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Appliance Repair Tech Tips

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Entries in this blog

[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?

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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

Son of Samurai

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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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

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

Learn How to Identify the Three Kinds of Dryer Thermal Controls

This past Sunday, we gave a webinar covering everything you need to know about thermal controls in dryers and the underlying technologies behind them. The full recording dives into all the details of identifying, understanding, and troubleshooting these ubiquitous devices. In this short clip, we'll introduce you to the three technologies and show how different manufacturers give them various (and sometimes confusing) names. Want to watch the full webinar recording? Click belo

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Identifying and Understanding Transistor Switches on Schematics

There are a lot of funky things going on on this Electrolux dishwasher schematic -- including normal-looking switches that are labelled "transistor switches". What does this label mean, exactly, and how does it affect our troubleshooting? That's what the Samurai breaks down in this short clip from a longer technical webinar recording. Want to watch the full webinar? Click below to watch -- available only to premium members.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

A Real World Example to Help You Understand Shunts and Loads in Series

Some circuits have a bit more going on than they seem at first glance, and this Whirlpool washer has one such circuit. Watch the excerpt below to learn how to unravel this tangled mess of lines and apply it to your troubleshooting. Want to watch the full webinar recording where we go through the entire schematic analysis, covering tracing everything out and covering topics like triacs, shunts, and series loads? Click below -- viewable only by premium members.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Are Thermistors Interchangeable?

Thermistors are everywhere in appliances these days, and they're a relatively common-fail item, so wouldn't it be nice to stock a supply of them in your service vehicle to be used on any occasion? Well, in order to determine how feasible that is, we need to answer a question: are all thermistors interchangeable? The short answer is no. The long answer is that thermistors are not interchangeable brand-to-brand, but they can be interchangeable within the same brand, depending on the manu

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Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Troubleshooting a Thermador Gas Range with ZERO Disassembly

It should always be our goal to get our diagnosis with as little disassembly as possible using our schematic-reading know-how, but did you know that you can sometimes track down the problem without any disassembly at all? That's just what the Samurai did for this Thermador gas range. Want to learn how he pulled off this magic trick? Watch the video below. Want to watch the full recording? Click below -- viewable only by premium members.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Troubleshooting a Bosch Dishwasher No Heat Problem Using the Schematic and Live Tests

We techs should always be looking to sharpen our repair skills, and one of the best ways to do that is to learn from each other's experiences. In this excerpt from a longer webinar, the Samurai walks through a Bosch dishwasher no heat problem that he encountered, working through his thought process and schematic analysis step by step. Watch it and learn a thing or two! Want to watch the full webinar recording? Click below -- viewable only by premium members.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Using Frequency Measurements as a Troubleshooting Tool

Here's our scenario: you're working on a Samsung WA50K8600AW washer that won't advance in the cycle. Error codes and test modes aren't telling you anything useful, and the control doesn't even seem to be trying to advance the cycle. You've checked the air tube connected to the pressure sensor, too, and everything is clear there. What can you do here? Do you just call it a bad board and move on? Let's see if there's a smarter test we can do on this one. What if we could test the signal

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

What is a Sine Wave and Why Do We Use it to Represent Voltage?

You don't have to be a physicist or a mathematician to troubleshoot properly, but you can't get around the fact that math is the only way to really understand electricity. Sine waves are one such mathematical representation used for both voltage and current. But how does this representation work, exactly, and how does it help us wrap our head around voltage, current, and power? That's what we'll break down for you in this excerpt from one of our many full-length technical webinar recordings

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

Can you Check a BLDC Fan Motor with Ohms?

Let's say you're on a call for a Whirlpool GI6FARXXY07 refrigerator. You notice that the evaporator fan isn't running, even when the unit isn't in defrost. "Simple enough," you think, and you disconnect the fan harness and check its resistance. Wow -- 500 K-ohms! No way that's in spec. Gotta be a bad fan motor, right? Before we get too hasty, let's step back for a moment and do what we should have done at the start -- look at the schematic. When we do that, we can pretty easily locate

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai in Tech Talk

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