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Monday, September 30, 2002
Appliance Tip Update
In case you're new to this website, here's a table of all the Appliance Tip of the Day posts to date. If you'd like to receive this and other fun facts to know and tell in your email, you can join the Appliantology group. Keep in mind that since new tips are continually being added and this entry was posted in September, 2002, this table is already out of date. You can see the current table of tips here. Happy fixing!
Now you can get Samurai Appliance Repair Man's pearls of wisdom delivered directly to your email. Yah, when you join the Appliantology newsgroup, updates to this website will be emailed to you as soon as they're posted. Don't worry, the mail list is run by MSN Groups so you can easily unsubscribe anytime or choose to just receive daily digests. When you join the Appliantology newsgroup, you get access to all kinds of special goodies like the Appliantology chat room and a special files and photos area. So, go ahead and subscribe--all your other friends are doing it.
Sunday, September 29, 2002
Cool Stuff Update
Just got new bidness cards made up. Here, take some and pass 'em around. Delight your friends, taunt your enemies. Share the love, yo!
Saturday, September 28, 2002
Got a break in the weather today so Ouzo and I are going hike two sections of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway: the section from Wadleigh State Park to Kearsarge Valley Road and then continuing on the Lincoln Trail, going up to the summit of Mt. Kearsarge and then down to Winslow State Park. Just over a 10 mile hike. The Spousal Unit will drop us off at Wadleigh State Park this morning and then pick us up at Winslow State park this afternoon. From there, we'll go right to our annual neighborhood party, Otterfest, to finish off the hike with burgers, brews, and neighbors. Later days, brah.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Did you know that Amana is owned by Maytag? Yep, so is Admiral, Norge, and Magic Chef. And did you know that Kitchen Aid and Sub-Zero are both owned by Whirlpool? Yeah, man, all those appliance brands are just an illusion--they're all made by just four, count 'em, four manufacturers. Oh, there used to really be a lot more manufacturers before mergers and acquisitions became vogue. The table below is kind of a road map for who makes which brands. Yes, Grasshopper, the many are really just the few...four, to be exact.
"But what about Kenmore, why aren't they in the table?," you ask. That's because Kenmore doesn't make anything but money. "Kenmore" is just a label owned by Sears and represents nothing more than a bunch of bureaucrats at Sears who get one of the Big Four to make their stuff for them. Period. There ain't no "Kenmore" factory in Malaysia or anywhere else. You can decode your Kenmore model number here to find out which one of the Big Four dunnit.
Live Help Update
It's a chilly day with a much-needed steady rain here in New Hampster. Since I'm a wuss and won't be out stomping the hills in these unsavory conditions, I'll have my warm dry tushy planted right here in front of the 'pooter most of the day. You got questions, we got answers...maybe not the one's you wanna hear, but we got 'em.
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Live Help Update
Mrs. Samurai is having a bunch of her homeschooling Mom friends over tonight for a yak session. Since my computer is out in the family room where a bunch of women will be milling about and clucking, guess where I won't be? Yeah, so while they're here, I'll be down in my workshop getting my backpacking gear together for my next trip somewhere, sometime. If I'm still sober enough to type, I should be online for live help by mid to late evening. Later, brah.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Check it out: American Express just sent me a Gold Card! Dude, I'm getting a Dell!
Dell hell. I'm gonna buy some more White Winter Premium Oak Brackett. This stuff elevates beer drinking to a new level. Brackett is a style of mead, which is an alcoholic drink made from honey, water and yeast. Mead-making pre-dates beer and wine making, having origins dating back 8,000 years. Brackett originates from ancient Scandinavia and is made by adding malt to mead. It's a stout, full-bodied drink with a slightly thicker viscosity and higher alcohol content than other fermented grain beverages. Legend has it that sweet mead promotes fertility. Ladies, this mead's for you!
Looking to replace your dearly departed icemaker? Sick of filling ice cube trays and you're finally going to install an icemaker kit in your fridge? This handy table will help you figger out which kit you need. If you're seeking wisdom on troubleshooting and repair or installing a water supply line for your icemaker, just click the preceding links. Otherwise, let the table below be your guiding light.
 Replacement means you're replacing an existing icemaker in a fridge that already had one. Add-On means you're installing an icemaker kit in a fridge that never had one. Add-on kits come with the water valve and ice bin, replacement kits do not. You can use an add-on kit for a replacement but you can't use a replacement kit for an add-on.
 The style of plug refers to the type of icemaker electrical receptacle that you can see on back wall inside your freezer.
 Kit comes with both a flat and round receptacle plug.
 This is the type of water installation kit recommended by manufacturers. Uses only genuine copper tubing with a drill-type saddle tap valve. For more information, see this page.
 The defrost timer is built into the flex tray icemaker. If you just want to get rid of the flex tray icemaker in your fridge, you'll need to install this replacement defrost timer kit or your fridge won't run. You'll have a hard time finding a replacement flex tray icemaker because they suck so bad. If yours is busted and you can't fix it, you're better off without it.
Monday, September 23, 2002
Live Help Update
I'm here this evening, chained to the computer, writing new content, answering forum posts, adding new bells and whistles and, of course, chatting with grasshoppers on live help. Ring me up, Scotty!
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Live Help Update
Well, the MPU and her SU bid their sad farewells today, heading back home to Hotlanta. So I once again assume the meditative pose, preparing for the inevitable onslaught of penetrating and insightful questions on live help. Ahh, here's a "Special Grasshopper" ringing me up for live help now. C'mon, have a listen:
Special Grasshopper: My washer doesn't wash anymore. Any ideas?
Friday, September 20, 2002
Yes, Grasshopper, your journey into appliance repair excellence begins with good technical information. While it's true that this website is the Muthah of all appliance repair websites and offers an extensive online library of information, do-it-yourself repair forums, and live help, there's just no way we can reproduce all the esoteric information contained in genuine manufacturer's repair manuals. Something about copyright laws, I dunno. Anyway, a good repair manual can be a valuable adjunct to the vast repository of appliance wisdom here at Fixitnow.com. Come git you some.
Thursday, September 19, 2002
The Fixit Boyz White Mountain Journey
Live Help Update
Been having annoying internet connection problems this week. Like I say in the gray sidebar on the right hand side of this page: my ISP, Aldephia, sucks. I mean REALLY sucks out loud. All week, cable modem access has been sporadic, working fine for a few minutes, then choking. And I'm paying $50/month for this crap. Oh, I know what you're saying, you're saying, "Hey, quit your whining about your ISP. What have you done for me lately and when are you gonna be back online for live help?" Well, y'see, Slick, if I can't get on the internet reliably then live help don't work. Patience, Grasshopper: I'm working on changing ISPs even as I write this. Hopefully by this time next week, I'll be connecting via DSL and saying buh-bye to glitchy cable modem.
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Live Help Update
The Maternal Parental Unit (MPU) and her Spousal Unit (SU) are visiting us through next Saturday so live help will be sporatic during their visit. I'll answer questions in the forum as much as I can. I appreciate all the help in the forum from the other gurus, especially Guido from CT, Appliance Aid, and Moostafa. Domo, dudes!
I finally bagged the Bonds, the peak-bagger's nemesis. Since this would've been a 22 mile dayhike, my semper fi canine hiking bud, Ouzo, and I did this as an overnight backpacking trip. We bagged all three Bonds, Bond Cliff, Mt. Bond, and West Bond, on Thursday and camped in the shelter at Guyot campsite Thursday night. Then on Friday, we returned via the same trails and bagged 'em again. About eleven miles each way. Perfect weather, clear skies, chilly but not cold, and we just missed the snow and hail storm that blew through the White Mountains on Wednesday. Stunningly clear views of a snow-capped Mt. Washington from Mt. Bond. You can feast your peak-bagging squinties on all my photos from this most splendiferous of hikes ratcheer.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Word of the Day
And the Word of the Day is "mawkish."
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Return of the Samurai
He's back, he's black, he's madder than Hell...he's Samurai with a mohawk!
Ok, I didn't really get a mohawk. I'm not overtly angry, either, just the usual inward-directed anger that makes me mildly bipolar and prone to substance abuse. And I'm only a little black. But I really am back. I gotta say, that was the best hike ever in the White Mountains. Trail stories by request. Film at eleven.
I couldn't convince my flat-lander hiking buddies to bag the Bonds this trip. So, I'm doing 'em this week, Thursday-Friday, hiking up via the Lincoln Woods trail, camping at Guyot campsite Thursday night, and then returning the same way on Friday. Weather forecasts are spectaculous.
I'll be around today and tomorrow, on and off of live help, but then I'm gone Thursday and Friday, back online late Friday night or Saturday morning. Talk to you later, M'bassoo.
Friday, September 06, 2002
Signing Off 'till Next Week...maybe
Well, this is it, compadre. My last entry for the week and possibly my last entry ever. The Fixit Boyz will all be mustering up here at Brown Compound in about an hour from now for the Third Annual Fixit Boyz Hillstomp. We'll go through gear, make a last minute supply run, and then adjourn to the Flying Goose Brew Pub for a pre-hike briefing and 16 oz. wrist curls. I may be back online next week or I may just die on the mountain. If you don't hear from me again, in lieu of flowers please contribute to the United Samurai Beer Fund® so Mrs. Samurai can continue this most Noble Work. Domo.
Thursday, September 05, 2002
Live Help Update
Yep, I'll be on live help tonight for as much as I can stand it. When I can't stand it any more, I'll be unavailable for live help but still hanging around the forum pretending to answer questions. I'll probably go back and forth like this for a while until I just get so dizzy that I throw up and pass out.
Gear Review: The Kelty 50th Anniversary Pack
If you're into backpacking, you probably couldn't avoid reading something, somewhere, about the Kelty 50th Anniversary pack. Backpacker magazine kicked off the brewhaha when they picked it as an Editor's Choice for 2002, touting it as a breakthrough in pack engineering, combining the best features of internal and external frame packs into one elegant engineering marvel. And for good reason: the pack is well-designed and boasts some nifty features like two shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a big sack to carry all your crap in.
But wait, there's more! Kelty spent hours scouring the Philippines for just the right political prison camp to manufacture their ergonometric engineering marvel for them. Now, this is where the collective grey matter of corporations really shines through: you develop a new product, like the 50th Anniversary Pack, designed with new features, such as the Levitators®, but then you have it all stitched together by half-blind arthritic Filipino political dissidents and charge a premium retail price for it. This helps to assure that the stitching on the pack will tear apart during the middle of a wilderness trek (see the entry below this one) and gets people screaming your name from mountain summits. It's exactly that kind of cutting-edge marketing that makes Kelty Numero Uno. Kelty, like its cohort, Backpacker magazine, has come of age and has learned what it takes to be a successful bidness in Amerika today. In recognition of this, we here at Fixitnow.com bestow the prestigious F. Walter Ellison Award for Bribery and Coersion on Kelty Corporation.
Congratulations to all the visionaries at Kelty Corporation, and especially the Accounting, Marketing, and Quality Assurance Departments!
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
Live Help Update
Yesterday was a surreal succession of things going wrong while pulling my gear together for the Fixit Boyz Hillstomp this weekend. It all began when I discovered defective mission-critical stitching in my new Kelty 50th Anniversary backpack. More about that later. Oh, you can bet your sweet double-wide bottom there'll be more. You'll soon know all about my experience with the much-ballyhooed Kelty 50th Anniversary pack.
But enough about me, let's talk more about me. I'll be on for live help from late afternoon right up to bedtime, which will depend on how good the brews are tasting.
Sunday, September 01, 2002
Q. What could be more fun than a handful of leeches?
A. MORE LEECHES!
Q. What equipment do you need to hunt for leeches?
A. Just your bare hands and a specially-trained leech hunting hound.
Q. Where do you hunt for leeches?
A. The best place we've found is Mill Pond at Pillsbury State Park.
Get notified by email when your skivvies are dry. And now your life is happy and full.
Have you seen the Navy's new website? Dude, this site rocks! If I was 20 years younger, I'd re-enlist all over again...ok, maybe not, but it's still a cool flash intro.
Look, I make no pretenses about being a neutral or unbiased voice in the home appliance world--I'll tell you right now, Grasshopper: I ain't. Nawsir, I am one cranky and opinionated cracker. But get me talking about GE appliances, and I turn into one pissed-off cracker. Why? Because despite horrendous quality problems and outrageous markups on replacement parts, people still buy GE appliances and so the freak show continues.
If you recently bought a GE fridge equipped with an icemaker, it probably has the new GE IM6 icemaker. If it's like other GE appliances, it won't be long before something goes horribly wrong with it. Probably the day after your warranty expires. So go ahead and bookmark this entry now, Grasshopper, 'cause you're gonna need it. Guaranteed. Ok, let's light this candle.
The most common problem that you, the unsuspecting GE owner, will run into with this contraption is when it inexplicably goes into fault mode. This icemaker has a green LED on the right hand side, below the power-on rocker switch, shown here. When that LED starts flashing at the rate of ½ second on, ½ second off, welcome to fault mode, compadre. The main reasons this icemaker goes into fault mode are:
More diagnostic info on the IM6, including how to initiate the harvest cycle, here.
The thermistor is one busy dude in this icemaker. It's contantly sensing the temperature of the ice mold and controls just about everything, from the mold heater to the ice harvest. It will fail either electrically open or shorted. Either way, you're screwed...unless you know how to check it. Would you like to know? Ok, I'll tell you. First, locate the thermistor on the icemaker and pull that sucker right out of the printed circuit board. Now, clip your ohm meter leads to the thermistor terminals and check the resistance according to this temperature-resistance chart. If your thermistor tests bad, come git you a new one!
If the thermistor is good but the icemaker still doesn't work right, then you have to replace the whole icemaker. Sorry, Slick, but that's GE for ya.
So, let's say you wanted to replaced your GE icemaker with a good ol' Whirlpool icemaker. How would you wire it into your fridge? Why, using the schematic diagram for the IM6, of course!
By the way, if you'd like to call GE to tell them what a big fan you are, their number is 1-800-626-2000. Go git 'em!
I am your gracious host, Samurai Appliance Repair Man.
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