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

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Phone: 1-800-377-8881
Email: Sales@WLMay.Com

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Dryers

Hey, All!

Well, I'm back from vacation and rested and raring to go!

So, I was thinking about the most popular call I get from the do-it-yourselfers and that has to do with their dryers.  You'd think that this appliance would be a simple one to diagnose and fix but it's not.  The most popular of these calls is "My dryer is not heating so I need a new element."  Chances are your element is fine and there are several things to look at before you go spending your hard-earned dollars on something you may not need - and once hooked up is not returnable.

Remember to unplug your dryer before starting any work on it!

First of all, check your breaker box - dryers run on 220 volts and have two breaker switches.  The motor will still run on 110 but not heat.  Make sure both your breakers are on.

Next, check your element (unplug machine first!) - if you can see that the coils are broken/burned, then you will need a new element.  If the coils look fine then you're in for some deeper diagnoses.

Remember to unplug your dryer before starting any work on it!

Dryers have several thermostats (thermal fuse, high limit, thermistors, cycling thermostat, cut-off thermostat are just some of the descriptions of these) and can be located in several places - element housing, blower housing, back panel of dryer, front panel of dryer - it depends on the style and brand.  If this seems too complicated, now is the time to call your favorite appliance repair man.

And while you are waiting for him, now is the time for a little cleaning (and this needs to be done monthly).  Unplug your dryer and pull it away from the wall.  Clean all lint and anything else behind it  (oh, wow!  there are some of the socks you're missing!).  Unhook your venting, reach in the dryer duct and pull out any lint.  If this is really clogged this is probably the reason your dryer quit heating - no air flow and it blew a thermostat.  Then check your venting from the dryer end to the outside.  W L May sells all kinds of brushes to help clean these out.  You also may have some type of nature that has built a nest in the outside vent - nice warm, cozy place to help incubate those eggs!  W L May also has devices that will prevent unwanted tenants.

If you are confidant on your repair abilities, you can test for continuity on the thermostats with a multi-meter, or bring them in and we will test them for you.  Please bring your model number with you.  If everything tests fine then you definately need to call your repairman - there is something else that needs attention.  While he is there he should also check and make sure all components are in good working order - belt, rollers, pulleys, felts - to help your dryer to last longer.

Of course, with nice weather you can always use nature to dry your clothes - so string that clothes line and get out the clothes pins.  Personally, I love the way my clothes smell when dried outside and I like the scratchier feel of my towels.  If you don't, then use fabric softener in your rinse cycle.

Oh, and if you want some things to do with that lint that you clean out?  Makes for great firestarter (THE number one reason cleaning your dryer regularly is important - lint is highly flamable!) for campfires and fireplaces, use it to stuff pillows or stuffed animals with - it is already clean and smells good from the dryer sheets.  Or if you are really artistic, I've seen some pictures on the Web of people who have used it for art projects - like a reproduction of The Last Supper!  Wow!

Have a great week!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fix It Friday: Whirlpool Direct Drive Washer

If you are a professional appliance repair person, you should already be VERY familiar with the Whirlpool Direct Drive washer. This video is for the do-it-yourselfers out there. Technician Mike shows how to open a cabinet, how to remove a motor and how to replace a coupler. Whirlpool has stopped manufacturing this machine. There are still a lot of them out there though, but it is true we don't get as many requests for couplers as we once did.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday WL May Profile : Shannon McKennett

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 3
[Editors Note: Since this was originally posted Shannon's wedding was a beautiful success, and her daughter is a little older.]

Ever wonder who the cheery, courteous, and always in a good mood receptionist is when calling W.L. May Co? It's none other than Shannon McKennett.

Shannon, a native of Portland, OR, has called W.L. May home for the last 5 years. Shannon, a dedicated mother of a 13 year old daughter, is an avid outdoors person. She can often be found at the Oregon Coast, the top of Mt Hood, golfing, rafting, and with the beautiful Pacific Northwest as a backdrop, enjoys camping with her family. She is currently busy planning a June wedding.

Shannon not only answers thousands of calls every day, but is an integral part of new account set-ups, as well as the chief event planner for W.L. May Co. She wears many hats here, and is one of the first voices heard when calling W.L. May; one couldn't ask for a better first impression. Next time you call, make sure to introduce yourself.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Customer Service

Hey, All,

Well, even though I am on vacation - sitting on my porch, sipping a morning cup of coffee and watching the cats chase the birds - I haven't forgotten you!  And I've got something for you to ponder while I'm away.

When you think of customer service, what is the first thing that pops in your mind?  Do you cringe or do you look forward to the call?  Automated menus?  Smiling people that are happy to help you?  Being shuffled around and having to repeat your request multiple times?  Having one person to go to that knows you and your business?

On the other hand, when you call a company for customer service, are you all ready with all the information they are going to need?  Pen and paper to write info down?  Do you make the call expecting a hassle?  Or do you get someone that is going to go the extra mile to get you all that they can?

Customer service is a two way street - do you give your customers the customer service that you'd like to get?  Just something to think about...I will be back in person next week, rested and raring to go.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fun Friday: Washing Machine Throwing

Australia has some justifiably famous "World's Strongest Man" competitions. This event features something that everyone who has dealt with an uncooperative repair job would love to do: washing machine throwing. In June. 2005 Australian strongman Bill Lyndon broke the world record for the event. Is there anything the Guinness records people don't keep track of? If you think you can do better you will have to toss a machine weighing 99lb 13oz a distance of 336 cm or just over 3-1/3 meters. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Web Tools Wednesday: Best Times To Post to Social Media

Recently I read a few articles that I felt were worth sharing with those of you who are utilizing social media to reach your clients. They both discuss the best times to make posts on various social media platforms. To reach an optimum number of readers, certain times of day work better than others. The URL shortening site bitly is in a unique position to observe what times of day generate the most clicks on links that are being shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. From their article:

Did you see those silly cats on Tumblr, that breaking news on Twitter, and those photos of your friend’s kids on Facebook? Different social networks have their own distinct personalities. Bitly links are shared across all social networking services, giving us a unique viewpoint on how these networks differ.

We track metrics like the main type of content being shared on a network, the geographic locations of the people sharing and viewing the content, and how the popularity of the network has risen and fallen compared to other networks.

Creative Commons license on image.

While bitly has access to some powerful analytic tools, this article suggests that there are a lot of variables that can effect the effectiveness of your posts or tweets. From the article:
This commonly stumps many business owners. Have you ever heard someone claim, "9am is the best time to post on social media"? Hopefully they'll follow up with, "but it depends on your business and your industry." If they don't, you'd better raise an eyebrow in suspicion. My question is, 9am is the best time in whose time zone? The truthful answer is, the best time to post depends on many factors unique to your business such as industry, your particular set of followers, time zone, and whether or not your content is engagement-worthy.
Who is right? Well, there is no dispute that bitly can determine what has worked well in the past. However, nothing stays the same on the internet for very long and the second article makes some persuasive points that indicate your mileage may vary from the recommendations made by bitly. No matter which side is correct, they consensus is that if you want your posts to reach the greatest number of followers and have the most impact, then you want to post when your readers are likely to be online and see what you have put out there for them. As a bonus tool to refer to, here is a "clock" showing trends throughout the day as provided by the bitly research.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Superhero Book - Random stuff

Hey, All!

I was leafing through my own Superhero Book and found a bunch of just random stuff that I thought you could put on your Miscellaneous Page for each OEM.

    Garage heater kit:   5303918301
    Corner gaskets for dishwashers:  154701001
    Extension for icemaker bail arm:  218513800
    Water filter bypass for MWF filter:  WR02X11705
    Fill tube heater for icemaker:  WR51X369
    Touch up paint:  White:  WR97X212, Bisque:  WR97X10016,   Black:  WR97X243

    Portable dishwasher coupler repair kit:  285170
    Nickel safe icemaker cleaner:  4396808
    Heater for icemaker tube:  4389174
    Shelf support kit for refrigerators:  4388540

These are a few things that have popped up lately so I'd thought I'd share.

I do have a lot of information available on my computer that I can email to you if you want to contact me - kelly.m@wlmay.com.  Stuff like manufacturers and their phone numbers and websites, accessory catalogs,  Sears model number prefix reference, etc.

Remember - we are here to help YOU!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Factory Friday: Whirlpool Ignition and Reignition

Whirlpool posted this video talking about electronic ingnition and their automatic reignition ranges. It covers a few common problems that can occur and easy steps that the homeowner can take to keep their range functioning properly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Watch this Wednesday: GE Refrigerator Repair

Today we feature another video from our old friend, the Appliance Samurai. In this video, we get to watch as he troubleshoots and fixes a side by side GE refrigerator that isn't cooling. We hope some of you will find this information to be useful.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Reflections and Addendums

Hey, All,

So, last week when I was training a new employee, she asked me how long it took before you knew everything.  I had to laugh and tell her that when I found out I'd let her know.  I've been here for almost 12 years and am still considered a rookie by some who have been here for way longer - and I'm talking over 30 years!  The industry is constantly changing - and just when you think you have a handle on most of it - things change!  That is one of the reasons I've stayed here for so long - not to mention that W L May is the best place in the world to work.  I love to learn and I learn something new every day (or am reminded of things I forgot).

So when the Icemaker blog came out, I was reminded by one of our veterans (thanks, Chuck!) of a couple of icemakers I left out.

For the older Amana refrigerators and even some of the newer ones there is the D7824706Q.

Also, the W10190965 is a bare icemaker - no cover, no harness - to replace the 4317943.

So don't get discouraged when new (or even old) things pop up.  This business is a constant learning process, and that's why building a Superhero Book is a very good thing to do.  That way you don't always have to know what is needed, you just need to remember where to look for the information because that is in your Book!  And we here at W L May are here for you, too!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Day Featured Client: At Your Service, Eugene, OR

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 2
Originally from Pennsylvania, David Schnelli ended up in Eugene,Oregon by accident, literally. In 1976, while on a cross country bicycle ride, David had an accident that left him hospitalized. While convalescing, members of the local Faith Center Church visited frequently. Impressed by their kindness, upon his return to Pennsylvania, he packed up, and moved to Eugene, where he is an active member of the same Church. An avid outdoorsman David has hiked the Appalachian Trail, biked, and hitchhiked across the Country. He and his wife, Diane, have twin boys who live and work in California.

At Your Service opened in 1981 as a one man shop, and has successfully grown to include 2 technicians and 3 office personnel. Family and friends are not surprised he became an Appliance Repair Technician; he always enjoyed "building and fixing machines". A self-proclaimed "workaholic", David has been working on an extensive project for 22 years. He created and continually updates a database that details every part he comes in contact with; such as numbers on the actual part, measurements, pictures, and cross reference information. His database is extremely helpful in difficult to identify part searches, especially when no model numbers are available. David will be at this year's USA ASTI Convention in San Antonio and welcomes anyone who would like to discuss and/or view his extensive database. Stop by and introduce yourself.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

W.L. May Wednesday: 2013 ASTI Partner Award

W.L. May Co. is celebrating their 90 year anniversary; very few companies can boast of such longevity. As a 22 year veteran with the Company, I have witnessed many changes in the appliance service industry, from the consumers themselves, to the machines, and the fewer actual service technicians. But, one thing that hasn’t changed, and will not change, is W.L. May Co.’s commitment to you, our customer.
Every day we come to work, from the owner of the company, to the newest hire, we have the inner desire and drive to be the best appliance parts distributor. We do this with our commitment to providing customer service and value second to none, and above all else with uncompromised integrity. These 3 words: commitment, service, and integrity can be found on our company logo; it truly is our daily mission.
Recently, our commitment to the success of our customers and the appliance service industry was honored by the United Servicers Association (USA). At the recent 2013 ASTI Convention in Orlando, FL, we were presented with the 2013 Partner Award. The award was given to W.L. May Co. for their “dedication to the Independent Service Professional.” We are honored to receive such an award, and it will only serve to further our commitment to you: our valued customer.
-Bradley Cantor

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Part Thesaurus

Hey, there!

As some of you may know, I do some training here at W L May of new employees (welcome Mandy and Crem!) and the biggest stumbling block is that there are different names for just one part!

How many of you have been looking for a defrost thermostat and the research materials calls it a bi-metal?  Or for the door boot for a front load washer and it's called a bellow or gasket?  Drives me nuts, too. So I thought I'd list some everyday parts and some other names they might be called. (Keep it clean, guys! lol)

Transmission:  gearcase, mode shifter
Thermostat: bi-metal, terminator, fuse, thermistor, sensor, temperature control
Door boot:  bellows, gasket
Gasket:  seal
Defrost control:  adaptive defrost, defrost timer, jazz board
Refrigerator door bars:  shelf, bin, guardette, pick off shelf
Touchpad:  Membrane switch, overlay, control panel, console
Oven control:  ERC, EOC, timer, clock, migration control (what's up with THAT one?), electronic control, range control, main brain, smartboard (this is for microwaves),
Damper assembly:  diffuser, air supply (no, not the band!)

I'm sure there are way more out there and if you want to contribute to this list, let me know.  There are always new ones popping up everyday!

Guess what?  Here's another new page for your Book!

Have a great week!

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Revolutionary New Product

W.L. May is proud to make the announcement of a new clothes dryer that we have received an exclusive contract to distribute. The product is a revolutionary new design created by a young Portland engineer who specializes in creating unique hybrid machinery. It offers many of the features you would expect in a top of the line dryer. Features include a stainless steel drum, 25 settings to handle every fiber type allowed for clothing usage by the FTA, as well as an animated led control panel that features a library of over 15,000 apps that can be downloaded customize your laundry experience. The true genius of this product is its unique hybrid energy efficient design. During regular operation the dryer runs under normal electric current as you would expect. To increase efficiency, at certain times in the cycle, the dryer reaches into its inventory of spare socks collected during usage and using its patented no exhaust combustion chamber shifts to closed system steam power unit that provides transferred heat to the laundry. Pricing and item number to follow on its release date of April 1, 3014.