Thursday, December 29, 2011

Consumer Question - Refrigerator

Q: Hi, Joe,

I have an Amana BX22QW bottom mount refrigerator that is 20 years old. It has recently developed some new symptoms as follows:
Cycles more frequently and upon restart sometimes the cooling fan starts but not the compressor. It sounds as though a thermal overload switch clicks accompanied by a blink of kitchen lights. Sometimes several cycles of clicks occur. Does this sound like a repairable problem? Is there a bad starting component going bad, or a bad electrical condenser, etc.? When it runs it sounds normal, no unusual noise, and it maintains freezer and refrigerator temperature very well. Your comments are appreciated.

Thank you,

A: Hi James,

Thanks for your note. From your information given me I am going to suggest you purchase a new relay and overload that connects on to the compressor. Not hard for a consumer to do. If you need a service technician to do it please contact me again and I will give you a number to the best refrigeration man around.

Joe Gagnon

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Consumer Question - Kitchenaid Range

Q: Hello, Joe,

We’re working on a Kitchenaid range (kgrt507gwh0). We have moved and are converting from Natural Gas to Propane. This range has sealed burners. When attempting to access the orifice spud, the screw holding the ventri tube would not turn and the head broke off, leaving the threaded portion of the screw in place with no way to get hold of it. We haven't attempted to use the burner because we are concerned about holding the tube in place. Is there anything that we can do to fix this before having to replace the entire burner unit?
David and Jill

A: Hi David & Jill,

Thanks for the note.
This is tough without looking at it. Can you drill a tiny hole in what's left and try to reverse the drill motor to get it out?

Joe Gagnon

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Consumer Question

By Joe Gagnon - Originally Printed in The Observer Eccentric Papers

Donna writes---Would you by any chance know anything about this appliance? It’s basically a pop dispenser. Ours worked satisfactorily (I wouldn’t say great, quite a bit of jamming) for about 16 months. Of course, it had a one-year warranty. Then one day I came home from work to a nasty smell coming from the basement. It turned out to be the SkyBox. When I opened its door, it smelled like something was burning/melting inside. So I unplugged it.

After waiting a year for my husband to have someone look at it, I called Maytag today. They informed me they no longer manufacture them, service them, have replacement parts for them, nor can they give me any further information about them. When I insisted, they gave me Whirlpools address. This doesn’t seem quite right for a 2-½ year old, $600 appliance. Any ideas why they quit manufacturing them, or know of any company who might be able to still service it? Thank you in advance for your help.

Reply---I was still in the business when this product was introduced and I thought it was a great addition to the refrigeration line and would really enhance a person’s decorated bar area. Unfortunately there must not have been enough orders for them or Maytag would have continued selling them. There is no law that says a manufacturer must supply parts or service for any set time after a product is made which goes to show you how they can manage to take advantage of any customer who unknowingly purchases their products. This goes on all the time and seems to be getting worse, even though products can cost so much more then ever. I would suggest you email me and I will give you the name of a company that can have someone take a look at it with no promises. I know they will at least try. Thank you for writing me.

I know that all readers will agree with me when I tell you that I no longer trust what is going on in the appliance world. The above e-mail just goes to show how low customer satisfaction stands in the business plan of major appliance companies. It’s an outright shame and most sales and service companies share this view across America. They design a new product such as a front load washer and I feel that thousands of shoppers now own these washers and are really angry about the mold and odor problems. None of my past columns have created as many phone calls and e-mails as the story about mold and odor in washers. There appears to be no cure except maybe the product sold on line by I announced this cleaning product a few weeks ago but I have only heard from a few homeowners that it does the job. I need to hear from more of you so if you have a smelly front load washer, please go to the web site, order their product and try it.