Thursday, December 20, 2012

Consumer Question: Replacing Dryer Belt

Name: Joe

Comments: Whirlpool gas dryer (drop down door type) drum has stopped.  All other ''sounds' sound normal.  Belt did sort of squeal for a time lately.  I have the skills to repair this as I have heard you on this prior to now; however, I have forgotten the attendant details...Thanks....

Hi Joe, thanks for your note. Sounds like an easy job for you. Remove the lint filter where you will see 2 screws under the trap door. Pop the top up from the front. The top is held in place with 2 clips in the front. Remove the wires from the door switch and make sure the power is turned off first. There may be 2 screws holding the bottom of the front panel or you may just have to tug upward on the front panel and it will come off. Now everything is exposed. Look at the idler pulley which is a common sound of sqeaking when the bearing goes bad. Replace it and make sure the grove side of the belt lays against the drum. Let me know how it goes. Regards Joe Gagnon. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Consumer Question: Plugged Refrigerator Drain

Name: Terry

City: Plymouth

Inquery Type: Appliance repair question

Comments: I have a GE refrigerator, model # TFX25JRBBWW.  The freezer side is leaking water on the lower front left side.

After a little research, it appears this is the result of the drain being frozen over.  I removed all the ice build-up and poured a solution of warm water mixed with baking soda down the drain hole.  This worked for about 7-10 days, but after the ice build-up was back and was again dripping water.

When the look at the back of the unit, the fan does go on to start the evaporation process, but the drip pan doesn't look like it's seen water in years.

What am I doing wrong and can we get this to work as expected?  The unit is about 13 years old and I'm pretty handy.

By the way, was your wife a principal at Gallimore elementary school in Canton?  My daughter went there!


Hi Terry, thanks for your note. Yes my wife was the principal and the best they ever had. She still misses it but keeps herself busy with a ton of charity work. You are correct--the drain is plugged. To clean the drain you need to take a turkey baster filled with hot water and blow it through. Do this 3 or 4 times. Pouring something in there will only move the blockage a short way and then it will settle back to the original spot. I know you can fix this and let me know how it goes. Regards Joe Gagnon. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Consumer Question: Black "Stuff" in Dishwasher

Name: Molly

City: Ypsilanti

 My dishwasher has a small "burr" in the heating coil which needs to be replaced. At the same time, the dishwasher is getting black "stuff" all over the inside. I have completely bleached it two times, cleaning the racks and the entire inside, but it keeps coming back. Is this because the heating element is not getting the water hot enough? Is this dangerous? Also, a wood floor was put in after the dishwasher was installed, so it can't easily be removed without putting in new counter tops  which we can't afford to do. Is it possible to cut off the leveling feet and get it out that way? Help! We don't know what to do with this and haven't contacted an appliance repair yet because I don't want to pay to have them tell me they can't fix it.

Hi Molly, thanks for your note. Seldom does the heating element in a dishwasher fail and in this case if the element has a small hole in it the sand that is inside is causing the black marks. You may want to try Tang to clean the inside of the machine. If this is an older dishwasher the element is most likely to come on only for drying the dishes, not heating the water. Unless there is control button that says something about heating the water, it is only for drying the dishes. Water temperatures from the hot water tank should be increased to 155 degrees or higher to get proper cleaning and getting rid of bacteria. As for the floor problem, it happens a lot. The legs can be cut off using a hack saw. This may give you the clearance needed to pull it out from under the counter. Good luck. Regards Joe Gagnon. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Consumer Question: Learning Appliance Repair

Hi, Joe,

Where can I learn the appliance repair trade? Are there any schools that offer courses?

I am retired and looking to do somehing that i have always had an interest in.

Thanks for your help.

A: Hi,

Thanks for your note.

Recently on my radio show I was talking about a University in British Columbia that teaches appliance repair. There are hardly any schools in the USA and certainly none around Michigan. Yet, we have such a need for experienced appliance technicians in the industry. I have no route for you to travel except to advise you to companies and offer your labors at dirt cheap prices until you get your foot in the door.

Joe Gagnon

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Consumer Question: Peeling Paint in Microwave

Hi, Joe,

The paint on the bottom of my microwave has some bubbles in it. Is this a concern?

Thanks for your help,

A: Hi, Paul,

Nothing to worry about! You will have rust show up. I suggest you purchase some high temperature paint, sand the surface and paint the area. 

Joe Gagnon

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Consumer Question: How Much Lemi-Shine?

Hi, Joe,

I just want to ask you something in regard with the dishwasher, this is my first time using it. How much detergent and Lemie shine do I put in the dishwasher?

Thanks for your help,

A: Hi, Maurice,

Nice to hear from you

If you have city water--use 8 level teaspoons of powder detergent plus 2 teaspoons of Lemi Shine. 
For water softener systems--use 2 level teaspoons plus Lemi Shine

Another tip--do not store an open box of powder detergent under the sink--there is too much humidity!

Joe Gagnon