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Appliance Repair Tech Tips

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Entries in this blog

Testing for the Most Common Problem with Jazz Boards Using a Single Measurement

Jazz boards are a classic common-fail item in Whirlpool refrigerators, so important to know the right way to go about troubleshooting them. The good news is that they operate on the same principles that all control boards do, so if you know your basic electricity and troubleshooting principles, making big money off of these is a snap. This is exactly the kind of stuff we teach in our Core Appliance Repair Training Course over at the Master Samurai Tech Academy. If you want a taste of that g

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The Schematic or the Written Directions -- Which Should You Trust?

We techs rely on accurate technical documentation to do our jobs. You can't make a troubleshooting plan or make meaningful electrical measurements without a good schematic. But what do you do when your technical info contradicts itself? Let's take a look at this Whirlpool refrigerator, specifically focusing on the evaporator fan. Here it is on the schematic, marked up for your viewing pleasure: Looks like a standard 120 VAC fan motor. But now, let's take a look at some of the wri

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Disentangling Confusing Schematics and Customer Reports Explained in Less than 9 Minutes...

In this excerpt from one of the many technical training webinar recordings available to our members, we cover two tricky areas that have tripped up many a tech: deciphering an unclear schematic, and decoding a convoluted customer problem description. Both of these are essential skills for any tech, since if you mess up either of these steps, the entire rest of your troubleshooting will be thrown out of whack. The troubleshooting framework that we're using in this video is our patented Ten-S

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Testing for a Failed Timer with EEPs and Convenient Voltage Tests

Our scenario today is a dryer that heats intermittently. Blitzing through the Ten-Step Tango, we select the heating element as our LOI. But how do we test the heater's power supply? Do we have to start tearing things apart to do our tests? If you've been around Appliantology long enough or taken our courses over at Master Samurai Tech, then you'll know that the answer is, of course, "no". Instead, we've just got to look at the schematic and pick some clever test points. All

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Control Board Troubleshooting: Identifying EEPs for Convenient Testing

We had a great webinar this past Sunday all about troubleshooting a Thermador wall oven with a cooling fan that wouldn't run. Lots of vital tech know-how covered in this one, like how to structure your troubleshooting flow, identify loads and switches on schematics, and perform useful and meaningful tests that will lead you to the correct solution. In this short excerpt from the recording of that webinar, we talk about using the schematic to identify EEPs for your testing -- no unnecessary

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

The Simple Secret Behind this Maytag Dryer Timer that Won't Advance

We've got a toughie for you to figure out today. The tech in this scenario has been out on this dryer multiple times now, and the problem just won't go away. The heating element keeps going open, and the timer motor keeps stalling and not completing cycles. He's verified a good 240 VAC power supply to the timer and replaced both parts multiple times, but the problem keeps recurring every few months. What gives? Let's board the train away from PCM-Land and use one of our foundational trouble

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

The Inside Scoop on Dacor Installation Issues and Steam Cooking

Manufacturers do sometimes help us techs out -- Samsung has been putting on training sessions pretty regularly both for their own models, and for Dacor-branded models as well (Samsung acquired Dacor a few years back, for those who don't know). While a lot of how we troubleshoot is by understanding the principles that are common to all appliances, you always need a bit of info specific to the appliance you're working on. In particular, information about the exact implementation of the  technology

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

[Video] Control Board Troubleshooting 101: Inputs, Outputs, Pinouts, and DC Signals

We've got dozens of hours of webinar recordings here at Appliantology covering all kinds of appliance repair troubleshooting strategies and technologies, ranging from the very advanced to the fundamental. This short excerpt from one of our many recordings covers the basic, but crucial concepts you must understand to troubleshoot an appliance with a control board -- even on seemingly "weird" brands like Samsung --including: How to read and troubleshoot with board pinouts How do DC

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

How Does this 120 VDC Ice Auger Motor Work?

We've got an interesting one for you today -- take a look at the "IDI Motor" in this schematic: That's the ice dispenser auger motor in this fridge, and there are a couple interesting things to figure out about it. First, what's the deal with its power supply? If you look at the label on the motor, you'll notice that it says: So that's a 120 VDC motor. How does that work? A quick look through the documentation tells us that this motor is designed to run in two differen

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[Video] How to Make a Proper Voltage Measurement and the Importance of LoZ

We drop a lot of pearls of wisdom in our live technical training webinars, and I wanted to make one particular pearl available to all. In this short excerpt from one of our many webinar recordings, we cover what you need to know about electricity and voltage in order to make a meaningful and useful voltage measurement -- all in the context of a real troubleshooting scenario. Topics covered include: What is voltage? How do you choose a voltage reference? What is LoZ?

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Electric Dryer Only Runs on Heat Cycles -- Solved with Schematic-Fu!

We've got a tricky one for you today: a Frigidaire-built Kenmore electric dryer that only runs on heat cycles. If you set it to a timed or auto dry, it runs just fine. But set it to air fluff, and you get nada -- no motor rotation, no nothin'. Sounds like a bad timer, right? That was our first thought, too. But like any good tech should, we covered all of our bases before jumping to conclusions, and what we found was much more interesting... We'll start by analyzing the circuit of the motor

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

LG Electric Dryer's FlowSense Explained in One Short Video

When you see a term like "FlowSense" in a service manual, don't immediately assume that you're dealing with some bizarre, new technology. 99% of the time, it's just a fancy brand name that the manufacturer slapped on a bit of simple tech that's been around for decades.  And that's what you're going to see in this video! in it, we show how "FlowSense" is just a fancy name for a single sensing line on the control board that detects the presence or absence of L2. Watch it now to learn exactly

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

How does the Monitor Switch in a Microwave Work?

Here's a GE microwave schematic. There's a lot of typical microwave stuff going on here, but we're going to focus in on one component today: the monitor switch. What exactly is this switch's purpose, and how does it affect the circuit? The purpose of the monitor switch is to act as a safety to prevent the magnetron from being energized while the door is open. The door latch and switches in microwaves are designed so that, if everything is working correctly, the monitor switch sho

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Analyzing the Schematic of a Samsung Dishwasher with Multiple Control Boards

Many techs are intimidated when they first look at a schematic -- but you don't have to be! You can make sense of any schematic, even one with multiple control boards, by following some simple troubleshooting principles. And that's what we're going to show you in this short clip from one of our many technical training webinar recordings.  In it, we'll use a real-world tech sheet to demonstrate some of these principles, such as: Identifying the control boards Identifying the b

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

[Full Webinar Recording] Learn How to Build a Tech From Scratch

What do you do when you need to grow your team of appliance techs in order to meet the demand for service calls, but you can't find any job candidates with experience? This is the reality for thousands of companies across the country, since very few quality techs with experience are on the job market. You're in luck: with the training options available today, you can build a tech! Hire based on character and aptitude, then add training and some experience, and you'll have an independent applianc

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Missed These Exclusive Samsung Dishwasher Training Sessions? We've Got You Covered.

More and more folks are doing online training webinars these days -- so many, in fact, that it can be impossible to keep up with them all. Recently, Samsung and MSA both put out training webinars on Samsung dishwasher technology and troubleshooting, and I figured I would share the love with the Appliantology Brethren. In the links below, you'll find my notes and screenshots from both webinars. Topics include: Troubleshooting the OC/OE error Identifying common sources of leaks

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Learn These Clever Start Switch Troubleshooting Tips

If a dryer's motor isn't running, and you hear a strange humming noise coming from the start switch, what does that mean for the switch? And if you want to test that switch, what's the best way to do that? These are questions that we answer right here in this short excerpt from one of our many in-depth technical training webinar recordings. Give it a watch and learn the answers for yourself... Want to watch the full webinar recording? Click below -- viewable only by premium m

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Bypassing the Auto Temp Control on a Whirlpool Washer

Here's your scenario: you're working on a Whirlpool CAM2742TQ2 Washer, and you've determined that the auto temp control (ATC) has failed such that it won't energize the water valves and allow the machine to fill. You intend to replace the ATC, but it's on backorder. Is there any clever trick you can think of that will at least get the customer going temporarily while they wait? Time to crack out the schematic. It looks like there's a lot going on here, what with all those alphabe

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

The Difference Between Troubleshooting like a PCM vs. like a Real Tech

How you go about your troubleshooting makes all the difference between whether you're a Parts-Changing Monkey or a real appliance repair technician. While parts-changers rely on pattern recognition and rote memorization of "if this problem, then that part", a real tech uses analytical troubleshooting techniques and understanding of the technology involved to get to the right problem every time. That's exactly what this excerpt from one of our technical training webinar recordings demonstrat

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

How Do Diodes Work and How Do They Affect Circuits?

We encounter diodes in a variety of situations, such as in certain refrigerator water valve configurations. If you want to be able to properly troubleshoot these setups, you need to understand the underlying technology of diodes. How doe they affect the circuit around them? And how do you test them? These are the questions that we answer for you in this short video introduction to diodes. In just 6 minutes, you'll learn about how they work and how to properly test them. Plus, you'll learn a

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Easy Tricks to Break Down and Understand any Circuit

Reading schematics is an essential part of troubleshooting, but it's not always clear how to break down a circuit into understandable bits. Is there an easy rule of thumb for identifying what component does what and how to go about testing it? In this excerpt from one of our many full-length technical training webinar recordings, you'll learn exactly that! In addition, we'll show you how to break down a seemingly tangled schematic and identify loads in series vs. loads in parallel -- all in

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

What is LG's FlowSense and How Does It Work in Gas Dryers?

Take a look at this LG gas dryer schematic, paying special attention to the circuit with the flame detector. If you trace it out, it becomes a bit puzzling what that circuit is actually doing. The hi-limit thermostat, the safety thermostat, and the flame detector don’t appear to have any direct effect on the gas valve coils as you would find in other dryers. So what purpose do they serve?  This markup makes it all clear.   Unlike many circuits that use controls li

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

A Short, Practical Guide to Circuits and AC Power

Electricity and circuits are at the core of what we do as techs. You've got to have a solid understanding of these in order to do any meaningful troubleshooting. So that's exactly what we cover in this excerpt from one of our many technical training webinar recordings. Give it a watch and build yourself a solid foundation! This video is an excerpt from a longer Master Samurai Tech webinar and is free for anyone to watch. In the full webinar, we covered topics such as: Neut

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Can you Measure the Output of an Inverter?

When it comes to troubleshooting BLDC motors and inverters, there's usually a standard strategy. You check the input to the inverter (a good 120 VAC power supply and a PWM signal from the main control) and you make sure the motor windings are in spec and all the same resistance. But what about measuring the output of the inverter? This is certainly possible to do, and it can be a useful measurement, especially in hairier inverter troubleshooting scenarios. But before we get into that, let's

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A 7 Minute Rundown on How Thermistors Work and How to Troubleshoot Them

In this clip from a longer webinar, we give you the long and short of how NTC thermistors work and how to troubleshoot them. Don't know what NTC means? Don't worry -- that's covered in this video, too! Want to watch the full webinar, which goes through using the Samurai's Troubleshooting Ten-Step Tango to nail refrigerator problems every time? Click below -- viewable only by premium members.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

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