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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.
Source: AMANA GUID090EA50
The new inverter compressors ain't like the old skool compressors used in yo momma's beer cooler. Oh, they still do the same basic job-- pump refrigerant vapor. But you have to troubleshoot them differently from the old skool compressors. In their quest to comply with increasingly onerous Energy Star requirements, all the appliance manufacturers are producing refrigerator models that use inverter compressors. Like it or not, inverter compressors are here to stay. Many a fine tech has been befuddled by these new compressor systems but not you! For the Samurai shall reveal the truth unto thee, and the truth shall set thee free.
Conventional Old Skool Compressors
Before we talk about how these inverter compressors work and and how to troubleshoot them, let's quickly review the old skool compressors so it's fresh in our mind when we compare with how the inverter compressors work.
In the conventional compressor technology that's been around for decades, the compressor has a start winding to help kick things off and a main (or run) winding that keeps the compressor going after it's started. A start relay and sometimes a start capacitor are used to momentarily power the start winding and then take it out of the circuit once the compressor is up and running. The compressor runs off standard, single-phase, 60 Hz 120vac.
If the start relay fails, the compressor will sit there trying but failing to start and drawing locked rotor (LR) current. Where the normal operating current draw on a conventional compressor is somewhere between 1 and 2 amps, LR current could be somewhere north of 8 amps. All that current makes heat, lots of heat. As the compressor sits there straining to start, it starts boiling the oil and burning the varnish insulation on the motor windings. If this goes on for very long, the compressor will literally self destruct (internally) from all the heat.
To prevent this unhappy scenario, the engineers added an overload device that's used to kill power to the compressor if something goes wrong, like a bad start relay, open compressor start winding, bad internal bearing, or a seized piston inside the compressor that prevents it from starting correctly. The idea being that if the problem is just a bad start relay (very common), this can be repaired easily and inexpensively compared to replacing the entire compressor (or refrigerator).
If you were to measure the resistance of the start winding and the main (or run) winding, you would find that the start winding has a higher resistance than the run winding. It's also made of thicker wire because the start winding has to handle the extra current flow through it that's needed to get the compressor piston going from a dead stop.
A common troubleshooting technique with these old skool compressors is to rig up a test cord and manually power the compressor to see if it'll run. More details on compressor test cords here: http://appliantology.org/blog/1/entry-669-rigging-and-using-a-compressor-test-cord-to-manually-operate-a-compressor/
Once they're up and running, these old skool, compressors run at the same speed and move the same amount of refrigerant vapor per minute. In other words, their refrigerant capacity and motor RPM is constant the entire time it's running. They can't work "harder," just longer.
So, let's summarize the old skool compressors:
- has two windings, a start and a run winding, which are physically different windings and have different resistances; the start winding has higher resistance than the run winding
- runs off standard 120vac household power
- uses a start relay to initially power the start winding and then take it out of the circuit after the compressor is up and running
- can rig up a test cord to directly power the compressor
- are constant capacity and speed machines
Keep all this in mind as we now look at the new inverter compressors...
Inverter Compressor Systems
Although inverter compressors do the exact same thing as the old skool compressors-- pump refrigerant vapor-- and they physically move the vapor the same way-- through a vapor-compression cycle-- they are powered and controlled very differently.
For one thing, inverter compressors use a special three-phase voltage produced by a special control board called an inverter. Fuggetabout 120 VAC, 60 Hz line voltage. We're not in Kansas anymore, boys and girls! Both the amplitude (amount) and frequency of the input voltage will vary. Typical specs are 80 to 230 VAC with the frequency ranging anywhere from 57 to 104 Hz. The higher the frequency, the faster the inverter compressor will run.
So, inverter compressors, unlike their old skool forebearers, really can work harder. In fact, this is exactly why the manufacturers are using these inverter compressor systems; they can match how hard the compressor needs to work to the actual refrigeration work needed to keep the beer cold. By doing it this way, the compressor draws less power and the manufacturers can meet the Energy Star requirements.
Inverter compressors have three windings, not just two like the old skool units. All three windings should have the exact same resistance. If the resistances vary from each other by as much as a 1 ohm, the compressor will not run correctly. In fact, this is one of the ways of checking an inverter compressor: making sure that all three windings have the exact same resistance. Check the manufacturer's spec for what that exact resistance reading should be. This is different from the old skool compressors with just two windings and the start winding has a much higher resistance than the run winding.
Remember how a common troubleshooting trick with the old skool compressors is to power it directly with a test cord and see if it starts? Don't try that on these inverter compressors because you'll permanently break it. If you're a professional Appliantologist and you do this on a service call, you just bought your customer a new refrigerator!
Let's summarize the inverter compressors:
- have three windings, not just two; all three windings have the exact same resistance
- does not use a start relay/overload device
- runs off a special voltage produced by an inverter board; the voltage varies in both magnitude and frequency: the higher the frequency, the faster the compressor runs
- variable capacity, variable speed
- cannot directly power the compressor (well, you could but you'd regret it)
Troubleshooting Inverter Compressor Systems
If you're working on an inverter compressor system where the compressor isn't running, you can't power an inverter compressor directly to test it. But you can (and should!) check the resistances in all three windings to rule out an open winding. If the compressor windings check good, this is not diagnostically conclusive that the compressor itself is good. But if, OTOH, the winding resistances are imbalanced or one of them is open, this is diagnostically conclusive that the compressor is bad.
Okay, so let's say the compressor windings check good but it's not running. Now what?
Now you have to check the inverter board itself. There are two different tests you can do on the inverter board to see if it's good or not:
1. Check for good input voltages.
An Inverter board will have two different input voltages:
- 120 VAC main power supply
- 4 to 6 VDC control voltage from the main control board (or Muthaboard-- a completely separate circuit board in the refrigerator)
If you're missing one of these voltages, the inverter board can't run the compressor. You'll need to backtrack and find the missing voltage. Could be a bad wire harness connector, bad muthaboard, etc. BTW, make all voltage measurements with everything CONNECTED. Otherwise, you'll get different readings that could be misleading.
OTOH, if you're getting both of these input voltages to the inverter and the compressor isn't running (and you've already checked the compressor winding resistances), then you need to do this next test:
2. Check the current draw on the 120 VAC power supply.
- Disconnect the 120 VAC power supply from the inverter board.
- Connect your amp meter around one of the wires supplying 120 VAC to the inverter board (doesn't matter which one).
- Reconnect the 120 VAC power supply to the inverter board and watch your amp meter.
If the meter stays at 0 amps, the inverter board is toast-- it's not even trying to start the compressor.
If you see the current draw jump to say 4 amps (typical LR current in these inverter compressors) and then drop off, keep watching. Most inverter boards will repeatedly try to power up the compressor. On GE refrigerators, for example, the inverter will try to start the compressor 12 consecutive times. If the compressor fails to start, the inverter will timeout for 8 minutes and then try again. Other manufacturers may have different test schemes but the idea is the same: if the inverter is working properly, you'll see activity on your amp meter as the inverter tries to do its job.
In the video below, I demonstrate troubleshooting an inverter compressor system on a GE refrigerator. The only thing I didn't show in the video is checking the inverter board's current draw.
Here's the replacement inverter board I used to fix this refrigerator: http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Inverter-Board/WR55X11138/2443233
The "Jazz" control board is what Whirlpool (makers of Amana and Maytag appliances) calls the Adaptive Defrost Control (ADC) board used in some models of french door and bottom-mount Maytag and Amana refrigerators. You can identify the Jazz control board by the two, single-digit digital displays for the freezer and fresh food temperature adjustment that are located at the top of the fresh food compartment.
These Jazz boards fail pretty frequently. The two most common failure modes on these boards are
1) Failure to initiate defrost and
2) Failure to stop the compressor during defrost.
In both cases, the evaporator frosts up so much that air can't flow through it anymore. When I get the call, the typical complaint is that the freezer temperatures are fine but the fresh food compartment (the beer compartment) is not cold enough.
Troubleshooting these Jazz boards is pretty straightforward. Put the unit into forced defrost mode and see if the defrost heating element in the freezer heats up. You can tell this in a number of ways:
- feel the heating element (carefully!) if you can reach it
- listen for sizzling as the frost melts off the evaporator and hits the hot element
- measure current or wattage change (should increase)-- a Kill-A-Watt meter makes this quick and easy to do.
The compressor should shut off during defrost. If you still hear it running, then you don't need to do any further troubleshooting because you know the Jazz board is bad and you can go ahead and replace it.
If the defrost heater does not get hot in forced defrost mode, then you need to disassemble the freezer and check continuity of the defrost limiter and defrost heater. But, I gotta tell ya, in these units I replace far more Jazz boards than I do defrost limiters. And I don't think I've ever had to replace a defrost heater in one of these models.
So, how do you put the Jazz control board into forced defrost mode? I thought you'd never ask! The tech sheet behind the toe grill has instructions like this:
You can watch me in action as I show you how to run diagnostics on these boards, including putting it into forced defrost mode.
As far as replacing the Jazz board, there are a couple techniques out there. First thing is to remove the light cover (the clear plastic part over the lights behind the control panel). It just slides back and off. That's the easy part.
One way to get at the Jazz board is to remove the entire control housing, like ahso:
The other method, and my preferred method, is to just unclip the Jazz board housing, letting it swing down, but leaving the rest of the control housing intact, like ahso:
You can also watch me in action as I replace the Jazz Board in one of these refrigerators:
The replacement Jazz board comes with an instruction sheet. Read this carefully because you have to program the Jazz board according to the program code on the model number sticker inside the beer compartment.
You can buy the replacement Jazz board here with a one-year, no-hassle return policy: http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Main-Control-Board/12784415/1541423
Special thanks to Brother Strathy for the beautious and informative diagram markups.
Here is a clear and simple explanation of understanding the differences between 120v single phase, 240v Split Phase, and 208v 3-phase from Academy Fellow Keinokuorma:
Some models of Whirlpool-built bottom mount refrigerators use a high-voltage control board that, at some point, you may need to replace. These boards are used in certain models of Whirlpool, Maytag, and Kenmore-branded bottom mount refrigerators.
Here's what the HV board looks like: Part number: AP4568436
When you replace this HV control board, you will need to program it to work in your particular model. If you don't program the new HV board, you'll get the error code PEO 000 in the display.
The new control Board may or may not come with programming instructions. In case your replacement board does not, here are the programming instructions you'll need to get things running.
NOTE: The Program Code is located on the Serial Plate on this unit after the word "Code."
1. Press and hold the Door Alarm Keypad .
2. Press and hold Freezer Temperature Down Keypad within 3 seconds .
3. Release the Door Alarm Keypad and wait 3 seconds.
4. The control will display PE to indicate the programming mode.
5. Entry is confirmed by pressing the Freezer Temperature Down Keypad once more.
6. The control will display the current Program CODE. This value should be validated with the Program CODE printed on the unit serial plate. NOTE: If the Program CODE is correct, the Programming Mode is exited by pressing Door Alarm Keypad for 3 seconds.
7. Press the Refrigerator Temperature Up Keypad or Refrigerator Down Keypad to change the digit value with each key press.
8. The decimal point indicates the selected digit. Press the Freezer Temperature Up Keypad to select the next digit.
9. Once the desired Program CODE is entered, press and hold the Freezer Temperature Down Keypad until the Program CODE begins flashing indicating it has been saved. NOTE: If you attempt to enter an invalid Program CODE the control will not save the new code, but will beep. (The unit will NOT run with a Program CODE of 0000).
Once the Program CODE has been saved the Programming Mode is exited by pressing any key. If the new code is incorrect this process should be repeated. The Programming mode can be exited at any time by pressing Door Alarm key for 3 seconds or will exit if unattended for four minutes.
If you're troubleshooting a defrosting problem with your Samsung refrigerator, one of the first things you'll want to do is manually put it into defrost mode so you can use your meter and see if the control board is sending 120vac to the defrost heater. Here's the procedure that'll work for most current Samsung refrigerator models:
(click for larger view)
If you're having a problem with your Frigidaire washer, such as it won't start, one of the first things you'll want to do is get any error codes that may be stored in the control board. This can help point you in the right direction for finding and fixing the problem. Grand Master Reg gives us the key dance for this little procedure:
Source: Frigidare Affinity ATF7000EG0 won't start
Source: LG WM2455HG Front Load Washer
Many times when troubleshooting a Whirlpool-built dishwasher (also sold under the Kenmore and Kitchenaid brands), you'll have a problem that looks like it could be either a bad touchpanel or the control board, but you can't really be sure. Examples include:
- Normal light keeps blinking but the dishwasher won't run
- none of the lights on the panel work and the dishwasher won't run
Could take on lots of other variations but the thing they'll all have in common is that dishwasher won't run.
The conundrum you face is which part to replace: the touchpanel or the control board?
Experience says that it's almost always the touchpanel that goes bad in these cases-- a keypad gets stuck closed or worn on the inside so it no longer makes contact.
Fortunately, there's a way to tell for sure without any guesswork!
Remove the kickpanels below the door and you'll find a tech sheet in a plastic pouch (unless some sleaze bag stole it). Therein it is written this simple procedure for determining whether the touchpanel or control board is the culprit:
Source: Whirlpool Quiet Partner II normal light blinking
Front Load Washers Rule!
First, lemme start off by saying I love front load washers. I think they offer the best clothes washing technology out there combining low water use with a gentle tumble wash that's easy on the fabrics, making your clothes last longer, and does a very thorough job of cleaning the clothes compared to the high efficiency (HE) top load washers.
We're a family of five with dogs and cats. We've used a front load washer for over 16 years at our house and, aside from routine repairs, have never had any washability or odor complaints. You'll hear some people complain about these issues with their front loader but, in almost every case I've seen during service calls, it's been due to user error-- usually using too much or the wrong type of detergent.
The Economics of a Repair
Okay, so front load washers: rah-rah, go team go. Why have a special post dedicated to front load washer drum bearing and inner basket failures?
Because these failures are usually considered a "total" event (as in "Dude, I totalled my car last night") by professional Appliantologists due of the huge cost of the repair. Not only are the parts expensive (sometimes more than $500) but the job itself can take more than three hours (depending on the particular nightmares you run into) and usually require a second man... or one with a very strong back, though it may not be after completing one of these repairs solo!
Everything is repairable. The question is: does it make economic sense to do the repair?
There are two circumstances where it may make economic sense to repair a failed drum bearing or inner basket support spider:
1. You are going to do the repair yourself, so you're only paying for parts.
2. The machine is still under full or partial manufacturer's warranty and some or all of the cost of the repair will be covered.
So, if you're in a situation where neither of the above conditions apply, wouldn't it be nice if you could positively diagnose a bearing or basket failure on your own and at least save yourself the cost of a service call? Ya sure, ya betcha! And hence, the raison d'être for this post.
How to Tell if Your Washer has Bad Drum Bearings or a Broken Inner Basket
Okay, enough talk. Let's do some basic watching and listening.
1. Broken Inner Basket
The inner basket is supported in the back by a special metal structure called a "spider." The spider has three support members that extend from the basket hub to the outer perimeter. A common failure is for the support members to corrode by galvanic corrosion, eventually weakening the metal to the point that it breaks. Here's an example of what that looks like, this particular washer is a Frigidaire but this is typical regardless of brand:
Here's another example, but this is from a GE front loader:
What you see in these photos is called galvanic corrosion. Various theories abound as to whence cometh this galvanic doo-doo. Some of the more plausible ones include:
- Dissimilar metals used in the support members vs. the basket metal itself.
- Certain combinations of hard water and detergents.
- Running the washer on a non-grounded or improperly grounded outlet.
Regardless of the cause, which is a whole separate and interesting engineering discussion, if this happens to your washer, your immediate tasks are to 1) properly and positively identify this failure and 2) decide whether to repair or replace based on the economics of the situation.
2. Bad Drum Bearings
This failure usually manifests as a roaring noise during the spin cycle. This first video demonstrates the tell-tale sound of bad drum bearings:
In advanced stages of this failure, you can also diagnose bad bearings manually using this technique:
Ruh-row, trouble in washer-land! These drum bearings are factory-pressed into the back half of the drum. So it's not like you can buy a set of OEM bearings, pop 'em in and off you go. You have to replace the whole drum, at least the back half, with the factory-installed bearings. Problem is that you'll usually find the drive shaft on the inner basket so corroded that you'll need to replace the inner basket at the same time. Double whammy!
If you look around the Internet, you'll find third-party bearings that claim to be a drop-in replacement for the factory-installed bearings. I've not heard of a single case of this repair lasting more than a few months. If you've done this repair and have gotten longer than a year out of it, send me proof and you'll be a rock star.
The reason these third-party bearings have such a dismal reliability record is because the tolerance on these bearings is astonishingly tight. When you consider the pressure and speeds that these bearings need to work in, it's amazing they last as long as they do. These bearings are actually a precision-machined piece and that's why they have to be installed at the factory for maximum reliability.
Grand Master Funk kdog calls out the keyboard dance steps for this adjustment:
Source: Samsung refrigerator rf265aabp ice maker adjustment
The infamous F35 and SUD error code combo is one of the more common and confusing errors in Whirlpool-built Duet washer (also sold under the Kenmore label). The tech sheet is misleading and no help on this issue and has confused many a fine appliantologist locked in combat with this beast:
Here's a typical tech sheet for these machines: http://appliantology.org/files/file/842-whirlpool-washer-wfw9500t-tech-bundle/
Brother Willie shines the light of wisdom on what's really going on with the infamous F35-SUD combo:
Source: Kenmore FL Washer 110.46757801
Here it is, the highly-coveted and much-ballyhooed list of GE refrigerator models included in GE's concession for having potentially-defective muthaboards.
Note that this was not a recall-- this was never a safety issue. Nor were all the boards inherently defective. This was a voluntary concession by GE which covered the replacement cost for the muthaboard on the affected models due to potential problems with the boards that theoretically reduced their service life.
I get asked about this list every friggin' day. Please make the voices stop! Share this post with your friends using the share buttons below the list so the voices will stop asking me about it. My kitteh thanks you. Domo!
Many appliance servicers have been befuddled by the elusive and mysterious F11 error code in these Whirlpool Duet front loading washers (also sold under the Kenmore brand). In their confusion and frustration, many will go into Parts Changing Monkey mode and start blindly replacing expensive control boards without really fixing the problem (but still charging the customer, of course).
The Appliance Guru never does business that way. Customers hire me to solve a problem. Period. I give a quote up-front for the complete repair cost and I stick to it. If my diagnosis is wrong, that's my problem, not the customer's and it won't cost them a penny more than what I quoted.
How can I offer professional appliance repair services this way and stay in business? Well, it means I better know what I'm doing and be able to do real troubleshooting, not just throw parts at the problem and hope to get lucky.
The infamous and all-too-common F11 error code in these Whirlpool Duet front load washers is a case-in-point. The tech sheet inside the washer says this is a communications error between two control boards: the CCU (central control unit) and MCU (motor control unit). Even Whirlpool's own technical guidance for this error is abysmal; they say to replace the CCU and if that doesn't fix it, then replace the MCU. This is why there is so much confusion among appliance repair techs in the field. Each of these control boards costs well north of $200 and the CCU in particular goes on frequent backorder, adding lots more cost and inconvenient downtime to the customer.
As I show in the video, the F11 error code problem in these Whirlpool Duet washers can almost always be repaired without replacing any expensive control boards. It's at least an easy and inexpensive repair to try before replacing the CCU or the MCU.
A common problem with refrigerators is the appearance of various forms of water in places where it shouldn’t be. Examples are: water at the bottom of the freezer and dribbling out the door in a side by side refrigerator; fuzzy frost built up on the back wall inside the freezer compartment; moisture on beer bottles and the side walls inside the refrigerator compartment (also called the Beer Compartment); solid slab of ice on the bottom of the freezer compartment.
In each of these examples, we’re dealing with water that’s out of place. Water in a refrigerated space can take on three forms: ice, frost, and condensation. Which of these forms you see, along with where you see it, are important clues to help you zero in on the needed repair.
Condensation problems will appear as “sweating” on jars and bottles and sometimes even on the sidewall in the refrigerator compartment. Condensation is caused by water vapor condensing into a liquid as it hits the cold surfaces inside the refrigerator. When you see this, it means outside, humid air is getting inside the refrigerated compartments when and where it shouldn’t. So, you’re looking for bad gaskets, doors not closing properly, or doors being left open from carelessness.
Ice refers to liquid water that froze into a solid. This sounds obvious but it’s an important distinction from frost, also known as rime ice, that fuzzy looking stuff that is formed when water vapor condenses directly into a solid. The important point here is that ice and frost are the effects of two completely different underlying causes.
If you see smooth or solid ice in a freezer, then you know you’re really looking for liquid water in places where it shouldn’t be (that ended up freezing): clogged condensate drain in the drip trough below the evaporator coil; ice maker fill tube leaking or out of place; ice maker mold leaking.
If you see frost or rime ice in a freezer, then you know you’re really looking for water vapor that’s getting into the compartment. How does water vapor get into a refrigerator? It comes in with the outside air. In most cases when you see frost in a freezer, you’re looking for an air leak: bad door gaskets or doors not closing all the way. This video shows an extreme example of rime ice all over the contents inside a freezer:
Sometimes, you’ll see both ice and frost appearing together in a freezer which can make diagnosis tricky. In this video, I walk you through an example of such a case and I explain the failure sequence:
A special (but common) case for diagnosing frost in a freezer is when you see frost accumulated on the evaporator coil or back wall inside the freezer that covers the evaporator coil. This indicates a defrost system failure (defrost terminator stuck open, burned out defrost heater, bad defrost timer (on older units) or adaptive defrost control (ADC) board).
The reason rime ice forms on the evaporator coil in the first place is because the coil operates at a temperature of -20F. At that temperature, water vapor that contacts the coil will condense and freeze directly into a solid, forming rime ice. Every few hours the defrost system should kick in and melt that ice, because if it’s allowed to accumulate it will eventually act as an insulator, preventing the air from contacting the evaporator coils and getting cold. The resulting problem would first be seen as a warm refrigerator compartment and, if allowed to continue, eventually the freezer will also get warmer than normal (normal = 0F). Rime ice accumulated on the inside of the back wall in the freezer will often be seen at this point.
This melted rime ice has a special name: condensate. (Not to be confused with condensation, although the words are similar, they arise from two different causes.) Condensate refers to the water that gets melted off the evaporator coil in the freezer compartment during the defrost cycle. This condensate drips onto the condensate drip trough below the evaporator coil and drains out the condensate drain– a hole in the condensate drip trough– through a tube to the drain pan placed down by the compressor where it eventually evaporates due to the combined action of the compressor heat and condenser fan motor.
This video shows a freezer with extreme rime ice buildup on the back wall inside the freezer due to a defrost system failure:
If you need expert, interactive help in troubleshooting and repairing your refrigerator and service manuals, become an Apprentice here at the Appliantology Academy ==> http://apprentice.appliantology.org/
Subscribe to our FREE, award-winning newsletter, Appliantology: The Oracle of Appliance Enlightenment==> http://newsletter.fixitnow.com and download your free report on appliance brand recommendations! Every issue is jam-packed with appliance repair tips and inside information direct from the Samurai’s fingertips to your engorged and tingling eyeballs.
A useful and handy diagnostic technique when working on an ice maker problem is to manually initiate a harvest cycle to see with the ice maker will or will not do. Here's how to manually cycle the GE WR30X10093 ice maker:
If the ice maker won't do the manual harvest, replace it. Here's the replacement you need: http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Ice-Maker-Assembly/WR30X10093/1399596
Source: how do you cycle test the WR30X10093 icemaker
Tub bearing failure and seal leaks are just one of the repair joys that await the unsuspecting owner of these machines, especially if you're using non-HE detergent. Used to be that when the tub bearing or seal failed, you have to replace the entire tub because Whirlpool didn't sell the bearing and seal separately. The tub assembly alone runs $300 Part number: AP5306816
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth from both victims, er, I mean owners of these machines and the professional appliantologists who work on them, Whirlpool finally got the message and recently made the tub bearing and seal kit available as a separate repair kit without having to buy the entire tub assembly at considerable cost savings to the consumer.
The bearing and seal kit itself runs about $75 and is available here Part number: AP5325033
And you'll need a special $60 tool to install it Part number: AP5325072
If you're a DIYer doing this job, you'll probably only use the tool once in your lifetime. But still, even with the tool, the total parts cost is $135, less than half of what it used to cost when replacing the entire tub assembly.
Since this kit is so new, there's no info yet on how reliable this repair is-- replacing the bearing in a plastic tub which itself is prone to deformation and causing leaks-- vs. replacing the entire tub assembly with a factory-installed bearing. But at this kind of cost savings, it's worth a shot!
Source: From: Cabrio Washer Tub Bearing And Seal Replacement Kit
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In this exciting episode, the Samurai shows you how to use the tech sheet schematic to troubleshoot a newer Whirlpool front load washer (one of the new Alpha2 platform washers) that acts like it wants to start but won’t. Watch with shock and awe as I ruthlessly hunt down the miscreant part and guide you through the troubleshooting process both on the machine itself and on the schematic diagram, demonstrating killa troubleshooting techniques that every tech should know. Come with me now on a journey of Total Appliance Enlightenment:
Using the Schematic Diagram to Troubleshoot a Whirlpool Front-Load Washer that Won’t Run
Water level sensing in LG washers is done differently from how you may be used to seeing it done in other brands. Whirlpool, GE, Electrolux and others use an air tube connecting an air dome on the tub to a pressure sensor with a physical diaphragm or transducer that "feels" the water level increase as an increase in pressure inside the air tube. LG uses frequency measurements. How's that again? I'll let Brother john63, Dean of LG Appliantology explain:
Source: LG PRESSURE SENSOR OPERATION
If your washer stops mid-wash or starts flashing an error code or won't start at all, the first thing you'll want to do is retrieve any error codes that may be stored in the control module. This can give you a clue on where to start hunting for the problem. Grand Master Reg has posted the procedure for entering service mode in your washer so you can read any stored error codes and run the built-in diagnostic program:
Source: Kenmore Front Loader Flashing Lights Mod#110.46462501
Source: Electrolux Front Loader Washing Machine EWF12108W
A special treat today, kids: Sublime Master Bob-tech is featured in this week's edition of Techniques from the Masters™ for replacing the thermistors in a GE refrigerator. The technique demonstrated here is on a GE bottom-mount refrigerator but the same technique applies to all brands and types of refrigerators that use thermistors for temperature sensing. The idea is that you want those connections to have as little resistance as possible, ideally less than 1/2 ohm. Samsung, for example, prefers soldered connections but GE also says that using crimp connectors with silicon applied in the open end is okay, too.
The reason that low-resistance connections are desirable is to eliminate inaccuracies in temperature measurements. The thermistor itself is really just a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) resistor (read more here) whose resistance changes with temperature and is read by the control board. So any resistance introduced into the circuit will just result in less accurate temperature sensing by the board. In this case, higher resistance is interpreted by the board as lower temperature. If the additional resistance is high enough, this will result in a warm compartment because the board will interpret that higher resistance as colder temperatures and will not call for the compressor to come on enough to cool the compartment.
By following these Techniques from the Masters™, you'll help assure that you're making a good repair that will not introduce other problems.
You can buy the replacement thermistors with a 365-day return policy here ==> http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Thermistor/WR55X10025/914093?RCAID=24038
Here are Sublime Master Bob-tech's field notes on this technique
Source ==> http://appliantology...ss/page__st__20
A fantastic tech post from Brother in The Craft, binthere222:
You can buy the replacement thermal cutoff fuse here ==> http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Thermal-Fuse/WB21X10046/769674
To learn more about your microwave or to order parts, click here.
Source: Dead GE Advantium Microwave Solution, Thermal Cutoff Fuse
Source: Whirlpool ED5HVAXVLOO side by side refrigerator with ADC, getting into defrost mode