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Our Picks

Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

Sealed System Basics: Saturation, Subcooling, and Superheat
Sealed system thermodynamics is a deep well, but fortunately, you only need to skim the surface to gain a functional understanding. And as techs, it's this functional understanding that we need to acquire in order to effectively troubleshoot.

To do that, we're going to cover the three central concepts to understanding a sealed system: saturation, subcooling, and superheat.
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Troubleshooting Gas Range Burner Spark Ignition Problems
Gas burners are a whole little microcosm within appliances with some interesting technology that we don't see much elsewhere. In this webinar recording, we cover how to troubleshoot various cooktop ignition systems, covering topics such as:
- DSI systems
- Single-point ignition
- Reignition systems
- Continual sparking after a flame is established
- Applying the Ten-Step Tango to real-world problems
...and more!
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A Practical Rundown of Sealed System Diagnostics
In this two-part Master Samurai Tech webinar series, we explore the nuances of sealed system diagnostics. Specifically, we're covering the nitty-gritty of applying our understanding of sealed system thermodynamics to real-world sealed system failures, such as refrigerant leaks, overcharges, and inefficient compressors.
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An Odyssey Through Conflicting Information in a Samsung Washer Fast Track
Come on a journey with me as we explore just how tangled your circuit analyses can get when you're confronted with conflicting information in a tech sheet.
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Dealing with Bad Heater Specs on an LG Dryer
Imagine you're in this situation: you're trying to do some ohms testing on heater of an LG electric dryer. You're reading 21 ohms across a single coil, and 42 ohms through both coils. But when you look at the spec on the schematic, you're seeing almost exactly half that. What's going on?
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Why Forums are Better than Facebook
Unlike when we first started Appliantology, the Internet is now full of appliance repair support resources. From Facebook groups to subreddits to Voxer and Telegram groups, you've got your pick of the litter when it comes to what flavor you'd like. Are there advantages to using a private forum-based site like Appliantology over the social media plantations? You betcha: Privacy and Functionality
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Gas dryer not heating, troubleshooting with only a jumper wire
Problem: I'm on a gas dryer service call-- no heat complaint.

Solution: Using only my jumper wire at the main board, I proved a problem with the Neutral sense line from the motor and made the burner fire up. 

Question: At what two points did I place my jumper wire to troubleshoot this problem? 


 
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Samurai's Big Three Troubleshooting Secrets
If you understand just three things, I guarantee you can successfully troubleshoot ANY appliance electrical problem...
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3 ways to half-split warm refrigerator problems
Whenever you're dealing with a warm refrigerator problem, your first question to answer is, "Am I dealing with a failed sealed system or a control problem?" In other words, you need to half-split the problem between the sealed system and the controls (air movement, defrost system, temperature control, compressor start device, etc.). I'm going to talk about three ways to half-split warm refrigerator problems to either rule in or rule out the sealed system and the controls. 
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How Does a Mixed-Up 240 VAC Power Supply Mess With This Dryer?
What would happen if you took a 240 VAC outlet and swapped the terminals around? What effects might that have on the machine that's plugged into it?
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10 Essential Tools for Appliance Repair
If you're getting into appliance repair, or even just looking to downsize an overstuffed tool bag, you might be wondering: what are the absolute essentials that you should bring with you on any service call? Well, having my fair share of experience in the field, I'll put forward Team Samurai's list of must-have appliance repair tools.
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4 Essential Tips for CSRs
There are many standard items a CSR should collect from the customer (name, address, contact information, type of appliance, etc.), but I'd like to focus on the key features of a good service ticket that may be overlooked by some. If you make sure to follow these tips, you'll set your techs up for the easiest prediagnosis and best service calls possible.
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An Introduction to R600 and Lokring
We’ve all been hearing about R600 refrigerant for years now, and the reality is that it’s no longer an innovation in the area of household refrigeration; it’s the new standard.

With the majority of new refrigerators now being R600 models, repair companies need to be ready to perform sealed system repairs on them. This raises a few questions for these companies: how is R600 different from R134a, and what do I need to service R600 refrigerators?
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Troubleshooting a Top-Load Washer Motor that Hums and Doesn't Run
I've got another scenario for you, taken right from the trials and tribulations of an Appliantology tech. Here's the situation: you're working on a top-load washer, and whenever you try to run a cycle, the tub doesn't move and the motor just hums.
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What You Need to Know to Troubleshoot Vent Hoods
Vent hoods are pretty simple appliances -- something you've probably surmised if you've ever looked at the schematic for one. Usually, all they have going on is a blower motor and a couple of lights. When it comes to troubleshooting a hood, there are just two technology-related concepts you need to be familiar with: venting specifications and how multi-speed motors work.
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Prediagnosis: How a Real Tech Prepares for a Service Call
Here at Appliantology, our primary mission is to support appliance repair techs in performing prediagnosis: the method of performing as much troubleshooting as you possibly can before setting foot in the customer’s home. Prediagnosis is the biggest factor in increasing FCC (First Call Complete) rates, and the higher the FCC rate, the higher your company's profitability.
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Diagnostic Modes: What They Can Do and How to Use Them
Some techs long for the "good old days" of mechanical controls, when troubleshooting appliances was supposedly simpler. But the universal use of electronic controls nowadays actually provides many troubleshooting benefits -- in particular in the form of error codes and diagnostic modes.
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Do Ohms Lie?
"Ohms lie." It's become a popular phrase in the tech community, but what does it actually mean? Should you never do an ohms measurement? Are they completely worthless? Or is this phrase just another example of tech mythology?
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One Simple Trick to Reading LG and Samsung Schematics
Both of the big Korean manufacturers -- LG and Samsung -- have a little trick that they like to use in their schematics. While I think they do it to keep the lines from becoming too much of a tangled mess, it can sometimes be a bit unclear for the uninitiated. Here's an example of an LG refrigerator schematic:
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Troubleshooting an Electric Dryer with No Heat and 120 Volts Present on Both Sides of the Element
Here's a scenario taken right from the trials and tribulations of an Appliantology tech: you're troubleshooting a no heat complaint on a GE electric dryer. You start your troubleshooting with the heating circuit, and your findings are puzzling: there are 120 volts on either side of the heater with respect to neutral, but when you do a voltage reading across the heater, you get some weird amount like 80 volts. What gives?
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Hall Sensors: How Do They Work?
Whether you were aware of them or not, Hall effect sensors are everywhere. Any time you see a motor on an appliance with any kind of RPM feedback or speed signal, there's a Hall sensor on that motor. As with any ubiquitous appliance technology, it's important for us techs to know how they work. A deeper understanding of the technology means a deeper understanding of how to troubleshoot it.
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How Refrigerant Absorbs Heat Without Getting Hotter
Refrigeration can seem a bit like magic -- how does a little bit of refrigerant being pushed around in some metal tubes somehow chill a freezer down to 0 degrees F? Well, it's not magic -- it's just physics.
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Voltage Dividers and how Control Boards Read Thermistor Input
We're all familiar with how thermistors work: their resistance varies with temperature, which in turn varies the voltage drop across them. The control board then reads that voltage drop and determines the sensed temperature based on that. But how?
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240 VAC Split-Phase Power Supplies Visualized and Explained
Ever wondered how L1 and L2 in a 240 VAC circuit have a voltage difference of 240 VAC? Or what people mean when they say that L1 and L2 are 180 degrees out of phase? And what exactly do we mean when we say "voltage difference" anyway?
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“What about hands-on training?”
We get asked this frequently by people who are new to the trade and considering enrolling in the online appliance repair training at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.
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