How To Repair Microwave Door Switches

Alex HMicrowave RepairLeave a Comment

The microwave oven was one of the 20th century’s greatest time-saving devices invented. Microwaves did not come about because someone needed to find a quicker and more convenient way to cook. Microwaves were first used in a magnetron tube invented during WW II. The British mounted the magnetron to their radar system and greatly enhanced their capability to see enemy warplanes approaching to bomb the British Isles. It was by accident that the microwave was discovered to heat food. An engineer doing research was in a room where the microwaves were bouncing off the walls. He needed a snack and dug into his pocket to eat a candy bar. The candy bar melted in his pocket and gave rise to more research that gave way to the modern microwave.

Enough said about that. Now let us take a look at Vivian and find out how she uses her microwave.

Vivian and Her Coffee

Vivian awakens early, wipes the sleep from her eyes, and groggily stumbles into the kitchen for her first cup of coffee. She pours a cup of yesterday’s coffee into her favorite mug and places it inside the microwave. She closes the door, pushes a few buttons that sound off the complementary beeps, and patiently waits the 60 seconds that will take to heat up a cuppa high octane jittery juice.

What Vivian does not know is how that magic box is able to heat anything. Moreover, the simplicity of how a microwave works is the furthest concern until the day it stops heating her day-old Joe.

After Vivian pushed the start button, she put in motion a series of events to produce a power equivalent to the energy of the expanding universe.

Before heat is transferred to the inner cabin of the microwave, three switches respond in conjunction with each other to ensure the microwave does not work with the door open. These three switches are vital to the health of Vivian’s microwave and if one or more of these switches fail, the microwave will fail to heat. Bummer.

If the switches are doing their job, AC voltage is sent to a diode which converts it to DC voltage, doubling it to 5,000 volts. If the diode works correctly, this new surge of voltage is sent to a magnetron, the heart of the microwave and the reason why food gets hot.

If the diode begins to fail, the microwave may not be heating to its full potential and eventually will not be heating at all. It is more than likely that the magnetron will need to be replaced as well.

Pro Tip: Remember that microwaves cook food from the outside toward the middle and lose momentum the further the waves travel. This is why stirring food is recommended as one of the steps towards achieving mouth-watering hot food. It’s also why something like chicken breast that is reheated in a microwave seems to dry and shrivel from the outside in.  It’s also the reason Vivian is enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee before she madly rushes out the door to work.  Whether you own a Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, KitchenAid or Roper microwave, the following diagnostic should help you figure out why your microwave is not getting hot. And help you decide if you need to call a reputable appliance repair company.

Accessing the Switches

WARNING: Disconnect the microwave from any power source before moving forward.

Microwaves include three switches located behind the control panel. A primary, secondary, and monitor switch all actuate to keep the microwave from cooking your kitchen while the door is open.

  • Remove two Philips screws that hold the grill in place on top of the microwave. Remove the grill and lay aside.
  • Locate and remove the one Philips screw that holds the control panel in place.
  • Lift the control panel up and gently pull toward you. This will give you access to the three switches.
  • Remove all wires from the control board. All the wires are different from each other and will only fit on the terminal they were designed for.
  • Use needle nose pliers to remove the connectors from terminals that you can’t remove by hand. Gently squeeze the connector to release it from the terminal.
  • The last wire you will remove is the ground wire which is connected to the microwave frame. Set the control panel aside.
  • Remove the access cover and set it aside.

How To Test the Switches

  • Set the multimeter to OHMS to test the three switches.
  • Please note that the primary and secondary switches are tested with the door open. With the door open, place the multimeter leads on the connectors on the primary switch first. When closing the door the multimeter should produce a beep if the switch is good.
  • Test the secondary switch in the same manner.
  • Test the monitor switch with the door closed. When you open the door, the meter should beep.
  • If you did not get the appropriate beep on any or all three of these switches, replace the switch.

These three switches serve mainly to keep the microwave from operating with the door open. The switches also deliver voltage to the diode and magnetron which heat the microwave. If the switches test positive, this further confirms that magnetron has failed and will need to be replaced.

It’s time to button up the microwave. For most folks, this is as far as you may wish to proceed. There is an ever increased chance of suffering a powerful electrical shock from the high voltage capacitor which retains a residual amount of electricity. It will need to be discharged before the magnetron and high powered diode can be accessed and replaced.

Route the control panel wires back through the appropriate slots in the access cover and reattach the cover to the microwave frame. Reconnect the ground wire first and then reconnect all other wires to their compatible terminals. Push the control panel back in place and secure with its Philips screw. With the door open, replace the grill cover. Opening the door makes it easier to replace the grill. Secure with its 2-Philips screws. Do not overtighten these screws as the grill is made of plastic and you don’t want to break or crack it.

Maybe you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, or maybe you simply do not have the time for appliance repairs and maintenance. Whatever the case, we are here to assist you in whatever way you appliance repair service you may need. Contact us at your convenience. We are here to serve you. 

7 Ways to Spend Your Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio

Alex HClevelandLeave a Comment

Cleveland, Ohio has steadily turned itself into a cultural mecca with world-class dining establishments, music venues, museums, art galleries, and more. If you are a resident of Cleveland or you are just stopping through, there is no excuse not to take advantage of what Cleveland has to offer. In this post, we will introduce you to a few unique ways you can spend your Saturday (or any day, for that matter) in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio.

  1. Explore The International Women’s Air And Space Museum: As you’ve likely gathered from the title, the International Women’s Air And Space Museum is dedicated to featuring some of the most influential women who have worked in aviation and space programs throughout history. When you visit the museum, you’ll have the chance to learn about the contributions these prominent women have made in the development of both of the aforementioned fields. The museum is housed in the Burke Lakefront Airport terminal building and is open every day from 8 AM to 8 PM. Admission is free and guided tours are available, lasting about 45-60 minutes in length. 
  2. Have Lunch in Little Italy: Head to Little Italy on Mayfield Road to bask in the indescribably delicious aromas of sauces, pasta dishes, and Italian dessert. This section of Cleveland was first developed in the 1880’s when an Italian sculptor by the name of Joseph Carabelli began creating marble works of art on the road. In no time at all, throngs of Italian families moved in and created their own Little Italy right in the heart of Cleveland, OH. Today, you’ll find an array of cafes, delis, restaurants, and galleries all dedicated to all things Italian (and of course, Italian food). Whether you fancy a glass of prosecco or Italian wine, a rich cannoli treat, or a massive plate of spaghetti carbonora, you’ll find an endless buffet of Italian meats, cheese, and other delicacies in Cleveland’s Little Italy. In addition to incredible dining establishments, Little Italy regularly hosts various events and festivals throughout the year including live music, Bocce tournaments, and art walks. Check the calendar and make a point to attend a local event after grabbing a hearty Italian lunch!
  3. Pay Homage to Rock Legends at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: You don’t have to be a rock enthusiast to appreciate the contribution many legendary rock stars have made to music throughout history. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum proudly displays many impressive, unique exhibits including Legends of Rock, The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Rock Portraits by Herb Ritts, and The Pink Floyd Wall. In addition to exhibits, the museum provides educational programs, classes, and workshops for both children and adults with a vested interest in rock music and its history. 
  4. Get Some Fresh Air at North Chagrin Reservation: Become one with nature at the 1,700-acre North Chagrin Reservation. This wildlife sanctuary is made up of various reserves, hiking trails, and picnic areas. If you’re interested in doing a bit of bird-watching, make your way to the Sanctuary Marsh and Sunset Pond, a prime location for spotting a host of various bird breeds. Aside from outdoor attractions, North Chagrin Reservation offers plenty of educational programs and workshops at their nature center located on site. Finally, if you aren’t all tuckered out from a day of hiking and bird-watching, get in a few rounds of golf at the Manakki Golf Course in Willoughby Hills. 
  5. Spend Some Time at Town Hall: Town Hall isn’t actually the town hall of Cleveland, rather, it’s a progressive local restaurant that consistently turns out some of the most inventive dishes and cocktails in the area. Everything is organic, GMO-free, and locally-sourced and the quaint cafe even has its own bean bar where you can pick up a cup of fresh coffee. Town Hall has an outdoor patio in addition to traditional, in-door seating and is the perfect spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant even features a unique late-night menu with savory and sweet dishes such as specialty milkshakes, juices, smoothies, small plates, and platters. 
  6. Go on a Romantic Date at The Velvet Tango Room: The place positively screams “elegance”. The Velvet Tango Room is the perfect place to take a date, whether said date is your spouse or a prospective romantic partner. The architecture and interior design sets the tone for understated sophistication, thanks to the tin ceiling, candlelit tables, mahogany bar, and baby grand piano. The restaurant also has an outdoor terrace for dining during the warmer months. Make a point to come for the jazz which is played every night at the lounge. The bar has an impressive selection of cocktails, wines, and craft beers as well as elegant small plates to pair with your drink. Keep in mind that anyone planning to visit The Velvet Tango Room must adhere to a dress code that prohibits ball caps and t-shirts. 
  7. Chow Down on Tacos at Barrio Tacos: The Velvet Tango Room is where you go for a romantic, ritzy night out and Barrio Tacos is the place to take your friends of family members for some mind-blowing tacos. Barrio Tacos allows patrons to build their own tacos with a variety of savory toppings. You can pair your tacos with a cocktail, sangria, frosty margarita or other tequila drink. Open all hours of the day, this taco joint is a great spot for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Stop by for the happy hour to get a killer deal on your festive, handcrafted cocktail, wine, or beer. Keep your eyes peeled for a Barrio Tacos food truck, which frequently makes stops at local community events and festivals. 

Curious about the many other things there are to see and do right in your own backyard? Keep reading our blog for more posts on various Cleveland events and activities. If you are in need of an appliance repair for any appliance in your home including your fridge, dishwasher, or dryer, get a hold of us today for a free price quote!

How to Fix a GE Refrigerator That’s Not Running

Alex HRefrigerator RepairLeave a Comment

If you haven’t heard the hum of your GE refrigerator model GSS25SGMBS running in a while and the temperature inside the appliance is rising, a malfunction is most likely preventing the compressor from turning on. Unfortunately, there are quite a few potential component failures that can cause the part to no longer work. Pinpointing the problem isn’t easy, but it can be done. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of common malfunctions that stop a compressor from functioning properly.

You should always unplug your refrigerator and turn off the hot and cold water valves before starting a repair. Wearing work gloves and safety goggles is a must to prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring.

The Start Relay

In most refrigerators the start relay is found on the side of the compressor. The relay transmits current to the start windings which then turn on the compressor. A defective relay will stop the compressor from starting, meaning your refrigerator won’t run and the temperature in both compartments will begin rising. To find out if your appliance’s start relay is malfunctioning, you can test its continuity with a multimeter. If it’s lacking continuity, the part will need replacing.

How to Replace a Start Relay in Your GE Refrigerator

  1. Slide your refrigerator forward. You’ll need to create enough room to comfortably remove the lower, back access panel. Once you can get behind your refrigerator, unthread the screws securing the access panel to the refrigerator. Then, pull the panel off the back of your appliance and set it down somewhere safe.
  2. While the panel is off, take a moment to clean your refrigerator condenser coils. The coils pick up quite a bit of dust and grime, which can ultimately affect your appliance’s performance and efficiency. You can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any accumulated dirt.
  3. The start relay, which can be found on the side of the compressor, is covered with a small black box. To remove the box, use a flat head screwdriver and gently push the box up and off the relay.
  4. Once the start relay is exposed, use the flat head screwdriver to pry it off the compressor. Before you disconnect the wires running to the relay, take a quick picture of the part, so you know where to place the wires on the new start relay. After you’ve taken the photo, disconnect the wires.
  5. With the old start relay removed, you can retrieve your newly purchased relay and begin installing it. First, reference the picture you took to ensure you connect the wires, to the correct relay terminals. Then, push the start relay onto the two terminals found on the side of the compressor. Next, reattach the black cover box.
  6. Now that your new start relay is installed, you can replace the refrigerator’s lower, back access panel. Once the panel is secure, plug-in your appliance and turn on the hot and cold water valves. Finally, push your fridge back against the wall; leaving at least 3 inches of space to allow the refrigerator to breath.

The Main Control Board

The main control board, also known as the electronic control board, controls when the compressor turns on. A defective control board won’t properly sense when the compressor needs to run, meaning your refrigerator can’t maintain the set temperature. To find out whether or not the control board is the issue, consult your owner’s manual to learn how to run a diagnostic check. If you discover the control board is malfunctioning, follow the steps below to replace the part.

How to Replace the Main Control Board in Your GE Refrigerator

  1. On the back of your refrigerator you’ll find the control board access panel. Unthread the screws securing the panel to the refrigerator, and remove the panel from the back of the appliance.
  2. The control board has a number of wires attached to it. To ensure you know where each wire connects, snap a photo of the control board. Once you’ve taken the picture, start disconnecting the wires. Then, remove the grounding wire from the frame of the control board.
  3. In order to detach the control board from its housing, you’ll need to squeeze the mounting pins holding it in place with a pair of needle nose pliers. Once all the pins are disengaged, simply pull the faulty main control board off the refrigerator.
  4. To install the new control board, line it up with the mounting pins, and carefully push the board onto the pins.
  5. Grab your phone and look at the picture you took of the control board, and start reconnecting the control board wires to their proper terminals. Once all the wires are in the right place, reattach the access panel
  6. Now that the repair is finished, plug-in your appliance and turn on the water.

The Thermistor

Your refrigerator is equipped with a thermistor, which is located inside the freezer behind the rear panel. The thermistor monitors the temperature in your freezer. If the part is faulty, it won’t signal the main control board, meaning the control board won’t send power to the compressor. A defective thermistor must be replaced.

How to Replace a Damaged Thermistor in Your GE Refrigerator

  1. Before you can access the freezer’s rear panel, you’ll need to take out its shelving and bottom bin. After all the shelving is out of your way, remove the light cover from the rear wall, and unscrew the freezer light bulb. Using a screwdriver, unthread the screws securing the rear panel to the back of the freezer and lift the panel up and out of your appliance.
  2. You’ll find the thermistor clipped onto the evaporator tube. Remove the component from the tube, and with a pair of wire cutters, cut the wire near the sensor bulb. Before you get rid of the defective bulb, take the metal retaining clip off the part.
  3. Retrieve the new thermistor, and place the retaining clip from the old part onto the new part. Trim the wire on the thermistor, leaving the bulb and at least 4 inches of the wire intact. Pull the the two wires apart and strip off a small section of insulation. Then, attach a butt connector to each wire end. Once the connectors are secure, head over to your refrigerator and separate the two ends of the old wiring harness. Then strip away around a half inch of insulation from both ends. Next, insert the wire ends into the butt connectors attached to the new thermistor bulb. To finish the repair, clip the thermistor onto the evaporator tube and place the wires behind the evaporator.
  4. Now it’s time to reassemble your freezer compartment. Start by reinstalling the rear access panel. Once the panel is secure, screw in the light bulb you removed earlier, and reattach the light bulb cover. Finally, replace the shelving and bottom bin, and close the freezer door.
  5. Plug-in your refrigerator and turn on the hot and cold water valve.

If your refrigerator’s compressor has stopped working and you can’t figure out what’s causing the issue, please contact us today, and we’ll be happy to diagnose and repair the malfunction.

How to Repair a Noisy Frigidaire Dishwasher

Alex HDishwasher RepairLeave a Comment

Your dishwasher makes an assortment of noises, such as, the sound of water rushing through the inlet valve and the hum of the motors running. However, when those noises are replaced by an odd whining or grinding sound your Frigidaire dishwasher model FGCD2444SA is telling you a component is no longer functioning properly. While there are a number of potential malfunctions that cause a dishwasher to make loud and unusual noises, the two most common issues are listed below with a step-by-step repair guide to help you repair the problem.

Before starting any of the repairs listed below, unplug your dishwasher and turn off the water running to the appliance. During the repair you’ll encounter sharp objects, which is why work gloves and safety goggles should be worn as you replace the malfunctioning parts.

Circulation Pump

The circulation pump in your dishwasher pushes water through your appliance’s spray arms. A malfunctioning pump can cause your dishwasher to exhibit a variety of symptoms; one being an unpleasant whining noise. If you believe the circulation pump is the reason your dishwasher is emitting abnormal sounds, the part will need to be replaced.

How to Replace the Circulation Pump in Your Frigidaire Dishwasher

  1. Before you can access the circulation pump, you’ll need to remove the dishwasher from underneath your kitchen cabinet. To do so, open the dishwasher door, and pull out the bottom dish rack. Then, unthread the screws at the top of your dishwasher that secure the appliance to the counter. Open the cabinet door that leads to your sink, and disconnect the dishwasher drain line and fill line. Some water may spill out of both lines, so have a towel nearby to wipe up any puddles. Now head back to your dishwasher, and pull the appliance forward. Once your dishwasher is free of the kitchen cabinet, slowly tilt it backwards and lay it on its rear panel.
  2. With the dishwasher laying on its back, you can now remove the circulation pump from the bottom of the appliance. Start by unthreading the two screws that secure the retaining bracket to the pump. Then, pull the bracket off the part. Next, disconnect the wire harness that runs to the top of the circulation pump. Now that the bracket and wire harness are detached, you can pull the circulation pump off the dishwasher.
  3. The new circulation pump comes with two O-rings. The larger ring fits into the top groove near the bottom of the pump, and the small ring fits into the lower groove. After you’ve attached both O-rings, head over to your dishwasher, and clean out any gunk that has accumulated in the circulation pump housing. Once the area is gunk free, push the pump into the housing and reattach the mounting bracket to hold the component in place. Then, reconnect the wire harness to the top of the circulation pump.
  4. Now that the new circulation pump is installed, you can put the dishwasher back under your kitchen cabinet. First, carefully stand the appliance up. Then, slide the dishwasher back a few feet, so it is closer to the opening underneath your counter. Next, push the drain line and the fill line through the holes in the cabinet’s side wall. Once the lines are through the opening, push the dishwasher halfway under the counter, and then go underneath your sink to reattach the fill line and the pump line. After both lines are secure, finish sliding your dishwasher under your counter. Finally, reinsert the bottom dish rack and secure the dishwasher to your cabinet with the two screws you removed earlier.
  5. Plug-in your appliance, and turn the water running to it back on. To ensure the noise has stopped, run a wash cycle while your dishwasher remains empty.

Drain Pump

As the name implies, the drain pump in your dishwasher pushes water out of your appliance and through a drain hose. If the part begins to malfunction, it can start making unusual sounds as it moves waste water out of your dishwasher. To stop the noise, you’ll need to replace the faulty drain pump.

How to Replace a Drain Pump in a Frigidaire Dishwasher

  1. To remove your dishwasher from underneath your kitchen cabinet, follow step number one, which is provided in the above repair guide. However, instead of laying the appliance on its back, this time lay it on its side panel to easily access the drain pump on the bottom of the dishwasher.
  2. Once you’ve gained access to the drain pump, disconnect the two wires running to the pump terminals. Then, with a towel placed directly under the pump, unthread the screws securing the component to the dishwasher. With the screws removed, pull the drain pump out of the pump housing.
  3. Before installing the new drain pump, clean out any debris you find in the pump housing. After the area is spotless, insert the motor end of the drain pump into the pump housing. Then, secure the component by rethreading the screws you removed. Once you’re sure the drain pump is properly installed, reconnect the two wires to the pump terminals.
  4. With the new part in place, lift your dishwasher back up and slide it closer to your counter, Then, run the fill line and drain line back under your sink. Next, push your dishwasher a little further under your cabinet, so you can reconnect the drain line and fill line to the air gap and hot water valve. After both lines are firmly connected, you can slide the dishwasher all the way under your counter top.
  5. To finish off your repair, plug-in your appliance and turn the water back on.

Other Potential Malfunctions

  • A defective water inlet valve can lead to your dishwasher making an unpleasant buzzing or vibrating noise as it fills with water. Unfortunately, the cause of this issue is simply old age, which leads to the diaphragm in the inlet valve to become misshapen.
  • The wash impeller is part of the circulation pump. It helps push water through the dishwasher spray arms. Oftentimes, the blades on the impeller can warp, which leads to them scraping against other components in the circulation pump. Luckily, in most dishwashers, you can replace the wash impeller without needing to replace the entire circulation pump.

If your dishwasher is unusually loud, and you’re not sure what’s causing the noise, please contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained appliance repair technicians.