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  • Son of Samurai

    How to Know the Limits of What You Can Troubleshoot

    By Son of Samurai

    There's a goal that any tech worth his salt should have when he heads into a service call: troubleshoot the machine until he has logically and definitively located the problem. Most of the time this goal is achievable, as long as you have the documentation for the appliance you're working on. You can take measurements and compare them with the specifications from the manufacturer until you find what's not within specifications. This is called analytical troubleshooting and is, in fact, the 
    • 6 comments
    • 867 views
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Tech Memberships at Appliantology

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    We offer 4 different ways for professional appliance techs to participate in the Appliantology tech community. Three of the memberships are premium, and one is limited. The features and benefits of each option are summarized in the table below: Click the links below for details: 1. Professional Appliantologist: the easy, instant premium membership for less than $4 per week. Unthrottled, lightning fast downloads. 2. Fellow Appliantologist: this free premium membership is earn
    • 0 comments
    • 20,660 views
  • 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
    • 1 comment
    • 2,374 views
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    [video] Troubleshooting a no convection bake problem on a GE Advantium Speedcooker

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    We troubleshot a GE Advantium Speedcooker from the control board for a no convection bake problem and determined that either the convective heating element or the TCO had failed open. Testing each component individually required uninstalling the oven with special equipment. So on our second visit, we returned with both parts-- the convection heating element and the TCO. The specific failure turned out to be the non-resettable TCO that had failed open.  Watch how I used the schematic to sele
    • 0 comments
    • 9,861 views
  • Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Samurai's Big Three Troubleshooting Secrets

    By Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    It's tough for appliance techs today. Our biggest competition is from cheap replacement machines. The proliferation of pricey electronic boards in appliances means that if you can't quickly do a slam-dunk diagnosis, you are at risk of losing customers and your profitability. Meanwhile, electrical troubleshooting is largely a lost science. What exactly have we lost? The Old Skool troubleshooting techniques that us old timers learned way back. And guess what: these same Old Skool troubleshoot
    • 5 comments
    • 2,377 views
 

2 Simple Steps to Make your Appliance Repair Business More Profitable

You're fighting a constant battle in the appliance repair trade to get the most money out of the time you spend. One of the biggest problems you face is unprofitable service calls. Most often these crop up as repairs that are close to the replacement cost. What customer is going to opt for a $300 repair when they can buy a new dryer for $400? Fortunately, there are 2 simple steps you can take to weed out 95% of these kinds of calls. These steps are prediagnosis and flat-rate pricing. P

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Being the Technician in the Face of Overbearing Customers

Sometimes, the hardest part of being a tech is dealing with the customer. Customers always have expectations, some reasonable and some not, and we have to manage these on top of performing our diagnostics and repairs. A large part of being a real technician is knowing when to trust your own expertise over customer demands. This struggle generally manifests in two ways: 1. The customer has their own diagnosis that they're sure is correct. We've all encountered this before. Something alo

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

This Circuit Looks Like It Can Never Run... And Yet It Does

This Circuit Looks Like It Can Never Run... And Yet It Does

We're so used to our fancy control boards and computer-controlled appliances that we sometimes forget how to troubleshoot old-skool circuits. While these circuits are generally pretty straightforward, the manufacturers employed some clever tricks that can mess with your head if you don't have a firm grasp of simple AC circuits. Take the buzzer in this dryer as an example: The Tan or Black side of the buzzer goes straight to neutral through that unlabeled switch beneath the temper

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Why Using OEM Parts Should be SOP

We've all been there: you're looking up the part that you need for the job, and the price tag about knocks you out of your chair. No way that heating element costs that much to produce! Maybe your concern isn't just for yourself -- you're interested in saving the customer some money. Despite the sometimes exorbitant prices, there are many good reasons to go with the OEM part over a generic one. OEM parts are generally better quality and make for a more reliable repair. You're going

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

How to Maximize Service Call Profits and Minimize Wasted Time

In this webinar recording for the ages, the Samurai explains everything you need to know to run a successful service call, minimizing return trips and maximizing profits. He covers the steps you need to take before the call and how you need to think while on the call. All of this information is neatly and concisely presented as The Samurai System for Service Call Excellence -- a must-know for any tech who wants to make the most money for the least headache. The topics covered include:

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

One Magic Trick to Instantly Identify Sealed System Problems

One of the first steps when you're troubleshooting a warm temperature proble in both compartments of a refrigerator should always be to identify whether you're dealing with a problem in the sealed system or with a problem elsewhere in the unit. The go-to method for most techs is to get eyes on the evaporator coils. While the frost pattern there can tell you a lot of things about the health of the refrigerator, it has a massive drawback: getting to the evaporator can require a lot of non-tri

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Four Common Tech Phrases Explained and Mythologies Debunked

Techs as a community have developed some bits of jargon that serve as shorthand ways of describing specific technical situations. These phrases are useful for saving ourselves time and breath, but sometimes the exact definitions get blurry.  Even worse, sometimes the way that the phrase sounds gets confused for a description of the actual science/physics behind what's going on, leading to a variety of "tech myths". Let's clear up a few of these terms. "Failing under load" This a situat

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

How to Know the Limits of What You Can Troubleshoot

How to Know the Limits of What You Can Troubleshoot

There's a goal that any tech worth his salt should have when he heads into a service call: troubleshoot the machine until he has logically and definitively located the problem. Most of the time this goal is achievable, as long as you have the documentation for the appliance you're working on. You can take measurements and compare them with the specifications from the manufacturer until you find what's not within specifications. This is called analytical troubleshooting and is, in fact, the 

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

Why You Can't Troubleshoot a Sealed System Without Knowing Thermodynamics

Why You Can't Troubleshoot a Sealed System Without Knowing Thermodynamics

You can't get around it -- you've got to understand at least the basics of thermodynamics to troubleshoot sealed system problems. Let's say you're working on a two-compressor R134a refrigerator -- completely separate sealed systems for the freezer and the fresh food compartment. Two evaporators, two compressors... you get the idea. You're experiencing an issue where the FF is always too cold. Say, 20F or so. All the other components seem to be in spec, so you put a gauge on the low side of

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

When the Tech Sheet Lies...

When the Tech Sheet Lies...

Tell me what's wrong with this picture: No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you -- that schematic really is showing a split-phase compressor being run by an inverter board. If you're sitting there sputtering and foaming at the mouth in disbelief, thinking, "That can't possibly be correct," then congrats! You had the correct reaction. What this diagram is showing simply can't line up with reality. Split-phase motors are never run using inverter boards -- the very idea is nonse

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Waterproofing Splices in Refrigerators and Freezers

Why is it that manufacturers (such as GE, Electrolux, and others) always recommend that you seal any splices you make in their refrigeration units with silicone grease? The simple answer is that it keeps out water. This is obviously desirable because water can both corrode and short out electrical connections. A splice is already a weak point in a circuit, so especially in wet environments, you want to give them as much lasting power as possible. And it gets even more interesting when you'r

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Inverter or Compressor: Which is the Culprit?

VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) systems have been around long enough now that most of us know the procedure for troubleshooting them. You have three main tests that you perform: 1. Check for the PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signal from the main control to the inverter. This is a DC square wave data signal that alternates between 0-5 VDC. The inverter has to receive this signal from the main board in order for it to run the motor. 2. Check the 120 VAC input to the inverter board. This has

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Professional Appliantologist Membership Application

FOR PROFESSIONAL APPLIANCE TECHS ONLY! Appliantology is the premiere appliance tech support site on the web. This annual membership unlocks the total and awesome power of Appliantology, turning it into a fearsome weapon of mass instruction and appliance information tool for the professional appliance tech who needs bleeding edge technical info. You'll get all of these perks and benefits: Win $100 every month by participating in our Kendo Points program -- you can more than earn back the

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Three reasons why doing component replacements on electronic boards is a bad idea

A recent topic in the tech forums here at Appliantology illustrates perfectly a point I’ve made in the past that replacing components on electronic control boards, rather than replacing the whole board, is a bad idea both for the customer and for the technician. The discussion was about a power supply problem on the main control board in a Kitchenaid KSCS25INSS refrigerator which is NLA. This topic pointed out three specific reasons why replacing components on electronic control boards is i
 

[video] No oven heat on a DUAL FUEL range

Watch as I demonstrate some basic troubleshooting katas applicable to all appliances, regardless of brand or type.   Wondering what the fault on L2 was? Here's the big reveal: we actually induced the failure ourselves on our test range in the Samurai Studio (in our secret lair hidden deep in a volcano) so we could show you this basic troubleshooting kata. Our videos are not showing pattern recognition ("if this symptom replace this part"), product training, or parts chan
 

How to read the cycle sequence chart on a Whirlpool GWS dishwasher

You know that complicated-looking cycle sequence chart on the techsheet for these dishwashers that no one uses because they don't understand it? Yeah, that one. We explained how to use it in the Appliantology Tips and Tricks webinar on August 11, 2019. It really is a powerful troubleshooting aid that lets you check all the functions and loads in the machine in just a few minutes. Appliantology premium tech members may watch the webinar recording here.     This webinar recording i
 

[video] Troubleshooting a no convection bake problem on a GE Advantium Speedcooker

We troubleshot a GE Advantium Speedcooker from the control board for a no convection bake problem and determined that either the convective heating element or the TCO had failed open. Testing each component individually required uninstalling the oven with special equipment. So on our second visit, we returned with both parts-- the convection heating element and the TCO. The specific failure turned out to be the non-resettable TCO that had failed open.  Watch how I used the schematic to sele
 

[video] Troubleshooting a Kenmore-Electrolux Dual Fuel Range F30 Error Code

This dual fuel range was flashing an F30 error code. The tech sheet says this points to a problem with the RTD (temperature probe). A parts changing monkey reading only the error code description without looking at the schematic replaced the RTD only to have the exact same problem: F30 error code. Watch how a real technician uses both the tech sheet and the schematic to accurately diagnose the problem without guesswork.      Get online, on-demand 24/7 appliance repair train
 

Get World-Class Tech Help at Appliantology.org for FREE with your MST Enrollment

We on Team Samurai maintain and develop two different websites: Master Samurai Tech and Appliantology. Each site is designed to assist you in different stages of your appliance repair journey. Master Samurai Tech is an online academy that provides state-of-the-art appliance repair training, both for new techs and techs who have been in the business for 30 years or more. Appliantology is a tech support community that provides peer-to-peer tech help, service manual downloads, and li
 

Appliantology Tips & Tricks

Appliantology is a powerful appliance repair tool, with lots of features that may not be obvious at first glance. If you feel like you're missing out on some of what the site offers, then you'll want to watch these clips from our Tips & Tricks webinar. In just a few minutes, we'll step you through how to use a few of the most commonly missed features of Appliantology. Here are some clips from the Appliantology Tips & Tricks webinar we had on May 5, 2019.   The Homepage You
 

Samurai's Big Three Troubleshooting Secrets

It's tough for appliance techs today. Our biggest competition is from cheap replacement machines. The proliferation of pricey electronic boards in appliances means that if you can't quickly do a slam-dunk diagnosis, you are at risk of losing customers and your profitability. Meanwhile, electrical troubleshooting is largely a lost science. What exactly have we lost? The Old Skool troubleshooting techniques that us old timers learned way back. And guess what: these same Old Skool troubleshoot
 

Non-PCM Repair on a Jazz Board Refrigerator

This is a newish Maytag jazz board refrigerator presenting with a warm FF and cold FZ. This was not your typical defrost failure. The failure here was the evaporator fan was not running. I troubleshot the problem without disassembling the freezer-- did it all from the jazz board.  Even though this is a modern, computer-controlled refrigerator, what you're about to see are actually old skool troubleshooting techniques that have been largely lost in the appliance repair trade today: r
 

Field repairs on electronic control boards: the new PCM frontier

I used to do board level repairs on state of the art computer controlled radar systems where there was real troubleshooting involved with signal generators, digital probes, oscilloscopes, and a fully stocked bench. Yes, you had to understand how electronics circuits work and how to read electronic schematics. I did this all day long for several years in the Navy and with Delta Air Lines. And by the way, almost all the electronic failures in these units were completely invisible— you had to find
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