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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

How to Decipher Schematics like a Pro!

In this journey to Total Appliance Enlightenment™ in a Live Dojo workshop, we worked on a real-world problem on a Kitchenaid refrigerator posted at Appliantology. We were interested in how the defrost timer motor gets Line and Neutral in both defrost and run modes. Turns out that doing so required that we also understand the rest of the circuit, including the dumbed "PC board". But how do we do that? That's exactly what we show you in this workshop recording!  In this short little half hour

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 29: Appliance Repair Triage Tools or Dummy Directions?

Triage tools for appliance repair service calls are all the rage today. Whether based on a frequent parts replacement database or more sophisticated database queries and constructs using AI, there's lots of talk about these products.  Team Samurai weighs in on this topic to discuss the proper and improper use of these tools. In the hands of a skilled tech, they can be a time saver. But triage tools cannot make a skilled tech out of PCMs. Lots of nuances to this topic so listen in.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Podcast

Using a Resistor Substitution Box to troubleshoot appliance temperature sensing circuits

Many modern appliances use a computer to control the various loads in the appliance. But computers are also used for temperature monitoring and sensing. Typical temperature sensors used in modern appliances are NTC thermistors (refrigerators, dryers, washers, dishwashers) and RTDs (resistive temperature devices--used in ovens). If you're a member here at Appliantology, you can watch this webinar recording on Appliance Temperature Sensing Devices & Technology for a deep dive into how the comp

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Watch this dryer motor centrifugal switch in action

The lowly and dirty centrifugal switch mounted on the motor gets little love and attention. Always taken for granted and ignored and never respected.  But without the centrifugal switch, to take the start winding out of the circuit once the rotor gets spinning from a dead stop, the motor will draw high amps and kick out on internal thermal overload protection.  Well, boys and girls, in this exciting episode of Appliantology TV, we're going to see the mighty centrifugal switch in action

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

How does this old skool dishwasher drain the water?

Y'all grab a cold one and gather 'round-- crusty ol' Samurai's gonna tell you a story. This here's a story about one o' them old skool dishwashers like yo momma had when you were still but a glimmer in yo pappy's eye. These old skool dishwashers didn't have a separate, dinky little drain pump motor like today's gelded dishwashers. Nawsir, these old skool dishwashers had just one big honkin' motor that did double duty washing (more like sandblasting) the dishes and draining the basin. They d

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

How to use the schematic to select and locate your test points on the appliance

This video shows the essential skill that all competent appliance repair techs should have: using the schematic to identify and locate your physical test points on an appliance. This process goes on both inside our heads and with our hands. This is the high skill, high dollar part of our job and it's what distinguishes real technicians from parts changing monkeys. We're using the example of a dual fuel range but this essential skill applies to any appliance. Learn appliance repair

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Free Trial Membership at Appliantology

Are you a professional appliance repair tech and want to see what this Appliantology thing is all about? Here’s how to get a free sample membership. All you have to do is send in the form below to request a free upgrade to a Trial Tech account. Once we approve your application, you’ll get set up for a one-week membership that will let you see what this site has to offer. What features of the site will the Trial Tech membership give you access to? All of them! For the duration of the tr

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Memberships

3 ways to half-split warm refrigerator problems

Whenever you're dealing with a warm refrigerator problem, your first question to answer is, "Am I dealing with a failed sealed system or a control problem?" In other words, you need to half-split the problem between the sealed system and the controls (air movement, defrost system, temperature control, compressor start device, etc.). I'm going to talk about three ways to half-split warm refrigerator problems to either rule in or rule out the sealed system and the controls.  1. Frost pattern

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

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 (and their uncertain procurement these days) 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

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Gas dryer not heating, troubleshooting with only a jumper wire

Problem: I'm on a gas dryer service call-- no heat complaint. Solution: Using only my jumper wire at the main board, I proved a problem with the Neutral sense line from the motor and made the burner fire up.  Question: At what two points did I place my jumper wire to troubleshoot this problem?   

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Refrigerator troubleshooting quiz

Problem statement: Freezer (FC) at 0ºF. Refrigerator (RC) section is warm. Tech's questions— help a brutha out: How can we force defrost in the RC compartment? Explain your answer. How can we make sure the RC fan is running? Explain your answer. How do we make sure the compressor is running at full speed? Explain your answer. How do you explain the high temps in the RC?  (For you computer virgins, you can mouse over the schematic and click for a larger vi

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

Troubleshooting a Thermador Wall Oven F34 error code with ZERO disassembly

You arrive on the call for Thermador wall oven. Complaint: F34 error code-- cooling fan rotation problem-- shown on the display when the oven is turned on. As a black belt in the martial art of schematic-fu, you pull up the schematic on your tablet computer. With one simple move, you identify the exact cause of the problem with ZERO disassembly.  Question: What slick move did you make to identify the specific cause of the problem with ZERO disassembly?     

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

How does the air baffle assembly work in this refrigerator?

1. Which wires are the power supply circuit for the damper motor?  2. What does that switch by the damper motor do?  3. What's with the line going from one side of the switch back to the board?    Hint: This is a dead simple circuit. The motor does not reverse direction of rotation. The schematic alone tells you everything you need to know. You do not need any additional “inside baseball.”   Don't let me down, comrades. First one to answer all three questions correctly w

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

What's the best way to test the defrost circuit in this refrigerator?

Hint: Please don't bore us with any amateur hour "ohm out" answers.  Extra credit: What is the function of the brown wire at pin 5 of the ADC controller?  Double extra-special credit: Enroll at Master Samurai Tech and a get free premium tech membership here at Appliantology.   First person to post the correct BEST answer, I'll hoist a mug of my flavorite brew in your honor. AND if you get the Extra Credit question, too, you'll get an electronic plate of my special cardboard c

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man in Tech Talk

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
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