Topic: Tech Talk

Expert troubleshooting mojo on a Maytag refrigerator evaporator fan problem

Posted on April 18, 2019 by - Tech Talk

This video demonstrates how the powerful skills and techniques that we teach at the Master Samurai Tech Academy will make your diagnostic work not only more accurate, but easier and faster.

We went to work on a Maytag jazz board style refrigerator with a warm fresh-food compartment. The evaporator fan seemed to be getting voltage but wasn't running. Change the fan? Not so fast.

Watch how we zeroed in on the faulty component with a few easy measurements from the control panel.

No tearing the freezer apart to reach the fan! (We are all about minimizing the hassle and liability of disassembling the appliance unless absolutely necessary.)

So much of what we teach in our online appliance repair training comes into play in this service call:

  • reading the schematic,
  • using EEPs (electrically equivalent points) to avoid unnecessary disassembly,
  • voltage vs. voltage drop,
  • proper meter settings, and more.

The most important and valuable work we do as appliance techs happens between our ears. Being able to read a schematic, devise smart electrical testing, and interpret the results is what leads to a slam-dunk diagnosis. This is how you avoid call-backs and improve profitability and customer satisfaction.

 
If you can't quite follow or understand the troubleshooting in the video, fear not: You can learn how to troubleshoot like this, too! We love teaching electric circuit troubleshooting to people who want to learn these skills. If you want to earn more money and have greater job satisfaction, enroll now in Fundamentals of Appliance Repair.

 

How do I get Sealed System training?

Posted on February 17, 2019 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

Many techs do not do sealed system work because the large majority of refrigerator repairs that customers are willing to pay for do not involve the sealed system. Many one- or two-man shops don't find that it makes financial sense to have and maintain all the of equipment needed to do the work. Larger companies often have one or two techs who do sealed-system repairs, not their whole crew.

If your company does enough warranty work or there are a lot of high-end refrigerators in your market area, then you might want to have the ability to do sealed-system repairs, and are looking for training. Read on!

First, understand that actually doing sealed system repairs is a completely different skill from diagnosing a sealed system problem to begin with. Here’s the reality: it's relatively easy to learn how to do sealed system work; it’s much harder to train technicians how to troubleshoot and diagnose warm refrigerator problems correctly, quickly, and accurately.

In fact, I've found that many guys who do sealed system work don't actually understand how the sealed system works. I know, it sounds crazy! But that's the dirty little secret of doing sealed system repairs: you don't have to understand how the sealed system actually works in order to replace a compressor and recharge a system. You just need to follow a procedure, pay attention to details, know how to use some special equipment like scales and gauges, and acquire some degree of proficiency with brazing copper (and soon, Lokring).

If you are going to work on refrigerators in any way, then the first step is to take our our Refrigerator repair course. This will teach you how the sealed system works in conjunction with the controls to keep the compartments cold. You'll then be equipped to troubleshoot all fridge problems, and repair most of them.

Then, to add sealed-system work to your repertoire, you don't need a whole new course. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a one-day workshop that steps you through the process and gives you some hands-on practice. But there are lots of free materials out there from manufacturers that you can read or watch, and then practice in your work shop. Get some old dehumidifiers or refrigerators to practice on. You'll destroy the first couple of them you work on but no big deal-- it's not a customer unit. After you get it right in your work shop, then you're ready to take your new skills into the real world.

Read, watch, learn, fix...

Technical Documents (You'll need a tech account at Appliantology.org to download):

Instructional Videos (from YouTube):

EPA Certification

This is the other question we get asked a lot - how to get the EPA Certification required to do sealed system work. EPA certification simply shows that you’ve passed a test regarding refrigerant handling and understand the regulations and certain safety procedures. It does not demonstrate your technical competence or ability to troubleshoot and repair sealed systems.

You can search online for a place that is authorized to offer the EPA “Section 608” test and certification. Here is one example.

Diagnosing two different no-start complaints in electric dryers

Posted on November 20, 2018 by - Academy Talk, Career Talk, Tech Talk

"My dryer won't start. I think it's the belt."

Many people mistakenly think that working on an electric dryer is easy Parts-changing-monkey work. Just swap out the part that isn't doing its thing, right?

Oh, no, my bruthahs and sistahs. Electric dryers can have interesting circuits that are fun to troubleshoot... if you know your stuff. If you can’t troubleshoot the electric circuits in these “low tech”, Old Skool appliances, how can you expect to troubleshoot the modern, computer-controlled appliances? We teach this in the Fundamentals course.

Both of the electric dryers in the video below wouldn't start. The causes were different, but in both cases we were able to find the exact failure by gazing upon the schematic diagrams and doing a few measurements from the control panel. Minimum disassembly, maximum bad-assery. This is the power of knowing basic electricity and circuits. Learn more, earn more!

 

 

This video demonstrates a powerful troubleshooting tool: Electrically Equivalent Points (EEPs). By identifying EEPs on the schematic, you can speed up your diagnosis and prevent unnecessary disassembly. Work smarter not harder!

 

 

Refrigerator Sealed System Diagnosis using Condenser Temperature Split

Posted on November 1, 2018 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk, Video Repair Tips

In this short video, the Samurai demonstrates how understanding how sealed systems work and move heat can be used to make non-invasive diagnostics on refrigerator sealed systems. In this case, we're using a design criteria for condensers called "temperature split". This is the difference between the condenser's SATURATION temperature and the ambient temperature. Saturation is the key here because you don't want the superheated or sub-cooled part of the condenser for your condenser temperature.

This temperature measurement assumes normal heat transfer at both coils (evaporator and condenser) and that that the compressor has been running (at full speed, in the case of a variable speed compressor) for at least half an hour.

You need to measure at the midpoint of the condenser and right on the tubing. This can be tricky to do with an IR gun on some condensers. In these cases, a thermocouple strapped to the tubing would give a more accurate reading.

Remember that this is just a quick screening test to determine if the problem is the sealed system or something else. It won’t tell you what is specifically wrong with the sealed system, just that something IS wrong with it. This would inform and direct your troubleshooting.

 

We teach sealed system thermodynamics, operation, troubleshooting, and repair in the Refrigerator Repair course at the Master Samurai Tech Academy. Self-paced, online, on-demand 24/7.

 

MST Radio Episode 27: Online Appliance Repair Schools- the good, the bad, and the scam

Posted on March 8, 2018 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk, MST Radio, Tech Talk

  • We compare and contrast three online training options with the Master Samurai Tech Academy. Oh yeah, we're naming names!
  • The Master Samurai Tech Bushido (code of honor)

 

You can listen to just the audio portion of the vodcast in the player below: