Top 3 Rookie Mistakes in Appliance Repair

Posted on September 11, 2019 by - Business Talk, Tech Talk

Making mistakes is part of learning, but making mistakes on the job is also expensive. An appliance tech can only afford to make so many before they are out of business or looking for a new job.

We want to help you avoid this! Here are 3 common rookie mistakes that you should watch out for.

Not a rookie? Then it’s even that much more painful when you catch yourself acting like one. Be honest - have you made one of these mistakes?

Wanna know which ones the Samurai himself has made? Keep reading...

1. Not verifying the customer’s complaint

This is a classic mistake. Even seasoned veterans sometimes get ahead of themselves and dive into their troubleshooting without first verifying the complaint. This usually means getting the customer to show you how they were using the appliance so you can see/hear/measure what is really happening.

There are few things that will make you smack your head and say “D’oh!” like spending an hour taking things apart and making electrical measurements only to realize you missed something obvious to start with - or you didn’t have the data you needed to draw a proper conclusion.

A common blunder is not taking temperature readings in both compartments of a refrigerator before doing anything else regardless of the original customer complaint! A customer report of “warm” can mean many things. Compartment temperatures tell the story that a technician needs to know. Freezers should be right around 0℉. If you see a freezer compartment at 10℉ or higher when you first shoot the temperatures, you need to find out why before you do anything else.

Pro tip: when scheduling a “warm” refrigerator call, ask the customer to leave the refrigerator plugged in and running, and to refrain from opening the doors within an hour of your expected arrival.

2. Making diagnostic conclusions based on a “good” ohm’s test

One of the worst feelings in an appliance tech’s world is to order a part for a customer, go back to install it, but the appliance still doesn’t work. You increase your risk of this mistake when you don’t know which electrical measurements will give you the slam-dunk answer for the situation you’re facing.

“Ohms testing” has fooled many a rookie (and even those who should have learned better).

If a component tests “bad” (open, or ohms much higher than specifications) on a resistance test, then you know it has failed. But if something tests “good” on ohms, more testing needs to be done before you can make a conclusion.

Why is that? Resistance (or continuity) measurements are done without energizing the circuit. Many loads and switches can start failing in a way that they pass a continuity test, but will fail open when electrons start blasting through it.

Pro tip: Remember the expression “ohms lie”. Resistance tests can be useful and appropriate, but you’ve got to understand their limitations.

3. Going on a job without prediagnosing the appliance

A job that should go “bip-bap-boom” often grinds to a halt when a tech realizes that the tech sheet is not on the appliance, or the tech sheet he downloaded ahead of time was for the wrong model, and he has to try to find a copy online, but he doesn’t have good signal and the customer can’t remember the password to their WiFi, and so on. Then he finally gets the right tech sheet, only to have to scratch his head for awhile figuring out his plan of attack for troubleshooting, and how to do that complicated key-dance to get the dang thing into service mode.

Meanwhile, the customer is not impressed.

What a rookie move! All of that downloading and head scratching should be done at the office, NOT in front of the customer.

Master Samurai Tech's Ten-Step Tango troubleshooting procedure is taking the appliance repair world by storm, helping to organize the thoughts of many a tech so they can zero in on the failed component with speed and assurance.

In most scenarios, the first 7 steps of the Tango can be done ahead of time - a technique we call “prediagnosis.” You’ll know what tests you want to make, and you’ll know which parts are likely to be needed. You will wow your customer with your competence and efficiency, while increasing your First Call Complete rate and profitability.

Pro tip: Make sure you get a model number from the customer when you book the call. Check it right away with one of the parts retailers online (RepairClinic, AppliancePartsPros, for example) to make sure it’s valid. Then use Appliantology to get the documents you need for the job, and proceed with your prediagnosis using the Ten-Step Tango. You will be ready to rock that service call!
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What do you think of our list? Are there other rookie mistakes that you think we should warn others about?
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The Master Samurai Tech Academy specializes in teaching rookies and veterans alike how appliance technology works and how to troubleshoot, so that you can kick butt on any appliance - even those you haven’t worked on before. Knowledge is power!

 

So, which rookie mistakes do you think the Samurai has made? All 3, of course. Back in the day, when we started our appliance repair business, he had a firm foundation in electricity and electronics from his Navy training, but was learning appliance repair on the fly. He quickly realized that our fledgling business wouldn't survive many of these rookie mistakes, so he began creating a system for troubleshooting and running service calls efficiently and profitably. Fast-forward to today - that system is perfected and you can learn it in the Master Samurai Tech appliance repair courses rather than learning by trial and error!

12.3% Off All Enrollments— September Only!

Posted on August 30, 2019 by - Academy Talk

Our goal here at Master Samurai Tech is to teach you the skills that make appliance repair easy as 123 -- and in our largest sale of the year, we've decided to drive that point home by offering a 12.3% discount on tuition to anyone and everyone through the month of September.

To get this limited time discount, use the coupon code EasyAs123 when you enroll.

You can check out all the courses we offer by clicking here. From that page, simply click the Enroll button on the course you want to enroll in. Make sure you enter the coupon code EasyAs123 on the enroll page to get the discount!

 

Troubleshooting a no water heat or heated dry problem in a Whirlpool dishwasher

Posted on August 20, 2019 by - Tech Talk, Video Repair Tips

We troubleshot a weird no-heat complaint on a Whirlpool-built (Kenmore branded) dishwasher. This was Whirlpool's newer Global Wash System (GWS) platform dishwasher. Watch how we use the schematic to identify our Load of Interest and pick test points on the control board for measuring voltage, current, and resistance.

 

You know that complicated-looking cycle sequence chart on the techsheet you saw us using in the video? The one that no one uses because they don't understand it? Yeah, that one. We explained how to use it in an Appliantology Tips and Tricks webinar. It really is a powerful troubleshooting aid that lets you check all the functions and loads in the machine in just a few minutes. Premium tech members at Appliantology may watch this webinar recording here.

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Get World-Class Tech Help at Appliantology.org for FREE with your MST Enrollment

Posted on July 14, 2019 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

Team Samurai maintains and develops two different websites: Master Samurai Tech and Appliantology. Each site is designed to assist you in different stages of your appliance repair journey.

Master Samurai Tech is an online school that provides state-of-the-art appliance repair training, both for new techs and techs who have been in the business for decades.

Appliantology is a tech support community that provides peer-to-peer tech help, service manual downloads, and live training webinars to techs who are hard at work plying their trade. This is the daily information tool that helps to keep you at the top of your game after you've completed your training. Or, if you are already working in the trade, you can use it while you are also taking your MST courses.

While the sites' missions are distinct, they are interconnected in powerful ways. If you enroll with us at the Master Samurai Tech Academy, you can earn premium membership at Appliantology 100% for free.

These memberships are the Master Samurai Tech Student membership and the Master Samurai Tech Alumnus membership. Here's how they work:

When you enroll in any course at Master Samurai Tech, you immediately become eligible for the MST Student membership. That's 6 months of premium membership, giving you access to everything Appliantology has to offer with no extra charge.

Once that half a year is up, you can either transition to one of our other tech membership options, or, if you achieved a certifiable grade in our Fundamentals course at Master Samurai Tech, you can upgrade to the prestigious MST Alumnus membership.

An Alumnus membership is just like a Student membership, empowering you with access to all of Appliantology -- but it can be renewed indefinitely for no charge. All you need to do to keep up an Alumnus membership is participate in the forums (more info on that here).

Enrollment at the Master Samurai Tech Academy doesn't just teach you invaluable repair skills; it also opens the door for access to all the great tech help at Appliantology forever.

Want to take advantage of all these powerful knowledge tools? Start with an enrollment at Master Samurai Tech today.

And remember, if you're shooting to earn the MST Alumnus membership, you need to get certified in the Fundamentals of Appliance Repair course.

 

Free MST Student Premium Membership at Appliantology

Posted on April 19, 2019 by - Academy Talk, Career Talk

We know techs: you are trying to get your skills polished and get your troubleshooting mojo amped up ASAP so you can bring home that bacon.

Step 1 of that process is taking the courses here at the Master Samurai Tech Academy.

Step 2 is using the resources at our sister site, Appliantology.org, to help put your training into practice.

We've made that second step even more attainable by giving MST students a FREE 6-month premium membership.

Appliance repair is a trade, which means you are in a constant cycle of learning then doing.

First you learn the basic principles here at Master Samurai Tech, then you master those skills as you apply them in the field.

Appliantology offers several unique ways to help you rise to the top of the trade.

  • Tech-only forums where you exchange tips, tricks, and know-how with other professionals who share your desire to be the best
  • Webinar recordings covering both fundamental and advanced topics
  • Download and request schematics and service manuals
  • and much more, all in a private, ad-free, collegial environment (in other words - not Facebook!)

Details of the MST Student Membership
Who: any student currently enrolled in one of our technical courses
What: full, premium access to everything at Appliantology
How long: 6 months
Cost: free!
How: the sign-up form is in the Appliantology 101 course, which all students have access to. Go through Units 1, 2, and 3, then you'll be good to go.

You'll find Appliantology 101 in your course listing on the Members Area page. That's the page you land on when you log in. Or, if you're already logged in, click "My Courses" in the upper right on a computer, or at the bottom of the "hamburger" menu on a device.