Welcome to the W.L. May Company Blog.
Offering information and fun for the appliance repair industry and interested do-it-yourselfers since 2013.

To shop for appliance parts visit our Main Page
Phone: 1-800-377-8881
Email: Sales@WLMay.Com

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Featured Client: Salem Appliance Repair

Kelly Moore

Salem Appliance Repair

Contact Info: 
1450 Sunnyview Rd. N.E. Salem, Oregon 97301

Where did you grow up:
Mostly Southern California

How long in the trade:   
35 years

How long in your current company: 
4th year

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work: 
Going to garage sales and finding those antiques and camping and fishing, of course!

To what do you credit your success:   
I raised three great kids on my own. They have inspired my life. My son, Mike pushes me to get to the next level every time he comes home from college. Next year he will have his degree in engineering doing HVAC. My daughter just made me a grandfather for the first time. She is also in college. My youngest Son Ryan just got out of the Army with a medical discharge and is also in college.
Raising three kids on your own requires two incomes. This is where the idea for the antiques came from. I had sold stuff on E-Bay since 1991 for that other income. The antiques have become a passion for me.

What do you like about doing business with WL May: 
Love Kelly and Chuck and Wes’s beef jerky!

Can you share one piece of advice for others in our industry: 
Treat everyone the way you wish to be treated.

Is there anything else you like to say:   
I should have my parking lot finished in the next few weeks and then we will be having our grand opening. It will be catered by Chad’s Smoking Barbeque. Chad works here with me and has been a great asset.

If you would like YOUR company profiled as a featured client send an email to: rob.m@wlmay.com

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Tip: How to Load A Dishwasher

This is not going to be news to most appliance folks. However, it might be a good way to share a suggestion with customers who might need a little helpful advice.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wayback Wednesday At the Fair

Recently I attended the Oregon State Fair. I had a great time checking out the rides, and food, music and livestock. As I was checking out the displays from all of the counties around Oregon, I was impressed, as only an appliance guy could be, by the display from Umatilla County. That is Pendleton Round-Up country and they brought with them a display of pioneer artifacts and antiques. Naturally, the old appliances caught my eye and I snapped a few pictures to share with you. I hope you enjoy!
The classic Maytag Wringer Washer.
The white barrel to the left that looks sort of like a rice cooker was an old Kenmore washing machine I had never seen before. Unfortunately the picture of it did not turn out.

The wooden contraption in the foreground is a pre-electric washing machine, in the background is a different view of the wringer washer.

This is an unusually narrow old range.

The evolution of laundry is captured here. 

An old stove covered with antique kitchen implements of destruction.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kelly's Korner

Hey, All,

Well, this is somthing really silly and is all the fault of a customer who said the way I answer the phone should be a song (thanks, Lainie!).  So I was feeling really silly and turned out a poem - a poet I am not so try not to laugh too hard!


Thank you for calling W L May,
This is Kelly, how may I help you today?
Your dryer won’t work?
Your clothes aren’t getting dry?
Give me your model number and I’ll give it a try.

Your microwave is on the fritz?
Your washer is giving you fits?
We have the parts to make it run            
So you and your family can have some fun
Because with our experience we get things done.

Boise, Seattle and Sacramento
Portland and Vancouver, too
Come on in or give us a call,
Email, internet we’ve got it all
We’ll get you your parts when you call.

So thanks for shopping W L May-
I so hope we’ve made your day!
So come on in   
Give us a try
With our crew you won’t want to say good-bye!

OK, now that you've had your giggle or groan, you all have a great week!



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: News Recap September 19, 2014

If you have been reading the W.L. May Blog but haven't checked us out on FacebookTwitter or Google+, you may not be getting the whole story. We use all of those social media outlets to share news stories that relate to our industry as well as appliance tips we have found from other sources. Here is a recap of some of the top stories we have seen lately. A lot has been happening so without further ado:

We start with a few consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • The Simple Dollar discusses the cost effectiveness of hand washing dishes vs a dishwasher. Link
  • Rodale News made these suggestions for saving money when running your refrigerator. Link
  • Reviewed.Com shared their picks for best American made appliances. Link
  • Deseret News offered 8 tips for keeping produce frsh in the refrigerator. Link
  • Angie from Angie List gives her opinion on the age old question: repair or replace? Link
  • C-Net published their washing machine buying guide. Link
  • The Daily Orange made some suggestions for new college students tackling using dorm laundry facilities. Link
Next, we look at the manufacturers and how they have been in the news recently:
  • Whirlpool announced the hiring of a new executive chef. Link
  • Multi-Housing news approves of Whirlpools "Ice" line of appliances. Link
  • Whirlpool announced the launch of the industries first induction double oven freestanding range. Link 
  • A new design of Heier dishwasher doesn't have a handle for its latch. Link
  • Whirlpool announced their new WashSquad app for iphones. Link
  • GE's chefs talked about what they like about GE appliances and shared a few recipes. Link
  • GE told us about the process involved with formulating a new color of appliance paint. Link
We found a few articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • We reposted this older story from Digital Trends about some hi-tech refrigerator magnets. Link
  • Newsleader.com discussed retro style appliances and their growing popularity. Link
  • Peta Pixel shared a dishwasher trick for film photographers. Link
  • Main St. had an in-depth piece on smart appliances and the internet of things. Link
  • Scott. J. Higgins makes the argument that the washing machine was a more important invention than the internet. Link
  • We found these images of destruction for those of you who like such things. Link
  • Wired reported on a concept idea for washing machine sharing. Link
  • Gigaom tells us why they think washing machines, not refrigerators, will be the first successful internet connected appliances. Link
  • Digital Journal told us about a blog that offers dating advice based on what the dates refrigerator looks like inside. Link
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Smart Van posted an excellent article about stock management and its relationship to first call completion rates. Link
  • KFGO reported cautious optimism for manufacturing in 2014. Link
  • Smart Van makes the list again with their 7 Deadly Sins for Service Calls. Link
  • Hubspot offers 30 Terrible Pieces of Social Media Advise You Should Ignore. Link
A new contest was announced
  • Womans world is giving away a Frigidaire refrigerator. Link

We close with an interesting article about the history of the Philips screw and screwdriver:
  • From A Continuous Lean. Link

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday W.L.May Profile: Roy Wilson

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 10
Roy Wilson is the most experienced member of the W.L. May Co. team of Parts Experts. With 37 years of experience at W.L. May Co, Roy has seen a lot of changes both in his personal life and in the Appliance Parts industry. A Portland native, Roy recalls growing up in a smaller, simpler city. He remembers that during his childhood NW Portland, today a very trendy upscale part of town, was a grittier more working class neighborhood. Even so, Roy recalls, back then a kid could have a paper route, and even if he walked down the street with a bag of money in his hand he could be safe from harm.

During his junior year at Lincoln High School in Portland, Roy was drafted, so he enlisted into the USMC. He ended up getting sent to Vietnam, where he saw action in service to the United States. When asked, he modestly stated details of what he did there were not important to his story, except that he learned that "there are no atheists in foxholes."

After his discharge Roy returned to Portland and began to work for Gaffers & Sattler in NW Portland. In those days, Gaffers & Sattler and Magic Chef were their own   independent companies that were frequently used in RV production. This was going well until the OPEC embargo of the 1970's caused a slump in RV sales that resulted in downsizing at the Gaffers & Sattler warehouse. Roy was downsized on a Friday afternoon, but the following Monday he began to work at Pacific Appliance Parts.

At Pacific Appliance Parts, Roy began in the warehouse but worked his way up. Over the years, he did purchasing, worked as a field supervisor for what was then a chain of branch stores throughout Washington. He also ran the Bellevue branch store. In the early 80's, W.L. May Co. merged with Pacific Appliance Parts & Roy returned to Portland to help develop a merged sales department. Since that time, Roy has grown to become one of W.L. May Co.'s most successful salespersons and provides a wealth of experience and knowledge to those who have followed in his footsteps.

Roy is about more than just parts though. A big sports fan, Roy often has an opinion on the sports' pages story of thethe New York Yankees. He is a diehard Yankees fan who rarely misses a game and doesn't usually miss a chance to praise his team of choice. Also a devout Christian, Roy is very involved in his church. On 4 separate occasions he has traveled to Romania to work with an orphanage. He also rushed out to the Deep South after hurricane Rita to help survivors in Lake Charles, LA & Bay St. Louis, MS. Closer to home, he works with CityTeam Ministries helping Portland's homeless population. You may have heard him as the "The Colonel" on KFIS's annual holiday food drive, where he helps collect funds for holiday meals. The rest of the year he teaches a class on lifestyle skills for those getting back on their feet..

As you can see, Roy lives a life full of change and service. It is the relationships that he has developed with his co-workers and customers that make him enjoy working for W.L. May Co. He says "I don't think of my customers as customers I think of them as friends." If you are ever in the Portland area, make a friend, and stop by and say hello to Roy. Whatever you do though, just don't tell him you are a Red Sox fan.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Reflections on W L May

Hey, All,

As you may or may not know, W L May is celebrating our 90th year of supplying appliance parts to servicers and retail.  Wow, 90 years! 

As a relative rooky here (only 12 years to some who have over 20 and 30 years) this is so impressive.  How many companies do you know that have been in business that long?  Not a whole lot, and some that have been in business for way long have fallen to changing times.  Remember Montgomery Wards and Woolworth's?  Why do some companies stay in business for a long time and some are a flash in the pan?

I believe the W L May philosophy is the main reason we've been here so long - look, a pump is a pump and a belt is a belt, and you can get them just about anywhere, right?  What makes W L May different is that we CARE about our customers and their business.  We get to know our customers - not just the business - but the people in the company.  What they like to do in their off time, family, special interests - just like anyone does when they make new friends.  Because that's what our customers become - friends.  I have quite a few of mine as Facebook friends, have had dinner/drinks, and just yakked on the phone with them.  Some even have my personal phone number and, on the rare occasion that I am out sick, call and make sure I am ok, been invited to weddings, Christmas parties and have a place to stay in whatever town I'm in.

And W L May hosts OEM and business training sessions, is a liason to the OEM's, and we do our best to keep on fingers on the pulse of the appliance industry as a whole and pass that along.  We maintain this blog site, have a Facebook page and are constantly looking for ways to help our customers run a successful and profitable business. 

So it is not just looking up parts and getting them to you, we run a whole gambit of services for you and your business.  And if you've never dealt with us, give us a call so we can become friends.

Have a great week!

PS:  Keep your eyes peeled - there may be a birthday party in the offing!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flashback Friday: Vintage 1959 W.L. May Catalog Pages

Thanks to Terri in our Seattle branch for finding and sharing these images from the 1959 W.L. May catalog. We found them to be kind of fun and hope you will as well.
Portlanders might notice a different address then from the one we use now. In 1959, W.L. May was located in the Northwest park blocks.

Which would you choose? Hawaiian vacation with luau, tours, outrigger ride and aloha dinner OR 500 dollars in store credit (Could be worth $1000!)?

Some things never change. These items still make for good add on sales and showroom accessory displays.

Feel free to check, but I am pretty sure all of these parts have been discontinued.

W.L. May Company stocked all the parts you would need to repair your Maytag wringer washers. Surprisingly, we were still getting occasional call for the parts in the early 90's when I started working for W.L. May.

Some more advice that is till true to this day.

We still carry a complete inventory of parts for all Whirlpool Home Laundry Appliances.

Accessories can bring in wagon loads of money. They are STILL a good way to help your bottom line, while providing your customer with a service..

The Rate-Master books were a hit. You can tell because there is a picture of a baseball player.

Still a good idea for small items, Especially with front loaders.

Lastly, "don't fprget" waterlless hand cleaner and liquid solder.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Swipe4TheKids

Do you like helping children grow and learn? So does W.L. May. That is why W.L. May Co. is proud to announce its continued commitment to our community, partnering with Swipe4kids.  We have always supported youth education and sports in the Portland area.  We are thrilled that implementing Swipe4kids will allow us to expand our reach to all of these additional communities. 
Swipe4TheKids is an innovative program that works by taking a small bite of of Visa merchant fees and diverting them to various children programs in sports and the arts. The beauty of it is that every credit card transaction we process contributes to the cause AT NO CHARGE to us or to our customers. The following interview video from FOX Orlando explains the program better than I likely can. Additional information about the program can be found here as well: http://swipe4thekids.com/

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Superhero Book Add-ons

Hey, All,

Was going through my book and thought I'd list some more random part numbers that may help:

Garage heater kit:  5304458930
Diode for primary water valve in SxS refrigerators:  5303918287
Corner gaskets for dishwashers:  154701001

5/16" tubing for waterlines:  WR17X2891
5/16" push on waterline connectors (John Guest):  WR02X10471
Heater for fill tube in dispenser:  WR49X10173
Fill tube heater for icemaker:  WR51X369

Heater for icemaker tube:  4389174
60" x 5/16" waterline:  2256126
Dishwasher coupler repair kit:  285170
Dispenser ice door repair kit for SxS refrigerators:  8201756
Shelf support kit for refrigerators:  4388540

It is never too late to start your own Superhero Book!

Have a great week!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fun Friday: Runaway

Quite possibly the most touching story of an appliance repair I have ever seen.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday: News Recap

If you have been reading the W.L. May Blog but haven't checked us out on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, you may not be getting the whole story. We use all of those social media outlets to share news stories that relate to our industry as well as appliance tips we have found from other sources. Here is a recap of some of the top stories we have seen lately.

We start with a few consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • MSN debunked a widely reported rumor that an i-phone uses more power than a refrigerator. Link
  • All Tech Appliance shared tips for maintaining a trash compacter. Link
  • NPR told us about how your appliances and cell phone will communicate in the near future. Link
  • Good Housekeeping investigated some clothing care myths. Link
Next, we look at the manufacturers and how they have been in the news recently:
  • Huffington Post talked about the features of some the highest end home refrigerators. Link
  • Triple Pundit talks about Electrolux machines that will help consumers monitor water usage. Link
  • Bloomberg Business Week reports on the latest salvo in the ongoing tariff battle between LG, Samsung and Whirlpool. Link
We found a few articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • The Jennifer P. Williams blog talked about the stuff that folks hang on their refrigerators. Link
  • The Future of Home Living showcased a washing machine reworked into a chair. Link
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Inc. Magazine suggests some valid reason to say "no" to a customer. Link
  • Smart Van listed the worst areas in the country for drive time. More than half of them are on West Coast. Link
  • All Things Workplace talked about the importance of goals. Link 
  • Dashburst posted an interesting infographic about Twitter. Link
A new contest was announced:
  • GE has prizes available for some of the worst cooks in America. Link
We close with a thought provoking article about the importance of trade work by Mike Rowe of TV's Dirty Jobs:

  • Why "Work Smart, Not Hard" is the Worst Advice in the World. Link.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Five Items on the W.L. May "Secret Menu"

Cheeseburger fans around the world know about Southern California's famous In-N-Out Burger. As a guy
who grew up in Southern California, I will admit to being a fan, it isn't healthy but it sure is tasty. While they are famous for their burgers, they also have a bit of fame for another reason. In-N-Out has a "secret menu" of items that they make regularly, but you have to know to ask. That's the only way to get a Triple-Triple Burger or French Fries "Animal Style".
Creative Commons license on image.
W.L. May has some similarity to the burger chain.For example, In-N-Out has built its reputation by offering a better than average product at a reasonable price with terrific service. That is our approach as well. In addition, like the drive-in restaurants, W.L. May has a sort of "secret menu" of services available to our clients. We don't want to keep our menu a secret any longer. Some items on our "secret menu" include:

  • Experienced parts research. It is not such a big secret that we are happy to assist in finding the part you need for the machine you are working on. Did you know that our parts staff has over 200 years of accumulated experience in researching parts? With that kind of experience, you know you are in knowledgeable hands.
  • Triple Redundant Shipping. One of the ways we guarantee accuracy in your order is by our triple check order fulfillment procedures. In addition to the person who pulls the part of the shelf, we utilize a double checker to verify accuracy before one last check is made by the boxer. Three sets of eyes mean we can intercept order pulling errors before they leave our building, preventing you from the hassles associated with erroneous orders.
  • Back Order Management. In a perfect world there would be no back orders, however sometimes circumstances beyond our control might prevent us from having the part on hand at the time it is requested. All of our reps have access to factory inventory and shipping records. This allows us to look into the factory availability of a part being back ordered allowing us to share an accurate ETA,.
  • Drop Ships. We offer drop shipping of parts from the factory to you in the unlikely event we are out of stock. In addition, we can ship directly to your customer from our inventory on your behalf. This is a great service to offer your customers, especially those folks who are a bit distanced from your location.
  • Inventory and Management Consulting . Our ordering system is designed work with you to manage and consolidate your order no matter how many times in the day you need to add on. W.L. May has created programs for strategic truck enhancement, allowing you to increase your first call completion rate by being prepared with what you need to do the job BEFORE the consumer calls you. We also provide management tips to help make your business grow. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Fall Cleaning and Maintenance

Hey, All!

Well, with the summer winding down, vacations over and school starting back, now is a good time for an appliance overhaul and here's a list you can check off:

Washer:  Any leakage?  Check hoses - both in and out - for cracks and wear and replace if necessary.  Run an Affresh puck through it to clean out internal gunk and leave it fresh smelling and give the outside a good wipe down.

Dryer:  Clean your venting system - unplug and move away from wall and clean out lint from exhaust tube then all your venting to the outside - now may be a good time to replace the venting - especially if you are using that old vinyl stuff - and replace it with rigid or semi rigid venting.  We have all this at W L May including brushes to clean.  Also, clean out any of that lint that is behind, under and in the dryer and give it a good wipedown.

Refrigerators/freezers:  If you have a water connection check for leaks.  Check your temps and make sure your food is staying cold enough (we have thermometers for this!) - also a good time for cleaning the inside and replacing filters.
Good time for a defrosting and clean out of old stuff.  Hunting season is upon us and we are expecting you hunters to bring home the venison!  Or, if not, stocking up on meats that usually go down in price this time of year.

http://www.likenuappliance.com/  Thanks, Robin!

Dishwashers:  Again, check your water connections - any little leak anywhere can really add up on your water bill not to mention damage to your flooring, substructure and foundations.  Check your racks for nicks and come on down to get "Goop" if you need it.  Run Affresh for Dishwashers and Disposals through to clean out deposits and leave it smelling good.

Ranges, cooktops, ovens: With the holidays looming (ick!) and regular dinner schedules back make sure everything is heating properly - we have thermometers for ovens, too! - and give everything a good cleaning or replace what is needed.

If you need repairs, call your repairman now.  As the holiday season (wince!) gets closer they get booked up fast.  And W L May has a great inventory of parts and cleaning supplies for your needs.

If I seem to be harping on cleaning lately it is only because preventive maintenance and cleaning will help your appliances to run longer and more efficiently.  Now I just need to take my own advice and get busy!  lol

Have a great week!