FAQs | Repair Videos | Academy | Newsletter | Podcast | Contact
Stay connected with us...
About this blog
Pearls of appliance repair wisdom from the Appliantology Forums
Entries in this blog
The Samurai gave a live walkthrough on how to effectively use Appliantology as an appliance tech information tool: getting familiar with the site layout and content, how to search for service manuals, how to start new topics, and much, much more! BONUS: a quick run through of the Master Samurai Tech Academy.
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 Customer Personality Types: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, @Jim Westfall
Wi-Fi Basics and Internet Connected Appliances, @Son of Samurai
Two Refrigerator Troubleshooting Case Studies, @Samurai Appliance Repair Man
Thanks again to all the presenters!
I've uploaded some of the presentation PDFs here.
Tech members at Appliantology can watch the full-length video recording of the webinar here.
Back in the ‘90’s, when the internet was new and I didn’t have any grey hair yet, I started the first of several incarnations of sites that offered appliance repair wisdom online. Appliantology.org was started in November 2010. It’s an old site by Internet standards. It has evolved a lot over the years and I expect it will continue to do so.
As it exists today, this site is dedicated to supporting the professional appliance tech community with teaching, training, information, and camaraderie. This wasn’t always the case.
The purpose of this little magnum opus is to relate the long and storied history of this site and its predecessor, Applianceguru.com, and to reflect on how we’ve changed, some of the dysfunctional people we’ve dealt with over the years, and where we are today.
I’ve learned a lot about running internet communities, often the hard way and by trial and error. The Internet was a brave new frontier for everyone back in the 90’s. So everyone was making it up as they went along. You’ll get a glimpse into the challenges of keeping a forum community alive and kicking.
Come with me now on a journey through the Appliantology looking glass...
History - the "Good ol' days?"
I started the old forums at ApplianceGuru.com waaay back in 2003. It was a plain-jane forum-- no downloads section, no webinars, no blogs, no galleries, just a fraction of the functionality and features of this current forum software.
The Applianceguru.com site was started as a DIYer support forum. DIYers were the focus and it was 100% funded by affiliate parts purchases from DIYers. It was a workable part time model back in the day that brought in a little beer money.
Other techs started coming to the site and helping answer DIYer questions. Naturally, techs started helping each other out, too.
I started collecting service manuals in a Mediafire account. I called this “the Stash.” Eventually, I started sharing lifetime access to this file storage with techs who paid a modest one-time fee ranging from $5 to $40. That account and file storage still exists today.
The developer of the old forum software quit or died or something and he stopped supporting it. This was at a time when smartphone usage was starting to get big and there was no possibility of a mobile-friendly version of that forum software ever being developed.
So, in November 2010, I took the plunge and started a whole new forum-- this one-- using completely new software and at a completely different web address. Thus Appliantology.org was born.
As a courtesy and convenience to tech members at Applianceguru.com, I migrated their accounts over to the new forum, even though the old forums at Applianceguru.com remained open until a couple of months ago (the software was completely obsolete and couldn’t be maintained any more).
When Appliantology was first running, there was no Downloads section like we have now. The only Download available was the access link to the Mediafire account. Techs still had the option of making a small, one-time donation to access the Mediafire account.
Eventually, I started adding files in a separate Downloads section, what is now called the Appliance Repair Manual Pot Luck Supper. Today, that library has grown to almost 4,000 files and more manuals are added almost every day and on request. All the manuals are indexed and searchable.
Several things changed that caused us to have to restructure the business model used to support this site:
DIYers started coming to the site to get help, but then shopping elsewhere (eBay, Amazon) for the part to get it for a buck cheaper. Some would actually come back and brag about it.
Affiliate parts sales (and hence all income to run and grow this site) dropped to almost nothing.
Since DIYers had basically said to hell with us, we decided to change the whole business model of the site to focus on supporting the professional appliance tech community.
The increased bandwidth from users and downloads required a more expensive server arrangement (ultimately getting the dedicated private server that we have today).
The increased hard costs and man-hours needed to run the site as a high-quality tech support resource meant I had to make a decision: either run it like a business or shut it down.
I wasn’t ready to just shut the site down because I believed that enough people in the appliance tech community would value a high-functioning, full-featured appliance support site. So we set out to reinvent the site. We did this by making a few changes:
We briefly offered a lifetime membership shortly after we set up shop here at Appliantology, until we realized it wasn’t going to support the features we wanted to provide. So we created a new membership group called Professional Appliantologist with an annual membership fee. This is used to pay for the operation and maintenance of the site.
All techs who had purchased a “lifetime membership” for access to the Download Stash at Mediafire from Applianceguru.com or in the early days of Appliantology still have access to that resource. They also have gratis downloading privileges but it is at a throttled speed and one file at a time. This was necessary to ensure that limited server resources were available for the Professional Appliantologists.
All lifetime techs likewise have access to the tech-only forums (which is now most of the site) and the live training webinars.
Remember: most paid a ridiculous pittance, $5 to $40, more than 7 years ago for lifetime access at a completely different website, Applianceguru.com, not unlimited access to this site, Appliantology.org. In either case, the Download library did not exist as it does today. Extending downloading privileges at all to the original tech group was a pure gift on our part. Unfortunately, a small segment of these techs did not see it this way.
Accusations from Malcontents
Most techs at this site are really great people to interact with and value what we strive to provide for them here. The malcontents and detractors comprise less than 1%. If you think about it, this is probably true with your service call customers. It’s about the same distribution anywhere you have a large group of people.
One type of malcontent we’ve encountered are the “lifetime” members from the early days who thought they should get all of the privileges and benefits that our current PA members do. We were accused of various forms of selling out, greed, and “only being in it for the money”, despite all the access that they still had, as described above.
Again, we’re talking about a handful of users. Most of the techs from the early days either were content with their legacy-member benefits, or simply upgraded to a PA membership to get all of the new goodies.
Most people are unaware of how carefully an online forum has to be managed to keep the community healthy, to retain old members and attract new ones. This is one of those skills I had to learn by a lot of trial and error. But learn I did, and over the years I have escorted several people off the site for various reasons, which I’ll discuss in a moment. It’s always regrettable but also necessary to maintain the quality experience of the site for the other members.
In cases where a person had paid for a Professional Appliantologist membership, I refunded 100% of their money even though they had persistently violated site Guidelines and were several months into their membership term. I did this with the hopes that we could simply part ways amicably. Unfortunately, being “amicable” is not in everyone’s toolkit.
Have you ever decided not to continue on a job that you could tell was breaking bad, refunded any money the customer paid, and then they STILL talk shit about you? Then you know what I’m talking about.
Part of my responsibility as your gracious host is to maintain a positive atmosphere at the site. Occasionally this means showing folks to the door when they persistently demonstrate one or more of these defects:
Uncouth or unpleasant in their communications with other members
Unwilling or unable to learn, either about how to effectively and properly use the site or about basic technology, such as electricity and circuits (things about which it is not a matter of opinion-- you’re either right or wrong)
Persistently, albeit unintentionally, giving inaccurate information even when myself and others would try to correct it
Bullying or overbearing personality
You’ve heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” Well, that’s bullshit. The customer is not always right if they’re not the right customer. And any business that’s been around long enough will inevitably have a few of those kinds of customers that need to be “pruned.” On the other hand, when they are the right customer, you will bend over backwards to please them.
Some people left quietly, accepting that Appliantology just wasn’t right for them. But others, despite getting their money back, have gone on to spread malicious lies about me personally and even my wife, accusing us of being “greedy” and “ripping them off.”
All Content Creators are “turd magnets”
Do you ever wonder what causes people to leave nasty comments on YouTube or other places? They’re doing what envious non-creators have always done to creators: shooting off their big fat mouths because that’s all they’re really good at.
You can probably relate to this in your repair business, when a customer gives you a scathing online review that shows they know nothing about what it takes to run a professional in-home service business.
It takes a lot of time and hard work to create valuable content that people are willing to pay for. If these malcontents had any real talent, you would see the results online. Instead you see them bellyaching and lying. They have never created anything online that anyone would pay a nickle for. In short, they are entitled, envious, pathetic losers. This is the same psychological profile of the infamous “YouTube hater.”
Creating a comprehensive information and training resource takes dedication, talent, and years of in-depth education, things that envious haters are in desperately short supply of. So their lying and complaining is not really about money-- it never was. It's about rejection. And their fragile egos can't handle that.
Again let me say that the turds are maybe 1% of my interactions. But, dayyam, they sure can stink up the place! It takes the occasional sweep with the pooper scooper to keep our community a pleasant place to hang out. Before I leave the topic, let me tell you about a few of the...
Weird pathologies I’ve dealt with over the years
One of the weirdest, most perverse pathologies that all teachers deal with is where a student attacks the teacher instead absorbing the teaching that the teacher offers. This sick dynamic exists in all teaching settings, from high schools to trade schools to here at Appliantology. There have been a few techs with whom I professionally disagreed on a technical point go on to disparage me, my site, my personal hygeine, my parentage… you get the picture.
A related psychosis that teachers encounter is where someone benefits from the teaching and then turns around and resents the teacher for telling them something they didn’t know. I know- it’s absolutely insane! Yet it happens all the time to all kinds of teachers.
A third sickness is where someone sifts through the mountain of information that a teacher has produced and offered over the years to find some insignificant (usually imagined or misunderstood) flaw and tries to use that to discredit everything the teacher has ever done, despite the fact that they benefited greatly from the material. This is a pathetic attempt to pull down the teacher to make himself feel better. This is the ugly face of pure envy.
I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting these diseases early on and terminating the relationship before it festers.
This site is a business
I appreciate and value the many awesome techs who have joined me in my online appliantological adventures over the years, but let’s be clear about something: this site is my virtual dojo. I work here for a living. I don’t do this for free. Nor do I do it as a public service. My time and talents are valuable and I produce high quality content that many people are happy to pay for. I may give some away, but the best stuff I reserve for paying members. To those people, I strive to overdeliver on value for the price they pay.
This site is not a hobby run out of some guy’s basement. It is a business. That means a couple things:
It is professionally managed in every way: hardware, software, and content.
Professionals get paid for their time and talents. I am one of those professionals. So is my son, Sam (Son of Samurai) and my wife of 28 years, Susan (Mrs. Samurai)
All businesses are based on voluntary exchange: people value the information and services we offer more than the dollars they’re holding and thus a free market transaction takes place. As a business, we’re always looking for ways to please our valued customers in the hopes that they chose to continue doing business with us.
Membership here is a two-way relationship, not an automatic right or an entitlement. I choose not to associate with boors, bullies, and boneheads because life is just too short to piss it away with the wrong people. I know that most of my fellow Brethren in the Craft at Appliantology feel similarly.
At the same time, I try to make this site an appealing value, even a “killer deal,” for techs looking for a positive, full-featured information resource.
Reasons to be or not to be here
Appliantology is open to all and all are welcome within the terms of the site’s Guidelines. Professional appliance techs may choose to purchase a membership to enjoy all its many benefits. But Appliantology is not trying to be all things to all people--an impossible goal for any business.
I’ll go over some reasons to be here and some reasons to not be here.
Appliantology is probably a good fit for you if...
You want to learn new things and become a better tech
You want to help other techs learn to become better at their craft
You understand what it means to disagree without being disagreeable
You learned what yo momma taught you when you were little:
Share everything (i.e., information, technical literature, etc.).
Don't hit people.
Clean up your own mess (i.e., close out your topics with the solution).
Appliantology is probably not a good fit for you if...
You have something to prove to yourself or others
You are unwilling or unable to learn new things like
How to use this site correctly and effectively (Hint: it’s not at all hard if you just READ)
How to read schematics, understand technology and think like a real technician
You're only looking for parts changing information
You resent the rare instances that I may correct a post you made (in the spirit of being helpful) or hide it altogether when it is not helpful, may only confuse the OP (original poster- the guy who started the topic), or is a distraction from the teaching point I'm trying to help the OP to understand.
Do you value a tech support site that...
uses state-of-the-art software with lots of features and functionality?
has nearly 100% uptime?
is hosted on its own private server which enables consistently fast page load times and download speeds?
is monitored and maintained 24/7?
has no Google ads or popups for Professional Appliantologist members?
is 100% mobile-friendly and the full functionality available on desktop is also available on mobile?
emphasizes understanding the underlying technology behind specific failures, applying good troubleshooting techniques and clear thinking to problem solving rather than merely parts changing info (“if this problem, replace that part”)?
has three full-time people (one of which is me) dedicated to constantly improving this site, adding enhanced features to continually add value for members?
uploads new service manuals and technical literature almost everyday and on request?
offers regular, live tech training webinars on topics and technologies that you will never learn anywhere else?
makes many of these webinar recordings available for you to watch at your convenience?
prizes accuracy and clarity of information?
maintains a positive and professional environment by flushing the occasional turd?
If you value these things, then Appliantology is your home because we value YOU as a member of this tech community! We are constantly looking for ways to add value to your membership and welcome your suggestions.
Appliantology has come a long way and Team Samurai works hard to make this site the premier professional appliance tech resource on the web. If you are a member, I sincerely thank you for being a part of this community. If you're thinking about becoming a member, I hope some of my comments were helpful in that decision… or at least entertaining.
Lemme know what you think. Post your comments below.
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-julian-assange-reminds-us-what-mark-zuckerberg-thinks-facebook-users ]
Hello? Is this thing on?
And, not to say I told you so but… I TOLD YOU SO! Yep, Master Samurai Tech Radio Episode 23, February 8, 2018, I called out all of this and more. I explained that Facebook is scraping all your personal content and interactions with the site in order to build a marketing profile on you and sell this to big marketing companies and government intelligence agencies. THAT’s why it is “free.” In reality, it’s not free. That’s because you’re giving up tons of personal, private information about yourself. Yep, I explained all that right here, starting about 35 minutes into the show (the video below will start playing at that time):
In other words, you are whoring out your personal information so you can watch your niece's dance recital or yak with your "friends."
At Facebook, YOU are the product. By the way, this is generally how the Internet works: if you’re not paying for it, YOU are the product.
And I’m here to tell you, what you’ve heard on the news about Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg. People with lots of degrees and initials after their names get paid Big Bucks to design the Facebook platform to psychologically manipulate you and keep you addicted and interacting.
Even what you do and say in “private groups” becomes part of your profile and is used to compile a dossier on you. This can be used for all kinds of nefarious purposes ranging from political campaigns to “outing” people for having opinions that are deemed unacceptable or politically incorrect by The Powers That Be. Consequences could include the loss of your job, negative affects on your business, legal harassment, jail or, in the future, "re-education." Some police departments around the country are already using artificial Intelligence (AI) to mine data and predict crime. And guess what: they suck at it! Unfortunately, the consequences of a mistaken SWAT raid are rarely benign.
But it may even go way beyond that, as I explain in the podcast-- there are credible reports that they’re also manipulating you physiologically by modulating the electromagnetic field (EMF) of your smartphone to influence your brain waves. Who knows what will come out in the next 5 years. You heard it here first!
Facebook’s recent data dump scandal is actually damage control covering for something far worse. It's a controlled release of some bad information in order to avoid fessing up to the really bad shit they’ve been doing.
People with the inside tech scoop are deleting their Facebook accounts leaving the naive on the plantation. Has the exodus has begun? Let’s hope so. And I’m doing my small part to get the word out. In the words of the Prophet Jeremiah, "Come out of her, my people!"
Is Facebook ZUCKing itself into oblivion? It's not unthinkable. Remember that failed Facebook predecessor, Myspace? The graphs below shows how the search volume at Myspace reached a peak and then drifted off into oblivion. Could it happen to Facebook? Well, so far, things are looking pretty similar:
After Facebook, another vogue social media plantation will come along that unsuspecting victims will flock to. And what’s the product on all the social media plantations? YOU: your data, your preferences, your fetishes, your biometrics… your mind.
Nothing on the Internet is really free-- you are paying somehow. If not with money, then with personal information. That’s why you pay for premium access at Appliantology. Appliantology is part of the free-range Internet (meaning we're off the corporate plantation): no data harvesting, no profile scraping, no compiling dossiers, no selling you as a product to big marketing firms.
If you still choose to have a Facebook account, do so with the understanding that they are trying to Zuck you. It’s called the Zuck n’ Jive.
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 the audio-only portion of the podcast here: http://mstradio.com
I’m going to explain how you can get a free tech membership here at Appliantology, the premiere online tech support community.
Hot on the heels of two, free tech memberships here at Appliantology that we announced recently-- the Master Samurai Tech Alumni and Senior Appliantology Fellow programs-- today we're rolling out yet another free tech membership program! This membership gives verified techs free access to most of the tech-only forums and downloading privileges from the Appliance Repair Manual Pot Luck Supper with over 4,300 service manuals and tech sheets (and growing!).
"Sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?" you ask, warily.
No catch but there are a few limitations. It's easiest to explain this by comparing and contrasting the two tiers of tech memberships here at Appliantology.
There are two tiers of tech membership at Appliantology: Limited and Premium.
Limited tech members are in the member group Legacy Tech. They have access to the tech-only forums with the exception of the technical training webinar recordings (although they are invited to attend the live webinars). Legacy Techs can download service manuals from the Appliance Repair Pot Luck Supper but they can't post service manual request in the Appliance Service Manual Requests forum and the download speed is limited. Also, Legacy Techs can download only one manual at a time but there is no limit to the number of consecutive downloads. Legacy Techs also have limited access to the private message system. Other than these differences, they are full tech members here at Appliantology.
Premium tech members are in the member groups: Professional Appliantologist, Senior Appliantology Fellow, and Master Samurai Tech Alumni. These groups all have the same access and privileges: unthrottled and unlimited simultaneous downloads, requesting manuals and tech sheets not already in the Downloads section, full access to all tech-only forums including webinar recordings, unlimited access to the private message system and some other goodies.
"Okay, but why are you giving this away? What's in it for you?"
My, my-- suspicious much? Call it a dietary vitamin C deficiency compounded by long, sunlight-starved winters in New Hampshire. Call it early onset Alzheimers. Call it coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. But I hope you're not so coo-coo that you don't recognize a good deal when it's slapping you upside the head!
My thought in doing this is that it gives professional appliance repair techs a better look at what Appliantology has to offer, and I hope that you'll like what you see enough to stick around and either pay for a Professional Appliantologist membership or earn an Appliantology Fellowship by participating. Plain as that.
"Okay, how do I hop on this gravy train?"
I thought you'd never ask! First, register for a free Grasshopper (non-tech) account. Then send in the form below to request a free upgrade to a Legacy Tech account.
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href="https://mastersamuraitech.wufoo.com/forms/qyisdb70vd2d3e/" href="https://mastersamuraitech.wufoo.com/forms/qyisdb70vd2d3e/"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; Fill out my Wufoo form! &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
One of the many things that can make a refrigerator warm up is the compressor is trying but failing to start. You may occasionally hear this type of noise from the back of the refrigerator (starts about 15 seconds in):
This is the sound of your compressor trying, but failing miserably, to start. Best case scenario: Bad compressor start relay. Worst case scenario: open compressor start winding or seized compressor bearing == buy a new refrigerator.
Question: How do you tell which is which?
Answer: Compressor test cord.
Question: What's a compressor test cord and how do I make one?
Question: How do you know which is the start, run, and common connection posts on the compressor?
Answer: Use Brother Bobice's procedure for identifying the compressor electrical terminals:
In this first video, we troubleshoot a warm beer compartment (fresh food) in a Frigidaire Gallery french door bottom mount refrigerator. The video illustrates the importance of following a cardinal rule of troubleshooting: Fix the obvious problem first.
In this case, the customer simply reported that the FF compartment was warm but the freezer compartment was good. We verified these temperatures upon arrival. But then the customer points out that the lights in the FF compartment were stuck on and melted a hole in the liner at the top-- you'll see this in the video.
So, in keeping with step one of the Ten Step Tango™ troubleshooting procedure, what is our problem statement? Warm FF compartment? Or...
It may have started out that way but now, with this new observation, the problem statement evolves to "lights in the FF compartment stuck on."
We then show how to verify this in diagnostic mode and using the video record function on the your iPhone. Then we show how to use the schematic on the tech sheet to deduce the cause of the problem.
BTW, we had already tested the door switch in diagnostic mode and it was correctly reporting the open/closed status to the UI so we ruled that out.
This case study reveals how imperative it is for the sharp shooter tech to avoid getting tunnel vision based on the customer problem statement and to look for and respond to realtime observations at the service call.
In this next video, we take you inside the defective damper assembly in a GE Profile (Arctica series) side by side refrigerator and shows you a common way these dampers fail, allowing too much cold air into the beer compartment.
Fun Fact to Know and Tell: Four out of five astrophysicists agree that the smartest and best appliance techs in the galaxy hang out at Appliantology.org!
The Samurai and Mrs. Samurai share some highlights from the inaugural Appliantology Peer Group meeting. One of the topics discussed was the idea of doing electronic control board repairs as part of an appliance repair business.
To hear just the audio portion, subscribe to the podcast: http://mstradio.com/
In this special international episode, the Samurai is in Fiji at Samurai International Headquarters, while Mrs. Samurai is in the Team Samurai New Hampshire pavilion. Although halfway around the globe from each other, Team Samurai comes together through the miracle of the Internet to deliver you this timely and crucial information in this episode of Master Samurai Tech Radio. We compare and contrast three online training options with the Master Samurai Tech Academy.
Subscribe or listen to the audio-only podcast here: http://mstradio.com
Samurai Appliance Repair Man and Mrs. Samurai suss out various angles and facets in a sensational recent news story where a Sears contractor tech attacked a customer. Lots of interesting lessons from this story for both customers and in-home service professionals.
Link to the news story: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/02/19/repairman-arrested-homeowner-attack/
Hot on the heels of the Master Samurai Tech Alumni program that we just announced, we're launching yet another way that professional techs can earn a free, full-tech membership here at Appliantology.
You may have seen some of the brethren here at Appliantology whose member group is "Senior Appliantology Fellow," such as Brothers @john63, @Budget Appliance Repair, @AccApp, @sh2sh2 and others. These are a select few members who have a long history with Appliantology and have been prolific posters, helping other tech members solve appliance problems. We've never had a really formal structure for gaining this vaunted status but we've come up with something that I hope you'll like.
Here's the two-step tango for requesting a Senior Appliantology Fellowship:
You have been a tech member at Appliantology for at least one year
You have at least 1,000 total posts
If both the above are true, then fill in the short form at the end of this post and we'll get that going for you mo'scratchie (that's Samurai-speak for "quickly").
Questions and Answers:
Q. What does being a Senior Appliantology Fellow membership get me and why should I bother?
A. It's a full tech membership with all the same privileges as a Professional Appliantologist member (a $197/year value-- FREE):
access to all tech forums
unlimited manual downloads with no download speed throttling
access to webinars and webinar recordings
Q. Why are you doing this?
A. Because we're awesome and we think you are, too.
Q. Do I need to make 1,000 posts every year to keep my Fellowship active?
A. No, this is just the "bar to entry" to apply for the Fellowship program.
Q. Why 1,000 posts?
A. Because experience and history have shown that this is enough to 1) show the value of the member's knowledge and posts and 2) ensure that the member thoroughly understands how to use Appliantology. Also, at least some of your 1,000 qualifying posts should be recent to show that you're currently active at Appliantology. In other words, if you have over 1,000 posts but your last post was a year ago, get active again before applying for a Fellowship.
Q. Once I get a Fellowship, is this a permanent deal?
A. Few things in life are permanent but this is pretty close. As long as you stay active at Appliantology (meaning you help answer questions or upload files when you can) then your Fellowship is secure. This doesn't mean you need to post every day. On the other hand, it does not mean you can stay away for months at time, not posting or only coming around to download manuals. Make Appliantology one of your regular haunts for appliance repair info and tech camaraderie and you are good to go.
Q. Why are you calling it a "Fellowship?" Seems kinda gay.
A. It comes from academia where visiting scholars are often given a Fellowship for sharing their wisdom with the University. So, although many modern scholars may, in fact, be gay, the genesis of "Fellowship" is absolutely not. Most famous scientists and engineers in history, for example, were awarded a Fellowship at a prestigious institution early in their academic careers. This tradition persists in modern science and engineering today.
&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href="https://mastersamuraitech.wufoo.com/forms/q1pmvkjs191vicb/" href="https://mastersamuraitech.wufoo.com/forms/q1pmvkjs191vicb/"&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; Fill out my Wufoo form! &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
The Samurai and Mrs. Samurai talk about the Biz of appliance repair and other topics:
Customer relations and strategic market targeting
Culture of dumbass among some techs
Free Appliance repair expos like in the HVAC industry
Upcoming Appliantology Peer Group web meeting
Can you believe there are techs out there who use an o-scope to look at the output from a sound mixer and conclude this is how Line voltage works? The output of a sound mixer is the output of a summing amplifier (Google it). It is an electronically modified signal. To look at this output and assume that Line voltage behaves this way is the height of stupidity. I call it "Idiot with an O-scope syndrome."
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.
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 three 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 met all currently required quiz and exam score requirements for the course; see this page for details.
In this appliance repair extravaganza, Samurai Appliance Repair Man shows you how to think like a real technician using the schematic as your troubleshooting strategy map and track down the cause for a no heat problem in a gas dryer.
Learn appliance repair online at the Master Samurai Tech Academy
Get tech support at Appliantology.org
In this glimpse into the glamour life of an appliance tech, we troubleshoot an E-OE error code on a Samsung gas range with the added twist of rat infestation and yapping little dogs. It's winter in New Hampshire and rodents will seek out warm places but this place was a literal rats nest. The smell of rodent piss was gagging us (me and @Son of Samurai) as soon as we walked in the door. It would have been stronger if it was actually warm inside the kitchen but it was probably only about 45F which kept the stench at sub-gag level. And then, to make our joy complete, we were serenaded by yapping Jack Russell terriers the entire time. (Isn't it about time we outlawed little yapping dogs? How 'bout at least make it legal to shoot them on sight?)
Really, what the hell is wrong with people today?
In this epic episode:
- Wrap up of the 2018 Annual Service Training Institute (ASTI) held in St. Petersburg, FL
- Technical and business training at the ASTI
- Travel tips to avoid getting sick
- Fun facts to know and tell about how social media manipulates you and gives you brain damage
You can subscribe to the podcast and just listen to the audio portion here.
In this special episode, we explore the question of size of the Samurai's ego. Turns out that it's so massive that we needed a whole episode devoted to it. Yes, size does matter!
- Upcoming ASTI in St. Petersburg
- Tech training challenges
- Three stumbling blocks to becoming a better tech
- What makes Appliantology so great?
- MST Alumnus program
Subscribe to the podcast here.
2017 is quickly coming to an end, and the new year is just around the corner. This is your last chance to get in some tax deductible business expenses, and an enrollment in one of our enlightening and empowering appliance tech training courses at Master Samurai Tech is just the thing!
Most of you reading this will be in either the 15% or 25% tax bracket. Training costs for your employment or business are tax deductible. If you claim your tuition as a deduction on your 1040, this is effectively like getting our top-notch, online appliance repair training at a 15 to 25% discount!
If you have already enrolled this year, be sure to claim your tuition as a business expense. If you haven't yet enrolled, you can still claim this deduction on your 2017 taxes if you enroll by the end of the year.
Why let the government take more of your money when you can spend it on empowering, knowledge-packed courses that are sure to level up your appliance repair business?
From all of us here at Team Samurai, we wish you and your family a healthy and prosperous 2018!
The Master Samurai Tech Academy
The CustomCool is a gimmicky marketing name that GE came up with for what is basically a souped-up crisper drawer in the refrigerator. The drawer has been outfitted with a system of dampers, a fan, a temperature thermistor and a heater. Depending on the function selected on the CustomCool settings in the controls at the top of the refrigerator, a combination of these components can be used to theoretically chill items quickly, thaw items or hold the drawer pan at a specific temperature.
At some point during your distinguished career as a professional appliantologist, you'll need to take apart one of these CustomCool compartments, typically to replace a fan or a damper. These things are a bugger to take apart. This video will hepya.
As most people know after a quick search of the Internet, the LE error code in LG front-load washers is usually caused by a bad hall sensor, also called a rotor position sensor or RPS. Part number: AP4440680
The hall sensor is easy to test and replace, see this post at Fixitnow.com for detailed instructions.
Okay, let's say you replaced the hall sensor because you believed it was bad and you're still getting that ding-dang infernal LE error code. What's a brutha to do?
First off, don't go into a blind parts changing monkey panic and start replacing parts that just never fail on their own like the stator. Take a breath, unbunch them panties, and come with me now as we step through the three most likely causes for the LE error code that persists even after replacing the hall sensor.
1. Using too much or the wrong kind of detergent
Using non-HE (high efficiency) detergent in any HE washing machine (which includes ALL front loaders, regardless of brand or model) is a big Bozo No-No. You can't just use less of the non-HE stuff because washing with low water requires different detergent chemistry than washing with boocoo water.
The biggest problem with using non-HE detergent is sudsing. Excessive sudsing can cause problems in HE washers by “cushioning” — or even preventing — the tumbling action. HE detergents also hold soils and dyes in suspension in low water volumes, so they don’t re-deposit onto cleaned clothes. This means that if you’re using non-HE detergents in your front-loading washer, you’re wearing poopy germs and other ca-ca on your clothes right now and you are one of the Great Unwashed. The inside of your washer will start smelling poopy, too. See my seminal tome, 9 Ways to Beat Odor Problems in Modern High-Efficiency Front Load and Top Load Washers, for more.
But the biggest problem with sudsing as it pertains to the LE error code in LG front loaders is that the excessive suds can trick out the control board because the load doesn't "feel" right (yes, the control board senses the load and its action) and so it throws an LE error code.
Note that using too much HE detergent can cause over-sudsing, too. Detergents are one those things where more is NOT better. You want just the right amount and no more. So what is the right amount? Well, first off, disregard the idiot directions on the box. Naturally they're going to tell you to use more so you'll have to buy more sooner. And don't fill it to the MAX line in the dispenser. Start with the following amounts of HE detergent and adjust based on your water hardness; more for hard water, less for soft water (read more about water hardness and how to check yours in this post, The Hard Facts about Hard Water and Your Appliances):
- Regular HE detergent: 2 tablespoons per normal wash load
- HE 2X (double concentrated): 1 tablespoon
- HE 3X (triple concentrated): 1 teaspoon
2) Broken wire harness
If you're sure that you (or your customer, if you're a professional appliantologist) are using the correct type and amount of detergent then replace the motor wire harness at the back of the washer (the one underneath the motor). You can see it in the photo below:
Even though the wire harness may look fine, one of the wires inside may have broken over the years of use-- they's a whole lotta shakin' and gyratin' going on back there! Also, wire harnesses in dynamic environments like a front load washer can become intermittent in their conductivity. It may work in more quiescent parts of the cycle and then break continuity as the movement increases. This can break the data feedback from the hall sensor to the main control board and cause it to throw an LE error code.
A visual inspection of a wire harness doesn't give a full assessment of its integrity-- you have to measure continuity of each wire in that harness to know what's really going on.
Or just go ahead and replace the wire harness, it's inexpensive and easy to do.
3. The main control board may be bad
Emphasis on the "may" because this is actually the least likely scenario yet the first one that most techs will jump on in these situations. Lots of times, when the main control board in an LG washer goes bad, it's visible, like in this one:
It's usually the triacs, the power transistors, that get shorted out. If you see this, you better look for the problem elsewhere in the machine because something shorted and caused the triac to draw excessive current which burned it up.
But control boards absolutely do fail in non-visible ways, too. So if you're still getting the LE error code after you've replaced the hall sensor, you've ruled out detergent issues and replaced the wire harness, then the only thing you're left with is the main control board.
The Retail Observer is a widely-read publication in the appliance and retail industry. We contributed an article that just came out in the August 2017 issue. Enjoy!
Technician Diagnostic Skills In the Age of Computer-Controlled Appliances (PDF, 97 kb)
Got bad drum bearings in your LG washer and thinking about replacing 'em? Okay, Hoss, Professor john63 calls the dance steps on this little ditty:
Source: LG washer bearing replacement?