Tech Tips

How to Troubleshoot Non-Heating Whirlpool Oven

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 it wasn’t for your Whirlpool oven model WFG320M0BW, your family wouldn’t enjoy all those delicious meals you make for them. Unfortunately, the more use your oven gets, the more wear and tear its components endure. One of the most common
oven malfunctions failing to heat. Diagnosing and fixing an oven that is producing little to no heat is a repair you can probably handle on your own. To help you troubleshoot a non-heating oven, here’s a list of components known to affect heating:

Safety Reminder: Always unplug an appliance before starting a repair. If you’re working with a gas oven, turn off the gas supply valve. Always wear work gloves and safety goggles when fixing a malfunctioning appliance.

Check Your Gas Supply
Before inspecting any other components in your oven, test the appliance gas supply. If your oven isn’t receiving gas, it won’t be able to heat up. To check the gas supply, simply turn on a cooktop burner. If the burner ignites, gas is entering the appliance. If the burner stays unlit, pull the range away from the wall to ensure the gas cutoff valve is open. Once you confirm the valve is in the open position, contact your gas provider to find out why no gas is coming from the supply valve.

Oven Igniter
The oven igniter should produce enough heat to open the gas valve and ignite gas entering the appliance. Over time, the igniter can weaken, meaning it will take longer to heat up. If the igniter glows for over a minute without a flame igniting, it’s no longer functioning properly.

How to Replace the Oven Igniter in Your Whirlpool Oven

  1. Start the repair by removing the lower access panel from the back of the range. Once the panel is off, pull apart the igniter and gas safety valve wire harnesses.
  2. Open the oven door, and take out the racks. Remove the oven’s lower access panel by lifting the back up first, and then sliding the panel toward the front of the oven.
  3. The oven igniter is located on the side of the burner tube, which runs through the middle of the oven cavity. To remove the faulty oven igniter, detach the burner tube and take it out. To do so, simply unthread the mounting screws securing it to the inside of the oven. Once the burner tube is free, pull it and the oven igniter out of the oven cavity.
  4. Place the burner tube on a flat solid surface, and remove the screws securing the defective oven igniter to the burner tube.
  5. Align the new oven igniter with the mounting bracket on the burner tube. Secure the igniter with screws.
  6. Go back to the range and reinstall the burner tube. Push the igniter wires through the opening on the oven’s rear wall. Reinsert the oven’s lower access panel, and place the oven racks back in the appliance.
  7. At the back of the appliance, reconnect the igniter wire harness with the gas safety valve harness. Replace the lower access panel and secure it with the four screws removed earlier.
  8. Plug the appliance back in, and turn on the gas supply valve. Set oven to preheat and wait for it to warm up to determine if the new oven igniter solved the heating problem.

The Oven Sensor Assembly
The oven sensor and the oven control board work as a team to measure and regulate oven temperature. The sensor detects the temperature inside the oven cavity. If it is defective, the oven will not heat at all or the sensor accuracy will be off by 50 degrees or more.

How to Replace Whirlpool Oven Sensor 

  1. At the back of the oven, disconnect the sensor wire harness. Unthread the two screws securing the oven sensor to the range’s rear panel.
  2. Once the screws are removed, slide the sensor out of the opening at the back of the oven.
  3. Insert the new oven sensor into the hole in the rear panel. Replace the mounting screws to hold the sensor in place. Finally, reconnect the wire harness.
  4. Plug in the range, and turn the gas back on. Test the new sensor by turning the oven on and measuring the temperature inside with an oven thermometer.

Other Contributing Components to Non-Heating Oven Malfunction
The Oven Control Board, as mentioned above, works in conjunction with the oven sensor. While the sensor is more likely to malfunction, the control board can also end up failing. If this happens, the component may inaccurately read the temperature sent from the oven sensor, which can lead to the oven not heating at all or the temperature being significantly wrong. Replacing the defective control board is your best option.

The Gas Safety Valve regulates when gas is and isn’t released into the oven. If the component is working properly, the safety valve will open when the oven igniter begins to glow white hot. A malfunctioning gas safety valve won’t allow gas into the oven, even after the igniter is hot enough to ignite the gas. While a defective safety valve can happen, it is a rare occurrence, meaning you should rule out more common malfunctions first. However, if you do discover the gas safety valve is causing a
non-heating oven, replacing the component is the only way to fix the problem.

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

CE Tech Tips — November 2018

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. 

Akai TV, PDP4294
Reason for Service: Set won’t start; relay clicks with 6 blinks
Solution: Replaced C523 & C524 in power supply. 0.22uF/400V 

Samsung TV, HL61A650C1FXZA
Reason for Service: Set shuts down after being on for short time
Solution: Found lots of dust on fans and fan intake for the fans.  Cleaning enabled set to operate normally again.

Samsung TV, UN55C6900VFXZA
Reason for Service:
Dead, no blinking codes
Solution: Replaced ICB801 and zener ZDB802.

Sony TV, KDL46HX729
Reason for Service: Dead
Solution:  Replaced power supply, 1-474-306-11  G5 board.

Toshiba TV,  50H72
Reason for Service:  White screen with lines in it
Solution: Found cold solder on the black wire that feeds the convergence IC’s.
Repaired solder and replaced fuse F850 (5A) and both STK392-110 IC’s.

Vizio TV,  VO370M
Reason for Service: Remote not working
Solution: Found CR2 leaky on remote board. 

Westinghouse TV, TX42F430S
Reason for Service: Set seems to come on, (power light on) but no backlights
Solution: Found bad cap on main board: TC51,  470uF/16V. 

Zenith TV, A27A76R  (module  9-1998)
Reason for Service: Picture is too red, green or blue
Solution: Found leaky Q2205 on main and bad solder on Q5102 on CRT board.

Zenith TV, A27A76R
Reason for Service: Vert rolling and shrinking when cold.
Solution: Replaced CX2105, 220 at 35V.

Replacing Maytag Dishwasher Drain & Wash Impellers

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 factors can cause dishwashers to leak. But if a leak occurs near the bottom of a dishwasher and the water pressure is low during the wash cycle, it likely needs new impellers.

To make the repair, order a drain and wash impeller kit, which is part #675806 for Whirlpool, Maytag and other common dishwasher brands. Then, follow these steps to install the new parts:

1. Unplug dishwasher and turn off water supply.

When repairing a major appliance, the first step is always disconnecting the unit from its power supply. Even though this replacement procedure doesn’t directly involve electrical components, it’s safer to unplug the appliance and turn off the water supply. This reduces the risk of leaks and water damage during the repair.

2. Access the pump.

Open the dishwasher door, remove the lower rack and set aside. Loosen the spray arm nut counterclockwise and set aside. Remove the whole lower spray arm. Next, take out the bearing — these are the loose parts that need to be set aside before you start dismantling the base of the machine.

3. Uninstall the old drain and wash impellers.

Remove the eight screws securing the pump to the base. Pick up the pump, and pull it free from the hose. Use a wrench to hold the impeller in place, then remove the screw in the middle of the impeller. Without the wrench, the part will spin in place. Set the screw aside, and lift the impeller free. Uninstall the filter assembly, and pull it out. The filter has a gasket around the top. If the part came with a replacement seal, remove the old one and set it aside. Clean the filter of hard water deposits and grime to ensure the new seal sets into place properly.

Lift the chopper and spring assembly away from the shaft. Then, unscrew and remove the cover. Now the drain impeller is completely accessible. Pry it free from the central shaft. If the drain impeller is secured too firmly in place from years of use, carefully chisel the part and break it free. Discard all of these parts.

Next, pry the seal away from the bottom of the shaft. Clean the area with a cloth or vacuum, especially if you had to break the impeller into parts. Make sure the white balls in the bottom compartment don’t get lost or removed. If the central shaft is rusty
or dirty, now is also the perfect time to clean or file it into better shape.

4. Install the new drain and wash impeller kit, and reassemble the machine.

These steps work in reverse from the kit removal in the previous step. The kit involves many parts that look similar, so be sure to refer to the installation diagram as needed to use the correct parts during installation. Before starting, you may want to keep the drain and wash impeller kit parts in a plastic container so they stay separate from the other parts you removed from
the machine. This can also help simplify the reassembly process because the drain and wash impellers are separated by older parts that will be reinstalled.

Start with the seal assembly. Slide the seal over the shaft, and make sure the seal is tightly aligned and flat with the base. Next, align the drain impeller hole with the pattern on the shaft. Slide it down against the seal, and place the cover into position. Secure it with the screw removed previously.

5. Install the spring and chopper.

Pick up the spring and chopper parts. Slide the long end of the spring into the edge of the chopper so the middle of the spring and the hole in the chopper align. Then, slide it over the shaft with the spring side down. Rotate the assembly clockwise until the start of the spring interlocks with the top of the impeller.

6. Reinstall the filter assembly.

Find the side of the filter assembly that has a flat section along the top. This is where the wide hose connects to the drain, so orient this section to the back of the machine when you put the filter assembly over the shaft. Retighten the four screws that secure the filter assembly in place.

7. Install the wash impeller assembly.

Line the hole in the middle of the wash impeller with the flat grooves in the shaft. Slide the wash assembly flush against the top of the filter assembly. Then, hold the impeller in place with your wrench again. This enables you to re-tighten the central screw.

8. Make sure the screw is firmly tightened.

This screw is what applies the pressure against the water seal below. Test the wash impeller to make sure you can manually rotate it without any drag or unexpected friction. Put the new seal in the filter’s housing. The ring should slide into the groove without much stretching or tension.

9. Reinstall the pump.

Firmly insert the pump’s arm into the supply tube. Then, shift the assembly on top of the filter assembly. Once it’s in place over the central shaft, re-secure it with the eight screws. Slide the split bearing you removed earlier on top of the central shaft. Next, put the lower spray arm assembly on top of it. Make sure it’s level before you tighten the spray arm nut. Once the assembly is
secured, make sure the spray arm can rotate without drag or wobbling.

10. Put the lower rack back into the machine and close your dishwasher.

This repair procedure has a lot of moving parts, but it doesn’t require extensive experience or specialty tools. All you need is the replacement parts and enough space to stay comfortably organized.

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

Inner Workings of Microwaves

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. 

Although microwave ovens vary in design, they are virtually all similar in function. Most models are equipped with preset cooking times, programmed according to the basic popularity of certain food items, such as popcorn. Microwaves also have power level setting and timing options for food items not included in the pre-set modules.

After the desired cooking setting has been chosen and the start button pressed, the control board sends 120 volts of electricity traveling through a series of components inside your microwave and converts it into high-powered radio waves that cook your food. Once the radio waves are inside the cooking area, they penetrate the food from the outside in causing moisture in the food to vibrate intensely. It is this vibration that generates the heat that cooks the food.

Models equipped with a motorized turntable, rotate food so that radio waves can cook the food uniformly. For more, watch this  5-minute video for a deeper understanding of how a microwave oven works. Here are some tips to deal with operational issues:

How to Remove and Replace the Magnetron in a Microwave Not Heating
If your microwave fails to warm or cook your food, it’s possible that the magnetron will need to be replaced. Due to the electrical danger involved, it’s recommended that this service be performed by a professional appliance repair company; here are the repair basics:

Tools Needed

  • Two insulated screwdrivers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • # 20 Torx screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver

The following procedure is for a Whirlpool microwave that sits above the range. Servicing will take some time and patience to complete. Several screws must be removed to access the magnetron. Place the screws in a container to avoid misplacement and then:

  • Remove turntable and set aside.
  • Using Phillips bit with electrical drill, dismount microwave by removing two screws that hold it to kitchen cabinet.
  • Tilt microwave toward you at about 45-degree angle and lift it off rear bracket that holds it in place on kitchen wall.
  • Remove grill and set aside.
  • Flip microwave on its back and remove eight Phillips-style screws. When completed, flip microwave back to its original position.
  • Remove 10 Phillips screws that hold microwave wrap in place. Remove rear cover and set aside.
  • Now remove eight more screws from top of microwave cover.
  • Don’t forget to remove two screws that hold blower cover in place. Remove cover and set aside.
  • With all exterior screws removed, you should be able to grab sides of cover and gently pull toward yourself, lift it from its place and set aside.
  • Remove panel that protects diode and capacitor.
  • Since capacitor retains residual voltage that could result in serious shock, you are going to short out remaining electricity.
  • Place metal end of one insulated screwdriver on one capacitor terminal and place  other insulated screwdriver on other tab. Cross screwdrivers and hold them together, metal to metal. You should hear pop or see spark discharging any
    remaining voltage in capacitor. To be safe, perform this task twice. After discharging residual voltage, and with microwave unplugged, it should be safe to proceed with removing magnetron.
  • Access magnetron by removing three Phillips type screws that hold waveguide to rear panel. The waveguide is a plastic tube-like guide that directs radio waves to inside of microwave.
  • Before removing waveguide, remove power cord ground wire from rear panel.
  • Remove power cord by sliding it out of its guide and set aside to keep out of the way.
  • Remove last screw holding waveguide in place and carefully manipulate waveguide from its place and set aside. There is one more part to remove before you can access magnetron.
  • Remove magnetron thermostat, which is held in place with two Phillips screws. Gently pull thermostat away from magnetron.
  • Use needle nose pliers to disconnect locking tabs from magnetron. Pinch tabs inward until you feel release and pull wire away from  tab. It does not matter in what order these wire tabs are reconnected to new magnetron; they are just
    completing a circuit.
  • Use #20 Torx screwdriver to remove four screws that hold magnetron in position. Lift old magnetron from its location and set aside. You are now ready to install new magnetron and return microwave to its previous state. You are going to pretty much do everything in reverse order, but following is a quick go-to guide that will help ensure you reassemble all parts and screws to their previous locations. It is no good to finally get the microwave back together only to discover the blower fan cover was not reinstalled, or worst yet, the waveguide.
    ● Install the new magnetron (two torx screws).
    ● Reconnect wire tabs.
    ● Return magnetron thermostat to proper location (two Phillips screws).
    ● Reinstall waveguide cover (three Phillips screws).
    ● Slide power cord into its guide.
    ● Reconnect power cord ground wire to rear panel.
    ● Reinstall high voltage protective cover (two Phillips screws).
    ● Reinstall cover, and don’t forget to feed power cord through fan opening.
    ● Ensure cover is flush with panel by placing slide into panel and ensure no gaps exist on either side.
    ● Reinstall back screws first to keep cover in place.
    ● Replace fan cover, making sure to slide tabs into designated slots.
    ● Reinstall all screws in top panels.
    ● Flip microwave on its back and reinstall the eight Phillips screws.
    ● Flip upright and replace grill, ensuring tabs line up to designated slots. Once grill is in place, use two Phillips screws to  secure. Do not over tighten any screw used to hold plastic part in place as plastic could crack or break.
    ● Enlist help to hold and balance microwave as you line it up with bracket that holds unit to wall.
    ● Feed power cord through designated hole in kitchen cabinet.
    ● Reinstall the two Phillips screws that anchor top of microwave to bottom of  kitchen cabinet.

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

CE Tech Tips — September 2018

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. 

LG TV,  47LH41UE
Reason for Service:  Dead
Solution: Replaced D601 diode pack. Check insulation for diode pack to heat sink and screw insulator.

RCA TV, D52W20,  (ITC222)
Reason for Service: Picture normal with bright set low, but distorts and stretches when brightness is adjusted up.
Solution: Check DI106 and DI032.

Samsung TV, HL61A650C1FXZA
Reason for Service: Set won’t come on.  Power light cycles on, then off, on then off, etc.
Solution: Replaced ballast cap C20, and two open caps in the power supply.  C801S & C802S.

Samsung TV, HL72A650C1FXZA
Reason for Service: At turn on, lamp flickers then set turns off.
Solution: This was caused by two bad caps in main power supply.  C802 & C810; both 470 at 200V.

Samsung TV,  PN43E450A
Reason for Service:  Set won’t start or shuts down intermittently.
Solution:  Pin 1 of CN801 not fully seated in connector.  Reseating pin fixed the set.

Sharp TV, LC46LE830U
Reason for Service: Shutdown, error was 2 slow then 5 fast blinks.
Solution: Replaced the power board: RUNTKA790WJQZ. 

Sony TV, KDL32L504
Reason for Service:  Dead, maybe lightning
Solution: Replaced IC6102,  #670880101

Toshiba TV,  46XV648U
Reason for Service:  Dead
Solution:  In power supply, found R850 bad.  1.8 ohm, 5W.  Also replaced relays SR80 & SR81.

CE Tech Tips — August 2018

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. 

Samsung TV, LN37A550P3F
Reason for Service:  Normal picture goes to white screen in about a minute
Solution: There’s a bad chip on the T-Con; use freeze spray to find and verify.

Samsung TV,  PN60E7000
Reason for Service:  Might be dead, or comes on for a short time, then turns off
Solution:  Look for bad solder on the FETs. Clean and resolder.

Sony TV,  KDL32S20L
Reason for Service:  Backlight comes on for short time then goes off; 4 blink error
Solution: Look for bad ccfl tubes, shorted FET drivers and/or defective output transformer.

Sony TV,  KDS55A2000
Reason for Service:  Shutdown with 4 blink error
Solution:  Remove back and look for dust in exhaust fan. Cleaning should fix the set.

Panasonic TV,  TCP50U50
Reason for Service:  Shutdown, 8 blink error.
Solution:  Found Q051 shorted on SS Board; DG3D3020CVLW.  Use screw kit also: XYN3-F6FJ-18PK.

Toshiba TV, 46SL412U
Reason for Service: Power LED flashes at turn on, but set won’t start
Solution: Found bad Q30 on main board; replacing fixed set.

Vizio TV, VX37LHDTV10A
Reason for Service: No backlight. Emblem turns amber when set plugged in, then turns white when set turned on. Cannot turn set off without unplugging.
Solution: Power supply voltages okay. Main regulator U7 was bad.  Replacing it fixed set.

Westinghouse TV,  TX42F430S
Reason for Service:  Dead, has amber standby
Solution:  Found bad cap, TC51.  470uF/16V.  Replacing fixed set.


CE Tech Tips — July 2018

Due the danger and complexity of electronics repair, the following shared technical tips are 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,  60SDX88B
Reason for Service:  Shutdown
Solution: Check all: QH01,  C655,  IP05,  IP06,  DP05 and DP39.

LG TV, 42-LG50-UA
Reason for Service: Backlight not working, sound okay
Solution: Replaced master inverter, and F1, 3/4 amp fuse.

Panasonic Plasma, TC50PX14
Reason for Service: 10 flash error code, indicating A board.  Too expensive to replace.
Solution:  Found a shorted SM zener on the backside of the A board.  D5573

Samsung TV,  LN32A330J1
Reason for Service:  White picture, solarized
Solution:  The T-Con in this set used a AS15G chip; replacing it fixed the set.

Samsung TV, HP-T4254
Reason for Service: Set runs for hour or so then shuts down
Solution:  QX801 & QX802 in the power supply module had cold solder.  Resoldered anything else that looked bad.

Samsung TV,  UN55C8000
Reason for Service: Intermittently won’t start
Solution: Found bad solder connection on LM891.

Sony TV,  KP57HW40
Reason for Service:  Dead, relay clicks with 6 blink error code
Solution:  Found shorted D5002 on G board.  Sony #871906089

Toshiba TV, power supply PE0071G-1
Reason for Service:  Dead with light blinking
Solution: Repaired power supply by replacing Q880.  STRW6765

Vizio TV,  E321VL
Reason for Service:  Dead, no logo
Solution: Replaced EEprom and two caps.  CE25 & CE26.  100uF/16V.



Dryer Troubleshooting

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. 

Back in 2009, John La Grou, an electronics innovator, gave a Ted Talk on how to prevent home and office fires with a “smarter type of electrical outlet.” John wanted to look his best. The night before he was to give his Ted Talk, he did a load of laundry. After the wash cycle completed, he threw the load in the dryer and went to bed. Upon rising, he went to the dryer to find that his laundry was still as damp as when he had pulled it from the washing machine.

He only had a few hours before his presentation. In dismay, he Googled the keywords “dryer won’t heat up.” Lacking the time to do any troubleshooting on his own, he called a reputable appliance repair company and was greeted by a kind and patient customer service representative who asked a few basic questions. The inquiries seemed simple, but were
intended to eliminate oversights that could happen to anyone — especially when your mind is overloaded.

When troubleshooting, it’s best to start with the most obvious and simple repairs first, working toward the more uncommon and difficult repairs. The customer service rep wanted to know:

  • Does the dryer run at all?
  • If the dryer does not run, have you looked to see if the dryer is plugged in?
  • If the dryer is plugged in but still does not run, have you checked the circuit breaker switch? There may have been a circuitry overload that tripped a breaker switch.
  • If the dryer is not on a circuit breaker system, have you checked for a blown fuse?
  • Have you checked the selector switch to see if you set it to air dry only?
  • When you open the dryer door, do you smell mold and mildew? This could indicate poor drainage or some type of moisture leak from previous drying sessions and definitely increases the chances of an electrical short. If the washer is leaking, some of that water could have invaded the dryer and become the source of moisture.

Asking these questions may seem redundant, but could save the expense of an unnecessary service call. There are a few reasons for a dryer to not heat; this article focuses on two.

Tools Needed

  • Multi-meter
  • 5/16th nut driver
  • Flathead screwdriver

The multimeter is the most important tool in an appliance repair toolkit. Give particular consideration on checking for continuity. In reference to electrical components, continuity is simply the unbroken flow of electricity from its power source and distributed through the appliance components.

A break in continuity in any part of the electrical system would indicate that electrical current is not flowing to that component. The good news is that if you find a break in continuity, you will usually have found the part that needs to be repaired or replaced.

Unplug the dryer before beginning any work. Be careful while you work around sharp edges and delicate components. You don’t want to cut yourself or damage another component.

Testing the Thermostat for Continuity
The high limit thermostat is actuated by temperature change. It is located behind the back panel and is attached to the heating element. The thermostat must be removed (see below) and tested at room temperature. Testing for continuity will determine if there is an unbroken flow of current. The following guide is for an analog multimeter:

  • Dial the ohms resistance to the smallest possible setting.
  • Calibrate the multimeter by touching the probes together and adjust the display needle to zero.
  • Next, place a probe on either of the thermostat terminals and the other probe on the other thermostat terminal
  • If the multimeter reads zero ohms of resistance, the thermostat has continuity.
  • If the multimeter display needle does not move or change, there is no continuity and the thermostat should be replaced.

Thermostats should show continuity at room temperature and should shut off when heated up. If it doesn’t turn off when heated, the dryer could overheat and increase the chance of a home fire. If the thermostat didn’t test well for continuity, replace it. It’s an inexpensive repair and shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to complete.

How to Remove and Replace the Thermostat on a Whirlpool dryer

  • The thermostat is attached to the heating element located behind the back panel.
  • Remove the back panel.
  • Disconnect the wire from the old high-limit thermostat.
  • Detach the thermostat from the heating element terminal – test for continuity (see above).
  • If the thermostat failed, replace it.
  • Position the new thermostat and secure with two screws.
  • Reconnect the wire to the top terminal.
  • Use the wire that came with the thermostat replacement package and connects the thermostat to the heating element.

The thermostat is designed to turn off at high temperature. If it doesn’t shut off when heated, the dryer itself could overheat, increasing the chance of a home fire. This is one reason to not throw your clothes in the dryer and leave the house. Never leave a dryer running while you’re not at home.

Testing the Thermal Fuse for Continuity

  • With a multimeter, set the ohms resistance to the smallest possible setting.
  • Calibrate the multimeter by touching the probes together and adjust the display needle to zero.
  • Next, place a probe on the thermal fuse terminal and the other probe on the other terminal.
  • If the multimeter reads zero ohms of resistance, the thermal fuse has continuity.
  • If the multimeter display needle does not move or change, there is no continuity and the thermal fuse should be replaced.

You won’t be able to determine if a thermal fuse has failed by simply looking at it. It must be removed and tested for continuity.

How to Remove and Replace the Thermal Fuse

  • Disconnect the wires to the old thermal fuse, remove the screw that holds the fuse in
    place, and remove the old thermal fuse.
  • Next, install the new thermal fuse with the mounting screw.
  • Reconnect the wires.
  • Replace the back panel.
  • Plug the dryer back in to make sure it’s functioning properly.

Oftentimes a failed thermal fuse is caused by a clogged venting system. Ensure the venting system is free of lint and any other material that may have inadvertently become lodged inside. It is recommended that you check the venting system after you change the thermal fuse.

To inspect the dryer vents, turn the dryer on and inspect the vent flap to see if it opens when air is being pushed through the system. If it opens, you’re good to go. If not, it means something is preventing air flow to escape. Dryer venting systems should be inspected regularly.

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

Electric Range Troubleshooting

When you’re in the middle of preparing a tasty meal, you’re likely not giving much thought to the inner workings of your electric stovetop…until something goes wrong that is.  Following is some insight into how ranges work and what could be wrong when you need it the most.

Understanding How an Electric Range Works

The more you know how something works, the easier it is to diagnose problems. While this post centers on electric cooktop repair, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding how the range works:

  • Electricity from a power source is delivered to a terminal block inside the range through three large wires in the power cord.
  • Electrical power is then distributed to components that operate various range features, such as thermostat, heating elements, and  heating coils that comprise most of the cooktop.
  • Heating elements are insulated coils with a metal covering that creates heat and electrical resistance to achieve the desired temperature.
  • Range cooktops come equipped with either a conventional or radiant burner. The radiant burner sits underneath a ceramic surface that was designed for better heat distribution.
  • Each element is supported by its own switch that turns the burner on and sends a message to the thermostat to heat to the desired temperature. The oven is designed to effectively maximize heat and air control.
  • Heat levels are controlled by switches and thermostats. Switches control the on and off, while the thermostat controls the temperature level.
  • One type of switch for electric range tops is an infinite-heat switch, which pulsates power to heating elements on an as-needed basis, maintaining the correct level of heat.


#1. Burner Won’t Heat Because of an Electrical Short
Grease and moisture can seep into the power source receptacle of plug-in burners. This can lead to arcing creating an intermittent electrical short that may hardly be noticed. However, the element will eventually burn out.


  • Regularly clean burner element tips and inside of the receptacle to prevent a burner from shorting.
  • When a heating element must be replaced, be sure to replace the power source receptacle too.
  • Do not immerse the burner in water to clean. The plug-in tips on the burner element contain porcelain and will absorb water. The burner may appear dry, but even a small drop of water could cause serious electrical shock.
  • To prevent cross-contamination, return the same heating element to the receptacle it came from.
  • Use a drip pan to capture grease and oil, but do not line drip pans with foil. The light from the element reflects off the foil back to the element, causing hot spots that will render the heating element useless.


#2. Burned Out Element
Each burner element is controlled by its own switch. When the switch selector knob is turned to a particular heat setting, the switch enables voltage to travel to the element, closing the circuit and causing the element to heat. If the element does not heat, the component has burned out. How to manage this repair:

  • Inspect a conventional element for any blistering or breaks in the coil. If there are visible breaks or bubbling, the circuit has been interrupted and the element needs to be replaced.
  • When inspecting the coils that sit underneath a ceramic top, look for any breaks or burn spots. Replace the coil if any anomalies are visible.
  • If there is no visible damage, check for continuity with a multi-meter.

Replace the burned-out heating element.

#3. Burned Out Receptacle
If the heating element test proves it is in good shape, assess the power receptacle:

  • Burned out receptacles interrupt voltage sent to the heating element.
  • Inspect contacts for visible burn marks or damage.

If there is visible damage, replace the power receptacle.

#4. Loose or Burnt Wire Connection
As you work your way through troubleshooting, be sure to look for any loose or burnt wires.

  • It is common for element power supply wires to burn out near the element. If this is the case, you will see visible burn marks. If a wire is loose, try wiggling it back onto its connection.

Replace damaged or burnt wires, as well as the power receptacle and heating element.

#5. Defective Surface Element Switch
The heating element switch regulates the voltage that controls how much heat is displaced to the coils. When the element reaches the desired temperature, the switch shuts off the voltage. To maintain the designated temperature, this cycle continues throughout the cooking process.

  • A defective switch may prevent the element from working at all.
  • Try simply taking a similarly sized element and plug it in (see below for directions on how to replace a plug-in burner).
  • If the new element fails to work, suspect the switch.

Replace the element switch.

How to Replace a Plug-in Burner

  •  Plug-in burners are commonly used in General Electric, RCA, Hotpoint, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, and Kenmore ranges.
  • When doing this repair, be careful to avoid any sharp edges.
  • Remember Safety First! Before beginning any work on the range, unplug it from the power source.
  • Once the range is unplugged, grasp the damaged burner by the outer coil, lift it up and pull straight out.
  • Replace the burner by sliding the prongs into the terminal receptacle.
  • Pull the burner forward to lock it in place.
  • Reconnect the range to the wall outlet and turn the new burner switch to on.

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

CE Tech Tips — June 2018


Due the danger and complexity of electronics repair, the following shared technical tips are 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: Has HV, but no sound or video.
Solution: Found Q445 leaky and replaced.

LG Plasma, 42PJ550-UD
Reason for Service: Set comes on, then turns right back off.
Solution: Look for bad solder on the ZSUS board.  Check L1 and tighten all screws.

Reason for Service: Shutdown, might be intermittent.
Solution: Found an open R835, 120k ohm.

Samsung LCD, LN52A750R1FXZA
Reason for Service:  Dead set
Solution:  Replacing main fuse and Q1815 and 16 fixed the set.   P11NK50ZFP

Samsung HLS5679W
Reason for Service:  No sound
Solution: Replaced several caps.  CM854, CS857, CM860,  2200uF/25V and  C858, C859,  47uF/50V

Sony TV, KDL22L5000
Reason for Service: No remote operation.  The remote itself tests okay.
Solution: Found two shorted caps off pin 3 of the receiver.  C9113 & C9114

Toshiba TV, 27D46
Reason for Service: Intermittent Vert Sweep
Solution:  Replacing D402 fixed the set.

Reason for Service: Set has no picture but sound okay.
Solution: We found no 12V at the T-Con.  U37 regulator on main bd was bad.  Chip marked 4953GM.

Zenith TV, PV4663MK, Mod 9-1302
Reason for Service:  No picture or raster, sound okay.
Solution:  Had to replace the following:  CRX3412, (NTE577), Horiz Out, QX3200, (2SD2539) and the Fly.  95-4134-29.