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

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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How does this Dishwasher Motor with Triacs and Three Windings Work?
Take a look at this motor circuit: Three different windings? Triacs in the circuit? A "sense resistor"? What's going on here?
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How Magnetic Fields in a Split-Phase Motor Work
Ever wanted an in-depth explanation of how a split-phase motor gets going from a dead stop? Sure, most of us have a passing knowledge of what's going on. But do you really know what's happening on the electromagnetic level? What is this special "split-phase", anyway, and how do we quantify the way the magnetic fields interact?
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Pop Quiz: What's Wrong with this Freezer?
You're investigating a refrigerator that's not cooling properly, and you see the following bits of evidence:
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Implicit and Explicit Specs in Troubleshooting
Specs are essential for troubleshooting. After all, to test a hypothesis, you need to make electrical tests, and to make electrical tests, you need to know what your expected readings are. However, manufacturers don't always give you everything written out. What do you do if you need to make an amp measurement, but the manufacturer only gives you watts? That's exactly the question we're going to answer in this excerpt from one of our many in-depth technical webinar recordings.
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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.
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What is the Purpose of this "Signal Transformer"?
Say you're working on the cooktop of a Frigidaire gas range, and after chasing some wires, you find that this component is in the circuit, right after the power comes in from the outlet, that label calls a "signal transformer", but what is the point of this device, exactly?
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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?
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[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.
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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?
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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?
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