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Featured Entries

  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Master the Internet in 30 Minutes or Less!

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Wassmatta, Boopie-- got the Don't-know-my-ass-from-that-hole-called-the-Internet Blues? Well, unfurl thy brow and unbunch thy panties, my Internet-bungling friend for the Samurai shall shine the light of wisdom upon thee and make straight thy cyberpaths. And for FREE! Yes, my sweet-- the Internetology Course is our latest electronic offering to the Great Virtual Universe and we bequeath it unto all posterior unto the ages of ages. Amen.  [Read more about the Free Internetology course here]  
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Appliantology is Your Key to Appliance Repair Service Call Success!

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    The Old Skool method of doing service calls was to go out on the call and pray to the pot bellied Buddha that the tech sheet was still hidden somewhere on the appliance. The plan being that, if the tech sheet was still there, you could stare at the lines and squiggles long enough to convince the customer you had reached a definitive and scientific conclusion about the problem.  My friends, I'm here to tell you that the Internet has made this Monkey Boy way of doing bidness obso-frikkin-lete! With powerful information tools, like Appliantology, at your fingertips, there's no need to rely on the pot bellied Buddha leaving the tech sheet for you. This webinar will teach you a whole new way of doing bidness using Appliantology as your trusty information tool, every bit as valuable as your Bosch driver or Princeton Tec headlamp, to increase your First Call Completes and profitability. To learn more about all the splendiferous benefits of being a Professional Appliantologist member here at Appliantology, CLICK HERE!  Learn more about Appliantology and it's powerful benefits to you as a professional appliance tech in our free and fun short course, Appliantology 101: Your Guide to the Ultimate Appliance Repair Information Tool.     
    • 1 comment
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Using an Oscilloscope to Understand 120 VAC Split-phase Household Power Supplies

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Household power supplies in North America use what's called a split-phase system. The transformer on the pole outside the house takes grid power and steps it down to 240 VAC from end to end on the secondary winding. The secondary winding has a center-tap in it which splits this 240 VAC into two 120 VAC voltages from either end to the center tap. This center tap is defined as Neutral and it is tied to Ground in the circuit breaker box inside the home. The two 120 VAC voltages are 180 degrees out of phase with each other and it is this very antiphase relationship that creates the voltage difference of 240 vac between L1 and L2.  There's a lot of disinformation and tech myths out there about 120/240 split-phase household power supplies. You may have even seen videos online claiming that the split phases are in-phase with each other. This is complete hogwash and I prove it to you in this video.  I show the proper phase relationship (180 degrees) between Line 1 to Neutral and Line 2 to Neutral right at the circuit breaker box using an oscilloscope. I challenge anyone to show differently and to clearly show how you're measuring.  Learn electricity, circuits, and troubleshooting from a proven master with verifiable credentials at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.     
  • Lorainfurniture

    Location, Location, Location

    By Lorainfurniture

    I thought I would expand a bit more on some of the points in my first entry.  This part will focus strictly on location, and set up of your space.    First, Ill tell you where my store is located.  My place is located on a main corridor; you can drive clear through town on my street.  I am about 50 blocks away from downtown, in a poor/working class urban area.  15 years ago when I started, it was a proper ghetto, however, in the last few years my neighborhood has begun to gentrify.   Ideally you want to find something in a similar area.  Don't forget who will be your main customer, people who can't afford to buy new!   Of course, no two cities are alike, and your situation may be completely different.  Use your best judgment.  Its obvious that you don't want to be in the middle of nowhere, regardless of how cheap the rent is.  Cheap rent means nothing if you can't generate sales.  You also want to avoid getting on the hook for a lot of money every month, whether it be rent or mortgage.   1. Highly populated area 2. prefer on a main corridor with good traffic, but avoid roads that seem like mini highways. Your customer many never see you! 3. Be close to your target group of customers.  Great! so you found which neighborhood you want to be in, now time to look for the actual space.  Having a 1k sqft space is just not going to cut it.   You have to understand that operating a store incurs a lot of FIXED expenses.  Rent, lights, gas, insurance, licenses, phones, internet, and employees.   All of this stuff is called overhead ( ill discuss this in more detail in another post).  A smaller store may be a bit cheaper to rent/buy, but most, if not all, of the other expenses will be just about the same.  The amount of merchandise you have on the floor will directly affect how many appliances you sell per week.   You can make a living selling out of a 1k sq ft store, but at that point, you will likely make a better living just doing service work.  ( less stress too!) My store is around 5,500 sq ft. 2300 of it is actual showroom, about 800 ft occupies my ebay store, another 600 for my testing area,  and about 1500 is storage.  I have a small office, and a few utility closets/ bathrooms.  My store has physical walls dividing it in to those four quadrants, so I can't really change much about it.  In a perfect world I would have 4000 ft of showroom, 500 for testing/ fixing, and 1k for storage.    The store you are looking for should have 1 LARGE showroom. You can't be walking customers upstairs and around the corner.  You should be able to have several rows of appliances, every 20 appliances there should be a small isle.   Refrigerator section:  I have about 20-25 refrigerators on the floor and they are all plugged in and running.  They seem to instill a lot of confidence in the customer when they see it, feel it cold.  That said, you need to have a double outlet every 36" .  You should try and run as many separate circuits as you can.   You also need to have access to water to test ice/water function.   Stove section: Needs to be near (arms length ) to fridge section.  Dishwashers are also displayed here, along with otr microwaves,  table top microwaves.  Washer/ dryer section: I like to have stack units in one area, and match set washer and dryers in a section by themselves.  The odd stuff/ budget models are in another area.     Generally speaking, you are looking for a store that is well lit, large space, and has/ is a legitimate storefront with large display windows in front.  Wide doors are a must, a 36" front door is doable, but some of these larger units won't fit unless you strip the handles. Ideally commercial double doors, or a 40" door would be great.  A garage door would be a blessing.   Your location should have easy access to parking, it doesn't matter whether street or parking lot.  If a customer can't easily pull over and browse your store, they won't.  Your location should be easy to find, and have the ability to put a fairly decent size sign up.     Once you find your building you should figure out if the building is for sale.  More often than not, a property owner in the ghetto will bend over backwards to sell a property. They will often finance you, with little or no interest.  The nice thing about buying is that eventually the payment will stop. And then you actually own something equitable.  Rent will continue for eternity, and will go up every year based on your level of success. ( you think landlords are stupid?)           
    • 1 comment
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    What's Your Sine? How Sine Waves are used on Oscilloscopes to Represent the Real World

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Introduction Some people say that a technician is only as good as his test instruments. I strongly disagree! In fact, just the opposite is true: a test instrument is only as good as the technician using it.  You can have the best, most expensive, fanciest test instruments in the world, but if you don’t know how to interpret what that instrument is telling you, what good does it do you?  Some techs are using an oscilloscope in appliance repair. Now, I’m all into cool toys but I don’t think we’re at the point in appliance repair where an o-scope is needed just yet. But they are definitely fun to play with! Properly understood, an oscilloscope can give a skilled tech great insight into what’s going on with a circuit or whatever else you’re measuring, such as sound waves. O-scopes are great for showing different types and shapes of waveforms, including sine waves, chasing signals through a circuit, comparing the timing of two different data trains in digital circuits and lots of other applications. Their real strength is in repairing electronic circuit boards and are often used with a signal generator where a generated signal is injected into a circuit and then inspected at various points in the circuit with an o-scope to troubleshoot a particular problem.   O-scopes can show other things besides voltages such as electronic representations of sound waves. But unless you understand some basics about both sine waves and the physics of what you're looking at with the o-scope, you could draw some blatantly incorrect conclusions. Let's start with sine waves, what they are and what they are not.  Sine Waves: Mathematical Models of the Real World A sine wave is a mathematical curve that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation. It is named after the trigonometric sine function. You've probably seen a sine wave many times, it looks like this:  All sine waves have common properties such as amplitude, period, and frequency. These are used to quantify (put numbers on) the physical process being analyzed or studied.    The period is the amount of time it takes for the sine wave to complete one full cycle, its units are time, could be seconds (or some fraction thereof), days, hours, years... depends on what you're modeling. The frequency is the number of of complete cycles completed per unit time, such as 60 cycles per second, also called Hertz (Hz). The amplitude also depends on what you're measuring and the instrument you're using to measure it (more on this later)-- could be volts, decibels, pressure, force, etc. Sine waves are useful because lots of different physical oscillation processes can be represented by them. Examples are an oscillating spring, AC voltages, ocean waves, planetary rotation, sound waves, light waves, and many others. But the important thing to keep in mind is that in every case, a sine wave is only a mathematical model of some physical reality but is NOT the physical thing itself!  The other thing to keep in mind is that a sine wave is not to be confused with wave physics. Wave physics is a branch of classical mechanics physics that describes processes that exist as waves in the physical world. A wave is an oscillation (that means is moves back and forth, up and down, you get the idea) of a mass that transfers energy as it moves through some medium, such as air, water, or some other mass.  Examples are sound, light, ripples on water, etc. Although physical waves, such as sound waves, are always three dimensional, they can be mathematically represented as a two-dimensional x-y sine wave plot either on paper, a computer (like a spread sheet), or on an o-scope. But keep in mind that, in every case, this sine wave representation is just that: a mathematical abstraction of a three-dimensional physical wave phenomena.  But there are lots of other phenomenon in the physical world that do NOT exist as waves-- so wave physics DOES NOT apply-- yet they can still be mathematically represented by sine waves! The most familiar example is AC voltage and current. Since these are not waves, wave physics does not apply. AC voltage and current are explained by the physics of electricity, not wave physics or any other branch of classical mechanics.  Let's look at some examples of the sine wave representations of sound (wave physics) and AC voltage (electrical physics) and compare them.  The Physics of Sound Sound waves are mechanical vibrations of pressure. They exist in the real world as variations in pressure in a medium such as air. Waves of Increasing pressure are called compression waves; waves of decreasing pressure are called rarefaction waves. These pressure variations produced by the sound source cause movement of the human eardrum and this movement is interpreted by our brains as a sound.  Although sound waves are three dimensional-- they travel outward from the source in all directions-- they can also be represented as a sine wave and plotted on a standard x vs y graph or on a spectrum analyzer or even an o-scope because they have properties of frequency and amplitude. Modeling sound waves as sine waves lets us visualize, quantify, and analyze them. Although we're using a sine wave to model a vibrating guitar string in the image above, the sound produced by that vibrating guitar string doesn't actually look that way-- the sine wave is only a mathematical model of the pressure variations produced by the sound of the vibrating guitar string.  The wavelength (an actual, physical distance measured in meters) determines the frequency-- the longer the wavelength, the lower the frequency because it takes longer for the sine wave to make a complete cycle. Frequency and wavelength are related by the speed of sound: wavelength = speed of sound / frequency.  The units of the amplitude of the sine wave representing a sound wave would be some units of pressure, such as decibels. The larger the amplitude, the louder the sound being represented by the sine wave.  But some instruments, such as o-scopes, only have the ability to show volts/division on the vertical (amplitude) axis so that's what will be shown on the screen. But knowing that you're actually looking at a sine wave representation of sound, you would interpret this as a relative index of loudness. This is analogous to the temperature controls on some refrigerators where they only give you a number, such as 1 through 9. The number on the dial, such as "7" doesn't correspond to any actual temperature (as many customers think), it's just an index so you can distinguish one setting from another.  Although the sine wave produced by a sound mixer or signal generator actually does have a voltage amplitude, this is to be understood as a substitute for actual sound "loudness," which is measured in units of pressure (most commonly, decibels). For this very reason, some instruments used in sound analysis, such as spectrum analyzers, only show a relative index for amplitude: The important take-away point here is that the image being shown on the sine wave graph, such as on an o-scope or spectrum analyzer, is just a model-- an abstraction-- of the actual physical phenomena being shown. So those sine wave models of a sound wave must be interpreted and understood in the context of the actual physics of the phenomena producing the image on the screen. Note that the waveform graph is two-dimensional but in the real world sound waves are three-dimensional. This graph is exactly how a pure-frequency sound wave would be generated by a sound mixer board and depicted on an o-scope or spectrum analyzer. The graph indicates a wave traveling along a path from left to right, but real sound waves travel in an expanding sphere from the source. However the 2-dimensional model works fairly well when thinking about how sound travels from one place to another. But, again, the o-scope is just showing you a model, or abstract representation, of the actual, physical sound propagation. Alright, so we have an idea of some of the physics involved in sound propagation. Let’s explore the question of how sound waves can cancel each other out in the air.   Recall that sound is composed of mechanical compression waves moving through some medium, such as air. That means the wave first compresses to an amount greater than normal air pressure. A sine wave model of this sound would show this as the positive part of the sine wave curve. Then the air expands to a pressure less than normal air pressure. This is the negative part of the sine wave—the part below the zero centerline. If you have two sounds waves of the exact same frequency and amplitude (volume) but 180 degrees out of phase (one of them is inverted) then one of the sound waves is compressing (higher pressure) at the exact same time the other sound wave is decompressing (lower pressure). Adding the positive pressure from one sound wave and negative pressure from the other sound wave will give you the normal air pressure. The two pressures are cancelling each other out because the air is being decompressed at the exact same time it is being compressed. Since there is no variation in air pressure, there is no sound. This process is called destructive interference and is a basic principle of wave physics.  On a sine wave model of the two sound waves, you would see them as two sine waves 180 degrees out if phase with each other, like this:  So how can sound waves be displayed on an o-scope? A common method is to use a sound mixer board. A sound mixer is a device that mixes sounds from different sources.  Some mixers can also be used to generate sounds of various frequencies. Sound mixers electronically (digitally) reproduce the wave physics of sound. They do this using SUMMING amplifiers that ADD the voltages of the sound frequencies together. It is the electronically manipulated output of a specific type of circuit designed to mimic the physics of sound. This is why they are called sound mixers, not voltage mixers.  So when you use a sound mixer to produce two antiphase sine waves representing sound frequencies, as shown in the photo above,  the resulting waveform is seen as a flat line on an o-scope or spectrum analyzer. The sound mixer is doing exactly what it was designed to do: mathematically and electronically produce what you would actually hear in the air (nothing) using good ol' wave physics calculations. Ain't science and technology cool? From Sound to Voltage But voltage is not sound! The electronically-manipulated signals from the output of a SUMMING amplifier in a sound mixer has nothing to do with the output of a center-tapped transformer. None of the mechanical wave physics in the foregoing discussion applies to voltage. So things like interference waves, destructive interference, compression, and rarefaction do not apply when you're talking about electricity.  Although sound waves that are 180 degrees out of phase cancel each other in a process called destructive interference, AC voltage is NOT a mechanical wave phenomenon and is not explained by the mechanical wave physics. Yet AC voltage can, and often is, modeled or represented by a sine wave. To say that because inverted sound waves cancel other out through destructive interference so therefore AC voltage must also behave the same way simply because both can be represented as sine waves is absurd. This would be like saying that because ocean waves can be represented by sine waves, that voltage behaves the same as ocean waves. It's utter balderdash! While this makes for great comedy, it's completely wrong physics.  Same sine wave model, different physics. Get it? The Physics of Voltage Let’s start by thinking about what voltage is. Voltage is the difference in electric potential energy, in joules, per unit charge, in coulombs, between two points. So a volt is joule/coulomb. There is no type of compression or rarefaction (decompression) happening in electricity. We never talk about voltage at a single point, it is always relative to some other point, a "reference point", be it ground, Neutral, L2, whatever. For example, there is no absolute 100 volts “out there” somewhere. It is 100 volts relative to some reference point. By convention, we arbitrarily assign a voltage of 0 volts to the earth and all other voltage measurements on planet Earth are relative to this reference.  Electrons, the negatively charged subatomic particles that comprise current flow, are driven by the difference in voltage between two points. It doesn’t matter if one voltage is negative and one positive, both positive, or both negative as long as there is a voltage difference.  As an example, let’s suppose that point A had a steady voltage of +1,000,000 volts and point B also had a steady voltage of +1,000,000 volts. Since both voltages are the same scalar quantity (1,000,000) and polarity (both positive), there is no voltage difference between the two points so no electrons would flow between A and B (or vice versa). The simplified math looks like this: +1,000,000 volts - (+1,000,000 volts) = 0 volts Now let’s suppose the voltage at point B is reduced to +500,000 volts. The voltage difference between A and B becomes: +1,000,000 volts - (+500,000 volts) = 500,000 volts Since point A is more positive than point B (conversely, you could also say that point B is more negative than point A) the electron flow is from point B to point A.  Now let’s say that point A stays at +1,000,000 volts but point B goes to -1,000,000 volts, the exact same amount of voltage but opposite polarity. Since we’re talking about DC voltage here (i.e., the polarities are fixed over time) we can’t properly talk about phase yet but this would be a DC equivalent, if you will, of two AC voltages being 180 degrees out of phase. Let’s look at the voltage difference between A and B now: +1,000,000 volts - (-1,000,000 volts) = 2,000,000 volts  The potential difference (or voltage difference, same thing) between A and B quadruples because you’re subtracting a negative voltage. Four times as many electrons are doing all they can to get from point B to point A in this case compared to the case where the voltage difference was only 500,000 volts.  When we deal with AC voltages, the polarities are constantly reversing 120 times a second, twice in each 1/60th of a second cycle. So the same principles we just looked at with the DC examples above would also apply to AC. But with AC, since the voltage polarities are reversing 120 times a second, we have to consider time in our calculations. This is done by referencing the phase of the voltages between two points which is done using either polar or rectangular notation.  Most people, including many techs, assume that single phase means that both 120vac legs in residential application are of the same phase.  This is a complete misconception. If the two 120vac legs were in phase, the voltage difference between the two would never change, giving no voltage difference between each hot leg: Note that as the vertical line between the sine waves moves from left to right (the horizontal axis represents the passage of time) on the graph, it's "length," representing the voltage difference, never varies so we have no potential difference between the two points (0vac). If this were the incoming power supply to a home, you could never have a 240vac outlet across L1 and L2. Run the numbers yourself: Start with the blue segment where each sine wave is at a maximum +120 vac. What's the voltage difference between these two points? +120 vac - (+120 vac) = 0 vac. The voltage difference (or potential difference, same thing) between the two waveforms is zero.   Now go to the red segment where each sine wave is at a maximum - 120 vac. What's the difference now? -120 vac - (120 vac) = 0 vac. And so on for every point along the two curves, you get the idea. Here again, just a little bit of mathematical literacy let's you see how obvious this is.  Voltage difference is exactly like the name says: the mathematical difference in electrical potential between two points. That means subtracting. When you subtract a positive number from a positive number, the answer (called the difference) gets smaller. When you subtract a negative number from a positive number, the answer gets bigger. I hesitated to even explain this elementary school math but, sadly, it seems to elude many people, even techs, who should know better.  In the step-down transformers used to supply residential single-phase power in North America, the secondary winding of that transformer is center-tapped. The end-to-end voltage on the secondary is 240 VAC. The center-tap on the secondary is the definition of the Neutral wire in household AC power supply systems and it causes two voltages to develop from either end to the center tap, as shown in this diagram: Since the secondary winding is center-tapped, two voltages are developed across each split from either L1 or L2 to Neutral (the center-tap) as shown above. Since the center-tapped Neutral is tied to Ground, the electrical polarity at Neutral never changes-- it is always at Ground potential. However, the electrical polarity at each end of the transformer is changing 120 times a second with reference to Neutral.  Now, let's take a closer look at those voltages being developed across the secondary of the transformer:   These two voltages are 180º out of phase as shown in this diagram: This phase relationship between these two voltages can be expressed using phase notation as shown below: An o-scope, properly configured, would show the two center-tapped voltages as sine waves 180 degrees out of phase with each other. The resultant wave from combining the two waveforms would have an amplitude that is double of either the voltage at A or B.  Watch me demonstrate this in action:   These two voltages can be mathematically combined using either polar or rectangular math. You can do this long-hand as shown below: In the special case when voltage sine waves of the same frequency are antiphase (another way of saying "180 degrees out of phase with each other"), you can tell the voltage difference between them at any point by using simple arithmetic. But what about when two voltages are only 120 degrees out of phase with each other, such as in three-phase voltage? Again, you have to use polar or rectangular math to calculate the voltage difference between the two lines at any given point in time. Most engineering calculators will have polar and rectangular functions built into them to facilitate these calculations. Why should math matter? Why isn't this all just a matter of opinion, preference, or "alternative views?" Because if electricity could not be 100% described by mathematics, none of these systems could be designed in the first place. How do you think engineers design these systems? Do they guess and hope to get lucky? Do they go with how they're feeling that day? Is it all a matter of how they "believe" these systems work or their "opinion" about how they might work? I guarantee you that they have all this stuff completely nailed down with calculations and they know exactly how the system will behave before the first dollar is committed to building it. That's the essence of what engineers do. Here again, the abstraction being shown on the o-scope has to be interpreted with an understanding of the physics of the phenomena being viewed, whether sound or voltage.  Summary - Sine waves are a useful mathematical model used to abstractly represent a wide range of very different physical phenomenon. But the sine wave is not the thing itself-- it is just a mathematical model of the thing.  - By modeling various physical phenomenon as sine waves, scientists, engineers, and technicians can analyze how that physical process changes over time.  - Sound waves, spring compression, AC voltage and current are just a few examples of the widely different physical processes that can all be mathematically and conveniently modeled as a sine wave.  - An oscilloscope is an instrument used to measure the time-varying behavior of various oscillating physical functions and represents them as different types of waveforms, including sine waves.  - Sound waves and AC voltage can both be represented as sine waves with all the various properties of sine waves, such as frequency and amplitude, but this is where the similarity ends.  - Widespread mathematical illiteracy among the population today has resulted in a proliferation of gross misconceptions and "tech myths" about how electricity works. - O-scopes are fun and, in the right hands, can be a powerful analytical tool. But if you don’t understand the underlying physics of what the sine waves (or other types of wave forms) on the scope are representing or even what a sine wave actually is, you won't know how to interpret what you’re seeing or you will just confuse yourself. Worst of all, you could delude yourself into believing something that just isn't true because you don't know what you don't know.  Professionals working in a skilled trade like appliance repair must have the math and science skills to understand the physical phenomena (electricity, mechanics) that they are measuring with their test instruments or even observing with their senses, or else they can easily get fooled by those observations or measurements and waste time and money in their repair work. The abysmal public school system in Ameedica today may have let you down by not giving you this foundation, but the Samurai's got your back! Between the Master Samurai Tech Academy and pearls of wisdom such as this post here at Appliantology, I'll help get you up to speed. If I could learn this stuff as a punk-ass, snot-nosed 17-year old kid in the Navy, then anyone can with a little effort and someone to guide them along the way. Learning never stops, even for the Samurai! Keep your mind open and keep studying so you can know what you don't know. References:  

Our community blogs

  1. Join the Samurai on this Samsung electric dryer service call and learn how to troubleshoot a no-heat complaint from the control board, without having to tear apart the whole dryer, by using the schematic and strategic electrical tests. Work smarter, not harder! 


    Learn how to troubleshoot appliances like a real technician at

    Professional Appliantologist members here at Appliantology should watch my webinar recording on troubleshooting this same problem using live voltage tests for deeper understanding of troubleshooting techniques


  2. Just a reminder, don't trust your pocket knife's lock open function. I got complaisant and learned the hard way. I knew better but just got carried away scraping at something thinking I'd be done in a few seconds. Well I was, but because the knife folded on my finger and not because I was finished. Sharp serrated mf'r too. 






  3. Moostafa
    Latest Entry

    Hello, my infidel friends. Today, I would like to share with you a sad tale which illustrates the cultural distinction between the low-brow Arab people and the much more refined Pashtun and Tajik tribes of Afghanistan:




    Customs officers at the Hamad International Airport, in the Qatari capital, have arrested a Yemeni man attempting to smuggle more than 12 kilograms (27 lbs) of sliced bacon hidden in his anal cavity.

    53-year old Abd al Rahman Shamoun, was spotted by a specially trained police dog, looking for drugs or pork meat on passengers and in their luggage.

    He appeared visibly nervous and sweaty, so the customs took him in a separate office for a more thorough search and investigation.

    The search revealed 4 larges condoms hidden in his anal cavity, each containing more than 3 kilograms of bacon.



    The full story is published here.

    You see, here in Afghanistan we do not have such problems as discussed in the above article, for we consume the "bacon" of male yak. Since it is made not from pigs, our "bacon" is halal, that is, it is permitted under the Sharia laws of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate, who irritates the bowels of the wicked.

    This article is but one of many examples of Arab dull-wittedness. Had Abd al Rahman Shamoun known about the enlightened Afghani yak "bacon" delicacy, he would not have needed to smuggle the unclean pig flesh in his even more unclean rectum. 

    It is true that my sand-slinging Arabian brethren have a rather difficult time telling the two flesh meats apart since they have no yaks in Arab countries. But penis of yak is an ancient delicacy among the the Pashtun and Tajik peoples of Afghanistan. 


    Although harvesting the "bacon" of male yaks leaves them neutered and impotent, the smoky, salty delicacy is a cherished part of our tribal bonding rituals.

    I would like to point out the squirreling away of items in one’s rectum is an age-old technique of my people to hide our possessions, few they may be, from the many infidel invaders who have troubled our country in the past. It is part of the standard education of all boys here in genteel Afghanistan. Yes, I remember being a young boy and the extreme discomfort whenever I sat down.

    This man in the news article was–how do you say in Ameedica–an amateur. While I was in the elite Appliance Repair Corps of the feared Mujahideen warriors, I once carried my entire tool bag in my rectum for 50 miles past military checkpoints just to repair one, smelly washing machine. I have never been structurally the same since that day though. We shall see what happens to the man in this article, for my keffiyeh-wearing cousins are known to overreact.

    Allahu Akbar!


  4. Just got done sitting through an 8 hour course on the NEC.  This course goes towards my continuing education hours needed to maintain my electrician certificate for appliance repair (07D Washington State Specialty Electrician).  Most of the class doesn't pertain to our trade, but I was able to pick up a few gems.  

    The National Electric Code (NEC) is the code used by jurisdictions to determine if your electrical supply is up to code, which releases a new edition every 3 years.

    Section 210.8 is where it talks about Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) requirements.  With the edition of NEC 2014, 210.8 (A) reads: All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specificed in 210.8(A)(1) through (10) shall have GFCI protection for personnel.

    Newly added to the the NEC 2014: 208.10(A)(10) Laundry Areas.  That's right.  All laundry areas in new built or remodeled homes will include GFCI to all 120 volt receptacles.

    Another new add on for the 2014 NEC:  210.8(D) Kitchen Dishwasher Branch Circuit.  GFCI protection shall be provided for outlets that supply dishwashers installed in dwelling unit locations.

    One comment mentioned by the instructor at my class today.  "Every year that I teach the class, the NEC adds more locations that GFCIs are required."
     Which was followed by a comment from him.  The Code Panel is talking about adding GFCI to 240Volt outlets to the list of required circuit.  If this is so, the GFCI reset would  most likely be on the circuit breaker, because GFCI breakers are becoming more and more common.  


  5. Warranty:

    Do whatever you want with this one, but think about this:  I can go buy a new washer with a 1 year warranty for $400.   Why would I pay $200 for a 20 year old washer with a 30 day warranty? My recommendation is a minimum of 90 days, with a maximum of 1 year.  I currently sell all of my pre-owned appliances with a 6 month warranty.  I also have a "refurbished appliance" section which is the same exact merchandise, tested in the same manner as my pre owned stuff, just they are always 100% complete, and typically less than 10 years old.  I give a 1 year warranty with those products.  

    "1 year warranty!? are you crazy?! You are going to put yourself outta business!!"

     Ive heard that shit so many times, I literally laugh all the way to the bank.  Adding more warranty is the only way you can add VALUE to your merchandise without adding dollars.  A dryer with a 30 day warranty is $100, 6 month warranty is about 175, "refurbished, with 1 year, now you can compare to new, and ask $250+.  So what if you got to go out there once and put a $6 thermal fuse in.  That extra $150 you made off of the same unit just paid you for your service call.  All those extra $150's will cover that occasional $200 control board you get stung with. 

    The bottom line is this: You should be fixing, and expecting these units to last your customers a minimum of 3- 5 years, so whats the problem? 


    Your warranty should be basically unconditional. You can put a clause for flooding, roach infestation, commercial use, but you can't tell your customer that their warranty is void because you suspect a power surge, or because you think they are over loading/ over using it. That sounds shady, and there is no real way you can prove it.  After you pull the sock out of the pump, tell the customer " this time ill cover it under the warranty, but if it happens again Ill have to charge you".  The customer will understand, and be grateful.  Same thing goes with a thermal fuse.  Tell the customer the vent is clogged.  Fix the unit, leave the vent disconnected and tell them not to use it until they get the vent cleaned.  You never want to give the customer the impression that you are trying to weasel your way out of your warranty.  As far as I'm concerned, the hard/ expensive part is driving to the customers house and diagnosing the problem.  You would really lose your customer over a 5 dollar thermal fuse?  A 3 dollar coupling? Fix the shit and move on with your life.  


        I require the customer to keep a copy of their receipt.  I TELL THEM WHEN THEY BUY THE APPLIANCE that they need to keep the receipt for the warranty.  This does give you an out, if they lost their receipt.  Occasionally you will get a real ass-twat, and you can say " Ma'am, you need to find a copy of your receipt, and as soon as you find it, give me a call and ill come right out.".   This is not really something you should be doing, as you will lose this person as a customer, and they will talk bad about you and your company as long as they can remember.  I can honestly say I pull this card maybe once every other year. 


    You don't need to verify the warranty before you go out.  Simply ask them: What does the date say on your receipt?  If they say they bought it X months ago, they are likely telling you the truth.  In my experience , about 95% of the people who call for warranty work are completely honest about it. Reciept or no receipt, fix the unit, make the customer happy. 

     Remember that date you wrote on the back of the appliance? This is how I know how honest people are.  Now you know roughly when they bought it, if its reasonably within your warranty, receipt or no receipt, fix the unit and move on.  You will earn that customers business for life, and that is worth a hell of a lot more than that $3 coupler.  Even if its a few months out of the warranty. If the part is in your car, fix the customer's machine.  Its not fair that you sold someone a machine for a few hundred dollars and it only lasted 8 months.  I understand that legally you don't have to do shit, but morally speaking, you should do it.  That customer will be your customer forever, and their kids too. They will also tell all their friends/ neighbors about you.  They will become your best spokesperson for your store.  

    You will find that most of your warranty work is going to be a result of misuse, neglect, improper installation, or other issues with the house that would prevent the appliance from working properly.  About 70% of my service calls are tripped breakers, reverse polarity, rotted floors under the front load washer, you get the picture. You have to SHOW the customer the problem, and offer to come back after the problem is solved.  They will never call you back.   About 20% is stuff that I missed at my shop, and the other 10% is legitimate failures.   My usual Defect rate on all of my appliances is about 10%.  Thats 10 in every 100 appliances that I sell.  Lately I have been really slacking, so my defect rate jumped to 20%.  That works out to about 5 calls per week.  It doesn't seem like much, but they never come in that consistent.  Its more like 1 month with no warranty calls, and then the weather gets warm and you have 30 in 1 week. 



    Inevitable part of business.  Sometimes that Atlantis trans will agispin, the fridge compressor poops out.  Alway replace the unit with a BETTER unit than what you sold them, Even if only by a little.  The customer will be pleasantly surprised, cementing your relationship with them.  Further, replacements become priority.  Making the customer wait 1 week for their replacement washer will only succeed in pissing them off, and this has no benefit to you.  Replace it quickly, apologize, and forget about it. 


    If a customer buys a machine cash and carry, and returns it for whatever reason the same day, take it back.   I have an " all sales are final" policy, but sometimes its better to just avoid the conflict.  This applies a bit more for when people put deposits on stuff, or when they buy something and haven't taken possession of it yet.  Just give them their money back.  After they take possession for more than 24 hrs, the warranty applies.  

    Asshole customer from hell that keeps breaking every appliance you send them:

    You will get one of these people once a year, for sure.  After the second replacement, the only way out for you is to pick up ALL of your merchandise, and give the customer a FULL refund, including delivery.   Im convinced that some people are cursed, and are destined to never have working appliances.  You don't have to be in a relationship with them.  Some people are so ignorant with the use of their units you wonder how they survive in life.  Give them their money back and never do business with them again.  You walk a way the good guy, they can't say anything bad about you because you did the right thing.  


    In conclusion, Warranty/ replacement/ refunds should not be looked at as terrible.  Look at it as an opportunity to prove to your customer how reputable of a business you are running.  Some of my best customers are the customers that I sold defective appliances to.  When you do the right thing, your customer will see it, and appreciate it.  You can go home and sleep well at night knowing that you haven't screwed anyone over.   There are a lot of hack, hillbilly appliance dealers.  They will always be able to sell an appliance cheaper than you.  When the warranty calls come in , thats when they run away and you get your time to shine. 


    -Eugene Pallas

    Lorain Furniture and Appliance 






    We all want to grow our companies,  but finding and keeping qualified techs or just finding anyone that posseses even the slightest work ethic is a difficult,  near impossible task.  This song laments this sad state of affairs but also is a tribute to the recent passing of one of the greats. 


    Scroll down,  start the video,  scroll back up and sing along! 

    Whirlpool Drain (or if Prince was an Appliantologist looking for good help) 

    Maybe you never meant to cause me any sorrow
    Maybe you never meant to cause me any pain
    I only wanted to one time see you working
    I only wanted to see you
    working on a Whirlpool Drain

    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain 
    I only wanted to see you
    Steaming up a Whirlpool Drain 

    I never wanted to be a hard-assed employer
    But neither could I be some kind of friend
    Now please go away,  go work for another
    For your employment with me has to end

    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    I only wanted to see you
    Underneath a Whirlpool Drain

    Dude, I know, I know
    I know  appliances are changing
    It's time we all reach out
    to learn something new, that means you too

    You say you want me to teach you
    But you can't seem to concentrate your mind
    So I think you better pack it
    Since you can't even Ptrap a Whirlpool Drain

    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    Service Owners, if you know what I'm singing about up here
    C'mon, raise your hand

    Whirlpool Drain, Whirlpool Drain
    I only want to have one
    Only want to see one
    Working on a Whirlpool Drain


    This song debuting on AppLYRICology  Best of Durham Music Vol 1  


  7. Well ladies and gents. Sorry I have been MIA for a while. Life has been crazy with service calls and my new technician. Also had our first baby (technician in training) blogentry-82264-0-29266900-1449760812_th. It's been an amazing experience. I am loving every second of it. It has been tough through all the changes which is why i have been absent from here for a bit. But i'm BACK! I hope the Samurai and Durham have been holding the fort down and not letting you guys get away with too much! hahaha.

  8. acfixerdude's Blog

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    It was during the first break of day in the middle of a heat wave when we first received the call. A villager had requested assistance with a situation he could no longer contain. He and his family had been attacked by a once well behaved friend taking residence inside their home. This well-behaved friend had turned into a villainous foe, terrorizing the family by destroying their stockpiles of sustenance when least expected, an action which severely disrupted the family’s daily routine. They called upon us to fend off this rebellious foe and to restore civility back into their home.

    So with a brave heart I prepared for impending battle. With my heavy weapons strapped to my side and only experience to guide me, I journeyed to the residence in need. When I arrived I was greeted by the saddened man and his family, begging me to tame the beast that ailed them. As I stepped into the arena of battle a sinister smell caught me off guard. The smell of burning copper singed my nostrils as I made my way towards the beast’s lair. It seemed to be annoyed by my presence and howled in anger. A great battle emerged as the two newly made arch-enemies began their attacks. Though the beast was a respectable foe, I took swift, fearless action and it was quickly and easily defeated. I had tamed the beast back into a domesticated pet, doing only as it was originally intended to do.

    In order to prevent such rebellion and travesty in the future, I trained the villager on how to properly discipline and care for the now domesticated beast. I left him with the knowledge and the proper tools to keep his family’s stockpiles of food from ever being destroyed again. The villager and his family were eternally grateful and he practically offered his oldest daughter’s hand in marriage as a token of appreciation. As I left his home victorious, I only hoped he’d pay heed to my instructions.

    Was this some sort of animal you ask? I would only tend to describe it as an animal when misbehaving, but no, it was not. Everybody has one of these often friendly devices and the same thing can happen to you and your family if you fail to take notice and learn the necessary information that this young villager learned the hard way. In fact, there are many friendly devices in your home that require tender loving care every so often. If left unattended to for too long it is very possible that they will turn on you and the situation can get very ugly; even uglier than the story I just told you.

    So what was it living in this nice family’s home that turned so villainous and destroyed all of their food? It was that which was originally supposed to keep their food safe from spoilage, insects and other hungry animals; their refrigerator. If you’re not careful, it may happen to you too.


    So, if your usually domesticated appliances start giving you a fuss and you happen to live in or near the village of Lubbock, TX - head no other place than to and summon the brave knight to bring your appliances back to order. If you're elsewhere, go to and The Alliance of Appliantology may be able to help you to kick swift appliance butt!

  9. Smashycomman's Blog

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    The people were happy. They had not a care in the world. They thought their beloved appliances would always behave. They woke up in the morning to the quiet hum of refrigerators, keeping their daily meals nice and fresh. They used washers and dryers to clean clothes to pristine condition. They used the microwaves to heat their food quickly and efficiently. They thought the appliances would always be there for them, always making their lives easier.

    .....They thought wrong.

    Suddenly, one day, as if from nowhere, the appliances attacked!

    The Washer began spewing water all over their beautiful laundry rooms:


    The Dryer began spitting fire and smoke everywhere:


    Microwaves took to the skies, shocking the citizens in horrible flocks:


    Fridges stopped cooling the food, turning it into gookus, and then spewed noxious odors into everyone's faces:



    Have no fear, good people! Your heroes are here!


    The Alliance of Appliantology

    "Fighting atrocious appliances with aptitude!"

    This Troop of Techs scour the land, searching for any disobedient appliance, doing battle with them, and turning them back into the good machines they were made to be!

    First up, we have the Appliance Technician himself, Walter:


    Walter is a monkey. His weapon is a katana, mixed with a flashlight. Good for slashing and scaring off those appliance monsters who are afraid of the light.

    Next is Weswayne, or just Wayne:


    Wayne is a seahorse, wielding a screwdriver-shooting crossbow. Nothing wrong with a ranged weapon!

    Here's Scottthewolf, or more appropriately, Scott the Lion:

    Scott The Lion

    Scott is smartly using meter leads, one of a tech's most powerful tools, he's using them as axes, but I guess that gets the job done!

    Here's some guy named Smashycomman, or just Smashy if you're confused on what a "comman" is:


    He uses a giant screwdriver as a warhammer. There's a better use for that, kid!

    Don't forget about DanInKansas, or maybe just Dan:


    Dan is a beaver, who uses a shield and spear with pliers on the end. Stick 'em with the pokey end!

    Last, but certainly not least, is our very own DurhamAppliance, who's gonna go by the very serious name of Durham:


    Durham is the highest-ranking member of the group so far. Yes, he's a pink unicorn, but don't let that make you think he won't smack yer teeth out with his mages' staff.

    Our citizens are saved! With their incredible knowledge of the inner-workings of these dastardly monsters, the Alliance of Appliantology takes them down one-by-one, turning them back into the hard-working and wonderful machines they should be. The citizens are very thankful! The day is saved!

    Want to be in the Alliance? Here's one way:


    Ok, so, I decided to do this after making a "What animal would you be?" thread on the 40-watt club sub-forum. What started as just a dumb question got me thinking about how fun it would be to actually draw these guys as these animals... then one thing lead to another and here we are. This took about 2 months or so. Having a kid makes it so you really don't have much time anymore! Anyway, hope you guys like it!

  10. tpoindexter's Blog

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    I was talking with another tech this morning about checking RPM. this brought up the subject of strobes. As we were

    discussing strobes it occurred to me someone had probably created an app with RPM already. Shazaaam!!! :woot:

    Here's a app that will allow you to test RPM on fans. You can also test motor rpm, if, you place a mark on the shaft.

    To check fan speed just dial it in till the fan appears to be not moving at all. That'll give you your RPM.

    Same with a motor if you mark the shaft. When the mark appears to no longer be moving you've got the RPM.

    I'm not really sure if this is the correct use of this Blog thingy, but, bet I'll find out sure enough!! Yeeehaw!!!

    Huh... I hope I wasn't the last person on earth to figure this out!

  11. Miele produces the best dishwashers on the market today. They are high end machines...very quiet, they wash well and last many years beyond the life span of a lesser quality brand. However, like all machines they do break down. One of the most common failures to occur on a Miele dishwasher is the Water Proof System (WPS). That's that mysterious grey box under your sink. What is that thing?


    The WPS is a dual water inlet valve. The redundancy ensures that if one valve fails to close the other will, greatly reducing the chance of flooding your kitchen. That brass part on the left attaches to the house plumbing, the box contains the two solenoids and the gray tube contains the water intake hose, the wiring and outer sleeve. When the electronic calls for water the solenoids open and the water flows through the intake hose and into the dishwasher.

    The outer sleeve acts a protection against leaks. If the solenoids leak the water will flow along the outer sleeve and into the drip tray in the base of the dishwasher. When enough water accumulates the float switch will be activated and the water intake will stop. The drain pump will also be activated until the machine is unplugged or the water is no longer present in the drip tray.


    The inlet to the WPS contains a filter and a restrictor. The filter stops large debris from entering the system and the restrictor ensures correct water pressure. The filters often get clogged and can be easily cleaned.


    The Miele dishwasher service manual states:

    The WaterProof System (WPS) consists of a number of interdependent safety features to provide protection against water leakage.

    1. Protection against solenoid valve leakage: Each water intake is controlled by an inlet valve. If this valve cannot close properly due to some defect or blockage by a foreign object, a second inlet valve ensures that the water supply is shut off.

    2. Protection against water intake hose leakage: If a leakage occurs, water flows along an outer hose sleeve surrounding the intake hose to the drip pan. Here a float switch then acts to switch off a microswitch which closes the inlet valves to cut off the water supply.

    3. Protection against dishwasher overflow: If some defect has caused the water level in the appliance to rise so that it overflows into the drip pan, and the water quantity sensor has also failed, the float switch is activated. This switches off a microswitch which closes the inlet valves to cut off the water supply. At the same time the drain pump is activated.

    4. Protection against drain pump failure or blocked drain path: In this case the water level in the appliance rises until it overflows into the drip pan where the float switch is activated. This switches off a microswitch which closes the inlet valves to cut off the water supply.

    Thanks for reading.


    RD Appliance Service, Corp.

    RD Appliance Blog

  12. Here's a Thai-inspired chicken soup that is easy to make and bursting with flavor! It's healthy comfort food with an Asian twist.



    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or butter
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1-2 pounds uncooked chicken breast, diced
    • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
    • 1 quart chicken broth (I use either homemade or a box of low sodium, no added MSG.)
    • 1 can coconut milk (look for this in the Asian/Thai section of the grocery store. I prefer regular, not "lite".)
    • 1 lime, juiced, divided
    • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
    • 4 scallions, chopped
    • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
    • salt, to taste
    • optional: Thai fish sauce, cooked rice


    Heat a soup pot over medium high heat, then add the coconut oil. Saute the onions with a little salt for a few minutes, then add the chicken chunks with a little more salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is just cooked through. Add the ginger and half of the garlic towards the end of this.

    Stir in the broth and bring to a boil, then stir in the coconut milk, half of the lime juice, and the red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for at least 15 minutes (longer is fine, too).

    Turn off the heat, and add salt to taste (depends on the amount in your chicken broth). Stir in the rest of the garlic, the scallions, and most of the cilantro (leave a little aside for topping individual bowls). Add the rest of the lime juice if desired. Cover and let sit off-heat for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.

    Great served over rice. Add a few drops of fish sauce to your serving to knock the flavor out of the park!

  13. Pryor's Appliance

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