Appliantology Newsletter
Home on the Range and other Assorted Love Songs
  November 2013
Samurai Appliance Repair Man
0.  Feel the Heat
1.  Oven Self-Clean Folly
2.  Suppressing the Urge to Surge
3.  Chicken Soup for Limeys
4.  Naked Before Millions
5.  Training for Battle

0.  Feel the Heat
This is the time of year, the countdown to Thanksgiving, that we professional Appliantologists lovingly refer to as “Cooking Season.”  I love cooking season.  It marks the next season in my service call bidness from the warm refrigerator fire drills all summer long, through the inevitable slowdown after Labor Day, to cooking season when families get together to break bread and turkey legs, crack a few cold ones, catch up on each other’s lives and generally get on each other’s nerves.  Through it all, Samurai Appliance Repair Man and are right there with you, helping, listening, seeing things we shouldn’t see… oh, wait, that’s the NSA.  
If you’re not feelin’ the heat in your range, go for the simple fix first.  
For gas ranges, this usually means replacing the bake ignitor.  You can buy the ignitor for any brand or model of gas range with a one year return policy ratcheer.  
For electric ranges, try testing and replacing the bake element.
In either case, if the ignitor or element doesn’t fix the problem, return it for a refund, even after it’s been installed!  Can you hear me now?  Are you feelin' the heat?  
1.  Oven Self-Clean Folly
Many of my customers, aware that they’re coming up on Thanksgiving, figure they better go ahead and run a self-clean cycle on their range or oven in case that nosey mother-in-law decides to inspect the inside of the oven.  
Problem is that this is about the only time during the whole year they run the self-clean cycle.  More often than not, what ends up happening is that all the grease accumulated on the door latch motor gets hardened into a crusty, burnt cement that prevents the door latch from unlocking at the end of the cycle.  
Result: door stuck closed at the end of the clean cycle and no access to the oven.  I get dozens of these calls in the run up to Thanksgiving.  It’s nice, profitable work for me so it’s definitely not in my self-interest to give these closely-guarded trade secrets away.  But you’ve just reaped the bountiful benefit of being an Appliantology subscriber!  
I’ll let you in an another secret:  Our range at home has the self-clean feature, like most medium to upper-end ranges do.  We have never used it, not even once.  I don’t generally get away with telling Mrs. Samurai what to do— she doesn’t take kindly to that and can get downright ornery.  But when I explain to her that using the self-clean feature can break her oven and it might take me months to get it fixed (because no one pays me to fix my own broken stuff), she sees the light.  And now you do, too.
2.  Suppressing the Urge to Surge
Since we’re talking about how NOT to break your stuff, here’s a simple and inexpensive way to protect the electronic circuit boards in your appliances and avoid an expensive repair.  
Simple rule of thumb:  if your appliance has a digital display, it has an electronic control board.  
These electronic boards are actually single-board computers, just like your home computer.  
Since they are computer boards, they are subject to the same damage and vulnerabilities as your desktop computer.  
Most people know that they should always plug their home computer into the surge suppressor instead of plugging it directly into the wall outlet.  But they don’t make the connection that the computer boards in their appliances need the same protection.  
For any of your 120vac appliances (meaning they plug into a standard wall outlet) you can use an inexpensive plug-in type surge suppressor to protect the control board in your appliances from spikes and garbage on the line.   You want a surge suppressor with at least 1,000 joules of protection.  
This Belkin surge suppressor offers 1,045 joules of surge suppression and comes with a $50,000 equipment protection warranty all for about $6.  Now that’s what I call cheap insurance!
3.  Chicken Soup for Limeys
There’s always something yummy brewing in Mrs. Samurai’s kitchen.  Since this is cold and flu season, we recently feasted on a traditional cold remedy with an Asian twist: a Thai-inspired coconut-lime chicken soup.  Come git you some.   

4.  Naked Before Millions
Hoo-wee!  We just passed One Million views on our YouTube channel! With over 140 videos (and counting) of my gnarly, naked hands whuppin' up on a bunch of appliances, you're sure to find some inspiration for your own appliance battles.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel and observe, first-hand, my patented appliance repair battle techniques.  
5.  Training for Battle
We just finished up two information-packed days of training at the United Servicers Association Regional Service Meeting in Peabody, MA.  
I revelled in excellent factory technical training from Whirlpool, Electrolux/Frigidaire, and Bosch/Thermador, and Mrs. Samurai sat in on the last session with me today on service business management. Looking forward to putting all this great new info to use fixing appliances for our customers in the Kearsarge-Lake Sunapee Region of NH and helping our Apprentices and Appliantologists and the Samurai Appliance Repair Academy!
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man,

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