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.
The problem in the appliance repair trade today is that we have too many parts changers and not enough technicians. Even many experienced techs don't know the fundamentals and technology we're working with on modern appliances today. I'm talking about things like basic electricity, circuits, reading schematics, knowing how to troubleshoot, motors, microcomputer control systems.
What this means is this: you're probably not going to find techs to hire with the skills you need to grow your business.
Solution: hire based on character and then add the technical skills cost-effectively with Master Samurai Tech online training.
Many multi-tech businesses are successfully using our innovative training to grow their businesses. Here's just one example from Todd Daganaar, President of Nebraska Home Appliance, a successful appliance repair company with 9 technicians and growing!
Training at the Master Samurai Tech Academy is already a killer deal: comprehensive, state-of-the-art training that’s online and on-demand at tuition low enough that anyone can afford it.
Well now we’re kicking it up to 11 with the Master Samurai Tech Alumni program.
If you have been certified* in the Fundamentals course at the Master Samurai Tech Academy or at the Mr. Appliance Academy (Bundle 1 only), you can get full tech access to our tech support site, Appliantology.org, with no annual fee. Yes, as in FREE.
You heard that right.
You would be a Master Samurai Tech Alumnus at Appliantology with the same level of access and all the benefits of a Professional Appliantologist member (read all the benefits of PA membership here). That’s a $197/year value-- FREE!
What’s the catch? No catch but there is a small difference between PA and MST Alumnus membership.
PA members can continue to renew their membership at the annual rate and can download and request all the manuals they need regardless of how much or how little they participate in the forums.
The MST Alumnus membership is also annual but instead of paying with money, you “pay” with participation in the forums. Each year when your membership comes up for renewal, you need about a 2:1 post to download ratio to renew [UPDATED]. That means that as a general guideline, you need to have made two posts for every download.
This is super easy to do and active Appliantology members are already far exceeding this ratio without even trying. The idea here is not to place a burden (because it’s not)-- it’s to discourage people from getting the MST Alumnus membership and simply downloading manuals without interacting with the other members.
This really is a killer deal and a special perk for certified Fundamentals graduates! Why are we offering such a great deal? Simple:
We want to encourage more techs to successfully complete the Fundamentals course and get certified. This helps them be better techs and helps the trade in general.
Certified Fundamentals grads tend to be top tier techs who bring interesting questions and good problem solving insight to the forums. They are skilled techs and potentially valuable content contributors.
This deal is retroactive meaning that if you’re already a certified graduate of the Fundamentals course, you are eligible for this deal. If you’re already a PA member and a certified Fundamentals grad, we can move you to the MST Alumnus deal.
So how do you get started on this gravy train? Easy: just fill out this short form, we’ll review it and set up your MST Alumnus account here at Appliantology mo’scratchie (that’s Samurai-speak for “quickly”).
* Certified means that you meet all currently required quiz and exam score requirements for the course; see this page for details.
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!
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/
Finding Frigidaire manuals is a bit different from other manufacturers.
The Style and manufacture date are more important than the model number.
Once you know the manufacture date for a fridge, simply pick the last manual produced before that date. If you don't know the date, you can always click here ,http://b2b.frigidaire.com/support/manuals.asp and download the owners manual for the model and you will see the manufacture date bottom right on the first page. You can also get wiring diagrams there as well.
Note that there is one manual that covers SxS manufactured 2007-2013 except there is a 2009 manual produced for the Iceman Version.
Currently there is only one manual for their French door bottom mount fridges and only one manual for the standard bottom mount. So if your customer says he has a bottom mount, you need to find out if it is a French door or not.
Right now There is one manual that covers topmounts since 2010
. Put these files on your tablet and you should rarely be without the proper manual.
PS Any additions or suggestions are welcomed!
The Frigidaire Refrigerator Survival kit (Current SxS and French Door models )
SxS 2007-2013 Service Manual # 5995501516 http://appliantology.org/files/file/123-frigidaire-sxs-refrigerator-with-reciprocating-compressor-and-adc-ii/
SxS 2009 (Iceman) Service Manual # 5995536439 https://db.tt/5kbEixnW
SxS 2004 with Genesis Control # 5995413142 http://appliantology.org/files/file/1545-frigidaire-2004-sxs-refrigerator-with-genesis-controls/
SxS 2001 Next Gen Service Manual # 5995352423 https://www.dropbox.com/s/bzn3m1k5shbfs5f/FRIGIDAIRE%202001%20sxs.pdf?dl=1
SxS 1999 L5 Service Manual # 5995318606 http://appliantology.org/files/file/1555-frigidaire-line-5-sxs-1999-refrigerators-service-manual/
Frigidaire Refrigerator GE Built-in SxS E42BS85EPS E42BS75ETT http://appliantology.org/files/file/642-frigidaire-refrigerator-ge-built-in-sxs-e42bs85eps-e42bs75ett/
Flashing 4 Diagnostic Procedure for SxS with Controls Inside the Fresh Food Compartment https://www.dropbox.com/s/84uj26froxja83v/895_Flashing_4_Diagnostic_Procedures_for_SxS_with_Controls_Inside_the_Fresh_Food_Compartment.pdf?dl=1
Frigidaire beta control diagnostics http://appliantology.org/files/file/685-frigidaire-fridge-beta-control-diagnostics/
All Top mounts 2000 to 2009
All Top mounts 2010 to date https://www.dropbox.com/s/lie69wogl493gac/724_TM_2010_Service_Manual_5995562831.pdf?dl=1
All Frigidaire French Door Refrigerators 5995556437 https://www.dropbox.com/s/tcsutapr0m6mu43/837_Frigidaire_Service_Manual_23_26_28_cu_ft_FDBM_4_20_11.pdf?dl=1 (this file is newer than the 2010 fdbm file in the dl section)
All Frigidaire Bottom Freezers 20 & 22 cu. ft 242289900 https://www.dropbox.com/s/2xmr3r22h093108/961_Frigidaire_2drBF.pdf?dl=1
Frigidaire Convertible Freezer: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggxoqtk38us6l84/341_FrigidaireConvertibleFreezeManual.pdf?dl=0
Water valve troubleshooting guide..https://www.dropbox.com/s/9x3z1femvi2pl8e/939_Water_Valve_Troubleshooting_Guide_w.out_Cover.pdf?dl=1
Water valve Diode Troubleshooting : http://appliantology.org/files/file/658-frigidaire-refrigerator-water-system-and-water-valve-diodes-technical-instruction/
Error code booklet for Frigidaire and electrolux https://www.dropbox.com/s/fbxj83iu0co4bpx/804_Error_Code_Booklet.pdf?dl=0
SY CE SY CF error code bulletin :https://www.dropbox.com/s/a2np3m60ds2lxpa/999_SYCE_CF_Error_Codes_Tip.pdf?dl=0
PS pt 2....if you have a finger evap style Icemaker issue, don't look at me....run!
PS pt3 Make sure to check this blog from time to time as I will continually update/modify this info
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.
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...
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
I've been beating on Parts Changing Monkeys (PCMs) pretty hard lately and, honestly, I think it's a bit overdone. The under-appreciated PCM is a vital part of my business because they make me look good! My Brethren in the Craft, please join me in thanking these stealth promoters of our business-- the many, the vile, the Parts Changing Monkeys!
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/
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.
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.
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.
Just have to memorialize this in a blog....
watch and be amazed as Brother Acfixerdude shows us his excellent technique for doing what used-to-be a pita repair...
take it away Bro Afix.........
Source: Installing Frigidaire inner boot spring (just the spring) in 14 seconds.
Do you know the difference between a loading meter and non-loading digital multimeter (DMM)? Each has their place on your tool bag and their unique troubleshooting uses. Read more: http://mastersamuraitech.com/the-low-down-on-loading-meters-and-dmms/
The inaugural episode of Master Samurai Tech Radio is out! We just submitted it to iTunes so the iTunes subscription link will take a few days to work. But meanwhile, you can download or stream it here: http://mastersamuraitech.com/master-samurai-tech-radio-episode-1/
[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!