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Son of Samurai's Blog

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Entries in this blog

 

Your Most Powerful Appliance Repair Tool isn't in Your Tool Bag...

Information has always been the name of the game for appliance repair techs. Our jobs are all about locating and making extrapolations upon information such as specifications and measurements. If we can't access at least a baseline level of information for a particular job (at the very least the schematic), then it's almost impossible for us to do our job. The meteoric rise of mobile technology and the Internet over the past few decades has hugely expanded how much information we can access

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Would you Troubleshoot this Washer Motor Problem the Right Way?

Do you know the most efficient way to troubleshoot this washer motor, or would you go through unnecessary disassembly? Watch this webinar excerpt to find out. This is just a short excerpt of a webinar that's packed with even more vital info on how to maximize your service call profitability through solid troubleshooting techniques. Click here to watch it now. This and 50+ hours more of awesome webinar recordings are available only to our premium members at Appliantology.  
Why You Can't Troubleshoot a Sealed System Without Knowing Thermodynamics

Why You Can't Troubleshoot a Sealed System Without Knowing Thermodynamics

You can't get around it -- you've got to understand at least the basics of thermodynamics to troubleshoot sealed system problems. Let's say you're working on a two-compressor R134a refrigerator -- completely separate sealed systems for the freezer and the fresh food compartment. Two evaporators, two compressors... you get the idea. You're experiencing an issue where the FF is always too cold. Say, 20F or so. All the other components seem to be in spec, so you put a gauge on the low side of

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Why Using OEM Parts Should be SOP

We've all been there: you're looking up the part that you need for the job, and the price tag about knocks you out of your chair. No way that heating element costs that much to produce! Maybe your concern isn't just for yourself -- you're interested in saving the customer some money. Despite the sometimes exorbitant prices, there are many good reasons to go with the OEM part over a generic one. OEM parts are generally better quality and make for a more reliable repair. You're going

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Why Appliantology is the Best Appliance Repair Resource on the Web

Appliantology isn't the only online appliance repair resource out there -- but it's by far the best. What this site has over "free" alternatives, such as Facebook repair groups, are three primary points: Organization, Privacy, and Information Integrity. Facebook isn't free; the product is YOU and you're "paying" by allowing Facebook algorithms to microanalyze everything you do on the site. Every click, every interaction, every post, even how long you spend looking at things are all permanen

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Why Amps are the Definitive Measurement in AC Circuits

Volts, ohms, and amps -- these are the three types of electrical measurements from which we draw our diagnostic conclusions as appliance techs. They all have their uses, but watch out -- they're not all equal in usefulness or reliability! Let's go through them one at a time. Ohms: Despite being a lot of techs' go-to measurement, ohms is actually the least reliable of the three. This is due in large part to the fact that it can only be performed on a dead circuit. This means that it complete

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

When the Tech Sheet Lies...

When the Tech Sheet Lies...

Tell me what's wrong with this picture: No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you -- that schematic really is showing a split-phase compressor being run by an inverter board. If you're sitting there sputtering and foaming at the mouth in disbelief, thinking, "That can't possibly be correct," then congrats! You had the correct reaction. What this diagram is showing simply can't line up with reality. Split-phase motors are never run using inverter boards -- the very idea is nonse

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

When Ohm's Law Doesn't Apply...

Ohm's law, meaning the set of simple equations that define the relationship between voltage, current, resistance, and power, is an essential tool for appliance techs. Not only is it the cornerstone of understanding electricity, but it's also an invaluable troubleshooting tool. This said, there are some loads to which the simple form of Ohm's law doesn't apply. The simple form of Ohm's Law only takes into account real resistance (ohms) but does not consider other ways that electron movement can b

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

What's the Difference Between Neutral and Ground?

Is there a reason to distinguish ground from neutral when it comes to electrical testing? If you need a reference for a voltage measurement, doesn't ground work just as well as neutral? Not at all! Ground and neutral are supposed to be two separate things in an AC circuit, and so they can't be used interchangeably. In this short webinar excerpt, the Samurai breaks down what the difference is and why you should only ever use neutral in your AC voltage measurements. The full version of t

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

What's the Difference Between AFCIs and GFCIs?

Two of the most common circuit protection devices we'll see on outlets or circuit breakers are AFCIs and GFCIs. But what exactly are these devices, what do they do, and what are the differences between them? The Samurai answers these questions in this short excerpt from one of the hugely enriching webinar recordings available here at Appliantology. Want to watch the full webinar and learn the whole scoop on these protection devices? Get access to it and 50+ hours of on-demand recordings by

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

What You Need to Know to Repair Internet-Connected Appliances

Internet-connected appliances aren't a niche anymore. They're made by just about every brand out there, from Samsung to Whirlpool and beyond, so if you want to stay in the appliance repair game, you've got to know how they work. Lucky for you, this post is going to break down what you need to know to work on them. The key thing to keep in mind is this: internet-connected appliances are not that much more complicated than normal appliances. As long as you grasp a few fundamental concepts, th
 

What is Ghost Voltage?

Ghost voltage is a term that you'll hear used in tech circles, and often incorrectly. Ghost voltage is the name of a very specific phenomenon, but I've seen it used variously to refer to failing under load, high resistance connections, and even simple open circuits. What does it really mean? What we call ghost voltage is transient, seemingly sourceless voltage. It does, of course, have a source. You know how when current flows through a conductor, it produces a magnetic field? Well that mag

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

What is Capacitive Coupling and How Does It Make Ghost Voltage?

In this excerpt from one of our many in-depth technical webinars, the Samurai breaks down in just a few minutes what causes ghost voltage. He'll show in simple terms what the term "capacitive coupling means, as well as how to do your voltage measurements correctly so that you'll never be fooled by an open neutral again. Want to watch the full version of this webinar, along with 50+ additional hours of practical technical education? Click here to become a premium tech member today.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

What Does "Split-Phase" Really Mean in Motors?

You're probably familiar with the term "split-phase motor", but do you actually know what it means? That's exactly what we'll dive into in this post. The whole trick with motors on single-phase, standard household power is how to get them going from a dead stop. Once the rotor is spinning, it'll keep going happily as long as power is applied to the motor winding. But without a little engineering, single-phase power won't get a motor spinning -- it'll just hum and twitch in place. The t
 

What are TMR sensors and how are they different from Hall Effect sensors?

New technologies are never invented specifically for household appliances. We always get hand-me-downs. But just because a technology was used first in a different field doesn't mean that we're familiar with it already when it reaches appliances. TMR (tunnel magentoresistance) sensors are one such example. Coming to us from the world of computer electronics, they serve the same purpose as Hall Effect sensors but work completely differently. A TMR sensor consists of two ferromagnets sep

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Waterproofing Splices in Refrigerators and Freezers

Why is it that manufacturers (such as GE, Electrolux, and others) always recommend that you seal any splices you make in their refrigeration units with silicone grease? The simple answer is that it keeps out water. This is obviously desirable because water can both corrode and short out electrical connections. A splice is already a weak point in a circuit, so especially in wet environments, you want to give them as much lasting power as possible. And it gets even more interesting when you'r

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Watch Out for this LG Control Board Booby Trap

@LearningTech dropped a great tip in The Dojo a little while back: not all LG control boards can be updated after a universal compressor is installed. If you're planning on doing sealed system work on these machines, you're going to want to check the list below to see if your model's PCB can be updated. Otherwise, you might be in for a nasty surprise. LearningTech also provided a handy image showing where you can find a PCB's manufacturing date: Want to be in on cool tech t
 

Upcoming Server Migration

Greetings, my brethren in the craft! I wanted to give you all a heads up about the server migration that's currently in progress here at Appliantology. You shouldn't notice too much amiss while this is going on (besides some downtime early Saturday morning when the actual transfer takes place), but there may still be some weirdness. For example, we just noticed that some PA membership renewal notices just got sent out to a few of our users that had already renewed within the past few weeks.

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Troubleshooting Thermistors, Identifying EEPs, and More...

When you want to measure the voltage across a component, where do you go to do that? Do you just resign yourself to disassembling the machine until you have access to that component? If you want to troubleshoot like a real tech, you use EEPs -- that's Electrically Equivalent Points. Identifying EEPs requires both being able to skillfully read a schematic and having a solid understanding of how electricity works. By doing this, you eliminate all unnecessary disassembly, increasing the profit
This Circuit Looks Like It Can Never Run... And Yet It Does

This Circuit Looks Like It Can Never Run... And Yet It Does

We're so used to our fancy control boards and computer-controlled appliances that we sometimes forget how to troubleshoot old-skool circuits. While these circuits are generally pretty straightforward, the manufacturers employed some clever tricks that can mess with your head if you don't have a firm grasp of simple AC circuits. Take the buzzer in this dryer as an example: The Tan or Black side of the buzzer goes straight to neutral through that unlabeled switch beneath the temper

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

The Vital First Step to Troubleshooting Any Refrigerator

No matter what refrigerator problem you're called out for, no matter if it's for a warm freezer or a noisy fan or a leaking dispenser, there's one simple step that should you should always do before anything else -- before you or the customer even opens the doors of the machine: Measure the compartment temperatures. Simple, right? So why am I writing a blog post about it? Well, a lot of techs don't see why this is a step that you must always take when troubleshooting a refrigerator. Do

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

The Big Differences Between NTC and PTC Thermistors

In the appliance repair world, we deal with two different kinds of thermistors: NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) and PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient). Don't know what those terms mean? Don't worry, I'll break it down for you. Despite both being thermistors, the only real similarity between NTCs and PTCs is that the resistance of both changes in response to temperature. Beyond that, they work quite differently and serve very different functions. Here's what a typical NTC the

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

The Appliantology Brethren vs. Badly Labelled Samsung Docs...

Brother Scott-afl ran into some unexpected trouble when trying to extend the defrost cycle on a Samsung RF28HFEDBSR/AA refrigerator. In his words: Two puzzling things here: First, why the difference in the error code reporting? It's a minor point, but that E/C difference seems odd. Second, why is the procedure for extending the defrost not working, despite multiple attempts at following the instructions in the manual? Both of these discrepancies boiled down to one thing: po

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

The Anatomy of a Gas Dryer Valve

Ever wondered what the inside of a gas dryer valve looks like? And what's the purpose of having two separate valves in one component? What about those mysterious "safety" and "booster" coils? All of these questions are answered in this short excerpt from one of our many in-depth technical training webinar recordings. Give it a watch and, if you want to see more, click here to watch the full recording. This and dozens hours more of technical education are available only to our premium member

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

 

Tech Training Notes from ASTI 2020, Part 2

During the second half of my stay at ASTI 2020, I got the chance to get the inside scoop on Bosch dishwashers and many different kinds of Beko appliances. While the Bosch training didn't have much new to say, I got a pretty good look at the nuances of Beko products. They've got some nifty features that I haven't seen elsewhere, but there are some quirks to their design and documentation that could make for difficulties with repairs. Take a look at my notes and see for yourself! Available to

Son of Samurai

Son of Samurai

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