Why do Appliance Techs need to know Ohm’s Law?

Posted on June 12, 2015 by - Tech Talk

Ohms Law Pie ChartSome old-timers may be saying, "I been fixing appliances for 40 years and I never needed to know nothin' about no Ohm's Law. Sounds like more useless engineer stuff to me. I don't need no stinkin' Ohm's Law!"

These are usually the same guys who can't read schematics or use them to troubleshoot and are utterly lost on the new electronically-controlled appliances with multiple control boards. These guys are dinosaurs who will soon be extinct. Appliances circuits are only becoming more complicated, not less.

Gone are the days when you could just jumper out a handful of parts one by one until you found the bad part. You have to know how to troubleshoot electrical circuits and knowing Ohm's Law is foundational to that. This applies to the new stuff as well as the old stuff. For example, without knowing how to use Ohm’s Law for circuit analysis, you’ll never figure out how this simple old-school electric dryer circuit works.

Understanding Ohm’s Law and circuits is one of the foundational skills for being a technician. In fact, if someone doesn’t know this stuff, they’re not really a technician— they’re just a parts changer. What’s the difference? Technicians understand how circuits and appliance systems work so they can use the schematic and specifications to do analytical troubleshooting and figure out the problem even on appliances they’ve never worked on before. Parts changers, on the other hand, rely on patterns they’ve previously encountered so their “troubleshooting” goes like this: “If this problem, replace that part.”

If you want to be a genuine appliance technician who can figure out how to fix anything, then start with the Core Appliance Repair Training course here at the Samurai Tech Academy.


Then take the Advanced Schematic Analysis and Troubleshooting training course to get advanced instruction on troubleshooting appliances with multiple electronic control boards.


This presentation on Ohm's Law is one of the many enlightening technical presentations in the Basic Electricity module of the Core course.



Multi-Tech Operators: Can your techs fix these three washers?

Posted on June 12, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk

If it seems like laundry technology is advancing faster than you and your appliance repair techs can keep up with, fasten your seat belts, because we’re taking a fast ride into a future that is here right now. Here are three examples of innovative laundry systems your team may be called on to service in the not-too-distant future:

Whirlpool Smart Washer/Dyer Combo

Whirlpool's Smart Dryer

Whirlpool's Smart Dryer

Whirlpool’s Smart Front Load Dryer takes advantage of the Nest Learning Thermostat to integrate a home laundry system into an energy-saving mode that senses when a home’s residents are away and automatically reduces dryer heat and drying time to conserve energy. A sophisticated electronic control panel guides decisions about what materials and colors can be washed together or separately and automatically controls water temperature and volume based on load size and content.


LG Twin Wash System

LG Twin Wash System

LG Twin Wash System

Double ovens have been around for a long time, but double washers are a fresh out-of-the-box innovation. LG’s Twin Wash can manage two loads of laundry at once. Imagine the convenience of being able to simultaneously wash delicates in one gentle cycle while a heavier load of towels or jeans gets a thorough cleaning in another — all in a compact, stacked appliance. The dryer unit recirculates heat to save energy, helping keep utility costs under control. If the owner likes to iron clothes right out of the dryer, a steam function within the dryer sprays a fine mist directly on the clothes to keep them at the perfect all-over dampness level for easy ironing.

Samsung activewash

Samsung activewash

Samsung activewash

Samsung’s newest washing machine harkens back to great, great grandma’s washboard — and that’s a good thing. A small sink-like compartment on top of the washer lets users soak or gently hand-scrub fabrics ahead of washing, offering one-stop convenience on laundry day. No more running back and forth to the bathroom to soak delicates in the sink.

Although products like these are so new to the marketplace they probably won’t need service immediately, it’s a good idea to bring your appliance repair techs up to speed before that time comes so they can perform flawlessly when called on. With ahead-of-the-curve training they’ll have the knowledge and confidence to quickly diagnose problems and make needed repairs, keeping customer satisfaction high and company services running smoothly. And having your techs fully trained early in the game will enable them to perform warranty services your less-prepared competitors may have to pass on.


Master Samurai Tech specializes in developing custom continuing education programs designed to keep appliance repair technicians on the cutting edge of technology. Beginning with the Master Samurai Tech Core Appliance Repair Training course and continuing through the Advanced Schematics Analysis and Troubleshooting Course, you can be assured of thorough, comprehensive training on the ins and outs of home appliance repair — customized to your unique needs, if desired. All Master Samurai Tech training courses develop your employees’ knowledge base with the exact information needed to have a handle on modern appliance technology.


Best of all, Master Samurai Tech self-paced continuing education programs are available on-demand, so your techs can complete the coursework at a time and a pace most convenient for them — during lunch periods, slack times during a work day, or at home on weekends and evenings.

Please call Scott, the Original Master Samurai Tech, at 603-290-5516, so we can understand your needs and help your techs to be prepared for any new model that comes their way.

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When Icemakers Fail… Remember To Check The Obvious

Posted on May 23, 2015 by - Tech Talk

When there is a no-ice complaint, sometimes the icemaker is fine and instead the plumbing or installation is to blame. Low water pressure to a refrigerator can cause undersize icemaker cubes and result in the icemaker jamming during harvest. But how much water pressure do you need? And how do you determine what the pressure is? What does that look like?

The exact water pressure requirement for a particular make and model of refrigerator is specified in the installation manual, which no one reads. Nonetheless, it is there, so the manufacturers have made a good-faith effort to get that information out there. It's not their fault that most people who install wet appliances (hello, plumbers) and most appliance techs, for that matter, refuse to read these specifications or gloss over them with a "Yeah, whatever."

But there's good stuff in there! Most refrigerators require a minimum of 20 to 40 psi. The exact minimum is spelled out in the installation instructions. Most GE refrigerators, for example, require a minimum of 40 psi water pressure for the ice maker to work properly. Samsung requires a minimum of 20 to 30 psi depending on the specific model. As a rule of thumb, all refrigerator ice makers will work properly with a minimum of 40 psi water supply pressure.

But how can you tell what the water pressure is? Well, you could use a pressure gauge to measure it but, UGH!, what a freakin' hassle!

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could calibrate your eyeballs to tell when water pressure was less than 20 psi just by looking at a discharge stream from the 1/4" supply tube? Ya sure, ya betcha! And now you can do exactly that with the Samurai Calibrated Eyeball Water Supply Pressure Assessment Technique™ (SCEWSPAT, pronounced, "skew-spat").

Using my patent-pending SCEWSPAT technique, you can determine the pressure of any refrigerator icemaker water supply line using only your soon-to-be calibrated eyeballs! In this video, you will see what an inadequate water supply pressure looks like.

In general, if you disconnect the water supply tubing from the refrigerator, open the valve and see a lame, pee-pee stream of water, you done found a major problem, Hoss! That obvious problem has to be fixed first before you can determine if the icemaker is operating properly or not.

As mentioned in the video, an adequate water pressure (20 to 40 psi) exiting the 1/4" water supply tubing should be coming out with enough force to knock over a cup. At 20 psi, a 1/4" tubing is exerting almost a pound of force on the cup's sidewall. That's a lot and will knock over any cup!

Need more specifics? Okay, try this...

The specifications for the dispenser stream in a GE refrigerator is 13.5 oz/20 seconds. This is close enough to all the other manufacturer's specs that we can call this a universal spec.

Now, take a two-cup measuring cup (borrow from customer) run the dispenser and time it. If it doesn't fill 13 oz (or 400 mL) in 20 seconds, Houston, we have a situation. After doing this just a few times you will have calibrated your eyeballs so that you don't have to use the measuring cup/timer method again. Let's hear it for SCEWSPAT!

Learn more about how to kick refrigerator and icemaker bootay in the Samurai Tech Academy's Refrigerator Repair Training Course!

Advance your Career with our Advanced Schematics Online Course!

Posted on May 20, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

8a4525d9-dd7c-437c-8966-8914b466ae2dEnroll Now in the Advanced Schematics Course!

The Samurai Tech Academy is thrilled to announce that the long-awaited Advanced Schematic Analysis and Troubleshooting (ASAT) training course is finally open for enrollment! Master the troubleshooting principles taught in the ASAT course and you will be empowered with the skills and knowledge to troubleshoot any appliance!


With a dozen new Samurai-original presentations, the ASAT course distills down years of the Samurai's battle-hardened experience and training into sweet nectar that appliance techs can drink to become Master Samurai Techs! Each screencast presentation has a quiz to help ensure you are mastering the material and to apply what you've just learned. Master the skills and principles taught in the ASAT course and you can troubleshoot any appliance.

In the ASAT course, you will delve deeply into sophisticated and esoteric appliance circuit troubleshooting techniques. You'll learn how to use timing charts together with the schematic to troubleshoot problems; how to use Ohm's Law as a powerful troubleshooting tool to give you a clear understanding of how a circuit works; how to troubleshoot deceptive and tricky open neutral problems; and how to troubleshoot appliances with control boards, including multiple control boards and microprocessor boards.

But wait-- incredibly, there's more! You will also put your newly-found schematic reading and troubleshooting skills to the test in a challenging series of schematic lab exercises where you're given a tech sheet and schematic and then asked a series of quiz questions about them. The quiz is graded instantly.

These lab exercises are a powerful component of the ASAT course because you get to apply the principles you've learned in the screencasts on different tech sheets and schematics. The lab exercises use the actual tech sheets from real appliances and cover various brands (Frigidaire, GE, Whirlpool, Samsung, and Bosch) and appliance types (washer, stacked laundry, range, dishwasher, and refrigerator). The idea is not to give you monkey training on specific appliances, but rather to give you practice at applying the troubleshooting principles taught in the course.

The ASAT course requires a solid understanding of electricity, circuits, and troubleshooting, which can be learned from the Core Appliance Repair Training course or the Basic Electricity Boot Camp (BEBC). The BEBC course is designed for the experienced appliance tech who wants to take the ASAT course but needs the prerequisite thorough training in basic electricity, circuits, and schematics. It is not offered as a stand-alone course, only bundled with the ASAT course. Read here for more details.


Display your Impressive Appliance Repair Training Certification!

Posted on May 20, 2015 by - Academy Talk

You know you want one!

You know you want one!

Graduates of the MST Academy courses are proud of their achievement, and rightly so! They have worked hard, sharpened their skills with our online appliance repair training courses, and their businesses and careers are already profiting from being a certified appliance technician.

If you have completed any of our technical courses and achieved the target scores required for certification, then show your accomplishment off to the world with this fine certificate, signed by the Samurai himself and mailed to you. Simply submit this form to us and we'll get 'er done.

You must be enrolled in one of our courses to request a certificate. Click here to enroll in a course, or, if you've already enrolled, click here to login!