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

How do Relays and Triacs Work?
Whether a control board in an appliance is simple or sophisticated, there's one trick it has to pull off: switching high AC voltage using low DC voltage. They pull this off by using relays or triacs, devices that all of us are at least passingly familiar with.But how do these very common control components work, exactly? And how is troubleshooting a relay different from troubleshooting a triac? That's what we'll look at today.

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There's more than one way for a 3-way valve sealed system to be configured, and if you want to troubleshoot these machines right, you've gotta know the difference.
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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?
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Know your Power Supplies
For those of us techs based in the States, it can be easy to think that electricity just "happens to exist" as our familiar 120/240 volt split-phase power. But that's only one of many forms that electrical power can take. It can come in a variety of voltages and phases, all depending on what standard a particular country or region decided upon.
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Start Capacitors and Run Capacitors in Split-Phase Motors
Ever seen a capacitor somewhere in a split-phase motor's circuit and wondered what exactly the point of that things is? That's what we'll talk about in this blog post.
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Samsung has developed something of a reputation in the tech community, and not necessarily the most flattering one. Many consider the brand to be overly-complicated and impossible to troubleshoot, and some refuse to work on these machines at all. But is this attitude really warranted?
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We've all changed countless ignitors in gas ovens, and any tech worth his salt knows that the definitive way to detect a failed ignitor is with a current measurement. But why does low current through the ignitor cause ignition to fail? Where does that current spec come from?
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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. This said, there are some loads to which Ohm's law doesn't apply.
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EEPs: What they are and how to use them
When you need to test a component, do you always need to just resign yourself to tearing apart the appliance until you reach it? Or is that a waste of time and energy (not to mention unnecessary liability), when you could be working smarter, not harder?
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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?
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Control Board Troubleshooting: Inputs, Outputs, and Algorithms
Many techs are intimidated when it comes to troubleshooting control boards. After all, we're talking about computers here -- computers that just so happen to run appliances. But as complicated as that may sound, control board troubleshooting really boils down to just three things: measuring your inputs, measuring your outputs, and understanding the board's algorithm.
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BrandSource Partners with Master Samurai Tech Academy for Tech Training
Team Samurai has been training appliance techs at the Master Samurai Tech Academy for over 6 years now, and helping out repairmen on the web for far longer. Mr. Appliance has already used our online training for 4 years to make their techs the best they can be. Now, BrandSource has teamed up with us, too!
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Have you ever been robbed of a quick troubleshoot by ghost voltage? How about by an open neutral? Sounds like you need to start using a loading meter for ALL of your AC voltage measurements. Watch the video below to learn why, and find out some things you didn't know about circuits and electrical measurements along the way.
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Quick Tips for Reading Unclear or Ambiguous Schematics
Sometimes, the schematics that manufacturers give us aren't as clear as we would like them to be. Take this refrigerator, for example...
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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.
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Can Low Water Pressure Cause Solenoid Valves to Leak?
We run into water inlet solenoid valves in many different situations -- washers, dishwashers, refrigerators -- so it's important to have a firm grasp on exactly how they work. For example, I just talked with a tech recently who was wondering why low water pressure can cause inlet valves to leak.
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In this short, informative video, the Samurai walks through the steps of the patented Timer Chart Cha-Cha -- a system for reading and applying timer charts to schematics so that you can make sense of what's going on in the circuit. In just 2 minutes, you'll learn the steps of the Cha-Cha which empower you to troubleshoot timer-controlled circuits with ease.
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In this excerpt from one of our many illuminating webinar recordings, the Samurai traces out the circuit for a refrigerator evaporator fan. Interestingly, the neutral side of the fan's power supply goes through both the defrost terminator and the defrost heater. How can this be?

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GFCIs, AFCIs, and Nuisance Tripping
The most basic circuit safety device that everyone is familiar with is the circuit breaker. All a breaker has to do is detect if the amperage in its circuit exceeds a certain threshold and open the circuit if it does. Simple and effective, but not every electrical hazard involves excessive current. In fact, having less current than you should can also indicate a serious safety issue. Enter the GFCI and the AFCI.

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Push to start switches are extremely common technology in dryers, but do you actually know how they work? And do you know the fatal troubleshooting error that can lead you to misdiagnose them? Watch this short excerpt to find out.
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After 8 months of appliance hell, I stumbled upon the Master Samurai Training Tech Academy. Within one month of applying the teachings through the courses I excelled as a real deal appliance diagtician. I went from being the laughing stock of the parts house to them asking me for advice. 
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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.
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BLDC Motor Configurations, FG signals, and PWM signals
BLDC motors aren't new technology in appliances anymore -- in fact, they've become the norm. As such, it's important to be aware of the different configurations you'll see these motors in across appliances. These configurations fall into three categories: 2-wire, 3-wire, and 4-wire.

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Bubble, Dew, and Glide in Refrigerants
Superheat, subcooling, bubble, dew, and glide in refrigerants.
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Diodes in AC Circuits
Put simply, diodes are devices that only allow current to flow in one direction. In DC circuits, this means that a diode can either act as a conductor, just as a stretch of wire would, or as an open in the circuit, depending on the configuration. But what happens when you put one of these devices in an AC circuit?
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