Appliance Repair Show Transcript - October 28, 2007

sebestadesign.com requires at least version 7 of Flash. Please update your client.

Topics Discussed:

 

1996 Whirlpool Refrigerator/Freezer, Model Number ED25PQ, Not Producing Ice and Freezing the Water

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's Bob, in Milford, with our first call of the day, an icemaker question, here on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead please, Bob!

 

BOB

I have a Whirlpool 1996 Vintage Model ED25PQ.  I have what I would describe as a water delivery problem to the icemaker (part # 4317943).  The solenoid (part # 4318046) will put water up there, but eventually the residue will freeze in the tube (part # 2196157).  I have to thaw out the tube, put it back in and the cycle starts all over again.  I get three or four, maybe five tubs of ice before it freezes to the point where it shuts the water off. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  That's generally caused from a low water pressure, either coming into the house, you know going to the water valve (part # 4318046), or the water valve itself is not seating properly.  And what happens when the water valve doesn't seat is you get several drops of water that kind of trickle past after the icemaker (part # 4317943) fills.  And then that freezes in the fill tube (part # 2196157) and then the next cycle, same thing happens, and then over time that ice actually builds up to where the icemaker tube itself is restricted and the icemaker will not work.  At times it will actually leak out the back of the refrigerator and you will have water running out the back of it, because the icemaker is still trying to fill.

 

BOB

Is that a problem part?  This will be the second one that I've put on in ten years; actually, the third one.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The first thing is, make sure you have good water pressure to the valve (part # 4318046).

 

BOB

I did that, and I've got good solid pressure coming in to the water valve (part # 4318046) itself.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If you've got the saddle valve style supply line (part # 5305510264) that comes off of your main plumbing; there are two styles, one has got a small probe that pokes a hole into the pipe. . .

 

BOB

That's the style I have.  I have checked it and the pressure is good.  Now that solenoid (part # 4318046) serves both the water in the door and the icemaker (part # 4317943)?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right, it's dual.  What you want to do if you have the ability to get at it and change it, is replace the saddle valve (part # 5305510264) that's got the small protruding point, and all you do is you mount it to the pipe and you turn it in and it pokes a small hole about the size of a pencil lead, and that works pretty good in a lot of instances, but they also make one which is called a drill-style (part # 5305519684), or what you actually have to do is drill a quarter-inch hole into the pipe, and you can normally use the hole that the probe has made in there as a guide, and then mount a new saddle valve in there.  So instead of having a hole in your pipe about the size of a pencil lead, you have a quarter-inch hole.  You get much better volume, and much less chance to restrict.  Especially if you mount the saddle valve, if it's not mounted in the top half of the pipe, what happens is residue will settle and plug up that small hole, and sometimes---

 

BOB

Do you think that replacing the solenoid (part # 4318046) would fix this problem?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I would start with the supply. I would start by putting in and make sure you're making good water pressure to the valve.  If the problem still exists, then I'd replace the water inlet valve (part # 4318046).  The other thing you can also do to get more life out of the water inlet valve is make sure that it seats properly, is put a filter inline (part # 5305510266).

 

BOB

I do have that.  I have an Omni-style water filter (part # 5305510266) in the line, it's a quarter-inch line coming out of a, I think it's a five-eighths pipe.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.  The other thing is, make sure the filter's been changed—

 

BOB

I just did that before this problem.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.

 

BOB

You know, I think I've got it diagnosed, but I hate to just throw parts at it and maybe miss something.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I'd start with the water supply shut-off; it never hurts to change that and get good water volume, especially going through the filter (part # 5305510266), but if that doesn't solve it then replace the water valve (part # 4318046).  As far as how often that occurs, a lot of it has to do with your water quality; hard water, stuff like that will cause the valve to not seat properly.

 

BOB

Well, I noticed when I looked it up on the RepairClinic website, the part number is different from the one I have in there.  I assume that it's an updated part number?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Or, it's a kit.  A lot of times the manufacturer will come out with a part that will fit many different models.

 

BOB

I see.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And then we get a situation where the people call in and say, it's not the right part because it doesn't look like mine, but in reality a lot of them come as kind of an erector set where you have a bunch of different parts and brackets and things to mount it, but they are the manufacturer's specified replacement part.

 

BOB

I certainly appreciate your time and information.

 

1960's Sears Coldspot Refrigerator Door Switch is Not Working

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And here's Karen, in Brighton, on the Appliance Repair Show on News Talk 760 WJR.

 

KAREN

Yes, I have a Coldspot from Sears, and it's a very, very early model; it was made in the late sixties.  I have no problem with the refrigerator, but I can't find a light assembly.  I can't get the light on in the refrigerator.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

When you say you can't find a light assembly, you're talking about a replacement bulb?

 

KAREN

No, no, no, the switch.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You're looking for a door switch for that?

 

KAREN

Yeah, the one that goes in the middle of the door on the bottom. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Have you tried our website?

 

KAREN

I don't have a computer.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, well give this number a call, 888-34-FIXIT (888-343-4948), and we have people there waiting to take your call.  And they can pull up by the model number you provided, and if the door switch is still available, and normally those are pretty common parts so it should still be available. . .

 

KAREN

Wow.  We were told that they discontinued it four years ago, so we were hoping that maybe there was a replacement part or something like that that they made, you know like I said this a model from the sixties.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, again a door switch is a common part, it's a wearing part, they do fail over time, and I'd try and see if we can find one that's, first of all I'd just make sure the one you have has been discontinued.  If it has been discontinued, it's possible we still might be able to find one; we have a lot of resources to find parts from frankly all across the nation. And if not, we may be able to recommend a generic or an after-market switch. 

 

KAREN

That's what we were counting on.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, give us a call and we'll have our people research it for you, and hopefully we can come up with something for you.

 

Kenmore Front Loading Washer Fills with Water and Then Stops

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here with a washer that fills and stops, Jim in Clinton Township, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Jim, that's not good!

 

JIM

I have a Kenmore washer, double action front load.  All of a sudden, you put it into the wash cycle, you load the soap and put it on wash, and it fills, and that's it, it sits.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You get no wash, no spin?

 

JIM

No, absolutely nothing.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Nothing?  Well, from what you're describing for the model you have, I would suspect you either have a door lock assembly.  That's when you close the door, make sure that on the door itself, there's a small plastic piece that protrudes out from the door, and it has to hit the lock assembly.

 

JIM

It's all there.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's not broken, then?

 

JIM

No, sir.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, because sometimes that gets snapped off and. . .

 

JIM

As a matter of fact there's two pieces.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, that's the catch assembly.  If that's there, then it's either the lock switch is not sensing that, the lock switch has failed, or the spin control board is the other common failing piece for that, which is about a one hundred and twenty five dollar control board that runs the motor and for all aspects, wash and spin.  You can, as far as the lock switch assembly goes, there's a wiring diagram on your unit that will tell you what contacts need to be closed in order to initiate the spin.  There's also a manual that we sell for that which is probably a good thing to have if you want to work on it yourself; it will walk you through everything, give you all the electrical contact points. If you put the model number you provided to us into our website, www.RepairClinic.com, you will see a picture of all the common parts for your unit, as well as the manual.  This is something that you have to do some electrical diagnosing; it could be one of the two things. 

 

JIM

I don't mean to interrupt, but one thing I overlooked to say, the timer itself does not advance. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, the timer on a lot of those machines serves a purpose, but most of it's done electronically through the control board and the door switch assembly to make sure it's closed.  A timer on a lot of those machines really isn't necessary for the fact that they could put other components in there and not have the timer, but because people have become over the years accustomed to that timer dial on the machine, a lot of them build it, put a timer on there, and really all it does is it advances and at certain appropriate times it stops, pauses, and supplies power to the control board.  But if you look there's the same model with touch controls and everything else.  The timer is the least failing component on that machine, and probably the most replaced by accident.

 

JIM

Amateurs.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, again, you can certainly guess all day, but in order to know for sure you need to do some electrical testing to find out where the circuit has failed.  Most often, from what you're describing, it's the motor spin control board or the lock assembly.

 

JIM

Okay. And your store is in Canton?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's correct. It's off of Michigan Avenue.  The nearest cross street is Beck Road.

 

2005 Bosch Front Loading Washing Machine Making Noises in the Wash Cycle

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Mike in Brownstown's next, here on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead please, Mike.

 

MIKE

Hey, thanks for taking the call, I appreciate it!  I've got a Bosch, the "Next Essence" front-loading washing machine, and as it's going through the wash cycle, when the clothes seem to tumble and fall towards the door, I've got a spring stretching sound.  It sounds like a spring that's stretching out?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's kind of a vibration?

 

MIKE

No, not really a vibration, almost like if you can imagine. . .the washing machine seems to have a suspension to it. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, there are springs

 

MIKE

As the clothes fall, and hit the bottom, I get it sounds like a spring stretching out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, it sounds, there are springs that suspend the tank from the main frame, its possible one of those has broken and the other spring is taking up the slack.  Or, it could be the springs themselves are weak, which on a two year old unit isn't normal, but on the other hand if the unit has been dropped or moved or something like that, it could be the case.  From what you're describing, I would lean more toward the suspension springs for the unit, and if you get your model off your machine, we can probably be a little more specific as far as replacement parts go.  As the weight of that is coming down, the force is causing the spring to make some noise.

 

MIKE

Would that be a pretty easy fix if the spring were broken?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Do you have a dryer mounted on top of this?

 

MIKE

No.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, because those are fun, you normally have to take the dryer off in that case. Yeah, it really depends on which one it is and where it's at.  Most of the time you can do it from the top of the machine, remove the top panel.  Get at the spring assemblies, the suspension springs, and as long as the other four are there or you change them one at a time, it's not too bad.  But sometimes you have to kind of wrestle those things.  The tub is heavy and it's something you might want to call for service on if you don't want to get in there and beat around on it for a while.

 

MIKE

Okay, I'm pretty handy and pretty strong so I could probably handle it, but I'd never opened up one of those before.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, if you have any other specific questions, you can go to our website, RepairClinic.com, and get the "Contact Us" section up and you can send us an email.

 

MIKE

I appreciate it!

 


Electric Dryer Taking Too Long to Dry

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And here's Diane, in Macomb County, who has a problem with her dryer taking forever to dry, on News Talk 760 WJR.  Diane, go ahead please.

 

DIANE

Yes, I'm calling on behalf of my granddaughter.  I don't know the model number, but she has an electric dryer, and it seems like she says, you know it does heat, it's hot, but the dryer does not dry the clothes.  They cleaned out the ducts and they cleaned out everything and she says she has to keep turning it to ninety minutes. . .ninety minutes.  Could it just be that the dryer is old, or could something else be wrong with it?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, being old doesn't have a lot to do with it, other than if the vent has been restricted and over time the blower housing has been impacted with a lot of lint and debris buildup, it will reduce the airflow.

 

DIANE

Yeah, because that's what he cleaned out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

He cleaned out the vent, or the internal portion of the dryer?

 

DIANE

He cleaned the hose that goes out.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right.  Well the internal part of the dryer, or the blower housing assembly, will at times become restricted, and you would have to disassemble the dryer and clean all that out where the blower wheel is.  If that is dirty, you're reducing your airflow and it will take a long time for it to dry.

 

DIANE

How to you get to that blower, do you have to go to the back?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It depends on the model of your dryer, but you can always go to our website, RepairClinic.com, and we have a lot of information general and specific, as to how to access the dryers and washers, any major appliance, so if you get that and find out what kind of dryer it is, the model number, a lot of times we'll have some step-by-step information on how to disassemble the unit and you can print it out and take your tool box and flashlight and go after it.  The other thing is just how long is the vent going outside?  Normally, you're allowed fifty feet of dryer venting, but for every elbow you have in there you subtract eight feet; for the outside vent cap subtract eight feet---

 

DIANE

Right, because she lives in a mobile home.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Then there's straight walled venting versus flexible, for the flexible you get even less.  Fifty feet sounds like a lot, but if you have two or three elbows and the outside vent cap and a ten-foot run, then you're almost at a maximum, so I would definitely make sure that the vent is as short as possible—

 

DIANE

Short?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Short as possible, and with the least amount of bends that you can do to get it outside.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Again, RepairClinic.com would be the place for her to go and get that information and it will give you step-by-step instructions and it has the actual diagram of the machine.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, we have our detailed appliance illustrations, which we have where you can mouse over all the components and it shows you what they look like and what they're called, and it helps people speak the same appliance language.

 

2006 Dacor Microwave Question about Purchasing an Extended Warranty

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And that can always be of help.  John Sowden is here providing the expert advice, and he'll apply that to Mary, in Clarkston, about a microwave here on the Appliance Repair Show.

 

MARY

We have a Dacor microwave, it's not quite a year old and we just had to have a service call because of an internal switch. . ..

 

JOHN SOWDEN

A door switch?

 

MARY

No, not a door switch, it was something that controlled the heating.  And it malfunctioned.  So it was taken care of, however now that one-year is approaching, we're wondering if you have a recommendation or any statistics as to what makes sense.  Is it good to do warranty or not necessary?  Extended warranty?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That really is something that is a decision only you can make.  That's why they have a manufacturers warranty, and normally most electrical components will fail within a month or two if they're going to fail, you have to look at the cost of the unit versus what the cost of the failure is, you also need to look at what the manufacturer's warranty is, if there's any extended warranty, because some will have an extended warranty on parts and things of that nature.  Where, if you buy an extended warranty, the manufacturer is still picking up part of the tab on that.  It really depends on what you're being charged for an additional warranty.  On a microwave situation, is it in-home service, or is it carry-in service?  If it's something where you have to take it off the wall and then take it in somewhere and through all that, then you might want to look at an additional warranty for that.  It's a cost thing, it's gambling to some degree. The other thing is if you're going to buy warranty on one appliance, you may consider a whole house warranty if you're going to do it.  That way everything you have is covered, especially people who travel a lot, they're out of town and somebody else is house-sitting, they'll have something like that in force, so if something breaks they can get it repaired and it's taken care of.  It's a peace of mind thing.  I have people who swear by extended warranties because they've had to use them and it's saved them a lot of money.

 

MARY

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I wish I could be more specific and say yes, buy it, or no, don't buy it, but it's really a personal decision.

 

Sharp Over the Range Microwave Digital Display No Longer Works

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And next we go to Virginia, in Swartz Creek, with a question on another microwave on the Appliance Repair Show.  Hi, Virginia. Go ahead please.

 

VIRGINIA

I have a Sharp Carousel microwave, over the range, and the digital display doesn't display anymore.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The digital display?  Now, do you have, does the machine work otherwise?

 

VIRGINIA

Yeah.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, it counts down and heats, but you can't see what's happening?

 

VIRGINIA

Right, when I put the minutes in, I don't know how many minutes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so you have to make sure you're hitting the right buttons.  Unfortunately, it depends on the cost of the microwave.  The replacement control board for that is about one hundred and fifty dollars.

 

VIRGINIA

Oh, you have to replace the whole board?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it comes as an LED control board assembly, so you can't get just one piece or another.  It really depends on how much you want to spend on this microwave, but it could be uneconomical to repair.  Is this an over the range microwave?

 

VIRGINIA

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's something that, you're at about half the cost of a new one, probably.

 

VIRGINIA

Oh well, it's in a house that's up for sale, so we'll leave it like it is.

 

2007 Sharp Microwave Door Release Has Broken Off and the Spring Has Popped Out

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Must be microwave morning here on the Appliance Repair Show, as we go to Mary in Port Huron.  Mary, go ahead please.

 

MARY

Hi, bad day for Sharp Carousel microwaves here, that's what I'm battling.  My problem though, what happened was I went to open the door to warm a cup of coffee, and the little punch that you open the door with came off, and with it a spring.  Looked inside, and I'm looking at three indentations.  Not any of them really fit the spring that came out.  Now what I've done is just put the spring back in and taped it shut.  I'm able to use it, but I was wondering is there any place, should I call Sharp to see if there's some way I can replace it, because I really don't like looking at the tape on it, and it's a virtually brand new machine!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What's virtually brand new?

 

MARY

It's going on six months.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, you should have a warranty for that I would assume.

 

MARY

I don't know if there is a warranty on that.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Most come with at least ninety days, and some come with a full year warranty. I would recommend calling Sharp and seeing what the warranty is on that. It sounds like the door release lever, which is the thing you push in on.  The spring that's attached to that, the reason why you may not see where the spring goes, is a lot of times they have little plastic tabs that the spring would be attached to, and it could be broken, so you can't see where it goes because the place where it's anchored has been broken away.  Certainly, anything less than a year old, always call the manufacturer and see what they'll do.  And even if it's slightly out of warranty, it never hurts to at least try and call, see what they do, catch somebody on a good day and maybe they can take care of you.

 

MARY

Okay then, call Sharp, then?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's what I would recommend.

 

2007 Whirlpool Side by Side Refrigerator Icemaker Interfering with the Radios in the Home

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And here's a question at the other spectrum of the kitchen with Jim, in Dearborn, with an icemaker problem on the Appliance Repair Show. 

 

JIM

I have a brand new Whirlpool icemaker.  It's making noises on all my AM radios.  I have to point the radio toward the wall in order to get it to lower the hum.  Every time the icemaker seems to come on, and starts making new ice, I get this annoying humming sound on all my radios throughout the house and the garage.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

This is an under the counter icemaker, or an icemaker inside your refrigerator?

 

JIM

It's inside the refrigerator.  It's a brand new refrigerator, only a month old.  I'm thinking of calling my sales rep and having him give me another refrigerator.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Now, you say every time the icemaker comes on you get a. . .?

 

JIM

I get a low humming sound on all the AM radios in the house.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

For a short period of time?

 

JIM

It's a short period of time, but then it comes back on.  I didn't know whether it was low voltage on the water coil or the motor.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it sounds like you're getting electrical interference, and the icemaker, basically when it hits the icemaker model gets cold enough it cycles and then it sends a current to the solenoids on the water inlet valve and that normally lasts for about six or seven seconds.  If you're getting this interference for less than ten seconds every two or three hours, I'd say it's probably coming from the water coils and this is an unusual problem. I would call for warranty service if it's less than a year old.  It could be just something in the makeup of the components that the coil is obviously putting out the magnetic field that's interfering with your radio.  Did your other refrigerator have an icemaker?

 

JIM

No, it did not. This is our first icemaker.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so it's the first time you've had a solenoid coil in the vicinity of where you have your radio and everything else?

 

JIM

It seems to be on all the house circuits, but all my radios hum, and it is intermittent but it seems like it's longer than ten seconds although maybe that's just my imagination.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It could be something internally in the icemaker while it's cycling, which would be about three or four minutes, that could be causing it.

 

JIM

That's more like it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So it's when the icemaker is on. It depends on the model. . .

 

JIM

I have a 22 cubic foot Whirlpool side by side.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

A lot of it still depends on what icemaker they have, too.  I'd call the manufacturer and see if there's anything you can do. Maybe they have a suppressor or something like that.

 

JIM

That's what I was wondering, if they have a filter or something that might help. Or, like I said, I'm going to ask for a new refrigerator, because it is annoying.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, well this is an unusual problem, but any electrical component will at times make a noise, and it sounds like your AM radio is picking it up. 

 

2002 Whirlpool Washing Machine, Model LSR8233EQ1, Top Portion of the Agitator is Not Working

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here is Keith, in Macomb Township, with a question on a washer on the Appliance Repair Show.

 

KEITH

Hi guys.  This is actually the second time I've had this problem with this washer.  It's five years old and it's a Whirlpool LSR8233EQ1 and what's happening is the bottom portion of the agitator (part # 3347288) is working, but top portion (part # 3363003) which is auger style, if I put pressure, side pressure on it, it actually starts like it's gripping, it will start turning, but. . .

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, that's a common problem.

 

KEITH

Is it? Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And they have what they call an agitator rebuild kit (part # 285811) for under seventeen dollars for that if you put the model number you just gave me into our website you'll see a picture of it.  It comes with what they call the dog ears (part # 80040), which are four plastic pieces that interlock the inner and outer agitator (part # 3951744) as it ratchets back and forth, as well as all the other components.  To replace it you need to pull out the fabric softener cup (part # 8575076A) if you have one at the top of your agitator (part # 3951744), and then there's another small plastic cover (part # W10074580) that you pull up on and I think it's a seven-sixteenths or a half-inch socket or a bolt that retains the agitator (part # 358237).  You need a long extension to get at it and you pull the agitator (part # 3951744) out and it's a half-hour job to replace it and makes a lot of difference in how well the clothes get washed.

 

KEITH

Well, appreciate it.  I'm glad it's an easy fix.

 

Maytag Neptune Dryer Does Not Heat

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's a question on a Maytag dryer that's not heating, from Mike, in Clinton Township, on the Appliance Repair Show.  Go ahead please, Mike.

 

MIKE

I have a Maytag Neptune dryer that doesn't heat.  I replaced the heating element and turned it on and it didn't work, and then I checked the fuse on it with the ohmmeter (part # DM10T) and it appeared to be fine.  And then I jumped that because they said it might be alone it didn't work, and still the heating element did not come on.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So the igniter for the dryer is not igniting?

 

MIKE

Correct, and I replaced it already.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You replaced the igniter, too?

 

MIKE

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The original was not broken?  And you're getting no glow at all from the igniter?

 

MIKE

It doesn't glow at all.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, well normally that's caused by a thermostat problem.  If the thermal fuse is okay that normally would cause the unit not to just work.  There's another control thermostat in the unit that could be open and not supplying power to the gas valve.  The other thing it could be is what they call a light sensor, and it's a small box mounted to the, what they call a force cone, which is the tube that the flame goes into. What that does is sense the light and heat from the igniter, and then once that senses that it actually opens the circuit and sends power back to the gas valve assembly to activate the gas valve coils.

 

MIKE

So the one on the tube itself, I bet that was only for heat.  But if there's no heat on, that could be a faulty switch?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right, what you basically have is the thermostats in the machine are not sending 120 volts to the gas valve assembly and calling for heat.  Or, they are sending current to the gas valve assembly, and the failure is basically from the gas valve assembly on.  And that is normally the light sensor, if it's stuck in the open position---

 

MIKE

It's the light sensor?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, it's called the direct light sensor, every manufacturer has a different name for it, but it's the little black box that's mounted to the side of the combustion cone there.  There are two wires going to it.  You can check that with an ohmmeter (part # DM10T), it should be closed.

 

MIKE

Okay, should be closed.  The other two sensors are on the motor?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Normally they're on the blower housing.  There's normally, when you select regular or permanent press, you're generally choosing a thermostat to use.  Some of them have one thermostat, and when you select permanent press it actually turns on the heater inside the thermostat to kind of cheat the temperature so it actually cycles off at a lower temperature in the drum. So it depends on your unit: some have one, some have two thermostats, and the difference is normally about ten or fifteen degrees in operating temperature.  On a normal cycle, you're running one hundred and fifty to one hundred and sixty degrees drum temperature.  On permanent press, it's normally one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty degrees.

 

MIKE

Those two sensors that are there, if I took the wires off and put a jumper on them, would that determine which sensor is off?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, you could try jumping out those thermostats.  I always recommend turning off the power, checking it with an ohmmeter (part # DM10T), that's the safer way to go.

 

MIKE

So there should be no continuity?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There should be continuity through all the thermostats.  The other thing you can do, making live electrical checks; I tell people you should either be pretty well versed with electricity to do it, but just see if you're getting one hundred and twenty volts to the dryer gas valve.  But again, you need to be careful.  If nothing else, you can always call for service.  If it's direct light control, you're normally looking at a hundred dollar service call.  But you've already spent how much in parts?

 

MIKE

About twelve dollars.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Oh, well twelve dollars isn't bad!  Well, I'd say it's either the thermostats or the light sensor, since either one could cause the no glow bar that you're describing.

 

Microwave Completely Shut Off and Will Not Turn Back On

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's another question from Swartz Creek, from George, on another microwave on the Appliance Repair Show.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's Swartz Creek microwave day!

 

GEORGE

I was going to heat something up in the microwave; it was on for about one second and then the thing just bleeped out on me.  It didn't do anything weird; it just shut off, no power to it.  And I checked the fuse downstairs and the fuse was fine, there was nothing wrong with it. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, and the microwave itself, turned the power on and off back to the microwave?

 

GEORGE

Yeah, the fuse on and off, because it's wired in direct.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And the microwave is dead, does nothing?

 

GEORGE

It doesn't turn on, no noise, no nothing.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, microwaves have an internal fuse in them, and it sounds like that fuse has tripped.  Normally there is a reason for that, something in the electrical system has failed that would cause that, and it could be something major, a transformer, something that's pretty expensive to repair.  The other thing is that the door switches could have failed.  When you close a microwave door, there's a series of switches that have to close in order for the unit to work and that's the reason they wire it that way, so you can't run it with the door open.  If you have any door slammers in the family sometimes that will cause the door switches to wear out.  I'd generally recommend for microwaves to call for service, because microwaves, even when unplugged, still store electricity, you can still get a shock from them, there is a capacitor inside the microwave that stores voltage.  If you do not discharge the capacitor before working on it, you can get a pretty nasty shock or worse from it.

 

GEORGE

Well this internal fuse, is it way deep in there or up front?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It really depends on the unit.  Most of them are up front, but again, once you open it up and start reaching in there, all you have to do is touch the wrong wire and you're going to get a very nasty shock, and most of the time it's not just the shock that hurts, but pulling your hand away and cutting it that hurts as well.  It's something that you might want to have somebody come out and work in it.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Even when it's unplugged. . .?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes, it stores energy.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

I didn't know that!

The Appliance Repair Show

Looking for
appliance parts
or advice?