improvements to the site and our increased costs of keeping the lights on here at Appliantology, we crunched the numbers and we only have to increase our Professional Appliantologist fees by a measly three-something bucks per month. Phew! We were worried it would have to be higher. But NO!

Those of you who’ve been around for awhile know that we’ve really upped our game over the years, going from a very low overhead part-time pastime to a robust site on a dedicated server with an IT guy to make sure we are a fast and reliable resource for your business or career. Plus we’ve added regular live webinar events that have become a popular feature for many techs.

Here’s a recap of all the fantastic features and benefits available to Professional Appliantologists:

  • All-star access to the Techs-only forums

  • UNLIMITED service manual downloads!

  • If a tech doc you need isn't already in the Downloads section of the site, you can request one and we'll get it for you

  • Free admission to the Samurai's live tech training webinars

  • Free access to webinar recordings

  • Free access to Samurai's Video Classroom

  • Free access to the Appliantology chat room

For most of Appliantology’s long and storied history, the membership fees didn’t accurately reflect the true cost of running the site because the site also generated significant income from Google ads and parts sales to DIYers. But both of these income streams continue to dwindle, so we are going to be increasing the membership fees in February from the current $109/year to $149/year (only $12.42 per month, paid annually).

But wait! Incredibly, there’s MORE GOOD NEWS:  I’m announcing this now so existing members can have the option to extend their current membership another year at the existing rates. New members who subscribe before the fee increase will also get the existing rate. 

The Professional Appliantologist membership fee increase occurs on February 15, 2016. So if you’re considering getting a Professional Appliantologist membership for the first time or renewing your existing membership, NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!

P.S. I know you’re going to be shocked--SHOCKED!-- to find out that whenever I have to increase prices, I get a few complaints. I have to say it always surprises me, since most of us understand that the costs of running a business go up over time, and we just have to adjust our pricing accordingly. Let’s see - an extra $3.34/month means you may have to charge your customers about 4 cents extra per service call. I think your business will survive. B)

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 13

In this year-end vodcast, Samurai Appliance Repair Man and the Mrs. Samurai do some reminiscing about all the great students we’ve worked with during 2015, the new features we’ve added to the Samurai Tech Academy's state-of-the-art online appliance repair training courses and we describe even more improvements coming in 2016!

 

Read more or watch below:

 

 

Subscribe or listen to past episodes at mstradio.com.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

New and Improved Download Program for Chief Appliantologists

We’ve had to make some adjustments to our server because our server resources were being pushed to the max. It was getting to the point that it was affecting the stability and performance of the server. And it was affecting Professional Appliantologist users who pay an annual fee to support the site.

 

When server resources get limited, you can do one of two things:
1. get a bigger server
2. allocate server resources among users

 

We did the bigger server thing a few years ago and, while it helped a lot for a while, we're maxing out again. We just can't afford any more server hardware right now so that leaves us with managing server resources.

 

Our server hosts several busy Samurai sites, including Appliantology.org and the Samurai Tech Academy. To ensure a fast and stable user experience for all users on all sites, limited computer resources need to be allocated appropriately among the various user groups. There are basically three ways to accomplish this:

 

1. Limit file download count: x number of files over a given period of time
2. Limit bandwidth: the total amount of data transferred over a given period of time
3. Limit file transfer rate: the rate at which data is downloaded from the server

 

We implemented file download count limits back in March 2015. But file download count limits have two big problems:

 

1. inconveniences legacy members
2. does not directly address the problem of allocating limited server resources

 

So we tried bandwidth limits. But that prevented downloading very large files. Not an ideal solution, either.

 

Then we realized the perfect solution: limit file transfer rates! Limiting file transfer speeds allows downloads of any size file. The limitation is now properly placed on server resources, as it should be, not on file access.

 

This means that our valued legacy members, Chief Appliantologists, have no limits on download count! We are thrilled that we have found a way to offer access to the entire, ever-growing library of tech sheets and service manuals.

 

The downsides to the new file transfer rate limits are longer download times and only one download at a time (no simultaneous downloads)-- a regrettable inconvenience but one that is also avoidable. If you’d like to reduce your download time and download multiple file simultaneously (in essence, buy more server resources) you can upgrade your membership to Professional Appliantologist: http://appliantology.org/store/

 

We're pleased that we can offer file downloads to our Professional Appliantologist members with unrestricted file transfer rates, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited download count, and unlimited simultaneous downloads (in addition to lots of other perks).

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

I'm giving a Mondo Mucho Domos to all my Brethren in the Craft who, through their participation, help make Appliantology the premiere tech support site on the web!

 

I'm also thankful that we're working in such an interesting trade, with abundant new technologies and humans to continually challenge and delight us-- keeping it real, yo!

 

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day!

 


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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Live Appliance Repair Training Webinars for STA Students

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You already know that the Samurai Tech Academy provides superior technical training for appliance repair professionals. And now, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we’ve gone and cranked it up to 11 by offering free weekly live appliance repair training webinars for enrolled students starting this coming Monday!

 

Think of the webinars like Office Hours where students can drop by for extra instruction and ask questions about their course work.

 

Samurai's regular Office Hours are every Monday from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Eastern Time (adjust your time zone accordingly). The duration of the sessions varies according to attendance and questions but they always end at 8:00 pm. The topic of the webinars will also vary from week to week but will be announced here. Note that you’ll need to be logged in at MasterSamuraiTech.com and enrolled in the correct course in order to se the connection details.

 

Samurai's Office Hours page: http://mastersamuraitech.com/live-appliance-repair-training-webinars/

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 12 [Special Video Edition]

 

Industry Talk:
- BSH- what's the "H" stand for?
- Charge your smart phone from your refrigerator *wirelessly* with WattUp technology.

 

Master Samurai Tech news:
- New post on how loose electrical connections, like splices and terminals, can produce enough heat to burn wires and insulation. http://mastersamuraitech.com/loose-electrical-connections-and-heat/
- Recapping the dismal and outdated state of appliance repair training today. YouTube makes hands-on disassembly training obsolete. What we need today is BRAINS-ON training! Learning the theory of operation and the underlying technology in modern appliances today so you can figure out weird problems without relying pattern recognition-- if this problem, replace that part. Real technicians today are skilled in the lost art of troubleshooting: following a cause and effect chain of reasoning to its logical conclusion and identifying a the defective component that is no longer operating within specifications.

 

Business Talk:
- How do you handle a service call where there was no problem found?

 

Tech Talk:
- Troubleshooting scenario: electric dryer element not getting hot. Good power supply. Known good element. Element connected: have 120vac from each end to N but 0vac across the element terminals. What conclusion can you draw? Voltage vs. voltage drop; 120/240 single phase-split phase household electrical power supplies; loads in series.

 

Subscribe or listen to past episodes at mstradio.com.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Loose Electrical Connections and Heat

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We all know that loose electrical connections cause multiple problems in appliances, heat being the most common one. But why does this happen? And what are the other negative effects on the circuitry and other components of the appliance? With a little help from our trusty friend Ohm’s Law, I will reveal all in this video tutorial. As a bonus, I'll also debunk a common myth that loose electrical connections cause a circuit to draw more current. Come with me now on a Journey of Total Appliance Enlightenment...

 

http://mastersamuraitech.com/loose-electrical-connections-and-heat/

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 11

In this episode...

 

- Upcoming webinar on Schematic-foo: ancient Samurai art using tech sheets as deadly weapons in appliance repair. Get details here: http://appliantology.org/calendar/event/768-schematic-workshop-webinar/
- Appliance product training today: we don't need hands-on, we need brains on. The future is here NOW!
- Bidness Talk: Pricing your services; fixed and variable costs; how much should you be charging for repairs? Strategic customer selection and when to fire your customer; Property managers: the scourge of the appliance repair industry?; Getting paid for your service.
- Troubleshooting: what it is and what it is not. Recognizing when you don't have enough information to make an analytical diagnosis.
- De-bunking another electric circuit myth... this time promulgated by a manufacturer. Using Ohm's Law to analyze the effects of high resistance/loose connections on a circuit using an electric oven bake circuit as an example.

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 10

- We're back from our bidness trip last week but Mrs. Samurai has a cold so this episode is mostly Tech Talk.
- Visit to American Appliance in Golden, CO, one of Sub-Zero's premiere partners.
- Recap of Dacor training in their Android-controlled ranges
- GFCIs and AFCIs. What they are, what they do, how they're different, and current NEC requirements.
- Voltage and current in series and parallel circuits.

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 9

- Samurai and Son of Samurai are off to Dacor training.
- Manufacturers focusing on producing higher-profit upscale major appliances and what this means for your service bidness.
- Sub-Zero doing a huge expansion in Wisconsin to crank out upscale dishwashers and ranges. What are these manufacturers seeing that you should also be seeing as an appliance repair company?
- A recent Samsung warranty debacle shows how there’s a huge need for skilled appliance technicians but the trade is still ate-up with parts changing monkeys.
- Voltage sag re-visited.
- 120/240 VAC, three-wire, single-phase electric service vs. 120/208 VAC, four-wire, three-phase electric service. Samurai explains the difference between these two common types of electric service and gives some examples of how some appliances are equipped and labelled to work with either service. Link to a Samurai video that explains 120/240 VAC split-phase household service: http://appliantology.org/topic/53554-household-120240-vac-single-split-phase-electrical-power-supply-systems/
- Customer selection: Do you pick and choose your customers? Why or why not? We talk about a recent topic at the tech-only forums at Appliantology where this subject came up. [Link to forum topic, must be logged in and a tech member at Appliantology to read it: http://appliantology.org/topic/55055-general-question-for-stovetop-wiring/ ]

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 8

Industry News: an interesting twist in the legal drama surrounding the GE-Electrolux merger. GE’s biggest laundry product launch in 20 years: yet another top-loader? Future tech: are ultrasonic dryers on the horizon?

 

Appliantology News: Traipsing through the various incarnations of the Samurai’s online appliance repair forums and groups (first one on the internet in 1997!) right up through the present incarnation as Appliantology.org. Discussion of the various membership groups at Appliantology. Link to blog post that explains the recent change in focus at Appliantology from DIYers to supporting the tech community and the current membership groups: http://appliantology.org/blog/1/entry-831-appliantology-is-changing-with-the-times/

 

Samurai Live! Have you checked out Periscope? It’s a cool way of doing live, spontaneous videos on your smartphone that anyone else and drop in and watch. Your followers get notified when you start shooting and can watch, too. We talk about our plans to use it for sharing live videos from interesting service call situations. https://www.periscope.tv

 

Linear compressors: The Samurai gives a quick rundown of the three types of compressor motors used today in home appliances: split phase, BLDC, and linear, then explains how linear compressor motors work and how to test them.

 

Phishing alert: We expose an authentic-looking phishing scam we recently received in our email claiming to be from Samsung. We detail this and also explain phishing in general-- what it is and how to spot it.

 

Hotel reservation scammer alert: We describe a recent hotel reservation scam where a company calls and wants to book your hotel reservations at a conference you're planning on attending, like an appliance repair training conference. In our case, it was for the upcoming ASTI in Miami.

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 7

In this special episode of MST Radio, the tables are turned and instead of being the host, Samurai Appliance Repair Man is a guest on another radio show, the Scott Horton Show. We discuss the changes going on in the appliance repair trade today and the opportunities this creates for skilled appliance techs. Whether you’re contemplating a new career in appliance repair or are a seasoned veteran in the trade, the Samurai explains how the Samurai Tech Academy can teach you the technical and business skills you need to succeed as a technician and/or service company owner-operator.

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

We were blown away by the phenomenal response to our Labor Day 10% discount special! We had lots of people taking advantage of the discount to pick up the course bundles. This is a smart move! The courses you enroll in are yours for life so why not go ahead and lock in the savings now while you can?

 

We also had lots of returning Fundamentals students taking advantage of the Labor Day special by enrolling in other courses such as Refrigerators or Advanced Schematics. We love seeing this because it means we're doing something right! People are learning valuable technical skills and making more money on service calls. That's exactly why we say, "Learn more, earn more."

 

Since so many folks jumped on the Labor Day coupon, we're extending the tuition discount through this weekend. Any late-comers now have some time to pick the course or course bundle they need and get 10% off the tuition. This is your week to unlock your full potential as an appliance repair tech!

 

Use coupon code LABORDAY2015 to get 10% off any STA course when you enroll: http://mastersamuraitech.com/online-enrollment/

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 6

In this life-changing episode of Master Samurai Tech Radio, Samurai and the Mrs. talk about all kinds of things appliantological.

 

Due to the overwhelming response we've gotten the last few days, we've extended our Labor Day tuition discount on all courses and bundles at the Samurai Tech Academy thru Sunday, 9/13! Coupon code: LABORDAY2015. Enroll here: http://mastersamuraitech.com/online-enrollment/

 

Industry News: we talk about the international appliance brand Beko - number one in the UK - that plans to enter the American market soon. The Turks are coming!!

 

Appliantology News: Check out this great post on laundry detergents--HE, non-HE, and Eco: http://appliantology.org/blog/20/entry-861-the-importance-of-high-efficiency-soaps-in-modern-washers/ The difference is critical for a professional tech to know! Learn how when it comes to molecules, being bipolar is a good thing. Also - helpful tips for the helpful techs who answer questions over at Appliantology.org - dealing with the different types grasshoppers.

 

MST News: an appliance repair veteran reveals how MST training helped him earn even more money.

 

Tech Talk: Voltage sag - the cause of a mysterious rash of failures in a Whirlpool VM washer. What is it? Is is the same as voltage drop? (NO!)

 

And, a new feature--a segment on Soft Skills! Samurai and the Mrs. discuss the sensitive issue of how to handle dog problems on your service calls.

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 5

In this killa-manilla episode of the Master Samurai Tech Radio podcast, the Samurai and Mrs. Samurai reveal the answer to every burning question you’ve ever had about anything!

 

Okay, okay, well we at least know you’ve been losing sleep over the mysteries of centrifugal switches and what the heck is the difference between NTC and PTC. Oh, yeah, we cover that and much, much more in what can only be called an appliance repair revelation.

 

Here’s a list of the meaty stuff we carve up and serve in this episode:

 

•Appliance industry news on dishwashers. Link to more info: http://blog.yaleappliance.com/most-water-efficient-dishwasher

 

•Exciting Labor Day tuition discount on all courses and bundles at the Samurai Tech Academy; Coupon code: LABORDAY2015. Enroll here! http://mastersamuraitech.com/online-enrollment/

 

•Hot tips for searching the Downloads section at Appliantology.org to find the service manual or tech sheet you need to kick some appliance bootay. Link to Downloads section at Appliantology: http://appliantology.org/forum/16-appliance-service-manual-requests/. Link to How-to-Search Appliantology screencast: http://appliantology.org/topic/47178-please-search-the-downloads-section-before-posting-a-service-manual-request/.

 

•Dispelling common misconceptions about power strips: surge suppressing vs. non-surge suppressing types; power strip over-current fuses vs. those equipped with GFCI. Link to power strips with and without surge suppression: http://amzn.to/1KY8YlR

 

Link to GFCI power strips: http://amzn.to/1N5Al3g

 

•Debunking technician mythology on centrifugal switches: what they are, how they work, and where they’re used

 

•"NTC" and "PTC": What do these acronyms stand for? Where do the names come from? What common appliance parts are these acronyms referring to?

 

•“You gotta know what right is in order to know what’s wrong.”

 

•New Segment! Tool talk: headlamps and kneepads. Business tips: customer database software / apps / paperware. Link to Princeton Tec headlamp: http://amzn.to/1MYxZBR

 

Link to Duracell rechargeable batteries w/ charger: http://amzn.to/1KY9wrV

 

Link to kneepads similar to the ones I use: http://amzn.to/1MYybAY

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 4

In this jam-packed episode:
- New credit card readers for the EMV technology; merchant (appliance service company) liability for fraud if not using the new readers.
- Square has already issued the new EMV readers.
- Electrolux buying GE Appliances - complications, lawsuit, implications for the appliance market. Samsung and LG brought into the fray!
- First military veteran scholarship awarded! If you're a veteran, apply for a full-tuition scholarship in the Fundamentals of Appliance Repair training course - http://www.appliancetechscholarship.com
- Customer education: How to spot a parts changing monkey. http://appliantology.org/blog/1/entry-851-3-sure-fire-ways-to-spot-an-appliance-repair-hack-in-your-home/
- Tech education: rinse aid vs. vinegar; GFCIs vs. surge suppressors

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.

 

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

3 Sure-Fire Ways to Spot an Appliance Repair Hack in Your Home

[A Note to my Brethren in the Craft: This article is released into the Public Domain. You are encouraged to copy it, modify it as you wish, post it on your website and social networks, with or without attribution, your choice. The objective is to raise consumer awareness about the rampant problem of moral and technical deficiency plaguing our trade today. We need to expose these hacks and parts changing monkeys who are ripping people off, either knowingly or through willful ignorance, and giving us real technicians, who know how to troubleshoot and take pride in our work, a bad name. Together, we can clean up our trade and remove the tainted image it has in the public perception.]

 

A Consumer's Guide to Recognizing Charlatans, Hacks, and Parts Changing Monkeys in the Appliance Repair Trade

 

Have you or someone you love been victimized by an appliance hack?

 

Have your appliances been defiled by a Parts Changing Monkey?

 

Do you feel clueless when trying to decide which appliance repair company to hire?

 

Do you feel helpless and vulnerable when trying to evaluate the accuracy (and truthfulness) of the guy standing in your home telling you what's wrong with your refrigerator?

 

To protect your appliances, your precious time, and your wallet from incompetent repairmen, first you need to know a little bit about the trade.

 

The Problem with the Appliance Repair Trade Today

 

An epidemic of ignorance exists in the appliance repair trade today. In fact, there is a shortage of skilled labor in all of the skilled trades across all sectors of the US economy. For a variety of complicated reasons, all the subject of a separate interesting and scintillating article, the appliance repair trade in particular has been hit by a brain drain and a critical skill shortage. This has actually been building for the past 20 years but has become particularly acute in the last five or so years as appliances have become more computerized and more complicated to troubleshoot.

 

This situation leaves consumers especially vulnerable. Because, on the one hand, more complicated appliances makes it even more difficult for consumers to understand how the appliance works. On the other hand, it has accentuated a critical skill gap that already existed in the trade because many of the guys who were able to get by on the older, simpler appliances by simply guessing and changing parts find that it's a much more expensive proposition to do that on these new, electronic appliances with their pricey control boards. And who ends up paying for their ignorance and guesswork? You got it: YOU the consumer.

 

In the trade, the remnant of us real technicians call these bad actors various names such as hacks and charlatans. But the most common one that you will hear among the Appliantological Illuminati is Parts Changing Monkey (PCM).

 

You are not alone! The manufacturers are also getting screwed big time by these PCMs. That's because they have to hire these PCMs to do their warranty work. So, Monkey Boy goes out on the service call, guesses the wrong part, then has to order another part and come back at a later date to try his next guess. This costs the manufacturer money in extra parts and it costs you aggra-dollars-- time and inconvenience in a delayed repair for something that should have been done in the first trip and in a timely manner.

 

If these PCMs are so gawd-awful, then why are the manufacturers even using them? The answer is: What other choice do they have? Yep, it's slim pickins out in the appliance repair technician field today.

 

The other fact of life is that the manufacturers pay so little for warranty work that many of the sharp technicians choose not to do it and instead focus exclusively on the more profitable COD work. The end result is that getting a warranty technician is often (not always) a lot like getting a public defender; you're usually getting a second or third rate guy.

 

By the way, these are the same guys that the manufacturer will refer you to if you call them to ask for their "authorized servicers." You will still need to evaluate these guys yourself!

 

Who am I to be telling you what constitutes a charlatan, hack, and PCM? Well, if you're really interested, you can read my bio. Over the last couple of decades I've been running my own service business and I've also interacted with thousands of consumers and techs, as well as many manufacturers, through my online appliance tech-help (Appliantology.org) and tech-training (MasterSamuraiTech.com) websites. I know what's out there-- the good, the bad, and the butt-ugly.

 

So, the burning question you're asking yourself right now is, "How is the hapless consumer to recognize a Parts Changing Monkey when he's telling me what he thinks is wrong with my appliance?"

 

Come with me now on a Journey of Total Appliance Enlightenment...

 

How to Recognize a Charlatan, Hack, or PCM in Your Home

 

1. If your “tech” walks in and sees you have a Samsung, LG, or Miele (or other higher-end brand) and immediately goes off on how these brands are junk and how you need to get yourself a Whirlpool, this is a surefire sign that the guy is a hack. A lot of parts-changers don’t like Samsung, LG, etc. because those brands have a lot of new, electronic parts and control boards in their appliances, which require technical skills such as reading the schematic diagrams and taking electrical measurements to accurately troubleshoot the problem.

 

Parts-changers don’t know how to read schematics and therefore don't know how to make real diagnoses, and despite the availability of ways to learn that skill they refuse, out of laziness or pride, to learn real troubleshooting. Willful ignorance is rampant among appliance hacks. They like brands like Whirlpool because they are familiar with them and know how to change the right parts to fix common problems. If a “tech” comes into your home and acts like this, you’ll know what he really is.

 

2. The second indicator that a “tech” is really a PCM is when he is confronted with a warming refrigerator and says that it "needs more Freon" in the sealed system. This should rarely–if ever–be done to a fridge. The procedure to add refrigerant is time-consuming and expensive, and really not worth it compared to the cost of replacing the fridge. Furthermore, most of the causes of a warming refrigerator are in the defrost system, fans, or controls, not the sealed system.

 

3. The most infamous charlatans out there like to a play a certain game with their customers. After the problem has been “diagnosed”, they’ll replace a part. If that doesn’t fix the problem, the hacks just say “Oh, it must have been something else in addition to that”, and replace yet another part. They continue to charge you, the customer, for each part they replace. In other words, you are paying for them to guess at which parts will fix the problem until they finally get the right one.

 

There are very few instances where a trained and skilled technician would troubleshoot your appliance and justifiably not be able to tell that a second part was involved in the problem. And if he did miss that the first time around, a good and honest technician will own up to that oversight and not charge you as if there was nothing he could have done about it.

 

In particular, if a servicer wants to replace a control board, ask him what will happen if that doesn't fix the problem. PCM's are infamous for not being able to accurately diagnose a faulty board and will often guess at it. If they answer "you'll still have to pay for it," show him the door. A real technician who knows how to troubleshoot will be confident in his diagnosis, will be able to explain it to you, and will stand behind the repair.

 

If you've experienced any of these three behaviors from an appliance servicer, it's time to try someone else! Look for a technician who invests in his training, including ongoing training over the years. Many of the best techs are active at Appliantology.org and/or get their training from reputable training institutions such as the Samurai Tech Academy!

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

The run capacitor is wired in series with the start winding. When the compressor first starts, the run capacitor is shunted by the closed PTC (or whatever start relay or device is being used) so current just flows through the main and start windings which are in parallel with each other. The start winding is there to create that split-phase magnetic field that's out of phase with the main winding field that rotates around the stator. This rotating magnetic field is what starts the rotor turning from a dead stop.

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After the compressor has started and is up and running, the PTC opens which removes the shunt from the run capacitor. Now the run capacitor and start winding are in series with each other and both are in parallel with the main winding.

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At this point, the run capacitor does a couple things:

1) limits current flow through the start winding

2) smooths out the back EMF pulses from the main winding.

The net effect of the run capacitor is to reduce the current draw of the compressor while running (which also helps it run a bit cooler) and to help the compressor run smoother and more efficiently.

If the run capacitor were shorted (ie., replaced by a wire), the compressor would still start but the compressor would draw A LOT more current, run very rough, and quickly kickout on thermal overload.

I have never seen a run capacitor fail short.

Learn more about refrigerators and how to troubleshoot them in the Refrigerators training course at the Samurai Tech Academy.

Source: Sub Zero 632-S S/N prior to 1810000

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