The Future Of Appliances? Electrolux Design Lab 2010

This peek into the future is brought to you by the letter “E” for Electrolux and for when it breaks!


Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Intro

Portable Induction Cooking Concept”The Snail by Peter Alwin, India “

Eco Cleaner by Ahi Andy Mohsen, Iran

Why we would need dishes for encapsulated food is unclear 🙂

Elements Modular Kitchen by Matthew Gilbride, USA

Dismount Washer by Lichen Guo, China

Clean Closet by Michael Edenius, Sweden

Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev, Russia

External Refrigerator by Nicolas Hubert, France

The Kitchen Hideaway by Daniel Dobrogorsky, Australia


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Fix the #1 Most Common Refrigerator Problem

Fix the #1 Most Common Refrigerator Problem “Defrost Cycle”

Troubleshooting Refrigerator Problems

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A refrigerator doesn’t actually create cold. It removes heat.  Cold is the absence of heat, and the complete absence of heat is considered absolute zero, which is −459.67°F −273.15°C .

You may wonder where the “cold” came from, here is a little more physics. As the refrigerant moves from the very small capillary tube into the larger tubing of the evaporator the pressure of the refrigerant is greatly reduced causing it to boil at a lower temperature, greatly increasing its ability to absorb the warm air within the freezer compartment.

Your refrigerator has a compressor which is part of a sealed system of tubing that contains a special gas (the refrigerant). The compressor pumps the refrigerant through a very thin tube on its way to the inside of the freezer compartment. As the refrigerant exits this thin tube it enters a larger one. As the pressure of the gas drops, it’s ability to absorb heat increases., Inc.



Inside the freezer, a fan circulates air over the cool tubing and the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the freezer’s warmer air.  Just like wind moving from a high-pressure zone into a low-pressure zone to equalize, heat will move toward cooler areas to try to equalize.  Equality cannot be achieved because the now warm gas continues through the system to the condenser. As the heated gas flows through the condenser coils on the back or under the refrigerator, the heat within the gas leaves in favor of the cooler air in the room, and the cycle starts again. If you prefer to just think of the fan blowing cold air into the appliance that’s fine; but technically, the heat is being pumped out rather than cold being pumped in.

The cold air that is generated in the freezer passes through vents (the air diffuser) to the refrigerator compartment. A thermostat or cold control in the refrigerator activates the compressor whenever the temperature rises above the set point.  In some newer models there is a separate cooling coil for the freezer and the refrigerator and thus two temperature controls.

Troubleshooting Refrigerator Problems

As the air in the refrigerator cools, the water in the air (humidity) condenses. Water that condenses in the freezer will freeze and become frost. Most modern refrigerators have an automatic defrost heater in the freezer, which cycles on from time to time to prevent the build up of frost. The defrost system is simply a heating element that is controlled by a defrost timer and a thermostat. The water from the melted frost drains out of the refrigerator into a pan beneath the refrigerator near the hot condenser coils or compressor and evaporates.

A door switch closes a circuit when the door is opened and turns on the interior light. When the door is open some refrigerators will disable certain components such as the fan, defrost heater, icemaker, or ice and water dispensing systems.

Refrigerators and freezers don’t cool efficiently when operated at temperatures below, roughly, 45 degrees (F). The first reason is that the outside temperature may get so low that the thermostat inside the refrigerator never gets warm enough to activate the compressor, so the freezer warms up to the outside temperature. Another problem is that if it gets too cold, the refrigerant pressure becomes too low to generate the necessary cold, so the freezer only chills down to the outside temperature. This can be a common issue when operating a refrigerator in the garage or other unheated space during cold weather.

For more information on the individual systems of a refrigerator visit the troubleshooting common problems or Refrigerator Physics pages., Inc.

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Whirlpool Unveils Industry’s Most Efficient Laundry Pair

Whirlpool Unveils Industry's Most Efficient Laundry Pair
Oct 15, 2010

Whirlpool Corp. designed its new premium front-load Duet washer and dryer to be the industry's most resource-efficient laundry pair.

The washer uses as little as 11.5 gallons of water per load and exceeds the minimum federal energy standard set for selling appliances by more than 160%, on average. The washer's EcoBoost option takes the guesswork out of efficiency by reducing the water temperature and increasing agitation duration – a the thermal decrease is offset by a tumbling increase, designed to deliver the same results washing using less water and energy.

The laundry appliance pair is designed to keeps clothes looking new longer with gentle wash and dry actions compared to traditional top-load appliances.

Whirlpool estimated the pair can save as much as $3300 in lifetime energy costs (compared to pre-2004 traditional top load washers and dryers, based on normal cycle, average use, 11-year washer life, and 12-year dryer life, electric models only).

The OEM also estimated that every household that using the Duet laundry pair could save 12,857 gallons of water per year could be saved every year. Whirlpool even estimated that, if all 114.8 million U.S. households used the new laundry pair for a year, the water savings would be 1.47 trillion gallons.

The new Whirlpool-brand Duet washer and dryer will be available at national retailers in 2010 with an MSRP starting at $1,099.

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Fed says “Spend Your Money” But mom told me to save. Hmm Who to trust…Who to trust?

Federal Reserve policy makers may want Americans to expect inflation to accelerate in the future so they spend more of their money now.

Central bankers, seeking ways to boost flagging growth after lowering interest rates almost to zero and buying $1.7 trillion of securities, are weighing strategies for raising inflation expectations as well as expanding the balance sheet by purchasing Treasuries, according to minutes of the Fed’s Sept. 21 meeting released yesterday.

Some Fed officials are concerned that expectations of lower inflation will become self-fulfilling, damping demand by increasing borrowing costs in real terms, the minutes said. By encouraging Americans to believe prices will start rising at a faster pace, the Fed would reduce inflation-adjusted interest rates and stimulate the economy. Chairman Ben S. Bernankesaid in 2003 that Japan could beat deflation by using a “publicly announced, gradually rising price-level target.”

“The Fed is on the verge of actively targeting a higher inflation rate,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York. U.S. stocks advanced, sending benchmark indexes to five-month highs, the dollar fell and gold declined for the first time in three days after the minutes were released.

Trying to raise inflation expectations is untested in the U.S. The policy may backfire if actual inflation drifts higher than the Fed would like, potentially eroding gains won in the early 1980s by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, who raised interest rates as high as 20 percent to subdue prices.

‘Elegant’ Theory

“The theory is elegant, but it’s unclear in practice whether short-term moves in inflation expectations really drive real growth,” said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York and a former Fed researcher.

Jim O’Sullivan, global chief economist at MF Global Ltd. in New York, said in a Bloomberg Television interview that the biggest risk is “boosting long-term inflation expectations more than they lower real interest rates.”

Bernanke on Oct. 15 will deliver a speech on “Monetary Policy Objectives and Tools in a Low-Inflation Environment” at a conference at the Fed Bank of Boston. Some of the panels at the conference will deal with Japan’s experience of deflation.

The Sept. 21 statement saying the Fed “is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed” was meant to accord “with the members’ sense that such accommodation may be appropriate before long,” the minutes said. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index is up 2.6 percent since Sept. 21 and rose 0.4 percent yesterday to 1,169.77.

Consumer Confidence

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer confidence survey showed consumers expect an inflation rate of 2.2 percent over the next 12 months in September, the lowest in a year and down from 2.7 percent in August.

The Fed gave several options for raising short-term price expectations, including providing more information on the inflation rate policy makers consider consistent with their long-term goals and targeting a path for the price level. For the first time, the Fed said it could also target a path for nominal gross domestic product, which isn’t adjusted for inflation.

“The minutes are one of their key communication tools, but it’s not clear what that approach will be,” Maki said.

The report provides more detail on the timing and components of potential easing actions without giving the amount of any additional asset purchases by the Fed. Since the meeting, weaker-than-forecast job growth in September and comments by policy makers, including New York Fed President William Dudley, have fueled speculation that the central bank will soon start a second wave of unconventional easing.

Projection for Purchases

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists are projecting that the Fed will announce $500 billion of purchases at the next meeting Nov. 2-3.

“They’re still ironing out the details,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. At the same time, “if we don’t get an announcement in the next meeting I think we’d see quite a bit of disappointment in the bond market and the stock market,” Low said.

Bond traders expect the Fed’s actions to generate higher prices. Their inflation expectations for the next five years, measured by the breakeven rate between nominal and inflation- indexed bonds, rose to 1.47 percent from 1.2 percent on Sept. 20, the day before the Fed’s meeting. Gold prices hit a record $1,366 an ounce on Oct. 7.

Removing Punch Bowl

“The bottom line is, they are trying to reflate, and the market is concerned that historically they have always been late in removing the punch bowl,” said Richard Schlanger, a vice president at Pioneer Investments Inc. in Boston who helps oversee $18 billion. “We are going to be very judicious in our asset allocations here.”

Moderate growth and 9.6 percent unemployment are curbing price gains, prompting U.S. central bankers to warn for the second time in a decade that inflation is too low.

Inflation, measured by the personal consumption expenditures price index, minus food and energy, has been below the Fed’s goal for five consecutive months. The price measure rose 1.4 percent for the 12 months ending August. Prices excluding food and energy have gained at a 1 percent annual pace in the three months through August.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England are among central banks that target an inflation rate through monetary policy. The Fed, by contrast, has no formal inflation objective; instead, Fed officials state a long-run inflation rate they see as consistent with achieving the legislative mandates of stable prices and maximum employment.

Inflation Target

The FOMC could adopt a combination of inflation targeting and price-level targeting to get inflation expectations up, said Mark Gertler, a New York University economist and research co- author with Bernanke.

The Fed could restate its commitment to keep inflation rising annually at around 1.7 percent to 2 percent. At the same time, the FOMC could announce some tolerance for inflation above that goal to make up for recent undershooting of those rates, Gertler said.

That would help convince the public that the Fed wasn’t going to raise rates rapidly if inflation moved above 2 percent, he said. Such a strategy “tells the market that the farther we undershoot, the more aggressive we are going to be,” he said.

A nominal GDP target is “a pretty unlikely outcome,” Gertler said. “I don’t think it is on the table as a serious proposal.”

Attends Meeting

The Fed’s consideration of price-level targeting may draw on research co-written by Gauti Eggertsson, a New York Fed researcher, and Michael Woodford of Columbia University. Eggertsson attended the FOMC meeting last month, his second since joining the Fed in 2004.

Eggertsson and Woodford said in a 2003 paper that a publicly announced price-level target is better than targeting the rate of inflation as a way to increase expectations. Bernanke cited their work in a 2003 speech about monetary policy in Japan.

Woodford said in an interview it would be “desirable” for the Fed to commit to keep rates low to ensure prices rise along a path identified by the central bank.

If people expect higher inflation, “that’s a reason to spend more,” said Woodford, who as a professor worked with Bernanke in the Princeton University economics department.

Japan Policy

Japan, by contrast, tied its low-rate policy last decade to an inflation rate instead of the price level. Woodford declined to discuss his talks with Fed officials.

Dudley, who serves as FOMC vice chairman and is the only regional Fed president to vote at every meeting, said in an Oct. 1 speech that, for example, “if inflation in 2011 were 0.5 percentage point below the Fed’s inflation objective, the Fed might aim to offset this miss by an additional 0.5 percentage- point rise in the price level in future years.”

“There’s some evidence that inflation expectations are playing a role both in limiting demand and keeping prices low,” FTN’s Low said.

“You look at housing now and one of the reasons people aren’t buying is they expect they can get a better price if they wait,” he said. “If that behavior spreads into other markets, it could be a real problem.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Lanman in Washington at;Joshua Zumbrun in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at

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The Dreaded Gas Dryer Heating Problem Captured, Dissected, and Displayed.

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Gas And Electric Dryer Components


(Note: Label all wire connections and connecting wires before disconnecting them for proper reinstallation.

Igniter | Thermal Fuse | Hi-Limit Thermostat | Thermal Cut-Off | Cycling Thermostat | Thermostat Heater | Start Switch |Timer |Motor |Temperature Switch | Valve Solenoids (Coils) | Flame Switch | Heating Element | Burner | Blower | Belt | Belt Switch | Door Switch | Drum Bearing | Belt Pulley | Drum Support | Thermistor | Air Flow | Gas Supply


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dryer igniterIgniter:
The igniter is responsible for igniting gas released from the burner valve.  It receives electricity from the timer through the thermal fuse.  If the dryer igniter is heating up it is not the cause of a heating problem. If the dryer’s igniter is not heating, either the igniter may be broken or it may not be receiving electricity to do its work.  The dryer igniter rarely fails, but if replacement is need, be careful not to break the delicate new igniter or touch the part of the igniter that heats up. Oils from your skin can shorten the new igniter’s life expectancy.
Test: Unplug the igniter and check for resistance through the igniter contacts. A small amount of resistance should be measured to create the necessary heat required for dryer burner ignition.  If the igniter tests okay and is not heating, check the thermal fuse, flame switch, hi-limit thermostat, motor contacts, and timer , in that order.

dryer thermal fuseThermal Fuse:
The thermal fuse is a non-resettable safety fuse that is designed to break electrical contact to the dryer’s burner or heater if the fuse becomes too hot.  This fuse will often burn out due to clogged ducting or a defective cycling thermostat.  The thermal fuse is the most common cause of a dryer that has no heat.
Test: Disconnect all connecting wires and check for continuity across the two wire contacts. There should be no resistance measured (a closed circuit, allowing electricity to flow).

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dryer thermostatHi-Limit Thermostat:
The hi-limit thermostat is a safety switch or series of two thermostats that will break electrical contact to the dryer’s burner or heater if it senses that the dryer has become too hot.  The hi-limit thermostat will cycle the burner or heater off if the ducting has become clogged blocking proper airflow.  Symptoms are usually a very short heating cycle with a low drum temperature, or no heat at all.  The hi-limit thermostat is a fairly reliable dryer component and is rarely the cause of dryer heating problems.
Test: Disconnect all connecting wires and check for continuity across the thermostat or sensor set. (Look at your dryer’s wire diagram for test points.)

dryer thermal cut-offThermal Cut-Off:

The dryer’s thermal cut-off is similar to the thermal fuse and the high limit thermostat it will break electrical contact to the dryer’s burner or heating element if it senses that the dryer is reaching an unsafe temperature. The thermal cut-off is a set of two thermostats, which will not reset once cool. The thermal cut-off needs to be replaced as a set. If this set of dryer parts fails you will need to check your dryer and home ducting for clogging as well as check that the dryer’s cycling thermostat is operating properly.
Test: Disconnect all connecting wires and check for continuity across the terminals. The thermal cut-off should be closed (allowing current to flow) at room temperature.

dryer thermostatCycling Thermostat:
The cycling thermostat is responsible for cycling the dryer’s heat source on and off to maintain a target temperature set at the timer or with a temperature selection switch.  The cycling thermostat is a very reliable bi-metal thermostat that rarely fails.  This thermostat begins closed, allowing electricity to flow freely. Then it will open, breaking electrical contact to the dryer’s heat source allowing the drum temperature to drop slightly, causing the thermostat to close again and reenergizing the dryer’s heat source.

The thermostat’s opening temperature should be identified on the part with an “L” followed by the temperature. For example, L130 would open at 130ºF.  A dash followed by anothernumber, for example L155-10, would mean that the thermostat would close after having cooled 10ºF.  Faulty cycling thermostat symptoms could take the form of very high dryer temperatures, blown out thermal fuses, or no heat.  The cycling thermostat works in connection with a thermostat heater to achieve lower dryer temperatures, such as low and medium heat settings.

Test: Remove all connecting wires and test for continuity. There should be no resistance measured when the dryer is cool (a closed circuit, allowing electricity to flow).  Cycling temperatures can be roughly calculated with a meat thermometer held next to the dryer’s exhaust duct. As the dryer heat source is cycled on and off, temperatures can be observed.

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dryer thermostat heaterThermostat Heater:
The thermostat heater is often located within the cycling thermostat. However, it may sometimes be a separate component mounted to the dryer’s cycling thermostat. Depending on the dryer’s temperature setting, more or less voltage is supplied to this heater. Low settings supply more voltage and create more heat, while medium settings supply slightly less voltage, generating less heat. High heat settings would not energize the thermostat heater at all.  In this way the thermostat is tricked into thinking that the dryer is hotter than it actually is, so it opens at a lower drum temperature.  Problems with this system can occur when the temperature selection switch fails to send the proper amount of voltage to the thermostat heater, or the heater itself fails to heat the thermostat.

Test: Remove all connecting wires and check for resistance across the heater contacts. Approximately 3200-4000 ohms of resistance should be measured.

dryer start switchStart Switch:
The dryer’s start switch is a momentary contact push switch that allows electricity to energize the motor.  Once the motor has begun to spin, an expanding contact within the motor, called a centrifugal switch, expands to maintain contact after the start switch has been released.  Some models that have a “finish guard” or “wrinkle prevent” option will automatically start the dryer from time to time after the dry cycle has ended to prevent the clothes within the dryer drum from becoming wrinkled. These start switches have an internal solenoid to activate the switch automatically without it needing to be manually pushed. This style of dryer start switch will have three contacts instead of two.

Test: Remove all connected wires and check for continuity across the two main terminals. While pressing the switch, there should be no resistance measured (a closed circuit, allowing electricity to flow).  Three-wire dryer start switches can be checked in the same way. Look at your wire diagram or a chart on the switch for test points.  The switch itself can be described in the same way as the above style, but the secondary coil contacts should give some resistance to activate the switch.

dryer timerTimer:
The dryer’s timer routes electricity to the correct dryer components or system at the proper time.  Timers are expensive, rarely fail, and are often misdiagnosed. The timer should be allowing electricity to flow to the dryer’s burner or heating element and motor when needed. 
Test: Use your dryer’s wiring diagram to check for voltage being supplied to the heating circuit or motor circuit.

 dryer motorMotor:
 The dryer motor is used to create the circular motion required to turn the drum and the blower.  The dryer motor also completes an electrical circuit. Once the motor has begun to spin an expanding contact within the motor called a centrifugal switch expands to maintain contact after the start switch has been released.

Test: A motor can be checked for resistance across the start windings and main windings. In some cases a large amount of lint can collect on the motor causing it to over-heat.  In other cases the contacts to the motor may become loose and not allow electricity to enter or leave the motor circuit. This can cause the motor to not run or other components to not work properly. If you have a “dead” motor you should also check the door switch, belt switch (some models), and timer before replacing the motor.


Temperature Selection Switch:
The mechanical temperature selection switch is a simple switch that will send electrical current to the thermostat heater through resistors, usually located on the wires connecting to the switch, but sometimes within the switch itself depending on your model.  In this way the amount of current reaching the heater is controlled. Some models will use a thermistor and a separate solid-state control board to regulate the dryer’s drum temperature.  The temperature selection switch rarely fails.

Test: Disconnect all connecting wires and check for continuity across the switch and all wire harness resistors.  If you have a solid-state control board, visually inspect it for burn marks.  Use your dryer’s wiring diagram for more accurate testing.

Watch the Gas Dryer Repair Videos

dryer valve coilsValve Solenoids(Coils):
Gas dryers use a set of solenoids (also called safety coils) to open the dryer’s gas valve automatically after the flame switch has opened, indicating that the igniter is hot enough to ignite released gas. As safety coils are going bad, they will work properly for a short period of time, then after a half an hour or so of cycling on and off to maintain the drum’s temperature, they will breakdown and cease to open the valve. This will result in cool wet clothing at the end of the cycle. Solenoids commonly need to be replaced in a gas dryer.

Test: If the igniter is getting hot and cycling off after the flame switch opens, but no gas is released, the coils are likely the cause.

dryer flame switchFlame Switch:
The flame switch (also called the window sensor) is used in gas dryers to guarantee that the igniter is hot enough to ignite gas once it is released from the valve. When the flame switch is cool it is closed, allowing electricity to energize the dryer’s igniter. But after it heats up, because of its close proximity to the igniter, it opens routing power to the valve solenoids to open the valve and release gas. The flame switch rarely needs replacement.

Test: To test the flame switch, support the switches terminals with a pair of needle nose pliers while you disconnect the two connecting wires.  Check for continuity across the switches terminals. There should be no resistance measured when the dryer is cool (a closed circuit, allowing electricity to flow.) If the igniter heats up but never clicks off, replace this switch.

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dryer heating elementHeating Element:
A heating element is used in electric dryers to generate the heat needed to dry your clothes.  Almost all heating elements require 240 Volts to function correctly.  Sometimes the heating element can short, allowing contact to ground.  If this does not trip the circuit breaker, it will effectively bypass the cycling thermostat and cause the heater to never cycle off as long as the dryer is running.

Test: Remove all connecting wires and check for resistance across the two terminals of the heater. Some resistance should be detected allowing the heater to perform its work.  If an open circuit is detected, the heater needs to be replaced.  Also check each of the heater’s contacts to the outer containment unit of the heating element. There should be no connection. If the heater tests okay, check the connected thermostats for continuity and your home’s power supply for full 240-volt supply.

kenmore dryer valveBurner Valve:
Gas dryers use a burner to generate the heat required to dry your clothes.  These valves are extremely reliable and almost never need replacement.  The valve is opened automatically by a set of solenoid coils.  In some cases, allowing a propane tank to go dry can cause the valve to fail. However, all other possible causes should be checked before the dryer’s valve is replaced.  The safety coils are the most common cause of a valve not opening.  Note: A valve you intend to use again should not be opened for any reason, because this can cause dangerous gas leaks.

Watch the Gas Dryer Repair Videos

dryer blowerBlower:
Dryers use a blower wheel to move air across the dryer’s heat source and through the dryer’s drum. Airflow is extremely important for a dryer to operate properly.  Air that is saturated with evaporated water must be removed from the dryer’s drum for more evaporation to occur.  Not all blower wheels are the same even though they all perform the same function.  Fast clicking or buzzing noises are often an indicator that some object is grinding against the blower wheel as it turns.  In some cases the blower’s connection to the motor shaft may weaken, causing the blower to rattle and shake, especially when you first open the door to stop the dryer. This can also reduce the speed at which the blower spins, cutting airflow and increasing the time required to dry a load of clothes.

dryer belt




The belt transfers the power generated by the motor to the drum, enabling it to tumble.  Belt sizes and styles are model specific.

Test: Physically inspect the belt for signs of cracking or burning.

Belt Switch:
Some dryer models use a belt switch attached to the belt tension pulley, which will open if the dryer’s belt breaks not allowing the dryer to operate.  Symptoms of a broken belt are similar to that of a broken door switch. The dryer will not start or stops suddenly in the middle of a dry cycle.

Test: Remove all connecting wires to the belt switch and test for continuity across the switch terminals. There should be no resistance measured (a closed circuit, allowing electricity to flow).

dryer door switchDoor Switch:
The dryer’s door switch senses if the door is open or closed.  When the door is closed the switch will close, allowing power to circulate through the rest of the circuit.  When the dryer door is open the switch will open, breaking electrical contact to the neutral connection of the circuit and stopping the flow of electricity.  Some door switches are “single pole double throw” meaning that when the door is opened the dryer’s main component circuit is open, but the dryer’s drum light is energized.  Most often the actuator arm of this switch will physically break off. However, sometimes the switch will break internally with no external indicators. 

Test: Remove all connecting wires and check for continuity across the switches main component circuit. There should be no resistance measured (a closed circuit, allowing electricity to flow).

dryer belt pulleyBelt Tension Pulley:
The belt pulley (also called the idler pulley) keeps tension on the belt, creating the small amount of friction necessary for the belt to grip the motor and the drum.  Dryer manufacturers have used a variety of belts and pulley designs through the years. Most methods of belt / pulley installation can be found on the dryer pulley installation page.  The tension pulley can be responsible for some squeaking noises as well as causing the belt to burn. Other possible causes of these same symptoms could be drum supports, or any component that would make it difficult for the drum to rotate freely.

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dryer drum bearingDrum Bearing: 

The dryer’s drum can be supported by a number of methods. Some dryers use a rear drum bearing to support the weight of the dryer drum and wet clothing. Others use nylon or felt to pad the contact points between the dryer’s moving and stationary parts. These bearings can wear out and cause squeaking and scraping noises. In extreme cases, where loud dryer noises have been ignored for long periods of time, the motor may no longer be able to turn the drum and a humming noise will replace the grinding. Allowing grinding and squeaking noises to continue without repair can greatly increase the cost of repair.

dryer drum rollersDrum Support:
Dryers use several different methods and components to support the drum and allow it to rotate with ease.  Most designs have a series of rollers that hold the drum in position and a felt material that reduces friction and creates a light air seal for proper airflow.  Some manufacturers, such as General Electric and Frigidaire, use a singe ball bearing that is mounted to the back of the dryer drum.  This bearing turns within a lubricated nylon cradle mounted to the dryer’s stationary rear bulkhead.  Some dryer models simply have pads that resist friction to support the drum and allow rotation.  Any of these supporting methods can wear out over time and cause squeaking and grinding noises. 

Test: Visual inspection of all points of contact between the moving drum and stationary points is the best way to determine if one ore more components need replacement.

Watch the Gas Dryer Repair Videos

dryer thermistorThermistor:
A thermistor is a variable resistor that fluctuates the resistance it offers to a circuit with temperature change.  In this way the thermistor can communicate with a solid-state control board and give very accurate temperature readings.   The symptoms of a faulty thermistor could be an error code, incorrect dryer temperatures, or no heat. Thermistors have very specific resistance requirements that are usually listed on a technical sheet located somewhere inside your dryer.

Test: To test a thermistor, disconnect all connecting wires and perform a resistance check. The correct resistance value must be identified for your model and can usually be found on your dryer’s wiring diagram or technical guide, located somewhere inside the dryer.

dryer air flowAir Flow:
A dryer’s airflow system is as important as the heat that the dryer generates.  A dryer can be as hot as Hades, but if the moisture-saturated air is not removed from the area your clothing will not dry.  Clogged internal and home ducting is the number one cause of long dry times and poor drying performance.  Disconnecting the dryer’s duct and running a test load will often solve long dry times.  If the dryer now magically works, check the ducting for blockages.  Dryer manufacturers often suggest limiting duct length to no more than ten feet, each 90º angle in the homes ducting is like adding 5 feet to its length.  Vertical home ducting can also be a common source of clogged ducting and heating issues. 


Gas Supply:
Obviously, a gas dryer needs gas to create heat.  The burner valve can only release gas if it is being supplied to the dryer.  Sometimes gas connections to the dryer can become clogged with too much pipe compound or poor installation. Also some connections can close internally, blocking gas flow.  Always use caution when you are working with gas, and be sure to check for leaks after all connections have been tightened. 

Test: Using liquid dish soap is a good way to leak check. Any gas seeping from a connection will create bubbles.

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New Whirlpool Icemaker Repair Video

How Icemakers Work

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The Icemaker Cycle | Icemaker Components | Cube Size

They don’t make em’ like they used to!

icemaker repair A long time ago in a land far far away icemakers lasted for the average life of a refrigerator. In modern times their life span has been greatly reduced to about 7 years on average. (Got to love modern marketing technology) So before you sink a bunch of cash into a repair, inspect every part of the icemaker for damage especially the Teflon coated ice mold that is common to brake down and corrode.

Because icemakers have such a short life expectancy these days, more often than not replacing your icemaker is the most cost effective way of repair.

There have been several different icemaker designs over the years; all have the same basic mechanics but some minor diagnostic and mechanical variations. Each style is examined more closely on their own page.

*Whirlpool Modular Icemaker Page

(More Icemaker styles coming soon!)

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The Icemaker Cycle


An Icemaker is like a separate appliance within your freezer. On average an icemaker will produce one batch of ice every 1-2 hours.

Amazingly the creation of ice begins with water.  Hard to believe but yes it’s true. In the old days one had to lift heavy ice trays all the way to the sink, fill them up with water and wait for the water to freeze.  It sounds barbaric but that’s what they did!  Now it’s all automatic! 

The icemaker temporarily energizes an automatic water valve behind the refrigerator with 120 volts. When the solenoid is energized it opens allowing water to flow into the icemaker mold. 

Some refrigerators have water filtration systems that remove all those pesky contaminants, which is good because for one you don’t want a third eye, and secondly minerals can cause the extremely thin coating on your icemaker’s mold to break down.  The mold coating is important because it allows the ice to slip from the mold easily, if it breaks down and becomes rough, the ice will jam in place and you will need to use those plastic ice cubes at your cocktail party. 

After the icemaker has filled with water we wait.  Rushing nature is fine sometimes like when you really want yesterday’s pizza hot now, but removing heat takes a little more time. Once the thermostat senses that the water has frozen it closes a circuit, energizing the motor and heater.  As the timer advances the ice sensing arm raises and harvesting arm rotates until it comes in contact with the ice. The motor is unable to move the ice until the heater loosens it from the mold.  When the heater has done its job the harvesting arm continues its rotation. 

After the ice has been removed from the mold the thermostat reopens.  The Ice sensing or “bail arm” will now attempt to drop; however, if it is blocked from completely dropping into its neutral “down” position power will not be supplied to the motor and the icemaker will stop production.  In this way the icemaker can sense if the ice container is full.

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Icemaker Components

The Icemaker is a fairly simple mechanical device made of six main components.  The control module, which contains a small motor, that drives a gear with a conductive pattern on the back, energizing various components at the proper time as it rotates.  The harvesting arm removes formed ice cubes.  The Icemaker thermostat is normally open and closes temporarily when the ice has frozen energizing the mold heater and causing the motor to rotate again.  The mold heater warms the mold causing your ice cubes o melt slightly for easy removal.  The bail arm opens and closes a small contact inside the control module interrupting power if it senses the ice bin is full.  Lastly the water valve supplies the high quality h2O necessary for ice production.

icemaker diagram

Cube Size

Icemakers do not have any kind of a water level sensor like a washing machine does; instead they fill for a set period of time as the rotation of the timer temporarily energizes the water valve. Icemakers are set at the factory for average household water pressure; however, if you start to have problems with individual ice cube groups connected along the top, icicles hanging from the icemaker, your ice container floor covered with ice, or small cubes, don’t be embarrassed.  You can correct the problem by adjusting how long the valve is energized with a screw located on the icemaker module. Adjustment is usually clockwise to reduce fill time and counter clockwise to increase it. Be careful a little goes a long way.

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How To Use A Voltmeter To Solve All Of Your Home Appliance Woes.

How To Use A Voltmeter To Solve Your Home Appliance Woes.

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Measuring Circuit Voltage

  1. Plug the probes into the meter. Red goes to the positive (+) and black to the negative (-).
  2. Turn the selector dial or switch to the type of measurement you want. To measure alternating current, such as a wall outlet, (home appliances) use ACV or V~.  To measure direct current, a battery for example – use DCV or V-.

  3. Choose the range setting. The dial may have options from 10 to 1000 on the ACV side, and 5 to

    1000 on the DCV side.  The setting should be the top end of the voltage you are reading.  For example the setting should be higher than 120 for a 120V wall outlet.  (If the meter is set at to low of a measurement scale the meter’s internal fuse may burn out) 

  4. Hold the probes by the insulated handles and touch the red probe to the positive side of a DC circuit or either side of an AC circuit. Touch the other side with the black probe.

  5. Read the digital display or analog dial for voltage measurement.

Measuring Circuit Resistancehow to use a volt meter

  1. Select a setting within the Ω (ohms) section on the meter dial. (Ohm’s Law)

  2. Setting options are usually between 200 2000k (thousand)

  3. Using higher range settings will increase the meters sensitivity to resistances.

  4. Touch the positive (red) and negative (black) probes together, the reading you receive is a closed circuit (power can flow with 0 resistance.)

    appliance repair helping handDon’t have a voltmeter? get one here.

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