Appliance Repair Show Transcript - October 26, 2008

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

Topics Discussed:

 

 

Kenmore Top Loading Washing Machine Getting Bleach Stains on Clothes

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll start things out with a washer question from William, in Southgate, on the Appliance Repair Show. William, what's your question?

 

WILLIAM

Hello?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Good morning. What's your question this morning?

 

WILLIAM

We have a Kenmore washing machine, and the last four months I've been noticing that when the washer cycle is finished and we're taking our colors out of the washer, that we're getting bleach stains. The bleach stains are in the pattern of little circles, you know, the drain holes in the tub.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Is this a top loading washer? Front loading washer?

 

WILLIAM

Top.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And do you use bleach periodically when you do your whites and other things?

 

WILLIAM

Yes, we do. It seems like it happens more often when we use the little bleach dispenser, as opposed to just pouring the bleach right into the tub.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right.

 

WILLIAM

But it has happened, just with pouring the bleach into the tub and not using the dispenser, but like I said, more often with the dispenser.  So, it must be happening during the spin cycle.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, a lot of times what happens with the bleach is, when you put it in the bleach dispenser, depending on the unit you have, during the wash cycle it mechanically opens up a gate and has a water flush go through that dispenser and pushes the bleach into the drum. Some, there's just a tube that goes to the bottom of the tank so that you're not pouring the bleach directly on your clothes. If that tube is partially restricted with soap scum and things of that nature, it will hold some of the bleach in that tube. Then when you go from your whites to your colors, you are still retaining some of the bleach in that and it will leak out into your colors. So, you've got retention of bleach in your tub. It's from the dispenser not purging it properly, if you've got the automatic dispenser. If you basically just have a hole with a little plastic escutcheon around it that you pour it in, and it's supposed to go down to the bottom of the tub, then I'd inspect that hose and make sure that it is free and clear and all that bleach is allowed to get into the tub itself.

 

WILLIAM

Okay. Do you recommend pouring anything in there to clean that out?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, normally just rinsing it away is what you need to do. If you go from one to the other, wash your whites and use bleach and then go right to another load, if there's any bleach in there it doesn't take a whole lot to discolor your clothes.

 

WILLIAM

So, the bleach is going to be trapped between the tub and the outside of the tub that holds the water?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Exactly.

 

WILLIAM

As it's spinning, somehow the bleach is getting on the clothes, and it's only getting on the clothing that's been exposed to the drain holes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it could be. The other thing is, make sure the unit is draining properly and not holding some water in there and then the clothes are sitting in a little bit of bleach water, until you get them out of there.

 

WILLIAM

Then I was concerned about using that lint screen because as the tub fills up, it's going to cause that lint screen that you put on the exhaust hose that's in the sink, as that fills up with lint, is it going to cause the pump to probably work harder?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If you restrict it, it will, and it will also cause it to not drain all the water out between the wash and rinse cycles.

 

WILLIAM

So, we removed the lint screen and haven't been using it for a while, but we still notice every once in a while that the bleach is getting on the clothes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

From what you're telling me, that you pour the bleach directly in the tub, you don't see the problem as much, versus when you use the dispenser on the machine, I'd lean more toward looking at the dispenser and it's routing.

 

WILLIAM

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Again, some of them, you just pour it in and it goes to the bottom of the tank; others, when you fire it up, it actually opens a water valve and helps flush that out. Either one of them, if restricted, is going to hold some bleach in there.

 

WILLIAM

Okay. Have you heard of this problem before?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Occasionally, and usually it's either from a gummed up tube or the dispenser isn't working properly.

 

WILLIAM

Gotcha. All right, we'll take a look at it.

 

Caloric Gas Range Top Burners Taking a Long Time to Light

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And with a question on a Caloric range, here's Mike, in Livonia, on the Appliance Repair Show. Good morning, Mike, go ahead please.

 

MIKE

I only use the range part of my oven and when I go to turn on the burners, sometimes one won't click, and I'm afraid that gas is coming out at the same time, but it's not getting ignited. So, I'm very careful when I first turn them on, that they start to click right away because I don't want gas. It may eventually click three or four seconds later, and I don't want a big cloud of gas there to ignite.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay.

 

MIKE

I'm just wondering what the problem is when they don't immediately start clicking.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Do you have to turn your knob to the high-light or ignition?

 

MIKE

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So if you're turning it to that point, and it's not sparking, then it could be in the spark module itself, the thing that generates the spark. Or, if you have to kind of play with the knob a little bit to hit that particular portion of it, there's actually a switch that's mounted to the stem of that gas valve behind your knob. It could be that switch is intermittent. They get gummed up sometimes, after a period of time.

 

MIKE

Is it anything that I can clean?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Now, if it's sparking and not lighting, then I'd say that your burner is dirty or the electrode, the little thing that sparks-

 

MIKE

No, when it starts sparking, it will light right away.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So it's an electrical problem, basically. I would say, at this point, that you have a bad switch on the stem of the gas valve, or the gas spark box or ignition module could be intermittent as well, where it's getting tired and sometimes it will fire and sometimes it won't. But I would lean more towards, if you kind of have to turn the knob a little bit to get it to that spot-

 

MIKE

No, I just have to keep it in that lit position, which is at the end of that dial.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right, you have to turn it all the way on.

 

MIKE

Yes and I just keep it there, but I'm apprehensive that gas is coming out at the same time!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It is. It is coming out at the same time.

 

MIKE

So it's a danger!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You certainly don't want to leave it in that position for very long. Normally, a few seconds is not that big of a deal, as long as it does spark or ignite. If you get a situation where you turn it on and it's not lighting right away, you might want to leave it off for a few minutes and let the room air out for a few minutes so you don't get a gas buildup.

 

MIKE

Oh, I do! I do, and then I take a match and light it.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And that's the good old fashioned way of doing it. That will work, but as far as the unit lighting on its own, I'd say you either have a problem with the spark module or the switch. You can start by replacing the switch and see if that helps, or you can just replace the module and the switch. Sometimes there are two or three switches, one for every valve. Sometimes the left hand has one switch and the right hand has one, it all depends on your unit and how it's wired. And if you obviously are really concerned about, which if it's not lighting properly then you should be, you may want to call a service person out and have it serviced properly so it does work for you.

 

MIKE

Okay. Thank you.

 

1998 Maytag Neptune Front Loading Washing Machine Making Loud Noise during Spin Cycle

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And let's go now to Washington Township and talk to Frank about another Maytag washer, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Good morning, Frank.

 

FRANK

I'm actually calling for my sister, who has a Maytag Neptune that she bought, oh, ten years ago when they first came out. The thing has been nothing but a nightmare; it's probably been serviced every year and a half. It's had virtually everything you can think of:  electronic problems, mechanical problems, and severe odor problems.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What's the problem this week?

 

FRANK

Apparently now what's wrong is that it probably has a problem in the drive train or the bearing because it's so loud, you can't even talk when it's in the spin cycle and hear somebody standing right next to you.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It sounds like a freight train or a jet engine taking off?

 

FRANK

Exactly!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, that's typical of the rear bearing failing. If you remove the back you may or may not see where there's water dripping down the back of the washer where the shaft comes out to the pulley. Normally what happens is, the water seal fails slowly over time allowing water to get into the rear bearing assembly (part # 22004465), to a point where it washes out those bearings. That's where you run into trouble. If you want to repair it, it comes as the rear half of the outer tub, and that's the only way you can get those bearings. They're actually metal bearings pressed into a plastic housing. I think you're looking at about four hundred bucks for just the parts to fix that, and a few hours of big time wrestling with it to get it torn apart and put back together. So, you might want to look at, if it runs until it quits, and then jack it up and put a new one underneath it.

 

FRANK

Well, that's what I'm thinking about doing for her, because I'm technically able to do it since I have a mechanical background, so I'm able to do it. But I was also wondering, with all the other weaknesses this machine has, would your store be able to help me identify all the other problem areas? Because I'm thinking about just taking it out of the house, bringing it to my shop and then just tearing the whole thing apart and going through it. The only reason I'm thinking of doing that is because if she wants to buy a new washer, then she has a first floor laundry room and she's going to spend the money on a new dryer so that they match.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Always.

 

FRANK

Yes!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, you don't have to!

 

FRANK

She doesn't have to, but I know she's going to want to.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

That's always the case. And the sales people are more than happy to help you into that direction, too!

 

FRANK

So the bottom line is would this be worth doing?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, you are in parts alone, to start with, at half the cost of a new one. If you need that rear spindle and a pulley, you can add another hundred and fifty to two hundred bucks onto it. So for several hundred dollars you can buy a new front loader these days for that, and that's a wash as far as your cost goes. And then the dryer is an optional thing.

 

FRANK

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So at ten years old and with all the other issues you have, it sounds like there were a few upgrades in the electronics and things that they've done, so it might be electronically all right for a while. But now you're getting into the mechanical failures.

 

FRANK

Oh, I am. Maytag always had a great reputation, too, but on that one they really blew it!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, there's been some class action stuff on that, I do believe, if you look online and see they've had a few issues with that. But they've done a good job of cleaning it up and making it right with the customers, too.

 

FRANK

Okay. So there might be some assistance if we call Maytag?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I doubt it. Its ten years old, and they've taken care of the stuff. Like you said the electronics and things of that nature. This is just a normal wear and tear thing, and after ten years, I don't think any manufacturer would help you out any.

 

FRANK

Okay. Thanks a lot!

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

He could however, if he wanted to take it to his shop and start communicating with RepairClinic.com and actually do that repair if he wanted to.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, it's just one of those things where it's very labor intensive, and after ten years, trying to get the part with the bearings and the shaft that goes through them, that sometimes doesn't want to be cooperative, so you end up buying more parts and it's not really worth it.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

At least he asked the right guy, a guy who's had twenty-five years of experience doing that. So at least he got the straight skinny on it.

 

FRANK

Yeah.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

It's not a job that you'd like to undertake?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No, it's one of those things that, obviously it's easier to do in a shop area like that then to try to do in a house. Especially a lot of these things are built into closets so you have to wrestle them out and lay down tarps so you don't ruin the carpet. To have somebody come out and do that job would be several hundred dollars, and the repair person obviously needs to be paid for his time and his effort.

 

2008 Bosch Dishwasher Flexible Style Supply Line is Leaking under the Sink

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Let's go to Scott, in Chelsea, with a question on a Bosch dishwasher, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Good morning, Scott, what is your question please?

 

SCOTT

Good morning. I have a new Bosch dishwasher that, when I tightened the nut down on the supply valve, the nut is tight enough, it's torqued all the way down, but it's nowhere near tight enough to keep the supply line from leaking.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. Are you using the flexible style supply line (part # 5305516519) on this, or are you using three-eighths copper (part # 5303310263)? What are you using on this?

 

SCOTT

It's the flexible supply that came right with the dishwasher, which connected right to the dishwasher right out of the box.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

And the supply goes to the water inlet valve, and normally that's a three-eighths pipe fitting that they use on that. Is it hooking up to the hot water supply under the sink or wherever it's at on this unit that's leaking, or is it leaking at the dishwasher itself?

 

SCOTT

It's at the line under the sink.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay, so it's at the other end of it. The one at the dishwasher is secure?

 

SCOTT

Correct.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Most of those have a small rubber o-ring on them. If you over tighten them, they'll leak, and if you under tighten them, they'll leak. So, once you crimp that to a certain point, if you can't get it to seal up then you probably have to replace that water line. And I've done it myself, you're used to using compression fittings and copper, where you really want to bear down on those, but these with the new flexible style, you just need to kind of thread it on and just snug it up a little bit, and that little o-ring inside there is what does the sealing. If it doesn't seal then you're in trouble. You might want to take it apart and try a little silicone lubricant, or even just a slight film of Vaseline to help slide the nut around the o-ring and see if it does seal. If not, then you're going to need a new supply line (part # 5305516519).

 

SCOTT

Because it doesn't feel like it's getting tight at all. Like if you were tightening a flare nut on to a flare fitting and not getting it anywhere tight. The line still wiggles inside the nut. That's what it feels like. 

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right and being a new unit, you may be able to talk to the manufacturer and see if they'll send you another one. If not, then you're going to have to replace it yourself. Also, depending on the unit, you can probably pick something up like that at a local home supply store.

 

SCOTT

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

But just make sure that the water hook-up on the dishwasher itself isn't metric.

 

SCOTT

Very good!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Because some of the overseas companies, they'll do stuff like that to you.

 

SCOTT

Is there a chance that I have a different type of thread? I thought it was fairly common hose thread.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, most of it, for the dishwashers, it goes into a three-eighths compression hook-up. Do you have a T in your water line, under the sink?

 

SCOTT

It just comes out to, kind of a standard.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

A standard? Okay, most of the time it's a three-eighths compression fitting that they use on that, and I would assume that's what they'd have on the end of the part that comes with the unit, to go to your sink. To go to your dishwasher, I would hope that they also have three-eighths, but you never really know. Again, you can get these flexible lines (part # 5305516519) fairly inexpensively at a home goods store, and if it keeps giving you trouble, just put a new one in there.

 

SCOTT

Thanks, gentlemen.

 

2001 Maytag Gas Range Takes Too Long to Heat Up

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We'll go out to Grosse Ile and Chuck with another range question, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Chuck.

 

CHUCK

I have a Maytag Advanced Cooking System. It's installed in an island, and it's about six or seven years old. About two or three months ago we had a power surge, and for a period of time the clock was very dim and not keeping good time. Then we had a power loss, and the clock went back to normal. But, the problem is that it takes forty-five minutes to warm up to 350 degrees.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Is this an electric unit or a gas?

 

CHUCK

I'm sorry! It's a gas unit.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

If it takes a long time to ignite...the burner does come on?

 

CHUCK

Yeah, I can hear the burner come on. My wife claims she can smell gas, but I haven't been able to smell it. So, she probably has a better nose.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, she's probably right. What happens is, over time the oven igniter gets weak. What has to happen is, it has to draw so much current in the circuit, and that basically allows the electricity to work on the gas valve and open, which then allows the gas to go across that hot igniter and get the burner to work. As they get weak over time, what happens is it will draw just enough and it will open and close and it kind of sputters. I've actually seen it where it will build up enough gas in the oven that when it does light up it will actually blow the oven door open!

 

CHUCK

Oh, well that's not very encouraging!

 

JOHN SOWDEN

What I would recommend is that you watch it. If you see the thing glowing for a long period of time, normally a minute a half to two minutes tops, it should ignite. If you see the igniter taking a long time, then I'd replace the igniter.

 

CHUCK

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So even though the igniter is glowing bright orange, it still is bad because it works electrically and not by how much heat it's generating. Again, most people are not aware of the concept that if you see it glowing bright orange that it's like a light bulb and, of course, it's not bad but that's not the case in this situation. As far as the power surge stuff goes, that is never good for the circuit boards and the control wiring.

 

CHUCK

Right, yes. I was surprised that it lost power but now its working fine again. I thought that maybe our heating problem would go away, but it has not.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah, they probably aren't related. It's possible that you have a relay that's sticking and not sending current to the oven ignition system. But again, if you look and start with the igniter, watch it, and if it's glowing bright orange then you know that the board is sending the signal for it to fire up and the problem lies in the ignition system, which ninety plus percent of the time its that igniter getting weak.

 

CHUCK

Okay. And is that a relatively easy item to replace?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It's not normally too bad, although you may have to remove the oven bottom, which is normally held by just a few screws or some locking tabs in the back. Some, they're underneath in the broiler drawer section and you have to go in through the back.

 

CHUCK

These slide in tight.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Right. So, you might have to remove the lower kick panel, but most times it's the oven floor that you remove to get at it. It's just a few screws, a few wires, obviously you want to turn off the power, and go from there. You can put the model number of your range into our website, RepairClinic.com, and see a picture of what that igniter looks like so you know what you're hunting.

 

CHUCK

All right. Well, I'll do that. Thank you!

 

1997 Dryer Gets Halfway through Cycle then Stops, and Needs to be Reset to Continue Working

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We go now to Robin in Bloomfield Township, with a dryer question, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Robin.

 

ROBIN

Yeah, I've got this dryer. I'm not sure how old it is, but it's at least ten years, and when I put it into a cycle for drying, it will go about halfway and then stop. Then I can reset it. I wonder if it's worth repairing.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So, you'll set it up for a normal cycle, and it will run for twenty or thirty minutes and then it stops?

 

ROBIN

Yeah.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Now, if you try to restart it right away, will it start? Or, do you have to wait a while for it to start again?

 

ROBIN

Well, it takes me a couple of minutes to realize that it has stopped. So, probably a couple of minutes at least, before I restart.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, normally, from what you're describing, what's happening is the motor is overheating and then when you let it sit for a few minutes, it will cool down and then the overload on the motor will reset and then you can continue on.

 

ROBIN

Ah. Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

So, you might want to start by making sure that you're vent is clean, that there's no lint buildup in the dryer. All those things will starve the airflow through the motor which would help cool it. If that doesn't seem to be the issue, then you might just have a bad motor. If you have somebody come out and put one in, then you're probably looking at one hundred and sixty to two hundred dollars, depending on the service company. If it's a ten year old unit, you may or may not want to invest in it.

 

ROBIN

Yeah, compared to the cost of a new one.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

You're about halfway there, depending on the dryer. If you buy the same dryer today, a lot of the same components are in there, so you're not necessarily buying a better mousetrap. It depends on what kind of dryer you buy, of course. But it's a pretty common unit that you have out there, and if everything else is working all right, you might want to look at repairing it. At least have somebody come out and go through it, and they might be able to tell you what shape it's in internally as well.

 

ROBIN

All right. Thank you very much.

 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Makes Big Clunking Noise at Shutoff

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

We go now to Tim, in Dearborn Heights, with a refrigerator question. It's our first refrigerator question of the day, as a matter of fact, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Tim, go ahead please.

 

TIM

Hi, John. I have a question about a Whirlpool Mark Series refrigerator. I noticed this a few months ago, I would hear a noise when the refrigerator was turning off, a big clunking noise.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yes.

 

TIM

I looked back in there and I stuck my camcorder back there because I wasn't going to sit there for fifteen minutes waiting for it to shut off. When I did get it, I put it back on and played the recorder, I noticed the sealed unit on the bracket and everything was moving.

Any ideas?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Yeah. What happens is, internally on that compressor, the motor and pump that circulates the refrigerant is mounted on a set of springs internal on that metal shell. One of those springs gets weak or breaks, and when it shuts off, instead of the springs absorbing that shock of the shutdown, it will slap that motor and pump assembly against the outer shell, which causes the whole thing to shudder.

 

TIM

Yeah, that's what it's doing.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

The only thing you can do is to replace the compressor.

 

TIM

Okay.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Now, I'm seen them run for years in this condition. Eventually what happens is, on shutdown it will slap that pump against the outer shell and break off a valve or something of that nature, and then you stop cooling. So, you might want to keep an eye on it. Start either thinking about replacing the compressor, if it's a built-in or something where you want to keep the machine, or start looking at possibly replacing the unit. But at some point it's going to conk out on you.

 

TIM

Do you have any idea of a track record for something like that? How long have I got?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

I've seen it go week, and I've seen it go years where it's been doing it a long, long time.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

I've also learned, Tim, on this program, from John, that it normally happens when you go on vacation!

 

TIM

Yeah, right! That's probably what will happen.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

It often happens that, well, it's been making noise for a year, and it's working fine, so you kind of get used to that, and then you come home one day and it's making this loud humming and clicking noise, meaning the compressor is trying to start and it can't, and you open the door and you get a really nice surprise of all the spoiled food. It's one of those situations where if you're around a lot, I'd say keep an eye on it, and if it starts acting up then you can just make your decision then. If it's several years old and needs a compressor, these days a compressor installed costs several hundred dollars by the time you pay for the labor and parts and the refrigerant and all the reclaiming stuff. It might not be economical to have it repaired.

 

TIM

Yeah, I've had the refrigerator for a while. I guess you would say it's kind of a spare.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Oh. Well, as long as you don't keep anything in the refrigerator that's really crucial, or you don't go to the grocery store and fill the freezer up with a few hundred dollars worth of items, if it's just a secondary, I guess "beer refrigerator" is the common term, and then it's not a big deal if it conks out on you.

 

TIM

Okay. I appreciate it. Thanks very much.

 

2000 GE Electric Range Oven Getting F2 and F3 Error Codes and Shutting Down

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Here's another electric range question coming now from Jack, in Howell, on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Jack.

 

JACK

Hi, John. We have a GE range, it's probably eight years old, and about six months ago we were baking cookies, where you flip them in and flip them out, and the F2 and F3 lights would come on, and the range would kick out. I called the local repair center in town, and they said it was probably the thermostat. So we replaced that, and it worked for about a month, and it's doing the same thing again. They said the alternative would probably be to replace the control board. I was wondering is there anything else we could do.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

This is a GE stove and it's showing you F2 and F3?

 

JACK

Yes, sometimes it will show up F2, and sometimes it will show F3, but either way the range will just kick off the oven.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. And you did replace the oven sensor, is that what I heard you say?

 

JACK

Yes, we did replace the oven sensor.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Well, if you go to our website, RepairClinic.com, and click on "Repair Help" and off to the left-hand side you'll see where we have a little link that says "Error Codes" and we've got a link to all the common error codes, for all appliances including GE. According to what I see here for GE electric ranges, the F2 and F3 could be an oven sensor, but it also could be a control board and/or the door lock assembly, depending on the unit. Some will be replacement clock assemblies for some of those come with a new motor and latch assembly for the lock. So what I would do is put the model number as it reads off the unit into our website, RepairClinic.com, and see how the circuit board comes for your unit. A lot of them will come, depending on the unit, as either just the circuit board, or the circuit board and motor latch assembly, but you can get a lot more information for your particular unit by going to the website and see what you have. If you replaced the sensor, I doubt it would go bad in two months, so you probably have an intermittent board.

 

JACK

Now the board, do you have any idea how much the circuit board is approximately?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Circuit boards run from one hundred and twenty to two hundred and ninety dollars, but most of them are around the one hundred and fifty dollar range, depending on the unit. Again, there are so many different models out there with different electronics and features-that's why I suggest you go with the model number. Again, for future reference, you can just go to RepairClinic.com, go to "Repair Help" and we have a full listing of all the error codes that will steer you toward things to check for your particular unit.

 

JACK

All right. Thank you very much.

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

And when you talk about repairing and using that meter (part # DM10T) to ensure that the thing has power and is doing what it's supposed to do, you have all that at RepairClinic.com.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

We have the instructions and the tools. We have meters (part # DM10T) for sale, obviously, and we try to help people all we can. What most people don't realize is that the wiring diagram for your unit is somewhere on your unit. They hide them sometimes:  they put them in the kick plate of your refrigerator or on the control panel of your stove. Sometimes you have to remove the back panel, but normally, especially in the last several years, they have a wiring diagram and what they call a tech sheet, which has the common problems and a flow chart of things to check. So if your unit is not doing something, it will tell you what to do. Unfortunately, a lot of the manufacturers will, with an error code display, just say "Call for service". So we try to help people a little bit beyond that by letting them know, as we acquire the data, what the F2 and F3 means for your particular unit.

 

Pros and Cons Related to Combination Washing Machine and Dryer Unit

 

JOHN MCCULLOCH

Jerry, in Trenton, has a question on buying a unit, here on the Appliance Repair Show. Go ahead please, Jerry.

 

JERRY

Good morning, gentlemen. I have a cabin in northern Michigan and I have a space issue there.  So I'm considering one of the combo units, rather than a conventional washer/dryer. It would be operating off a well. Do you have any thoughts as to whether these are useful or if there are any drawbacks to them?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Are you talking about one machine that is a washer and a dryer, or are you talking about a stacked unit?

 

JERRY

I'm talking about just a washer and a dryer in one. I'm not familiar with them, I just happened to see the single unit.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

Okay. So it's one machine?

 

JERRY

Yes.

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There are a few companies out there that make those. They're expensive. If you've got room to put a stacked unit in, you might be better off, depending on how much you're going to use it. Most of the combos are small in size and they're really only made to do two or three pairs of jeans at a time or a pair of pants and a few shirts. You're probably not going to get through washing a lot of bedding and stuff of that nature up there, if you wanted to do that in your cabin. I know it's only going to be taxed several months out of the year. They're meant for single people living in an apartment who only do a few loads a week and a few garments at a time. So they're not that big.

 

JERRY

Okay. So have you noticed any problems with these as far as servicing them? Do they hold up as well as a conventional unit? I think that's mainly what I'm looking at. I don't need a lot of capacity; I'm just wondering if this is going to be something odd if I need it repaired. Are they durable?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

There are not a lot of them out there that I've seen. The ones I have seen, you can run into issues where, since it is a washer and a dryer in one, you can have water in the tank at one point and now you've got to dry the clothes. If you don't clean out the lint filter religiously, you could start getting a wet lint buildup in the duct assembly, which can cause overheating and other problems with drying. You do have to maintain them very well. As far as replacement parts and/or service, the parts I don't think would be that big of a problem; but as for getting it serviced, if you need to get help in northern Michigan with something like that, the chances of finding someone who was very well versed on it would be kind of spotty. So, that's why, if you go to something that's kind of a one-off unit, you might want to look at who services that area before you purchase it and see, do I even have anybody up here.

 

JERRY

A stacked unit would probably be a little better. Is there any problem with it working off of a well?

 

JOHN SOWDEN

No. My house is off of a well. It all depends on the water. Some people have filter systems to help clean it up, but overall a lot of units will work okay. But, the hardness in some units, it will eat up the seals and things of that nature, so it really depends on the water quality and what you've done to clean it up. If you have a lot of sand, just put a good water filter in your house and it might help.

The Appliance Repair Show

Looking for
appliance parts
or advice?