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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

 

Appliantology through the Looking Glass

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 camarader
 

The Master Samurai Tech Alumni Program

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 a
 

Appliantology Tips & Tricks

Appliantology is a powerful appliance repair tool, with lots of features that may not be obvious at first glance. If you feel like you're missing out on some of what the site offers, then you'll want to watch these clips from our Tips & Tricks webinar. In just a few minutes, we'll step you through how to use a few of the most commonly missed features of Appliantology. Here are some clips from the Appliantology Tips & Tricks webinar we had on May 5, 2019.   The Homepage You
 

Repairing a Samsung Quatro Refrigerator

Join Samurai Appliance Repair Man on a repair safari into Refrigerator Land. In this scintillating video, I narrate a series of photos I took during a service call I did on a Samsung Quatro refrigerator. These are unusual refrigerators because they have four evaporators (hence the marketing name "Quatro"). In this service call, I fixed problems with two of the compartments-- fortunately, both on the same side!
 

Samurai's Big Three Troubleshooting Secrets

It's tough for appliance techs today. Our biggest competition is from cheap replacement machines. The proliferation of pricey electronic boards in appliances means that if you can't quickly do a slam-dunk diagnosis, you are at risk of losing customers and your profitability. Meanwhile, electrical troubleshooting is largely a lost science. What exactly have we lost? The Old Skool troubleshooting techniques that us old timers learned way back. And guess what: these same Old Skool troubleshoot
 

Free Tech Membership at Appliantology

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 Re

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

 

Troubleshooting a microwave oven using the Divide and Conquer Method

Electrically speaking, microwave ovens have two sections: low voltage and high voltage. The low voltage section consists of the door switches, start button, control panel, turntable motor, cooling fan, stirrer motor, and some miscellaneous switches. The high voltage section consists of the transformer (which steps 120vac line voltage in residential units and 240vac in some commercial units up to 2,000+ volts), the high voltage rectifier (diode), and the charging capacitor (which together with

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

 

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

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

Replacing the Fuse on the Main Control Board of an LG Refrigerator

This LG refrigerator was DOA- warm inside, no compressor operation, no lights, no nuttin'. Found a blown fuse on the main control board. What took out the fuse: bad board or just a spike on the power line? I show how to check for that.  The fuses on these LG boards are soldered in and not easily replaceable. But a new fuse can be installed and I show how to do that without even having to remove the board, while it's still installed in the refrigerator.  Learn appliance repair at http:/
 

Tech Memberships at Appliantology

We offer 4 different ways for professional appliance techs to participate in the Appliantology tech community. Three of the memberships are premium, and one is limited. The features and benefits of each option are summarized in the table below: Click the links below for details: 1. Professional Appliantologist: the easy, instant premium membership for less than $4 per week. 2. Fellow Appliantologist: this free premium membership is earned by being an active participant in th

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

 

Field repairs on electronic control boards: the new PCM frontier

I used to do board level repairs on state of the art computer controlled radar systems where there was real troubleshooting involved with signal generators, digital probes, oscilloscopes, and a fully stocked bench. Yes, you had to understand how electronics circuits work and how to read electronic schematics. I did this all day long for several years in the Navy and with Delta Air Lines. And by the way, almost all the electronic failures in these units were completely invisible— you had to find
 

Samsung Dryer Troubleshooting and Electric Circuits Review

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

Non-PCM Repair on a Jazz Board Refrigerator

This is a newish Maytag jazz board refrigerator presenting with a warm FF and cold FZ. This was not your typical defrost failure. The failure here was the evaporator fan was not running. I troubleshot the problem without disassembling the freezer-- did it all from the jazz board.  Even though this is a modern, computer-controlled refrigerator, what you're about to see are actually old skool troubleshooting techniques that have been largely lost in the appliance repair trade today: r
 

Sealed system repairs: the mystique, the reality

Many professional appliance techs do not currently offer refrigerator sealed system repairs but are thinking about adding it to their service repertoire. In this post, I’ll offer some thoughts to help you decide if this makes sense for your service area. I'll also offer some resources for learning sealed system repair if you decide that makes sense for you. I encourage any of my Brethren in the Craft to post their comments and experience.  The false mystique of sealed system repair  Fi
 

The Future of Appliance Repair - The Internet of Things

You guys have heard me say in webinars and elsewhere that we are going through a paradigm shift in the appliance repair trade. Gone are the days of Buttcrack Bubba. Parts Changing Monkeys are already obsolete and everywhere going out of business-- and good riddance! At the same time, techs who keep learning the new technologies being incorporated into appliances are thriving and have growing businesses.  Appliance techs today have nothing substantive in common wit
 

No-parts field repairs on two dryers with failed timers

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

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

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

How to Troubleshoot the New Inverter Compressor Refrigerators

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 befudd
 

Triac Operation for Appliance Techs

Had some good questions at the webinar on the Bi-Directional PSC drive motor system used in Whirlpool VM washers. Professional Appliantologist members can grab some popcorn and watch the webinar recording here: Bi-directional PSC Drive Motor Systems in Whirlpool VM Washers During the webinar, Joe asked how triacs are turned off. I wanted to give a more complete and accurate answer in this post.  To understand how triacs are turned off once they're turned on (and conducting) we need to

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

 

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

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

What's wrong with this picture?

This is a picture from a recent service call I did. That white/translucent plastic tubing you see coming out of the floor and connecting to the gray PEX tubing on the refrigerator is a big No-No. That's a flood waiting to happen. Think about it: that plastic tubing us under household water pressure 24/7-- that's 40 to 60 psi. Combine that with with the fact that it gets hot behind a refrigerator that's pushed back against the wall, especially in summer. Heat... plastic... brittle... cracked or b
 

MST Radio Episode 28 - The Biz of Selling New Appliances

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