Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dead Dryer and Noisy Refrigerator

Two appliance issues I've fixed lately, not super interesting, but may be useful anyway. I don't fix appliances very often, so I usually do some head-scratching at some point.

1. Kenmore Dryer - A friend bought a new (used) washer and dryer to replace their old, non-functioning ones. after hauling the old ones up the side of a hill and the new ones down it, they discovered the dryer did nothing. Not wanting to haul it back up, they called me. I had him check a few things over the phone, but really didn't learn anything from that. It didn't appear to be getting power.

In hindsight I should have checked the door switch sooner, but I was stuck on a no-power train of thought. It only took a few minutes anyway, thankfully they're not as complicated as cars.

  • With the back cover off I verified the thermal fuse was OK and I definitely had power there. 
  • After a great deal of head scratching I thought it seemed like something had come unplugged, the door light wasn't on when the door was open and the wires to the switch were the only ones I couldn't see. 
  • Most dryers you pull forward and then up to open the top. They swing up on little spring clips that let it move forward enough to clear the front clips. Popping the lid up it became apparent that somehow the wires going to the door switch had come apart at the connector. I really don't know how it separated, it clipped back together firmly enough I didn't think it just popped apart on it's own. But,it's working now.
  • Model # 110.76642500 or 110.7163102 - I have two model numbers written down, not sure which is right.

2. Freezer on bottom refrigerator - My grandparents refrigerator started making funny noises, I thought sounded like bad fan bearings (I could hear it over the phone, sounded really bad).

  • At first I thought it was the fan on the outside, underneath the machine, but besides being very dusty, it make no unusual noises. 
  • That one eliminated left the one inside that circulated cold air through the refrigerator. After removing everything that blocked access to it (and there was a lot in the way) I could see the fan. It's bearings were also OK. So I plugged it back in, hoping to see something change, and did I ever. 
  • It seems that ice builds up in the passage between the refrigerator and freezer. Every once and a while it breaks free, falling back down the passage onto the fan, which flings it at my face. 
  • I'm blaming it on a spell of high humidity and poor design. If something deflected the ice away from the fan it wouldn't have to grind it up with it's little plastic blade. or if the fan was located at the top the ice would fall away from it, like a freezer on top model. 

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