This week I’ve had two built in Kitchen Aid refrigerators with bad boards that need to be sent out for repair since Whirlpool no longer manufactures these control boards. Both had similar symptoms. KSSC42QMS03 pulsed the whole unit on and off, no cooling. KSSO42FTX02 pulsed only the evaporator fan on and off, cooling ok. Both had one bulging capacitor, see images below. Both evaporator fans had crazy high resistance, up into mega ohms (1400-1700 ohms is normal). So…are these things related? I think they almost have to be.
A while back we had a customer with a Miele G863 SCVI Plus dishwasher experiencing a problem we hadn’t encountered before.
Their complaint was the bottom rack was not cleaning. I found the lower spray arm not turning at all. The spray arm was not clogged, the filters were not clogged. This model has a “top solo” option which blocks the water to the lower spray arm, allowing only the upper spray arms to operate. There is a “top solo” valve (TSV) which is used to accomplish this. It is an electromagnet that releases a ball into the water path which is held against the TSV outlet by the water pressure coming out of the circ pump. I found nothing blocking or clogging the TSV. I found the ball within the valve loose. I found 120VAC to the valve, momentarily, only when the “top solo” option was selected. I found resistance through the valve circuit, Miele does not offer specs for that.
So, to be sure I was diagnosing correctly I called Miele tech support. The first tech essentially told me just replace the TSV, that it couldn’t be tested. I called back after leaving the house, the second tech told me it’s testable through a component test (which is true). He also said that the ball should only be free when power is applied, that without power it should be held in place by the TSV solenoid. He also said that the TSV should read infinite ohms when not powered. Only part of that made sense to me so I double checked the schematic, it looks like the TSV circuit should never be “open”, but the voltage supply is switched by the electronic. So I think he was incorrect about reading infinite ohms without power applied. It does make sense that the ball should only be free when top solo is selected, but I’m not certain that power needs to be applied to release the ball or if power should be applied to hold the ball. Based on the voltage readings I think it’s likely true that voltage is applied to release the ball, because I found 120VAC to the valve for just a moment once the circulation pump started running (with top solo option selected), which leads me to believe that the TSV is powered for just long enough to release the ball once there is enough water pressure to hold it against the TSV outlet. See schematic with line and neutral traced to the TSV and the Miele technical description of the TSV below.
So, the top solo valve (Part number 5268871) resolved the issue. By the way, although it’s called a top solo valve everywhere in the tech literature, Miele’s parts department wants to call it a circulation valve.
In any case, the first image is the new top solo valve in the normal position, ie top solo option not selected. The plunger holds the ball in place allowing water to flow through to the lower spray arm (0.68K ohms through the solenoid). The second image is the old, broken TSV, showing the ball out of place, which is also where the ball would be if top solo was selected, blocking the water path to the lower spray arm, held in place by pressure out of the circulation pump. That is the correct orientation of the TSV, it looks like the ball simply falls back into place on the bottom once the water pressure has been reduced, allowing the plunger to hold it again. And the third image is the broken TSV disassembled. The plunger is broken, that collar should be against the casing. The resistance is good though, 0.675K ohms.
So, RD Appliance Service, Corp. successfully diagnosed and repaired another unusual problem with a Miele appliance. If you need a Miele appliance repair call us now at 516-561-0523 or click the red button on the left to book online.
RD Appliance Service, Corp.
Serving Nassau County, Long Island since 1963
Here at RD Appliance Service, Corp. we understand the value of your Miele appliance. We even use them in our own homes. We know that Miele makes top of line appliances for people who want only the best. We also know how to diagnose and repair them, something not every appliance repair company can say.
Our tablets are full of Miele technical documentation, we have access to Miele’s technical support website and phone line. We stock common Miele dishwasher parts on our trucks.
So, if your Miele dishwasher is giving you trouble call us at 516-561-0523 to schedule a repair. Or visit our website:
A Consumer’s Guide to Recognizing Charlatans, Hacks, and Parts Changing Monkeys in the Appliance Repair Trade
Have you or someone you love been victimized by an appliance hack?
Have your appliances been defiled by a Parts Changing Monkey?
Do you feel clueless when trying to decide which appliance repair company to hire?
Do you feel helpless and vulnerable when trying to evaluate the accuracy (and truthfulness) of the guy standing in your home telling you what’s wrong with your refrigerator?
To protect your appliances, your precious time, and your wallet from incompetent repairmen, first you need to know a little bit about the trade.
The Problem with the Appliance Repair Trade Today
An epidemic of ignorance exists in the appliance repair trade today. In fact, there is a shortage of skilled labor in all of the skilled trades across all sectors of the US economy. For a variety of complicated reasons, all the subject of a separate interesting and scintillating article, the appliance repair trade in particular has been hit by a brain drain and a critical skill shortage. This has actually been building for the past 20 years but has become particularly acute in the last five or so years as appliances have become more computerized and more complicated to troubleshoot.
This situation leaves consumers especially vulnerable. Because, on the one hand, more complicated appliances makes it even more difficult for consumers to understand how the appliance works. On the other hand, it has accentuated a critical skill gap that already existed in the trade because many of the guys who were able to get by on the older, simpler appliances by simply guessing and changing parts find that it’s a much more expensive proposition to do that on these new, electronic appliances with their pricey control boards. And who ends up paying for their ignorance and guesswork? You got it: YOU the consumer.
In the trade, the remnant of us real technicians call these bad actors various names such as hacks and charlatans. But the most common one that you will hear among the Appliantological Illuminati is Parts Changing Monkey (PCM).
You are not alone! The manufacturers are also getting screwed big time by these PCMs. That’s because they have to hire these PCMs to do their warranty work. So, Monkey Boy goes out on the service call, guesses the wrong part, then has to order another part and come back at a later date to try his next guess. This costs the manufacturer money in extra parts and it costs you aggra-dollars– time and inconvenience in a delayed repair for something that should have been done in the first trip and in a timely manner.
If these PCMs are so gawd-awful, then why are the manufacturers even using them? The answer is: What other choice do they have? Yep, it’s slim pickins out in the appliance repair technician field today.
The other fact of life is that the manufacturers pay so little for warranty work that many of the sharp technicians choose not to do it and instead focus exclusively on the more profitable COD work. The end result is that getting a warranty technician is often (not always) a lot like getting a public defender; you’re usually getting a second or third rate guy.
By the way, these are the same guys that the manufacturer will refer you to if you call them to ask for their “authorized servicers.” You will still need to evaluate these guys yourself!
Who am I to be telling you what constitutes a charlatan, hack, and PCM? Well, if you’re really interested, you can read my bio. Over the last couple of decades I’ve been running my own service business and I’ve also interacted with thousands of consumers and techs, as well as many manufacturers, through my online appliance tech-help (Appliantology.org) and tech-training (MasterSamuraiTech.com) websites. I know what’s out there– the good, the bad, and the butt-ugly.
So, the burning question you’re asking yourself right now is, “How is the hapless consumer to recognize a Parts Changing Monkey when he’s telling me what he thinks is wrong with my appliance?”
Come with me now on a Journey of Total Appliance Enlightenment…
How to Recognize a Charlatan, Hack, or PCM in Your Home
1. If your “tech” walks in and sees you have a Samsung, LG, or Miele (or other higher-end brand) and immediately goes off on how these brands are junk and how you need to get yourself a Whirlpool, this is a surefire sign that the guy is a hack. A lot of parts-changers don’t like Samsung, LG, etc. because those brands have a lot of new, electronic parts and control boards in their appliances, which require technical skills such as reading the schematic diagrams and taking electrical measurements to accurately troubleshoot the problem.
Parts-changers don’t know how to read schematics and therefore don’t know how to make real diagnoses, and despite the availability of ways to learn that skill they refuse, out of laziness or pride, to learn real troubleshooting. Willful ignorance is rampant among appliance hacks. They like brands like Whirlpool because they are familiar with them and know how to change the right parts to fix common problems. If a “tech” comes into your home and acts like this, you’ll know what he really is.
2. The second indicator that a “tech” is really a PCM is when he is confronted with a warming refrigerator and says that it “needs more Freon” in the sealed system. This should rarely–if ever–be done to a fridge. The procedure to add refrigerant is time-consuming and expensive, and really not worth it compared to the cost of replacing the fridge. Furthermore, most of the causes of a warming refrigerator are in the defrost system, fans, or controls, not the sealed system.
3. The most infamous charlatans out there like to a play a certain game with their customers. After the problem has been “diagnosed”, they’ll replace a part. If that doesn’t fix the problem, the hacks just say “Oh, it must have been something else in addition to that”, and replace yet another part. They continue to charge you, the customer, for each part they replace. In other words, you are paying for them to guess at which parts will fix the problem until they finally get the right one.
There are very few instances where a trained and skilled technician would troubleshoot your appliance and justifiably not be able to tell that a second part was involved in the problem. And if he did miss that the first time around, a good and honest technician will own up to that oversight and not charge you as if there was nothing he could have done about it.
If you’ve experienced any of these three behaviors from an appliance servicer, it’s time to try someone else! Look for a technician who invests in his training, including ongoing training over the years. Many of the best techs are active at Appliantology.org and/or get their training from reputable training institutions such as the Samurai Tech Academy!
Viking has a new ipad app which allows customers to design their own Viking kitchen. See it here:
RD Appliance Service, Corp. has been repairing Viking appliances, including Viking ranges, Viking ovens, Viking cooktops and Viking refrigerators for many, many years. We always come prepared to diagnose your specific Viking appliances using only the best test equipment as well as Viking factory technical documentation.
Call us at 516-561-0523 to schedule a repair on your Viking appliance, and visit our web page dedicated to Viking appliance repairs.
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Last night RD Appliance Service, Corp. attended (as well as coordinated) a training seminar on electrical fundamentals such as Ohms law and parallel circuits.
That’s part of the reason RD Appliance Service, Corp. offers the highest quality appliance repair service in Nassau County, Long Island.
Call us at 516-561-0523 to troubleshoot your appliance correctly. No guessing and no unnecessary parts.
Who would you trust to repair your $14,000 Miele dual fuel range? What about your $5,000 Dacor double oven? You can trust RD Appliance Service, Corp. because we know how to service these complex machines and we have training and the technical info most other Long Island appliance repair companies lack.
Click the link below to check out these crazy expensive appliances from Miele, Dacor, Wolf, Samsung and others.