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Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog

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About this blog

Pearls of appliance repair wisdom from the Appliantology Forums

Entries in this blog

Have you declared your independence from tech myths & tech lines?

"Happy Independence Day" from Team Samurai!    This Independence Day we invite you to declare your independence from the tyranny that enslaves so many techs.  What is this tyranny? Well, it comes in many forms, including: Believing tech myths about circuits and technology, often without even realizing it. Not being able to read a schematic, and so relying on others to give you troubleshooting advice. Listening to parts-changing monkeys (PCMs) give bad t

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

“What about hands-on training?”

We get asked this frequently by people who are new to the trade and considering enrolling in the online appliance repair training at the Master Samurai Tech Academy. It makes some sense, as the appliance repair trade involves physical work, and any good repair tech will need to be adept at disassembly, performing electrical measurements, and replacing the parts. But here’s the reality: training is a “brains-on” activity, which then is followed by hands-on practice. You can get thi

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Don't confuse Old Skool with Dumb Skool

Most techs today work by the philosophy of "tear down first, use the meter later." They claim that this is "old school. I'm old school and I'm here to tell you that is absolute BS. Let's take an all-too common, simple example: dryer keeps blowing the TCO. I can't tell you the number of techs I hear talk about disassembling the dryer, replacing the TCO, only to have it blow again soon after. And they have no idea what's going on or how to even troubleshoot this problem. As an old school tech

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Ignorance and arrogance: a toxic combination in the appliance repair trade

The techs here at Appliantology and Master Samurai tech really are the exceptional techs in the trade today. The "techs" who comment on videos at YouTube: eh, not so much. Unfortunately, many of the "techs" at YouTube illustrate the biggest problem in the appliance repair trade today: parts changers who know a little and think they know it all.  A comment on this video from a PCM who’s been changing parts for 45 years (ie., 1 year of experience repeated 45 times) reveals much of what’s wron

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

Samsung Dryer Troubleshooting and Electric Circuits Review

Many techs have trouble interpreting a schematic diagram and understanding how to use it for troubleshooting. In this webinar, held on March 29, 2019, we used a Samsung electric dryer and a GE double oven as case studies to review electric circuit principles and troubleshooting. Some of the topics we talked about: Neutral sensing in Samsung dryers: what that means, what it does, and how it affects troubleshooting Series and parallel circuits and how to identify them on a real-worl

No-parts field repairs on two dryers with failed timers

I had two service calls recently on two different dryers with the same problem: the motor wouldn't run.  These are two different dryers: one an old skool Whirlpool-built unit with the lint filter on the top panel and the other a Maytag Neptune-style dryer. Different disassembly, wiring, and schematics, and completely different timers. But in both cases, the problem was the same--a burnt contact in the timer (failed open so would not close). In the two videos below, I show you how

Twas the night before Christmas and the oven control board was repaired…

It was a cold December day when the call came in. Just a few days before Christmas. Gas oven no bake and loads of family coming to visit from out of town. The customer was desperate, hoping for a Christmas miracle. Things were looking grim when it turned out NOT to be the igniter, but the control board. Not only was the board not available for several weeks, but it didn't even make sense to spend that kind of money on this older, POS range. And yet, there was no time to get a replacement range i

Tech Memberships at Appliantology

Appliantology is an invaluable resource for working appliance repair technicians, providing service manuals and datasheets, continuing education technical training, and a community of thousands who have your back whenever you need help or have questions. To maintain the quality of our community and keep it ad-free, we do charge an annual fee of $297 for our Professional Appliantologist membership, which unlocks all that Appliantology has to offer, including tech-only help forums and unthrottled,

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Memberships

Finding service manuals for Kenmore model numbers in the Downloads section of Appliantology

Here's a quick tip for finding service manuals for Kenmore model numbers in the Downloads section here at Appliantology.  Let's say you have a Kenmore model number like 796.31512210. The site search doesn't play nice with special characters like the "." in the model number. Easy workaround: Use the search wild card character, "*" to replace the model number prefix including the "." like ahso: *31512210 Copy and paste that search term into the search bar at the top of the

Secrets of the Ten-Step Tango™ Troubleshooting Method Revealed!

I've been working with appliance techs online for over 20 years. One of the biggest changes I've seen in the tech community during that time is a steady decline in competence in troubleshooting electrical circuits. It's to the point today that many techs don't even know what real troubleshooting is or looks like. A common misunderstanding is that pattern recognition and parts changing are what constitute "troubleshooting."  Real troubleshooting starts with a succinct problem statement that an

MST Radio Episode 28 - The Biz of Selling New Appliances

Special guest, Justin Duby, with Just-in Time Appliance Repair in Grantspass, OR ( @applianceman97 here at Appliantology) joins us to talk about his experience selling new appliances and offer tips and advice for anyone thinking of adding this to their appliance service business. Also, at the end of the show, we give an update on the developing Facebook data-selling debacle that's unfolding. More info on this in my previous blog post.   You can subscribe and listen to th

The Facebook Zuck n' Jive

Unless you’ve been living under a washing machine all this time, you’ve undoubtedly heard the kerfuffle where Facebook was recently caught selling the personal information of over 50 million people to a marketing firm. I'm not surprised-- saw this coming a long time ago. So did Facebook Dear Leader and CEO, Mark "The Zuck" Zuckerberg. Here's an exchange between The Zuck and a friend shortly after founding Facebook: [Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-25/dumb-f-ks-jul

Appliantology March 2018 Peer Group Meeting

Fantastic Peer Group meeting last night! We had 5 presentations (including mine) and I want to thank the other presenters for doing such a fantastic job! We had almost 20 techs in attendance who stayed the full two hours. Good presentations, good discussion, good times!  Here's a listing of the presentations and presenters: Network marketing for your business, @Ed V New AHAM Guidance for Safe Servicing Appliances with Flammable Refrigerants, @KaveMan Dealing with Custo
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