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Made by Monkeys

The Day the Ice Dispenser Died

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naperlou
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You can fix it!
naperlou   9/10/2013 9:17:52 AM
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Bernie, good job.  We had a double oven which had a failure in the electronic control module.  I checked it and figured out that it was a power transistor.  We called a vnedor repair shop and they sent a guy out.  Those modules were no longer made and he could not fix this unit.  The new ones were all slightly larger.  This would be a problem.  We looked around and found a place nearby that repairs them.  I took it in myself (becuase they were close) and it was fixed in a day.  We have not had a problem since.  It just amazes me that we do not fix these things more often.  It is sooo much cheaper.

szyhxc
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Iron
Re: You can fix it!
szyhxc   9/10/2013 4:55:10 PM
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Thanks Lou! And thanks for reminding me about my oven!  I feel another MbM article brewing.

I have no idea what this repair would have cost but I bet it would have required two trips. One to ascertain the problem and order the part, and a second to actually make the repair; total time, four to five days.  I picked up the part the day after calling on it and had it fixed in about 20 minutes.

 The only real issue was that while the drive motor came out through that big hole, installing it in the new Enclosure required the clutch on the shaft to be first removed so the shaft would fit through the much smaller hole.  Needless to say this involved a left-hand thread that had been slamming ice for quite awhile.  It took a lot of torque to remove it and I was more than a little concerned about possibly breaking something.

 Ah yes! My Jenn Air wall oven?

Charles Murray
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Re: You can fix it!
Charles Murray   9/10/2013 7:02:14 PM
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Here we are again with a failed kitchen appliance. I wonder if an appliance manufacturer would like to respond.

vectorhappy
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Re: You can fix it!
vectorhappy   9/11/2013 8:34:11 AM
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As a process engineer in an injection molding shop, I can tell you there are a number of ways this part could have had design or manufacturing defects unrelated to the material choice. How the part is processed is critical to the strength and elimination of retained stresses. Additionally the part design itself might have been a factor - for features such as radii, mold gate / vent port / rib placement are all critical factors - and features that may be overlooked by the untrained eye. Many injection design shops do not have access to mold flow and FEA analysis software. 

szyhxc
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Re: You can fix it!
szyhxc   9/11/2013 7:01:11 PM
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The small shops may not but one would think that Whirlpool/Maytag/Jenn Air certainly would have these basic design tools.  And if not, a Test-to-Failure would have been enlightening.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: You can fix it!
OLD_CURMUDGEON   9/11/2013 8:35:53 AM
Charles:  DON'T hold your breath.  No doubt even IF someone @ the XYZ APPLIANCE MANUFACTURING CONGLOMERATE, LLC wanted to respond, the corp. attorneys would shoot that down w/ the power of an ICBM.  Can you imagine the impending liability (loss of profit!!) that they'd incur IF they had to admit to a design flaw?  Look no further than the automotive industry in general.  Most often, the manufacturers have to be dragged, kicked & screaming, by the NHTSA, to admit to a flaw in one of their vehicles.

ADIOS!

ChuckCooper
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Re: You can fix it!
ChuckCooper   9/11/2013 8:52:23 AM
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I recently had to have a repair on a 4 year old Samsung.  After a few disparaging remarks I asked the repairman what was the most reliable brand.  He replied,"We don't use that word any more."  He said the best value for the money is the cheapest that meets your needs.  If style or features are important, just buy what you want and be sure to get the extended warranty, because they're all cheap and not made to repair any more!  Current expected life is 5 - 8 years.

Charles Murray
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Re: You can fix it!
Charles Murray   9/11/2013 7:37:47 PM
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I'm sure you're right on all counts, Old_Curmudgeon. Still, I would like to see these companies respond, if only to dispute the conclusions. The fact that they don't indicates to me that our authors are right, and the manufacturers know it.

skyefire
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Gold
Re: You can fix it!
skyefire   9/11/2013 9:10:15 AM
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"Cheaper" is often in the eye of the beholder.  I wouldn't have been able to effect such a repair myself, b/c the downtime for the fridge would have been unacceptable.  Especially with no spare fridge to fill in, and no idea going in how deep the rabbit hole might go.  Not to mention that I'm very liable to get halfway through the fix and then suddenly receive an emergency assignment that keeps me away from home for 6 months (this actually happens).

Likewise, when I was young and impoverished, I changed my own oil and did my own brakes.  These days, my *time* is more valuable than my money (to me, at least).

I'm often jealous of the accomplishments of FIYers whose stories show up here so often, but for myself, I simply almost never have the *Time.*

bkobkobko
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Iron
Different Fridge, Same Problem
bkobkobko   9/11/2013 9:18:16 AM
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I have a Maytag "Wide-by-Side" refrigerator with the exact same problem.  Your photo could be my photo! Wikipedia says, "The Jenn-Air brand was acquired by Maytag Corporation in 1982 which was subsequently purchased by Whirlpool Corporation in 2006."

My feeling is that the plastic part was not designed for the constant low temperature (approximately 0F) and the impact load of the drive motor trying to drive the ice auger when the auger is frozen up. Some sort of slip coupling with a clutch type action would have prevented the failure. The type of clutch I am thinking of is used on hand drills and has two plates holding ball bearings in cups with a spring compressing the plates together. 


To be honest, I have not fixed mine yet.  Reaching in for ice rather than getting through the door is not that much work.

TJ McDermott
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Re: Different Fridge, Same Problem
TJ McDermott   9/11/2013 11:52:34 AM
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Plastic in freezing temperatures was my thought as well.  Brittle is the first word that comes to mind.  Brittle material resisting shock loads just seems dumb.

warren@fourward.com
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Platinum
Fixing stuff
warren@fourward.com   9/11/2013 7:39:04 PM
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Not only the price of a replacement is to be considered, but the NAFTA built devices these days are just junk and replacement is often the only recourse- with more NAFTA junk, of course...

kenish
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Platinum
Quality is Job 1.1
kenish   9/12/2013 12:20:56 PM
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A few years ago I was shopping for a slide-in range with the controls front and center.  I was at a store with mid to high-end appliances and the saleswoman was very helpful and savvy.  When I asked about Jenn-Air, she showed me that the window in front of the digital display was thin plastic.  Their service people were seeing damaged windows when boiling liquid or grease was spilled or splattered on the plastic, requiring replacement of the entire electronics module.  (Hot liquids spilled on a rangetop isn't under warranty, of course).

Bought a GE that uses glass instead...so far, so good with fingers and toes crossed!

szyhxc
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Iron
Re: Quality is Job 1.1
szyhxc   9/13/2013 2:27:03 PM
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I have avoided GE since their NBC lied in a news story about the gas tanks in GM's full size pickup trucks.  I doubt that I will reconsider.

Charles Murray
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Re: Quality is Job 1.1
Charles Murray   9/13/2013 6:46:02 PM
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I distinctly recall the news story, Szyhxc. The lesson there was that if it doesn't fit the pre-determined news template, they'll re-work it until it does.

szyhxc
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Iron
Re: Quality is Job 1.1
szyhxc   9/13/2013 10:10:16 PM
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As I recall this, it occurred before I started working in Automotive but my wife was working for GM.  After crashing several trucks and not getting the fire they needed to support their storyline, NBC put a small explosive in one and filmed it.  The video clearly showed the flash of the explosion under the truck, before the impact, but NBC, knowing how ingnorant we all are, went with the video on the news broadcast anyway.  GM sued and won in court but stupidly did not pursue punitive damages.  NBC should have been shut down then but instead they are still here putting out falsehoods on an almost daily basis.

loadster
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Gold
Some can fix it, Some not so much
loadster   9/30/2013 4:52:38 PM
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Normally, I would strongly concur that there is a lot of "durable" goods that are getting dropped at the transfer station when people with a little effort could keep things working. Not a week goes by when I see printers, phones and small applicance piling up. This was first endorsed with the cash for clunkers programs which I believe was the first in a downhill acceptance in our society that if it doens't work for you, just throw it away. And then replace it with some inferior recurring disposable non-enduring goods. This makes the marketers happy, the shipment, delivery and disposal people happy and everyone except our long term ability to be self-sufficient and independent individuals. I think when something is 15 years old like the JennAir freezer in the article, you have to balance work effort and parts against basic entropy of the appliance and if the ice maker fractures a huge hunk of plastic in the interior housing, what else is getting ready to pop and can you afford all that ruined food. Kudos to you for overhauling it. But I hope the rest is still fully serviceable. I have a top-bottom oven and a dishwasher that look like somebody used as a wood burning brick oven and washed the bricks in the dishwasher in a property I purchased. They will not be revamped in my lifetime, Their materials will hopefully be reclaimed in the metals and plastics sorting lines.The problem is the more we throw away, the less the manufacturers strive to build enduring goods.

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