Major appliance repair

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ErnieM, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. ErnieM

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Anyone else get a sense of accomplishment keeping their appliances working?

    Had a bit of a rough time repairing my 10+ year old dishwasher over the weekend. It started about a month ago when the thing sucked down an olive pit nearly into the circulation pump but trapped at the last screen and the chopper blade. Unfortunately olive pits are too tough to chop up in this manor so the motor stalled, buzzed, and stopped cleaning my dishes.

    It was an easy time to pop the widgets and thingies and get down to the area. I'd changed out this part quite a few years back but the latest replacement had not come by the weekend so I decided to just clean it and put the part aside.

    Well the repair went wonky this week the night we had company and thus a triple load of dirty dinner dishes. I'm not sure if I did a bad job reinstalling last time or the cutter was worn out, but I changed it anyway.

    But... this time was the worst getting the cover off the thing. One screw holds the cover down, but for reasons I can't figure it can take me forever to get this cover off. Was in there for 2 hours Friday, then another hour this morning when the cover just popped clean off. After 3 hours of futzing around I got the new cutter on and got the washer back together in under 15 minutes.

    My favorite repair was our clothes washer. One day it just refused to drain the water out. Found the flush pump online, was near 80 bucks of so but much much cheaper than a new washer. Ordered one and the weekend after it came I got the washer drained and on it's back so I could drop the old pump. When I got the hose from the tank off a quart of dirty water came out... followed by a white gym sock.

    I just put things back together and it still works to today. I have no idea how the sock got in there.
     
  2. RichardO

    Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2013
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    I would wory more as to where the mate is...


    I do wonder how people that can't repair things can afford to live with the high repair costs.

    I had an experience with my clothes washer a number of years ago. It was stalling at one point in the wash cycle. I took a panel off and could see a bunch of contacts actuated by a motor driven cam. Obviously there was a bad contact somewhere. So I got the model number off the washer and went to the applianec repair parts place. I was told that the replacement would be $165.

    Well, that was a good incentive to find the actual problem and fix it. The fix was to cut a strip of the end of an index card and run it between all of the contact pairs.
    This worked quite well and the washer is still working today.

    So, the I figure it the cost of repair went from $300 for a service call, down to $165 for a switch, and finally, down to $0.15 for an index card.

    edit: Add text that got dropped in original post.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  3. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    A friend of mine had a Kenmore stove that the oven element quit working. She said that she could hear the relay clicking, but it still didn't heat up. I measured the element and it was the correct resistance, so I thought that she needed a new controller - which was $130 or so. With nothing to loose, I opened up the controller. I found that the relays were soldered to a PC board and a good portion of the connection was solder. Since solder isn't a great conductor, it heated up and flowed away from the relay, leaving an open circuit. I got some copper wire and tightly wound one end around the relay terminal and buried the other on top of the large copper trace in solder. Total cost of repair - my gas to her place and some solder. Amount saved - $130 plus a $100 service charge.
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I saw the same thing in a GE refrigerator. The compressor relay unsoldered itself.
    Newgrads hired as design engineers? Or just stingy manufacturers?
     
  5. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Unsoldered itself is a new one to me . Never heard of that before.
    Dry solder, sure.
     
  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Yes. After 13 years in my current house and current washer/dryer set I had to tackle the dryer. The Whirlpool Duet model (first generation). The flame was not igniting - the valve wasn't even opening. The manual diagnosed it down to the main control board (sensor resistance was down to 200k ohms instead of the 2M minimum). I figured the board was sensing that there was no need to if night if no moisture was sensed ( It usually draws air through for 2.5 minutes before igniting). Good news, easy access/removal of board, 20 minute job.

    Anyhow, new board, $210.00,, 2M resistance, all ok, but no flame.

    No return on electrical parts, on to the next possibility.

    So, remove most of bottom panels, gas valves and, with the help of my wife's pixie-sized fingers, we were able to remove the resistance heater igniter - no pilot light, no spark. This stuff is obviously assembled to maximize service hours to keep the repair shops happy - looping the gas line a bit differently would have left the igniter much more accessible - there is plenty of room under there. The access is so bad I was hoping the problem was the $210 board vs the $49 igniter! Now I have both.

    Anyhow, it worked immediately.

    Now, it drys clothes in less than half the time. My wife said she was never happy with the dryer until now. I concluded that the 200k vs 2M sensor was a factory defect.

    I'm still glad I did it. My neighbor told me he paid over $200 for a dryer service call. It was a pain but, since I've never taken a dryer apart, I look at it as a learning opportunity.

    I've done all other appliances except microwave - we just don't use it that often so we don't wear them out.
     
  7. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    Very satisfying when a successful repair is done. I've just fixed a central heating / hot water timer. It was failing to remember the timing schedule. Cause was a dead CR2430 battery which was soldered in and not intended to be replaced. Grrr! Built-in obsolescence!
    Out with the soldering iron. I would have replaced the battery with a CR2xxx one in a purchased holder, but there was insufficient space for a conventional holder. So, I cobbled together a battery holder from some bent brass strip, soldered that in place and stuffed in a cheapo CR2032. Ok, battery life will be a tad less than the original, but it's now easy to pop in a new one.
    Cost of new timer? At least £130 ($200)! Cost of repair? About £0.12 (20c).
     
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  8. SLK001

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2011
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    The holes for the relays weren't a close fit. There was about 0.050" of slop around each pin on the relay. The traces were large enough to handle the current, but there was too much reliance on the conductivity of the solder to bridge the gaps. I would say that some manufacturing engineer wanted "one hole to fit all possible relays", so the supersized hole.
     
  9. SLK001

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    Nov 29, 2011
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    My sister has a gas dryer that wouldn't heat up. My first check was the igniter coil, which is just sintered Ni-Cr. It was okay. The other possibility was the two fusible temperature sensors, one easy to get to and one not so much. My first effort went into checking the easy sensor - it was okay, so I had to nearly disassemble the dryer to get to the other sensor, which turned out to be bad. In the meantime, I dropped the igniter coil and it shattered on the floor, so $5 for the fusible sensor and $22 for the igniter coil and I had to remember how to put the thing back together.
     
  10. ErnieM

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    I should also mention my fridge. We would sometimes hear a strange hissing noise which went unidentified for several weeks till we noticed water creeping out from our overlay click lock flooring. Seems my cats had developed a fondness with playing with the water line for the ice maker. The plastic hose was replaced with an armor covered hose. Not cheap but worked... for a while anyway.

    The next hiss was only heard when getting cold water from the door. This time the little buggers had reached behind the fridge when sitting on top of it and punctured the plastic lines running up and down the back of the fridge, part of the fridge itself. Some careful cutting got these replaced with copper tubing. Had to do this again when they found a spot on the floor to get to other tubes.

    Also had to replace the internal draws and covers and other things that move inside the thing too. They are made of easily broken plastic. All are available from many sources but just a PITA to keep replacing. We go thru at least one cover a year. I used to keep stock until I took one from my closet that had been damaged sitting there.
     
  11. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I have fixed a few like that, some with the relay contact open, and another where the contact pin has opened on the board or completely blown foil off the board, The replacement relays were $2.50 ea, for that price I usually replace them regardless..
    Max.
     
  12. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Oh yeah. It started when I was a little kid with "the Knack". My Mom used to give me a chance at fixing anything that was otherwise on its way to the dump. She didn't necessarily expect me to fix it, she just knew it would keep me occupied for a while as I ripped it apart.

    When I started resurrecting most of the appliances I was challenged with, I was moved up to working on things that were not as far gone. Now, every major appliance in my house moved in with us 25 years ago. Most have needed something over the decades, and I've never had workmen in except to replace my furnace. That bothered me a lot, but it was below zero and the furnace quit. So I bent over and grabbed my ankles on that one.

    I still lose a few. (See my laments about dehumidifiers!) But that's the position you have to have going in: You might win, you might not. No reason not to try.

    It always perplexes me how many people assume they could never fix anything, and refuse to try. I learned very young that something put together by humans is not magical, and is fair game at taking apart with some chance of repair. Modern electronics are getting there, though. They're starting to resemble the complexity of living things.
     
  13. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
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    Yep. But a bit bigger though. I just did a MF 2745 PTO drive gear set replacement. ~15-hour job. :D

    Pictures available too if anyone's interested. :cool:
     
  14. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    Nice Thread title...It looks like it should be a sub-forum.
    I wouldn't be surprised if every regular on this site has fixed appliances.
     
  15. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    It sort of is. The "Education - Technical Repair" forum is meant (I think) to catch projects
    involving the repair of commercial products.
     
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  16. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    There are too many sub-forums now so I just post everything in off-topic or General. I didn't know we had a technical repair section.
     
  17. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    I only know because some of my old threads got moved into there and out of "Projects".
     
  18. #12

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    I find it a two edged sword. Several forums, I just skip because I have no expertise in them. That's good.
    I used to do only 3 forums, now I do 6. A few extra clicks.
    Meh. Just different, not "wrong".
     
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