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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fun Friday: Toy Washing Machines

Have you ever gone online looking for something and ended up finding something else? Something totally different that is useless, but interesting? That happened to me recently. I found that there a lot of different operating toy washing machines for dollhouses and such. Now, maybe this is common knowledge but it was news to me and I found it interesting enough to share. There are a lot of different (and sometimes quite realistic) machines that have been made over the years. This guy featured on the Farm Collector website has a HUGE collection. Make sure to check out the gallery slideshow that features some of the rarer antiques in his collection. When I found that, I also found this YouTube video of another collection that looks like it features some newer examples.
Now as these internet adventures go, one thing leads to another and I found this odd, but kind of cute video of a Furby meeting up with a washing machine.
I thought I reached the limit of toy washing machine strangeness when I stumbled upon this (Chinese?) video.
Well, that's enough playing with toys. Time to help some folks get some appliances working again. Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Pass It On....

Creative Commons license on image.
The blog HRBartender.com posted an interesting article recently discussing the implications of an older workforce.   The article references a piece in The Atlantic which stated that: 
For the first time ever, workers over-55 are set to make up a bigger share of the workforce than workers between 25 and 34 years old.
While the tone of the article is a little more "corporate" than most of the small businesses that compose the appliance repair trade, it does delve into an issue that our industry is grappling with in a big way. From the article:
Meanwhile, organizations must recognize that older workers will retire someday. Maybe not next week or next month. Maybe not even next year. But at some point, they will retire and companies should be ready. Plans need to be in place to capture the knowledge of this soon-to-be retiree. Companies should identify the new keepers of historical knowledge and create transition plans for the transfer of those stories, antidotes and information that is essential to remember.
Our trade in general is shrinking as so many of our most experienced technicians retire. This provides both challenges and opportunities. One of the biggest challenges that many small shops face is what happens to the company when the owner retires.  Obviously there are all of the economic considerations to be made, but what happens to all of the knowledge learned in a career in appliance repair? The shame is that so many guys (and the overwhelming majority of technicians are guys) take that hard earned knowledge with them into retirement.

If you find yourself facing retirement, consider taking a younger person under your wings and share your experience with them. It's true you may not see any financial reward for doing so. And it could potentially slow you down in the course of your daily duties. But think back to when you were new to the trade, odds are a veteran of the repair business helped you get started. Now is the time to pay that courtesy forward. Like the saying goes: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Don't let that knowledge leave the trade with you, pass it on. One more thing, if you are retiring, thanks for your years of service and good luck to you, you will be missed.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday Watchable: Refrigerator Recovery

Have you ever wondered how a retired refrigerator is de-manufactured? Or what is done with the scrap materials? This video is pretty interesting and breaks down a California refrigerator recovery company's break down process.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Homemade Ant Bait

Hey, All!

I don't know about you and the area you are in, but we've had some really mild winters here in  beautiful Portland and it is not killing off some of the insect population.  These little buggers can get into your appliances looking for crumbs and water and some place warm during the winter.

My house and some of the girls that work with me were getting inundated by those little bitty sugar ants (I know there is probably a scientific name for them but to me the are just a pain in the behind!) so I started looking online for some homemade recipes to get rid of the little buggers!  This is the recipe that I found and it works wonderfully - and the recipe makes enough to share with friends and neighbors.


2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Borax (you should have some of this on hand from your homemade laundry soap recipe I posted a couple of weeks ago.

Boil water, remove from heat and dissolve sugar in it.  Do not keep boiling the syrup - it will get hard and won't work, you want to keep it syrupy so they can drink it.  Add Borax.

I have mine in a jelly jar with a lid on it and marked as ANT BAIT - DO NOT DRINK!!! and keep it in the refrigerator.  This recipe makes lots so share it. 

Clean the area(s) you see the ants in thoroughly (vinegar works well) then place a few drops of the bait on a flat lid or piece of plastic (I use a canning lid - you want to make sure the little monsters can get up to the bait) then put it where they are congregating.  It may take a day or two for the creepies to disappear but they will.  Just be careful to not let pets and small children near it.

I have also heard that ants like protein in the spring.  So if you mix about a 1/2 teaspoon of Borax with a glob of peanut butter and put it where the ants are (again, away from children and pets!) they should gobble that up, take it back to their nest and die.

Have a pest free week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

In observsance of Memorial Day, W.L.May Company will be closed Monday, May 27th.
We will be operating under normal hours Saturday, May, 25th

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Truck Stock Thursday: Frigidaire Dryer Maintenance Kits

Did you know that for Kenmore dryers with model number starting with "417", Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Gibson, or Tappan dryers made from 2002 to present there's a repair kit from Electrolux that is worth stocking? There is also a kit for older machines in those brands as well. Not only do these kits provide a convenient assortment of parts needed for maintenance service on these dryers, but they offer an exceptional value. The kits shave about a third of the cost off of what you would pay buying the parts individually.

For the newer models, your part number is 5304457724, this kit includes a new drive belt (134503600), rear drum bearing kit (5303281153), idler pulley/bracket assy (131863007), front drum support/seal (5303937182), lower front felt seal (5303937183), the special high temp adhesive to install the front parts, the high temp grease for the rear bearing assy, and really nice photo instructions that'll walk a do-it-yourselfer through the whole job.

On Models from 1992-2002 the kit is part number 5304461262. It includes a new drive belt (134503600), rear bearing kit (5303281153), idler arm & pulley (131863000), upper drum glide (5303937139), lower drum glide (5303283286) and instructions.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday W.L. May Profile: Crystal Healy

Reprinted from: What's Cooking At W.L.May Volume 1 Issue 5-Crystal Healy, assistant manager of our Boise Branch, was born in Spokane, WA. and relocated to Boise when her father accepted a job opportunity. No stranger to a strong work ethic, Crystal worked her way through high school at a grocery store and a fast food restaurant. Upon graduating, she held 3 different jobs at the same time.

Crystal, the mother of 2 boys, is about to become a grandmother for the first time. She considers herself lucky because her children live close by in Boise,
and she will be able to enjoy playing with and watching her first grandson grow up. Crystal has a new passion for exercise and credits her twin sister as her inspiration. She currently is a "gym rat", and is in training to run a half marathon called the Idaho Potato Marathon.

She thoroughly enjoys working at W.L. May Co and has actually worked for us on 2 separate occasions. Her first time was from July '05 until August '07 when she left to help her husband establish a Fed Ex Ground operation. Once the business got established, she returned to W.L. May Co in March '08. She says the favorite part of her job would be the daily variety; her responsibilities include shipping/receiving, working in the warehouse, and assisting customers at the counter. Crystal is committed to providing excellent customer service; she considers each technician as her "second family". If you ever have the chance to meet her, you'll soon realize why we love having Crystal working for us as well.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Hey, All,

Search back in the deep recesses of your mind to your school days and them darn spelling lists.  So many rules to remember like " 'i' before 'e', except after 'c', or when used in 'neighbor' or 'weigh' " - and there are exceptions to this!  Well, many people have questioned me on GE model and part numbers so I am going to try to help everyone out.

GE likes to put in "0's" in both the model number and the part numbers, but sometimes you have to drop them in order for them to come up. Example:

This is what's on the model number tag: JBS02004WH
This is what shows up on your research program: JBS02*04

Why? I don't know, but if you are having difficulties, start backing off the numbers/letters - JBS02 - this should bring up a list of all model numbers that start like this - go down the list until you find the model number that works. The WH is just the color code for a white model and they just drop this off alot of times.

So now you've found the correct model and you need a surface unit knob -WB03X0464 - but this doesn't come up as a good part number. Drop the leading zeros - WB3X464 - and then it should come up.

The exception for this is like WB03K10218 - you would not drop any zeros on this. It is confusing, I know but, as always, we here at W L May are here to help you clear the confusion!

The first two letters of the part number will tell you what kind of appliance the part goes to (there are exceptions:  some knobs are used on both washers and dryers, etc)

WD - dishwashers
WB - any kind of cooking appliance; ovens, ranges, microwaves, microhoods, vent hoods, etc.  I remind myself that the "B" is for baking.
WH - washers
WE - dryers (gas and electric)
WR - refrigerators
(there are others but these are the basics)

Hope this clears a bit of the confusion!

Have a great week!

Friday, May 17, 2013

2013 PSOC Convention

This week the PSOC or Professional Servicers Of California held their 58th annual convention at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. Furthering our commitment to the continuing education of our industry, W.L. May was in attendance again this year. Glyn Stubbs was on hand to share with attendees information about the level of service and accuracy that W.L. May provides our customers on a daily basis. He also discussed with attendees how those things can increase their companies bottom line by increasing their efficiency. While at the convention, Glyn was able to attend a few of the training sessions being offered to servicers. He sent back some cell phone pictures from the event which we are happy to share with you.
LG Training with John Stanton

More from the LG session

Whirlpool VMW top load washer and Alpha Front Load Washer Training

Whirlpool VMW top load washer and Alpha Front Load Washer Training 2

Whirlpool VMW top load washer and Alpha Front Load Washer Training 3

Whirlpool VMW top load washer and Alpha Front Load Washer Training 4

Friday Featured Client: Canclini Television & Appliance

Reposted from What's Cooking Vol.1 No.3-Tony Canclini opened his doors 28 years ago, in the small California coastal town of Fort Bragg, located in picturesque Mendocino County. Fort Bragg was founded as a Fort prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, and has become a popular tourist attraction due to its history and theCanclini Logo beautiful views of the majestic Pacific Ocean and rugged Northern California coastline.

Canclinis is in a unique position due to its location; there is little competition, except for the internet, for miles; even the Wal-Mart is over an hour's drive away. Eric, lead product and parts salesman, spends his days selling new product to residents, and parts to do-it-yourselfers, as well as to a bevy of local service companies who rely on Canclini's large inventory of appliance parts to complete their repair jobs promptly.

Eric sees his biggest challenge as making sure he has an adequate parts inventory; he realizes in today's society, consumers' expectations are immediate. If he does not have a common part in stock that a consumer needs, they may not return for additional part needs. Eric believes his best tool is the internet, and he can be found daily on the W.L. May Co. web page researching parts and providing consumers a price and availability. Canclinis has become Fort Bragg's "one stop shop" for new product and replacement part sales. If you are ever in Fort Bragg, stop by, introduce yourself, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday: Facebook Roundup

As many of you are aware, W.L. May Company has made a commitment to helping to keep you informed about the appliance industry, with an emphasis on parts and repairs. We also are committed to the success of your company during these changing times that is the information revolution. This blog is one way we have been trying to share our knowledge and experience with you. Facebook is another way.
Here is a quick roundup of articles that have been shared on Facebook in the last month. For more of this kind of information make sure to "like" us on Facebook and visit us there often.

We told you about some new products in development.
  • Whirlpool announced a new line of wi-fi smart appliances. Link
  • GE Announced a refrigerator with a built in hot water dispenser. Link
  • The web site Gizmodo told us about a device that uses ultraviolet light to disenfect your dishwashers interior. Link
  • Consumer Reports gave good grades to Whirlpool & Maytag for the operating times on their front loaders. Link

We shared information about the business side of the appliance industry and the major manufacturers.

  • GE announced the production of front load washers in the U.S. ,which they have never done before. Link
  • Electrolux shares hope that an improving housing market in the US will offset sluuggish growth in Europe. Link
  • A letter to USA Today talked about changes at Whirlpool and a growth of their bottom line. Link

Sometimes we share tips for home owners and the DIY crowd.

  • We found some tips for cleaning refrigerators. Link

Information about running your business can be helpful. Here are tips for managing people and also technology.
  • Great Leadership explained the importance of satisfied employees and how being penny-wise can sometimes be pound-foolish. Link
  • We found an article that gave some practical advice about computer passwords. How to create very safe passwords for a variety of web sites and even more importantly, how to remember them! Link

Since it is Facebook, we also found some information to help your business use social media in its marketing mix.
  • PostRocket talks about Facebook's EdgeRank. How it can limit who sees your Facebook posts, and how to maximise your exposure on Facebook. Link
  • While, W.L. May encourages the use of social media in your marketing mix. It is not without some risk. This article from Dashburst examines a few things to be careful of if your are "going social". Link

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Web Tools Wednesday: The W.L. May website

This article is for W.L. May account holders. Do-It-Yourselfers and others are encouraged to take a look through our archives for other articles that might prove more useful.

Today's web tool I'd like to talk about is the main W.L. May website. When you first arrive at our site, you will be greeted by a picture of some appliances and you'll notice some tabs above the picture. The left hand tab button says "Find A Part" clicking on that will take you to a field where you can enter your part number to check availability and our retail pricing. The right hand tab button says "Contact" which naturally will lead to a screen with addresses and phone numbers for W.L. May's four branches. But it is the center button "Technicians" that leads to all the "good stuff". Clicking on that button will take you to a page that has a few links listed on the side bar. One is for an application for an open account, which presumably you have if you are still reading this. The link to "access online account" is what you want. This will take you to the log in screen. You will need a username and password at this point. If you don't yet have a password, contact your account manager to get signed up for the program. It's free to sign up and allows access to a lot of useful data.

When you sign in you will be greeted by a welcome page that shows your company name. You will notice a menu of links on the side bar. Lets go through these one by one:
1. Item & Availability-This is just what it sounds like. Enter a part number to check availability at all four of our branches. Shows retail pricing as well as regular dealer costs and any other sales prices that might apply.
2. Flyer Pricing-This links you to a list of parts on our everyday low pricing program. Remember, these prices stay in place until the end of the year!
3. Web Specials-Every week we feature a few selected items as a one week special, and occasionally we will have big one day sales sponsored by the manufacturers. Check here weekly for extra special pricing.
4. Research-This links you to IPL. IPL is short for Illustrated Parts Lookup. This is an online version of the same software we use here at W.L. May Company for parts research. With pictures and complete parts list, this tool can help you find most items on a given machine. Here is a tip, many models have spaces or dashes that can confuse the search feature. If your model number doesn't show up, try typing the first half of the number, which will give you a list of models that start that way.Frequently, your model will show up on that list. We don't intend for the IPL to replace customer service, its just another tool we provide for your convenience. If you ever need ANY help at finding a part, just give us a call.
5. Backorder Inquiry-Provides you with a list of all parts that you have on backorder that have not arrived at W.L.May Company yet.
6. Package Tracking-Connects your shipped order to your shippers tracking information so you can keep track of your order until it arrives.
7. Shipped Orders-Enter an item number on this page to see a list of invoices where that part was purchased, as well a order dates, purchase order numbers and pricing to help keep your records straight.
8. Account Status-Provides you with a list of pending invoices to help you manage your cash flow.
9. Check Inquiry-See if a check you have mailed in for payment has been processed.
10. Order Entry-A form for placing your orders. Feel free to include comments if you have any special requests. Also, please make sure that all required fields are filled out as incomplete order forms are not processed by the computer.
11.  Communications-Blank returns forms for warranty and non warranty returns as well a database for reviewing your completed invoice by invoice number.
12. Billing Service-Connects you to BillTrust, our online account management partner.

As you can see, W.L.May Company has a number of free tools to help make your business run more efficiently, and thus more profitably. One more thing, if you will be accessing our website by smart phone we have a mobile version of our website that maximizes research tools for a phone sized screen. Also our mobile site site shows retail pricing only, in case you have concerns about your privacy. We welcome you to try one or both versions of our website and see how it can help your business run more smoothly and profitably.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Hey, All!

I was going through some stuff I have stored in my computer and came across this recipe for homemade laundry soap.  I will state right now that I don't remember where I got it and if I am stepping on someone's copywrite, I apologize.  But I thought this was a great idea.  With all the additives and fragrances and stuff that is added to store bought detergent, this is a great alternative.  And I just bought a box of Borax for ant bait (amazing the things you can do with this stuff!), so I think I will mix some up.

1 Bar of shaved soap (Ivory or Fels-Naptha)
1 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

Grate the bar soap finely and place in a gallon size container. (Use a fine cheese grater or something similar) Add borax and washing soda. Thoroughly stir together for 5 minutes and enjoy the results. Stirring the full time is important; it breaks up the pieces and mixes it fully.
 For washing, use 1 tablespoon per load. If you are washing heavily soiled items, use 2 tablespoons. Makes enough for up to 64 loads!!! Safe to use in High Efficiency/Front-Load washers.

Place in an air-tight container and store at room temperature.
If you are looking for a fabric softener alternative, try using 1/2 cup of white vinegar in your rinse cycle. It strips the clothes of any leftover soap residue and makes them smell clean. Not that bottled clean smell that we are all used to, but a real, deep-down clean. And no, it doesn't make your clothes smell like vinegar.

The great thing about this is that you only use 1 Tablespoon per load!  And you can use it in your high efficiency washers - that detergent is hard to find sometimes.  Then forgo the dryer and hang them outside to dry - now don't you feel "green"?

Have a great week!

PS:  omg, this is so cool!  I was Googling Ivory soap and there was a Youtube "science" experiment where you put a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave for about 90 seconds - the air bubbles expand and when done looks like a plate of solid soap bubbles!  This crumbles really well and I'm thinking that this might be more fun than grating the bars.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday WL May Profile : Seanton McGee

Reprinted from:What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 4-Seanton McGee was born and raised in Stockton, CA before relocating to Sacramento, as he said, "at the tender age of 16". An avid sports fan, Seanton enjoys playing recreational basketball, but his first love is football; he is a die-hard San Francisco 49er fan.

When not at work as Sacramento's Assistant Manager, Seanton enjoys activities such as river rafting, cooking, people watching, and he loves the occasional ping pong game. Despite being a young 27 years old, he enjoys listening to such R&B legends as Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder.

When asked what he enjoys most about his job, he shared the satisfaction received when finding that hard to find part for his customers. As an eight year veteran at W.L. May Co, he also enjoys the bonds of friendship that he has developed with customers; relationships and friendships that go beyond "just parts". If you ever have the pleasure of speaking to Seanton, introduce yourself; it could be the start of a long term friendship.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Customer Service Revisited

Hey, All!

When I was on vacation, I posted some points to ponder on customer service. Did you think about it?

My personal philosophy on customer service is to treat the person on the other end of the line as I would like to be treated when I call a company for assistance. 

I get so frustrated when I call someone for help and they give an "I don't know" or "I can't help you" and leave me nowhere to turn. That is why I've developed my Superhero Book, a list of companies, their phone numbers and websites to send people when we don't handle that brand, and I don't hesitate to jump on Google to try to find an answer. Believe me, while this may not help you and your company right then, the person who called will remember how helpful you were and call back when you can help them. This helps to build customer loyalty, repeat business and trust. And they will recommended you to their friends.

Sometimes I feel like I should earn an Academy Award for professionalism, but no matter what kind of mood I'm in or how my day has gone, I still try to maintain a pleasant and helpful attitude.  I try to go at least one step (if not more) beyond than what the caller is asking for. I try to make that person and their issue my number one priorty (while juggling at least a half dozen more things).  And I do my best to follow through with their issue, if needed.

Years ago, I used to be management for a couple of different fast food joints and took it as part of my job to train the teenagers who worked for me the delicacies of customer relations.  They were amazed on how I could remain calm when someone was screaming about how they specifically ordered no pickles on their burger, but got them anyway, as they were throwing said burger across the counter.  I told them it could be a number of things that made this customer so angry - alarm didn't go off, late for work and got written up, came out to go to lunch and they had a flat tire, then the straw that broke their back was getting something on their burger they specifically said they didn't want.  What if they were allergic and could have had a major reaction that put them in the hospital?  Yelling back at this person is not going to solve anything and would more than likely make it worse.  It was our fault and so it was mandatory to make it right.  Some people will be belligerent just to see how much they can get away with but the majority just want what they asked for, or a mistake to be acknowledged and rectified, or someone that cares about them that will listen and give them some kind of assistance.

And isn't that what we all want when we call someone for help?  Empathy and understanding?  A sincere attempt at righting a wrong?  Accountability?  Customer service is often a thankless job, but just having one person that you've helped give you a sincere thank you can make your whole day (thanks, Mike!).  And when I am given excellent service not only do I thank that person, but try to go to their supervisor and let them know that person really deserves an atta boy (or girl!)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Worth Stocking Wednesday: 6700S0011 A Handy Part For Older Electric Ranges

A basic electric range is a solid, time tested appliance. Every year around the holiday season we hear from a lot of folks who have become very attached to their old range and want to keep it alive if they can. A lot of these units are old enough that most of the parts are no longer being milled. Fortunately, many of the elements and controls are still available. Once the machine is of "a certain age" the first control to be retired is often the clock, although if you are lucky you have a common design of clock which may be available for quite a while. Then comes the thermostat. When the original thermostat is no longer available from the manufacturer, a handy solution is Supco's 6700S0011 universal thermostat kit. It comes in a kit with knobs and adapters. It has a 60 inch capillary tube & can be used to replace most single-pole & double-pole thermostats. If you can use the manufacturers original part you generally should. But for older machines, the 6700S0011 can save the day.