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How to Clean Refrigerator Condenser Coils

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

The modern refrigerator is a marvel of advanced and traditional technology. Developing the ability to keep food cold is one of the most important inventions of all time, so it can be devastating when the fridge stops working.

Sometimes a refrigerator will slowly stop cooling just enough because of dirty condenser coils. Condenser coils are part of the critical systems that maintain appropriate cold temperatures inside the fridge. When a layer of dust and household grime builds up on condenser coils, the system will overheat, preventing it from efficiently cooling the fridge or causing it to stop working.

Fortunately, cleaning condenser coils is not hard if you know what you’re doing and have the right supplies. Here’s a quick guide to cleaning refrigerator condenser coils and safely returning a fridge to tip-top condition.

Be Prepared to Repair

Know Your Condenser
Every refrigerator brand and model is a little different, but condensers for most are located underneath the fridge behind a kick plate cover or grate. To confirm, consult the refrigerator’s owner’s manual or parts guide, which can be easily found online if you no longer have the documentation. (Encompass posts schematics for most refrigerator models on its site.)

Collect Supplies
This is a fairly simple repair that doesn’t require many supplies.  Here is a list of suggested items:

  • Work Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Soft Bristle Brush
  • Vacuum with Edging Attachment
  • Shop Towels
  • Heavy Duty Sponge
  • Dish Soap

Getting Started

  1. Unplug Fridge Power Cable
    This is for your own safety; food will be fine for half an hour while the fridge door stays closed. Disconnecting the fridge from power will prevent shock and electrocution while cleaning the coils.
  2. Remove Condenser Cover
    In most cases, the cover will be located along the bottom of the front of the fridge. Check to see if it is screwed in or clipped to determine the tools and approach you will need to pop the cover open and access the condenser coils inside.
  3. Clean Cover
    Over time, it’s natural for the cover to get saturated with grease, spills and floor grime. Be sure to scrub it clean in the sink with soap and water or at least use a damp rag to remove as much build up as possible. At least moderately cleaning the cover is important to maintaining clean condenser coils and promoting healthy airflow through the fridge components.
  4. Straighten Any Bent Fins
    If the condenser coil fans have been knocked significantly out of place, try straightening any bent fan blades. This can noticeably improve performance of the condenser and fridge. However, only bend a piece of the fridge’s inner workings if you are confident about what you’re doing and the fridge is unplugged.

Cleaning the Fridge Condenser Coils

  1. Brush Away Lint
    With a soft-bristled cleaning brush, very gently sweep off the condenser coils to clear away dirt, dust and hair and other grime. The brush should be effective enough, but use a vacuum if necessary.
  2. Vacuum With Soft Brush Attachment
    Start with a soft brush attachment and gently sweep over the coils again, this time with the help of suction. Carefully move the vacuum head back and forth over the coils, paying special attention to crevices and spaces for extra dust to build up. Next, switch to the precision corner attachment. Use this to remove any remaining specs of dust or grime that might be insulating the coils from being kept cool.
  3. Reattach  Cover
    With the coils clean, replace the cover in the same way it was removed.

Testing Results

  1. Plug in Fridge 
    Turn the fridge back on, and let it start cooling. The true test of a working condenser coil is when the fridge stays icy cold over several hours throughout the day, so check back in from time to time.
  2. Use Small Shelf Thermometer
    The best way to identify problems with a fridge’s coolness level is to regularly monitor the temperature with a simple clip-in fridge thermometer. If you notice any changes, you can immediately start troubleshooting before a possible minor problem becomes major.

 

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!

 

 

CE Tech Tips — February 2020

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information.

JBL Subwoofer, MP418SP
Reason for Service
: Motor boating audio
Solution: Checked main filters (8200uF/110V) for bad solder, arcing on board, etc. Cleaned all and resoldered.

JVC TV, LT46AM73
Reason for Service:
Set powers on and off, but no picture or backlights
Solution: Replaced Q3817 and Q 381, plus open 1A fuse.

LG TV, 47LK520
Reason for Service:
No video, but has backlights and video
Solution: Removed and cleaned LVDS cables on both ends.

Samsung TV, PN64D8000FFXZA
Reason for Service:
Shuts down intermittently
Solution: Found bad solder at TS801 and TS802. Resoldering fixed set.

Samsung TV, PN51D6500DFXZA
Reason for Service:
Shuts down, or Picture and Splash screen alternate every few seconds
Solution: Replaced main board.

Samsung TV, LN-T5265FXAA
Reason for Service
: Set has sound and video but no backlight
Solution: Found bad solder connections on T1801 and resoldered.

Samsung TV, LN46A650A1F
Reason for Service
: Dead set
Solution: Found and replaced two 1000uF/25V caps in power supply.

Vizio TV, SV320XVT
Reason for Service:
Back lights don’t work
Solution: Replaced Q203 & Q204 on power board, as well as R209, 0.1 ohm/2W.

How to Replace Oven Door Switch

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

 

While the oven door switch may not seem to mean much for oven functionality, it actually is of some importance. First, it influences how the oven light works. For many ovens, the door switch turns on the light if the oven opens, and turns it off when it closes unless the oven light switch is on. Also, the door switch affects the cleaning function in that the oven won’t self-clean if the door switch has stopped working and doesn’t sense the door is closed when it is.

This post provides detailed instructions on replacing an oven door switch, which is a simple repair with an interesting step.

Gather Supplies

Find the correct replacement door switch for your oven by checking the owner’s manual for the part number.  Other supplies include:

  • Screwdriver – Phillips and flat head
  • Work gloves
  • Prop stick

Safety First

  • Disconnect Power
    Because this repair involves an electrical component, there is risk for dangerous shock. Be sure to cut power to the oven before beginning work. If you can’t reach the plug — very common with built-in ovens — turn it off at the breaker.
  • Put on Gloves
    This repair also involves handling potentially sharp surfaces inside the oven, so it is especially important to wear work gloves for protection.

Open Top

  • Open Oven Door
    Open oven door all the way to access the front of the door switch and the underside of the cooktop lip.
  • Remove Screws Beneath Cooktop Lip
    Underneath the front lip of the cooktop are two screws with heads pointing toward the floor. Unscrew them and set aside.
  • Carefully Pull Cooktop Forward
    Pull cooktop forward to free two hinge tabs at back of cooktop and lift up. It’s okay to wiggle and lift cooktop as you pull it free.
  • Lift and Prop Cooktop
    Once cooktop is free of  hinge tabs, lift up front of cooktop like a box lid. Use piece of wood or sturdy stick to prop it open, bracing on metal. Be careful not to damage oven insulation underneath.

Remove Existing Door Switch

  • Identify Door Switch
    The door switch is a small cylindrical part set into upper right or left corner of oven door aperture with wires through the back.
  • Disconnect Wires
    Remember which color of wire is on top, and then disconnect wires. Take a picture for help when reassembling.
  • Release Locking Tabs
    With flat-head / slot screwdriver, press down on metal locking tabs of door switch, allowing switch to loosen.
  • Pull Out Door Switch
    Pull door switch out through front of oven and set aside. Switch can be thrown away or e-recycled.

Install New Door Switch

  • Push New Switch into Place
    Slide new door switch into place through now-vacant hole in front of oven door aperture. Press until locking tabs click.
  • Connect Wires
    Reconnect wires in same way they were connected to existing door switch.

Reassemble Oven

  • Remove Prop and Lower Oven
    Reverse process to open oven top. Start by removing prop stick and gently lowering cooktop back onto oven body.
  • Fit Hinge Tabs Below Upper Control Panel
    While sliding oven cooktop backward, be sure tabs fit neatly underneath control panel.
  • Line Up Cooktop Sides
    Ensure sides of cooktop settle correctly over top of oven body and are not leaning to left or right.
  • Push Back Firmly
    Now firmly and carefully, push cooktop back into place. You may need to wiggle it and vary force to get firmly into place.
  • Return Mounting Screws
    Now return mounting screws underneath cooktop lip.

Test Repair

  • Restore Power
    Plug oven back in or switch breaker back on.
  • Open and Close Door
    Next, try opening and closing oven door with oven light manually turned off. Check if light comes on when door opened and turns off when closed.
  • Run Self-Cleaning Cycle
    Now, test run self-cleaning cycle. If oven runs complete cycle, repair was a complete success!

 

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!

 

 

Sales Tax Certificate Deadline Extended

DEADLINE EXTENDED

TAKE ACTION BEFORE FEB. 28, 2020

To comply with individual state sales tax regulations, Encompass must collect sales tax certificates for each state in which your business is exempt and to which you have part orders shipped. The deadline to submit your current certificate to Encompass has been extended to
Feb. 28, 2020.  After this date, Encompass must start assessing sales tax on orders placed with us until we receive and verify your certificate.

Additionally, Encompass is unable to refund any sales tax charged during the period between Feb. 28, 2020, and receipt and verification of your sales certificate. To recoup sales tax paid, your business will instead need to claim it on your corporate tax return. As such, the easiest way to avoid this hassle is to immediately email your sales tax certificate(s) to: salestax@encompass.com.
If you have any questions, please contact Anita Nash, Encompass Accounts Receivable Manager: 678.405.5380, ext. 1563 or anash@encompass.com.

 

Comvest Leads Management-Backed Recapitalization of Encompass Supply Chain Solutions, Inc.

 

 

How to Replace Broken Dryer Buzzer

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

 

Many people rely on dryer buzzer alerts to keep laundry moving efficiently, while others find the sound annoying and keep it turned off.  If you find the alerts more of a help than a hindrance, read on to see how easy it is to replace a broken Whirlpool-style dryer buzzer.

Get It Together

The first step to any appliance repair is to gather all necessary tools and the correct replacement buzzer. Be sure to double check the part number for your dryer’s make and model before placing an order. Here’s what you need:

  • Replacement Buzzer
  • Screwdriver (flat head and Phillips)
  • Hand Towel or Cloth
  • Work Gloves (optional)

Repair Steps

  1. Unplug Dryer — Because this is an electrical repair, start by unplugging the dryer. This prevents shock when changing out the electrical components.
  2. Pull Dryer from Wall — Move the unit away from the wall and/or turn it to have enough room to stand behind it while accessing the upper back panel.
  3. Open Back Panel — Remove the mounting screws attaching the back panel to the control panel housing and set aside. Use the towel to fully pull away the back panel as the edges can be sharp. Work gloves can also keep your hands safe from an accidental cut. Set the panel aside next to the screws.
  4. Remove Broken Dryer Buzzer — Take off the buzzer knob or button. Trace the button to the exact location in the back of the dryer. Different dryer models often place the buzzer in various locations, so this is the most reliable way to find the right part. You can also match it to the appearance of your replacement part.
  5. Disconnect Wiring Clip — Pull wiring clip free from existing, broken buzzer [you may need to press a release catch].
  6. Unfasten Mounting Screw(s) — The existing buzzer should be mounted with one or two screws, which need to be removed and set aside. Now, remove the buzzer and discard, or preferably recycle.
  7. Install New Part — Start by connecting the wiring clip to the back of the new buzzer, just as the previous buzzer was connected. This is easier to do while the buzzer is not yet fastened.
  8. Align New Buzzer — Align the new buzzer into place. There may be a second screw point or a small lip or clip that slots into a hole where the top of the buzzer should go. Make sure that one or both screw holes are aligned with the mounting points inside the control panel. Then, fasten the mounting screws firmly to hold new dryer buzzer in place.
  9. Return Knob & Reassemble Dryer — Finally, if you removed the knob or button, return it to the front of the dryer panel. With the new part installed, close the back panel, aligning it into place and ensuring the mounting screw holes line up with the dryer panel housing. Fasten the back panel mounting screws and push the dryer back toward the wall. Be careful with the dryer duct tubing, which will need to remain uncrumpled while you push the dryer.
  10. Test New Buzzer — Plug the dryer back in and set a short timed drying session to ensure the buzzer sounds.

 

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!

 

 

CE Tech Tips — December 2019

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

Emerson TV, IC401EM2F
Reason for Service: Dead
Solution: Found shorted zener, D1208B and open 8A fuse.

Hitachi TV,  53SDX01B
Reason for Service: No audio
Solution: Replaced open relay, S904.

LG TV, 47LS4500
Reason for Service: Won’t turn on, 3 blink error
Solution: Replaced D603 on power supply.

Philips TV, 50PF7321D-37
Reason for Service: Dead, 6 blink error
Solution: Replaced C8014, 33uF/450V.

Samsung TV, HL72A650C1FXZA
Reason for Service: Set cycles off and on
Solution: Replaced ballast cap 47uF/450V and two 200V caps in power supply.

Samsung TV, UN32EH4003
Reason for Service: Set plays for a while then intermittently shuts down
Solution: Replaced CM867 in power supply.

Sony TV, KDL46EX500
Reason for Service: Powers on then shuts down with 6 blink code
Solution: Replaced power supply, 147420511.

Toshiba TV, 32CV510U
Reason for Service: Dead set
Solution: Replaced Q860, STRZ2589 and open fuse F820.  2A.

Fix for Continuous Clicking Sound in Gas Cooktop

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

Click, click, click – it’s the sound you expect to hear for a few seconds when turning on a gas stove.
However, you definitely don’t expect to hear this well after the burners are lit or after you
shut them off. If a clicking sound continues when the stove is supposed to be off, it’s actually not as big of a problem as you would expect.

The clicking sound is caused by the spark electrode on a gas stove creating small sparks. During normal function, these sparks meet with released gas and ignite to create a flame. When it clicks outside of ignition, it may or may not be releasing sparks.

Regardless, if the gas is not turned on or there is no gas leakage, it’s not particularly
dangerous, just noisy. If you do suspect there may be a gas leak, stop what you’re doing immediately and call for emergency service.

How to Stop Clicking Before Repair

To stop the clicking sound, disconnect the gas stove from electricity — in most cases, this will
be done at the circuit breaker. Without electricity, the spark electrode will stop sparking or clicking.
When investigating further, be sure to shut off the gas as well for safety.

What Causes Gas Stove to Click?

When troubleshooting a gas stove that won’t stop clicking, the cause likely isn’t something that needs to be repaired, but there are a few parts that can go faulty and will need to be replaced.

Stove is Dirty or Damp

This is probably the most likely cause of clicking issues, and luckily, it’s usually the easiest fix. The stove may have accumulated food particles during the cooking process over time, which can work their way into the burner head. This is also the case if a pot boiled over or excess water dripped onto the stove. If food or moisture reaches the spark electrode, it will click. In many cases, the food and moisture will just burn away, and the clicking will stop. If clicking starts or even stops in the middle of cooking, this is the likely cause.

If the clicking didn’t stop, unplug the stove and start cleaning. Dry the stove and inside the burners as much as possible. For food particles, clean the burner head thoroughly, including inside the slots that release gas. To clean these, use a bit of sturdy wire or something that doesn’t have a risk of breaking and getting lodged.

Unfortunately, if the burner got wet, it might take awhile for clicking to stop. The stove needs to dry completely by leaving it unplugged for a few hours to allow moisture to evaporate naturally.

Spark Ignition Switch is Faulty

The switch that controls the flow of electricity to the spark electrode is located immediately behind the control knob for each burner. If this switch is not functioning properly, it can cause continuous clicking or stop working in an electrode. If it clicks, the flow of power is stuck on.

While each burner has a separate switch, it is usually connected via a harness, requiring every switch to be replaced. However, it’s a simple repair usually just involving removing the knobs and lifting the cooktop to access the inner workings.

Spark Module is Faulty

Once the switch allows the flow of power, the next step in the spark-producing chain is the spark
module, which directs voltage to the electrode. This part can also malfunction and result in  constant clicking. If the switches have been tested with a multimeter and they check out, this is the next part that should be tested. Unlike the switches, there is only one spark module for all gas burners. If it’s faulty, resulting in constant sparking, it’s likely that each burner is sparking. If this is the case, the small module will be located under the gas cooktop or in the back of the gas range.

Spark Electrode is Faulty

The spark electrode is the final part of the chain. It’s the part that actually creates the spark that ignites the gas and is usually the least likely to go faulty. If clicking has been continuous, a malfunction here becomes more likely. The more your gas stove clicks, the more worn this particular part becomes. Although this is the least likely part to go faulty, it is also the most difficult to replace. The gas burner must be disassembled to access and remove the spark electrode and install a new one.

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!

 

 

Replacing Ice Maker Bucket in Whirlpool Refrigerators

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

If the ice maker bucket of a Whirlpool, Kenmore, Kitchenaid or Maytag freezer breaks, it can be replaced without having to buy a new refrigerator or ice maker.  Fortunately, the refrigerator panel doesn’t have to be opened to perform this fix. If you’re handy with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can replace the bucket of a Whirlpool ice maker.

Supplies

In addition to a replacement ice maker bucket for the correct product model number, needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver are needed for this job. The type of screw cap differs by model, so a combo wrench or socket screwdriver kit is recommended.

● Replacement Ice Maker Bucket
● Needle-nose Pliers
● Towel
● Screwdriver or Combo Wrench
● Flat Work Surface

Remove the Ice Bucket

  1. Pull Out Entire Bucket Assembly
    Removing the ice bucket is easier than it looks. Simply grasp it firmly and pull the entire
    assembly out and away from the freezer back panel, detaching it from mechanical coupler.
  2. Place On Flat Work Surface
    Lay towel over work surface, and position ice bucket upside down. The opening should be facing table showing a thin metal post secured along underside of ice bucket.
  3. Detach Actuator Arm
    The actuator arm is the metal bar across the now top of the ice bucket assembly. It attaches bucket to rest of assembly and will need to be detached from bucket before continuing.
  4. Release Arm Spring 
    Use needle-nose pliers to grasp small spring wire in groove of plastic arm stand. Pull wire away to release spring. Twist spring to release other side.
  5. Remove Retainer Bracket and Screws
    Unscrew screws holding bracket onto arm stand. Pull entire retainer bracket away and set  aside with the screws. This will release actuator arm.
  6. Remove Screws Inside Ice Bucket
    Flip ice bucket up on heavy end, with auger tip pointing up. You should be able to see two screws inside bucket that are securing it to the auger assembly. Remove these screws and the ice bucket will loosen.
  7. Pull Out Old Ice Bucket
    Removing the ice bucket is tricky. Carefully guide it out around the metal auger until it can be
    pulled away free. Discard ice bucket once it’s loose.
  8. Install New Ice Bucket
    Unpack new ice bucket, ensuring removal of all small pieces of packaging that may be fitted around small, thin or protruding pieces.
  9. Guide Bucket Around Auger
    Installing new bucket requires same maneuver in reverse. Carefully guide new ice maker bucket in and around auger spiral until it can set into housing.
  10. Screw into Assembly Housing
    Settle new ice bucket into assembly housing, and retrieve screws just removed. Tighten screws firmly to ensure bucket does not come loose later when it’s full of ice.
  11. Align Actuator Arm with Mounting Stand
    Move actuator arm back into place to rest on arm stand of new ice bucket. The spring should be on outer side of stand as it was before.
  12. Set Retainer Bracket over Actuator Arm
    Retrieve actuator arm retainer and place over arm on new stand. Reinstall screws and tighten securely.
  13. Wind Actuator Spring into Place
    To get spring back into place, turn actuator spring counterclockwise. Carefully set securing wires into place. Use needle-nose pliers if needed.
  14. Return Ice Bucket
    The final step is placing entire ice bucket assembly back into the refrigerator. Once this is
    done, the ice maker should return to normal function.
  15. Slide Ice Bucket Assembly into Place
    Once new ice bucket is fully secured to assembly, put the entire assembly back into the fridge. Fit assembly back into its slot, but don’t press in yet.
  16. Rotate Auger to Seat Coupler
    If assembly doesn’t fit perfectly at first, manually turn auger until the mechanisms fit together. Because this is an entirely mechanical piece, line up gears for assembly to fit into place.

Special thanks to Fred’s Appliance Academy for this helpful tip!

 

 

CE Tech Tips — November 2019

**NOTICE**
Due to the danger and complexity of electronic equipment repair, the following technical tip is intended for professional reference only. Please refer to manufacturer’s recommendations as Encompass does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or safety of this information. 

Hitachi TV, 57UWX20B
Reason for Service: Freezing or any unusual eeprom or micro suspected problem
Solution: Add jumper from I007 pin 1 to cathode of D019.

LG TV, 47LD520-UA
Reason for Service: After set warms up, starts cycling off and on
Solution: Found and resoldered many bad solder joints around Q707, 708, 709, 710.

Panasonic TV, TCP50U2
Reason for Service: Dead, 10 blink error code
Solution: Changed mail board to repair.

Samsung TV, LN-T2353HX
Reason for Service: Set won’t start, but has power light
Solution: Found open CM802 in power supply: 18nF/630V (box cap).

Samsung TV, PN64D550
Reason for Service: Dead set
Solution: Found two burned caps in power supply: C816 & C817.  Also found bad solder on many components in power supply.  Examined and resolderd.

Samsung TV, IN40A530P1FXZA
Reason for Service: Bad video, audio screeches, starts slow
Solution: Replaced C102 and C131.

Sony KDL52W4100
Reason for Service: Picture has some faint blocks in center of screen, which go away after warm up
Solution: Replaced T-Con.

Sony TV, KDL40BX450
Reason for Service: Dead set, no standby
Solution: Replaced main board.