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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wayback Machine Wednesday

In the 20 years years, I have been the appliance trade I have seen a lot of changes. To those of you have been doing this for what may seem like forever, we salute you! Here is a short stroll down memory lane.

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You know you are an old timer when...

  • You remember when W.L. May was located on the park blocks in downtown Portland.
  • You did research, it meant using film cards and quick books, not computers.
  • You have serviced a GE clam shell timer.
  • You had the borrow the customers phone if you needed to make a call from the field.
  • You know what a wigwag is and have replaced a lot of them.
  • You remember having to give a model number when ordering parts for Whirlpool warranty, and they would be shipped to you at no charge,
  • You remember the days before computer boards in appliances.
  • You have worked on a wringer washer and had no trouble finding parts.
  • You knew that the parts numbers for a washer would start with a 2 from Maytag, a 2 or 3 from Whirlpool, or a WH from GE.
  • You could do sealed system repair without the licensing by the EPA. 
  • You remember when Roy and Chuck were rookies.
  • You remember when Frigidaire started adding a 5300 to the beginning of their part numbers.
  • Your first service van now qualifies as a classic car.
What else can you remember about the "good old days"? Tell us about it in the comments.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Truck Stock Tuesday-Icemakers

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During these hot summer months, we get a lot of calls about icemakers. Often parts are available to repair an icemaker. Due to the labor costs involved, and cost of the individual pieces it is frequently more sensible to replace the entire unit. We stock a wide variety of replacement icemakers and are happy to help you find out which one belongs in your refrigerator. A few of the more common replacement assemblies include:

  • D7824706Q This is a very popular icemaker. Originally an Amana style unit it is used as a replacement across many brands in the Whirlpool and Maytag families. Being a replacement icemaker it lacks a installation hardware. Also the cover and wiring harness wiring harness do not come with the unit, the expectation being that those pieces will be transferred over from the old icemaker you are replacing.
  • 4317943 This popular 8 cube icemaker is a common replacement for Whirlpool and some other models. Shut off arm is not included and must be transferred from old icemaker.
  • W10190961 This is a good number to know. If you are following Kelly's advice, you might want to add this to your book. Newer style Kitchenaid refrigerators that have the ice bucket in the door are often lacking a part number for the assembly on the parts breakdown. There are 2 icemakers that are used on this style of machine. This is 5 cube assembly you will generally see it used on 22CF models. I comes with no cover, also from the old machine you will need to transfer the bracket.
  • 2198597 Another often unlisted assmbly used in new style Kitchenaids with the ice bucket in the door. Also worth noting in your book. It is used on 25-27CF models and makes 12 cubes at a time. Like the 5 cube model this one requires transfer of your old cover and brackets. 
  • WR30X10093 A lot of General Electric refrigerators use this icemaker. It is a replacement for several older style icemakers. It comes with a harness that is adaptable for both 4 pin and 6 post connections. It also comes with the fill tube & fill cup.
  • 5303918277 This is common Electrolux (Frigidaire) icemaker. It is used as a replacement for all refers from 2001-present. Has four round female connectors as well as an adapter to convert harness to 3 round female connectors and 1 male. 
  • W10190965 Yet another common Whirlpool icemaker. Again with no cover or harness included.
  • 5303918344 This is a rear mount icemaker used on some Electrolux (Frigidaire) side x side models. 
As you can see, there are a lot of  icemakers out there. If you find this list to be "clear as mud", give us a call with a model number. We would be happy to help your find the right assembly for your refrigerator. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun Friday: Handyman Tip "Power Clothesline"

Happy Friday folks! The Red Green Show is a Canadian program about a regular guy, doing regular guy things. Its sort of parody of local access TV shows that have a magazine format. If you are lucky they might air it on the PBS channel in your area. A regular feature of the show is the Handyman's Corner where he does projects around the house repurposing everyday items to make usually useless gadgets. In this clip he makes a power clothesline. As an appliance guy I think he would better off fixing his dryer, but his solution is sort of clever. We hope you enjoy this clip, and in the words of Red Green, himself: "If women can't find you handsome, at least let them find you handy."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Truck Stock Thursday-VibeAway Pads

Sometimes a washing machine will exhibit excess vibrations. In a bad case the machine can dance around the laundry room or even feel like it is going to shake your house off of its foundations. Sometimes this can be caused by an out of balance load. Of course if it is an ongoing problem, sometimes there are mechanical causes that a qualified repair person could identify and repair. But frequently the problem is simply in its design. Newer machines often spin faster than old ones. This draws more water from the laundry and reduces drying time, thus saving you in energy. These higher speeds can cause higher and more noticeable vibrations. Luckily a company call BGreen Innovations has invented a solution. Using recycled rubber, which is environmentally friendly, they have created pads that can be placed under your washers feet. These act as damper and reduce the effect caused by today's high speed motors. I could tell you how great this product works, but this review on YouTube offers a neutral opinion. If you would like to give them a try ask your friendly neighborhood W.L. May parts person for part number VA1.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday: Worth Learning More

Many of the service techs we talk to find it a challenge to keep up with new developments in the appliance repair trade. To help address that problem, W.L. May Co & the United Servicers Association (USA) have partnered to announce the fall round of Regional Service Meetings (RSM). At all RSM’s technical training will be provided on Whirlpool front load laundry and Bosch dishwashers, and both Sacramento and Portland will offer Electrolux front load laundry training, while Boise will offer a session on GE products. This is in addition to a business concepts class being taught at each meeting. This is a valuable opportunity, which attracts repeat attendees each year. Dues to the popularity of the program, seats fill up fast. If you would like to attend, don't delay and register now. If you have questions, you're friendly W.L.May representative will be happy to help.

Dates and locations are as follows:
Sept. 19 - 20
Portland, OR
Monarch Hotel & Conference Center                                                                  
12566 S.E. Ninety-Third Avenue                                                      
Clackamas, OR  97015                                                                        
RSM Registration: $149.00
Room rate  $99.00  Cut Off Sept. 1, 2013

Oct. 31-  Nov 1
Sacramento, CA
Courtyard Sacramento Airport Natomas                            
2101 River Plaza Dr.                                                      
Sacramento, CA95833                                                            
RSM Registration: $149.00                                                            
Room rate $129.00 Cut off  Wed Oct 9.

Nov. 7- 8
Boise, ID
Holiday Inn Boise Airport                                                
2970 Elder Street                                                                        
Boise City, ID 83705
RSM Registration: $149.00
Room Rate $90/All Suites   Cut-off Date  October 16

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Parts Detective

Hey, All,

I love mysteries! And the wonderful part about my job is I get to solve mysteries everyday!  I have often thought about dressing up as Sherlock Holmes for Halloween, with the deerstalker cap and Meershum pipe with assorted parts and microfiche hanging out of my pockets.

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One of the advantages to having a relationship with your parts supplier is that often times they have avenues of research that are not available to you, or that you just haven't thought of.  We here at W L May maintain good relations with the manufacturers that we stock parts for and are able to call/email them with issues we run into.

Also, we maintain microfiche files (this was a method of data storage before computers for you youngsters out there!) and alot of the older appliances that won't come up on your computer research sites we have this backup to go to.  Not to say we'll have the parts on some of this older stuff but I am continuely suprised at what comes up sometimes.  And not to mention all the old timers around here that have all kinds of miscellaneous stuff in their brains.

So if you come across something that has you stumped, give us here at W L May a call - we'll do our darndest to find an answer for you.  Plus it may be something that you can add to your Superhero Book!

Have a great week!

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's All About the Kids..

As an 8 year old boy, growing up in Southern California, I was faced with a decision that would set my life’s path; I had to choose to pursue my love of baseball by playing Little League, or my love for bowling. That’s right, bowling. I’m sure much to my parent’s relief, I chose baseball. For the next 10 years, I played Little League, Babe Ruth, and High School baseball. Looking back, it was the right decision, and one that would lead to a passion that to this day, still exists.

I immersed myself in all things baseball; playing year round for 10 straight years. During this period, as you can imagine, I played far more games than I can remember. But the one thing that I do remember, and will never forget, is the support my parents gave me. My father sacrificed the advancement of his career to be at every game I ever played; my mother, as she still reminds me, did as well. They never ever missed a game I played. Whether it was a road game against a faraway high school, or an All Star Tournament in another State, my parents were there. That kind of love and commitment to a child has had a very long lasting impression on me.

Today, as the proud grandfather of 3 boys who play baseball, football, and basketball, I show them the same commitment my parents modeled for me; it’s just what family’s do, right? While my record is not quite as good as my parents, having to miss the occasional game, my commitment is as deep and heart felt as were my parents. For me, there is nothing more exciting than to see your child on the field practicing his/her skills, and fiercely competing every game. I believe athletics can instill great values in a child, as they learn from the discipline of honing their skills through endless hours of practice, by learning how to deal with the failure of a tough loss, and the occasional coach who “encourages” a better performance from a child.

My passion for supporting children makes it no surprise that I ended up working the last 22 years for an employer that shares my same commitment; not only to her children, but other children that she has never even met. Each year, the owner of W.L. May Co has graciously supported my grandsons’ All Star baseball experience by making donations to the team. Her support of these kids has helped them to achieve much success, not only on the field of play, but in life as well. And she sure knows how to pick a true champion, as my 10 year old grandson’s team just won the Northern Oregon 10U State Championship. This fete is a repeat performance having won the same championship as 9 year olds. They are now off to Helena, MT next week to compete for the Regional Championships. Go West Linn Lions!!

My employer’s support of children is not limited to the world of sports. W.L. May Co is a proud participant in an organization known as Swipe4TheKids. Every time W.L. May Co processes a credit card transaction, the processing company donates a percentage of the fee to local charities and organizations that support education and sports for children. This is not something she “has to do”, it is something she does because “she wants to”; it enables her to make a difference in a child’s life through her commitment to their development and thus their futures.

To W.L. May Co, I say thank you; not only for the support you have shown to my kids, but for all the kids who benefit from your generosity. It is our children who represent the future. Your support of their futures, as well as all of ours, is appreciated..

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Is Your Cost Cutting Actually Cutting Into Your Profits?

To paraphrase the old Dragnet series: “The story you are about to read is true. The names and details have been changed to protect the innocent.”
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A few weeks back Kelly talked about inventory in her Kelly's Korner article. She made some solid points about the importance of keeping track of what you have in your stock. I was having a conversation with another W.L. May Account Manager this morning and that person shared a frustration that they had in serving their customer and it illustrates fairly well the point Kelly was making about knowing what you have in inventory, whether it be in your your truck or on your shop shelves.

A little background here. As a wholesale parts distributor, we want our customers to succeed and prosper in the long term. It's good for our industry and it's just good business for us. Our focus is, therefore, on the long-term and not on any given sale for one part.

Which gets me back to my story. I was commenting to the rep about what a great job this customer was doing in utilizing social media tools and that I thought they were doing a great job at bringing their service to market. All evidence points to an online presence as being essential for a successful 21st century business, and they get that. The response from my fellow rep was that the marketing efforts being made were great, but the frustration was that the customer had decided that there was little value in keeping anything more than a bare boned inventory of parts on hand. They have a a few well stocked parts houses nearby and can almost always find things available for next day delivery.

At first glance, that looks like a great idea. Less initial outlay for supplies and less to keep track of. The frustrating aspect of the situation is NOT that they weren't buying parts, they have been buying parts and and continue to do so. Where the concern lies is that this policy is costing them in a couple of ways. The first and biggest loss would be the service calls lost to other companies that keep stock on hand a complete call on the day the call was received.. That would be bad enough, but also in their zeal to keep a lean streamlined inventory, they tend to return parts as not needed. Then they reorder the same parts a short while later. This is costing them labor in processing the order and returns, not to mention the cost of shipping parts back. It is understandable that sometimes a part return makes sense, but there are also times when it just don't seem to add up.

A wise veteran of our industry, now retired, who specialized in helping struggling operations turn things around, once told me once that many companies make the mistake of trying to reduce costs by reducing inventory. This leaves them short of the very thing thing they need to generate revenue. Lately, I have been discussing with many of our customers how they keep track of their inventory. The most successful ones have systems in place to keep track of their parts. Usually it is a computer based program, and the best of those show trends of raising or lowering demand for a given part. If you rely on memory and the "I.C Method" (If I See It-I Have It) of inventory management, I urge you to consider if this approach is truly serving you well, or could you be a more efficient and profitable using a more advanced method. Do you utilize any software to "keep track of your stuff"? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Web Tool Wednesday: Where Do I Begin?

The amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task. This is called Parkinson's Law.Over the years, it amazes me how often I think that there is no way to get everything done that needs doing only to accomplish the tasks in the time specified. We are all capable of exceeding our own expectations. It takes effort though. Rather than thinking "I don't have time to do that" consider thinking "I have done more with less in less time". More often than not, we can almost bend time just by changing our approach to the situation. Well, that and some hard work and the right tools.

Most of my day to day work is done on a computer in an office. So my tool is the PC I am typing this on. With my PC, I have access to several sources of parts breakdown information as well as access to manufacturers to check availabilities and order statuses. I also monitor and post on our several social media outlets, such as this blog, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. I use Google News, and Feedly to keep me up to date with current events. And I keep notes on obscure appliance parts using a notebook program from Microsoft, There is a to-do list I keep as well as an alarm to remind me of certain "appointment duties". As you can see, I lean on my machine pretty hard to get the job done.
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After reading that last paragraph, I suspect one of two responses. The first response is that those are desktop computer tools and not so helpful to the field technician,. Point taken. I offer that as an example of how I am making using of technology as well as perhaps providing some ideas for your office staff. The second response I expect is for someone to see all the tools that I make use of and then decide that it is too much work to set up. It is true that all of these tools required some time and effort to get rolling, but now that I am using them I find them incredibly helpful in my day to day work as well as for improving my productivity.

Now I am a bit of an old-timer. I didn't start using computers until I was an adult living on my own and working for a living. Needless to say, I  am probably not as adept as some younger folks who can utilize this stuff on a sort of instinctual basis. That, however, is no excuse for not trying to grow and keep up with the times. In my experience, a good approach is to start slowly. Try using a tool for a low pressure easy job. Get familiar with how it works and feel free to adjust the settings to fit your needs and preferences. Take your time and try to have fun. As you get more comfortable with what you are working with you can utilize it a little more until it becomes integrated into your routine. Then you are ready to start again with a new tool, or you can go back and further tweak your existing tools to make them more effective. Before you know it you will be using a few tools you weren't using before, and you will find yourself saving time.

It does take time to learn how to use all of this amazing new technology at our disposal. And it takes even longer to set things up effectively. Think of it as an investment. The time you spend now setting these up will be repaid to you as you save time down the road. You can do this, and we would love to hear what tools you have started using to make yourself more productive. Tell us about them in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Hey, All,

Well, with fruit and veggies getting ripe and canning and freezing season in full swing, I found I needed to do MAJOR cleaning of my refrigerator and freezers.  UGH!  One of those jobs that needs to be done but just can't do cartwheels about - oven cleaning, bathrooms and gutters are on this list, too.

First thing I do is turn off the refer as I am going through and seeing what is what - WHAT is this!  Who's science experiment is this?!?  And all those mystery packages?  Use the old adage - WHEN IN DOUBT - THROW IT OUT!  Man, I never knew I had so much room in my freezer!

Put your perishables that won't stand non-refrigeration for a few hours in a cooler - the stuff from the freezer will help keep the milk and stuff cool.  Let your glass shelves slowly warm up to room temp - DO NOT PUT ANYTHING WARM OR HOT ON THEM UNTIL THEY ARE AT ROOM TEMP!!!!  One of the most calls I get is for replacement shelves because someone decided to clean and put their cold shelf under the hot water.  Not a good idea as the drastic temp shift will shatter the glass and may cause injuries.  I take mine out and put on a towel covered table - also is a good place for them to dry off once they're clean.  Also, if you have an older refrigerator or freezer and there is ice build up - DO NOT USE A SHARP OBJECT TO CHIP THE ICE OFF!  Multiple ways here to damage your appliance or yourself - if you don't want to wait for it to melt naturally a blow dryer will work to help it out - just don't prop it up and leave it!

Then out comes the cleaners, sponges, paper towels - whatever you use to clean with and W L May carries several lines of appliance cleaners and scrubbers and some are eco-friendly - do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers!  These can leave scratches in the plastic that food can collect in and make your refrigerator smell.  Don't forget to pull the refrigerator out and clean underneath and clean those coils.  Dirty coils makes your refrigerator run more and can shorten the life of the appliance (W L May carries coil brushes).  Now is also the time to replace your water filter and that refrigerator deodorizer - gee whiz!  W L May carries those, too!

Then put your shelves, drawers and food back in, turn on and go give yourself a well-deserved rest.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Featured Client: Home Appliance Service

Reprinted from: What's Cooking at W.L. May Co? Volume 1 Issue 5 Home Appliance Service, located in Boise, ID, is extremely proud of their heritage. Established in 1948 by John and Rosie White, they have continuously serviced the Treasure Valley for the past 64 years. The area was named for its "treasure chest of resources and opportunities".

In 1980, the business was sold to employees James and Marcia Forbus, who operated the business for 30 years
before selling to their son and daughter-in-law, Don and Dawna in January 2010. To say it's a "family run business" would be an obvious understatement. Operating with 4 service technicians and 2 in-shop employees, they service most major brands including, but not limited to: Whirlpool, Maytag, Electrolux, Frigidaire, Samsung, LG,and Haier. They are also one of only a few that service and perform warranty work for In-Sink-Erator and Waste King Disposals and hot water dispensers.

Home Appliance Service prides themselves on the quality of their workmanship, and take great strides to prevent call backs; they are aware not only does it cost valuable time, but it is a disappointment to their customers, the very ones they strive to please on every service call. Dawna believes they keep unnecessary call backs to a minimum because of their partnership with W.L. May Co, who she says provide "quick, accurate, and dependable service".

When not working tirelessly, the Forbus family enjoys
spending time at their cabin in Garden Valley, located north of Boise along the Middlefork of the Payette River. The area offers great mountain scenery, hot springs and is inhabited by a variety of wildlife. Similar to many Northwest families, they enjoy the great outdoors; with fishing, hunting, and camping at the top of their list.

If you ever find yourself traveling through the beautiful Boise community, stop by Home Appliance Service and introduce yourself to the Forbus family. See for yourself what makes them one of Boise's most successful and acclaimed appliance repair service companies.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Home Electrical Appliances (1944)

Today we well take you back in time to 1944.Encyclopedia Brittanica produced this film explaining some of the fundamentals of how appliances worked during that time. It's interesting that so much of the basic processes have not changed a lot. As you can see in the film, the appliances themselves look quite different today. The only machine that hasn't changed significantly is the Kithenaid-style countertop mixing bowl and the toasters.  When was the last time you found yourself replacing the bushes in an appliance motor? Well, there is the rotor and stator on the new designs by Whirlpool, but other than that? We hope you enjoy this look into our appliance heritage.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday W.L. May Profile: Michael Ryerson

To say Michael Ryerson was born into this world with an "explosion" would be a huge understatement. His birth date is the same day that Mt. St. Helens first erupted, May 18, 1980. Michael, a native of Portland, OR, is a 1998 graduate of Franklin High School, home of the Quakers. The Ryerson family is no stranger to Portland.

His great aunt, Thelma Hollingsworth, in 1914 was elected Portland's first Rose Festival Queen. Thelma went on to marry long time baseball coach, and who later became the first football coach at Lincoln High School, Wade Williams, a 1988 inductee to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Wade mentored many young athletes, most notably Johnny Pesky, former member of the Boston Red Sox. His father,
Michael Ryerson I, worked as Press Secretary for iconic former mayor Bud Clark. As you can see, "Portland, OR" runs through Michael's blood.

He is a true testament to how hard work pays off. When   Michael first started at W.L. May Co. over 6 years ago, he worked in the Portland branch picking many of the hundreds of orders shipped any particular day. Through his excellent work ethic, he has moved up "the ladder", and is now employed as Manager of W.L. May Co.'s Receiving Department; chances are, if your parts were shipped from Portland, he has had "his hand on the part" first. His favorite part of the job is the "daily challenge" he feels to expeditiously receive parts; he realizes until the parts are "on the shelf" they can't be shipped.

Outside of work, Michael is extremely passionate about soccer; he plays in multiple leagues, including Portland Futsal, Portland Indoor Soccer, and 2 Portland Outdoor teams. His favorite position is winger, but if called upon, he can stop all shots on goal. When not roaming the soccer fields, he loves to play and watch a little golf. As you can see, he is a man with varied interests and a valuable member of the W.L. May Co. team.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Hey, All!

Hope summer is being good to all of you - it's been really hot here (upper 90's) and us Pacific Northwesterners are just not built for it - that's why we live where we do!  My sympathies to you all in hotter areas!

I just can not stress how important and helpful it is to you to have some kind of Superhero Book - whether paper or on your computer - not a day goes by that I don't use mine.  And the gratitude of your boss, co-workers and customers is beyond price - good job security, too!  lol.

Some things I added this week were in-line fuses for Kitchenaid ovens - 4456654 & 4451042, clips that go on the crisper rails for an Electrolux refrigerator - the rails are 240579807 and the clips you can get separately, 241993701.  Honey-Sriracha glazed buffalo wings...wait a minute!  How did that get in there?!?

Anything that you can't find by conventional means needs to go in your Book - believe me, you will kick yourself if you don't and have to go through that torturous research route a second time!

Stay cool, have fun and be safe!  Have a great week!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Fact

W.L. May Company is open July 5th and 6th to serve you. We thank you for your support.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Independence Day

W.L.May Company will be closed tomorrow July 4th to celebrate Independence Day with our families.
We will be open normal hours July 5th.
We look forwarding to serving you when we return.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Anniversary

Hey, All!

Today I am celebrating my 12th anniversary with W L May!  I have had my share of different jobs in my life and this is the longest I've ever been in one place and I don't plan on leaving.

One of the things that have made this place not just a job, but I feel as if it is my home.  When I took this job I knew absolutely NOTHING about appliance parts.  I've always been up to a challenge and one of my first trainers, Todd Kane, was one of those people with an encyclopedic memory and could look at a part and know what it was, what it did, what the part number was and where it was in the warehouse.  I wanted to be like Todd!  And the fact that some of the older techs thought women belonged in front of appliances to cook and clean for them, not helping to fix them, made me push myself to learn as much as I could.  I am constantly learning every day and it is never boring.

Brad Cantor is another one I have to thank - after my training with Todd at the front counter I was put back in the sales force and Brad trained me in the W L May way of selling appliance parts.  He has been and always will be my go-to person for help - in both as a co-worker and an unofficial big brother that I never had.  Sing on Allman Brothers!

And all the other people here that are as much family as co-workers - we are a family here and we help, argue, support, tease, work and play together as much as my biological family does.  And to my customers that have made me a part of their lives also.

And last, but definately not least, Shar Stuart, for believing in me and welcoming me into the W L May family - supporting me, letting me cry on her shoulder and just being a friend.  I couldn't ask for a better boss if I tried.

So, Happy Anniversay to me and thank you all!

Have a great week!