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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Motivation

To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. ~ Thomas Watson, Sr.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Featured Client: The People and Service Companies of Portland, Seattle, Boise, and Sacramento

Once a month we feature a client on this blog. It's way of saying thank you for allowing us the opportunity to help with a companies success, also it is a way of showing positive community involvement from the appliance service industry. We have found that there are a lot of unsung heroes in the appliance business, we want the world to know that. If YOUR business has had more success due to our help, or if your company is doing great things in your community, we would love to know about and share it with the world. To be featured email me at rob.m@wlmay.com.

Today, instead of featuring a single company, we would like to feature a group of people: the people and appliance service companies of Portland, Seattle, Boise and Sacramento. While we ship parts all over the Western US, it is the people that come into our parts counters we would like to acknowledge today. W.L. May has been an part of the Portland community since its founding 1923. It is the support of our customers in Portland, and at all of our branches that has enabled us to grow and expand our network of stores from being a small Portland repair shop to becoming one of the largest appliance parts distributors in the Western United States.

Over the last year, we relocated a large part of our main warehouse to Vancouver, Washington. We also continued to enjoy having a well stocked inventory in house for our Portland counter. Like in any move, there were a few glitches that arose and were rapidly dealt with. Thanks to our customers for their understanding and cooperation as we got through those things. By moving our business offices, we are now putting the pieces in place to continue serving the people of the City Of Portland as well as the people of Seattle, Boise, and Sacramento for the next 90 years. Thanks to all of you for your support, you complete us.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday: News Recap June 26, 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 some consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • If your area experiences power outages during the warm days of summer, this article suggests how to save the food in your refrigerator. LINK
  • If your washing machine is looking grungy, maybe this tutorial will help you. LINK
  • Some common sense tips for organizing refrigerators. LINK
  • This group of tips for saving energy includes a few that apply to your appliances. LINK
  • Here is quite an exhaustive list of craft ideas using the sock that the dryer DIDN'T eat. LINK
  • There are bad people that pretend to be repair people. If the allegations are true, we DO NOT approve. LINK
  • If your customers want to take the next step after buying an Energy Star washing machine, here are some other ways to help make your laundry room green. LINK
  • If you have a workplace kitchen break room that gets out of control, these tips may help. LINK
Next, we look at appliance makers and how they have been in the news recently:
  • Whirlpool has a bed bug problem. LINK
  • Whirlpool started using Google Apps for some of its business services. LINK
  • Whirlpool was awarded the first Energy Star rating for a dryer. LINK
We found several articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • This is a pretty neat design for a washing machine. It seems like it would take up a lot of space though. LINK
  • A Detroit News reporter found that he saved money doing his own repairs, but admits its not for everyone. LINK
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Hints from Heloise answers a reader who questioned advise to avoid extended warranties. LINK
  • A new product claims do eliminate refrigerator mold with an ozone machine. LINK 
We close with few stories that are just for fun:
  • On cleaning out the refrigerator. LINK
  • Close encounters of the laundry room kind. LINK
  • This very short clip demonstrates and appliance moving technique that we DO NOT recommend LINK.
For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Settling Into A New Home

As many of you know, and Kelly told you about yesterday, W.L. May Company had a little moving project this last weekend. Well, for the rest of the sales staff and myself, it was a big project. Your see, over the weekend our sales and accounting staff relocated  to new offices at 835 East Burnside here in Portland, about a mile from our old offices.

The move wasn't very far to go, but with many of the staff being veterans of 10, 15, 20 and even 30 years in that office, there was a lot of accumulated stuff to go through, purge and move. We made it though and started off Monday with minimal pain. 

We have a lot of memories of 12th and Hawthorne. Many of you visited us at that address and we have those memories as well. We are all excited to have a new facility to work from. We are also excited to have a new neighborhood to explore. Here are some pictures I took while we were moving. I hope you enjoy them.

Wes Packing A Box Of Desk Supplies To Move
Chuck Was Also Spotted Packing Moving Boxes
Packed to Move, Roy Could Not Resist Selling A Few More Parts Before He Left
Eventually There Wasn't Much Left in The Old Room
Then There Was Even Less Left Around
Soon All That was Left Was The Old Furniture

Ready To Start A New Era
Working On Getting The New Building Ready
Getting Settled Into Our New Home
Ready to Start A New Era
For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kelly's Korner - New Digs

Hey, All,

As most of you know by now, our Portland location is moving a new building.  With the purchase last year of our ginormous Vancouver facility we don't need all the room our Portland facility has.  The office (sales, reception and accounting are now in the new building located at 835 E Burnside, just less than a mile from the old location.  Parts won't move in for a few more weeks so we'll keep you posted.

So how did the first day go?  Verrry interesting!  Just about the time we were to clock in the computer system went down and was down for about 2 hours.  Thanks for all your patience with us - we took notes and called everyone back when we were back online.  We had no A/C for the better part of the day but that's up and running so we are cooling off - tough job with all this hot air around here haha!  We ain't in sales for nothin'!

New digs
But we have all new construction and it is sqeaky clean and nice with new sheetrock, paint and lighting - new desks, too!  The front counter area is still under construction but will be fantastic when done.  I will post some pictures when I have them of that area.  For now, here is a pic of our old office setting and one of the new.

Have a great week!
Old Sales Office

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Motivation

"When one door closes, another opens: but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."Alexander Graham Bell

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Tweets Refrigerator Edition

While looking through our Twitter feed we found these refigerator tweets to share with you.

Beginning the project can be the hardest part. Hemingway suggests starting a project by doing a different project you like even less.

Another approach is to just jump in and get it done!

Speaking of starting the day right. This tweeter has the right attitude.

Some people don't start the day so well. This tweeter sympathizes.

Off to a hungry morning, some take this approach.

Encountering an empty refrigerator can bring this thought to mind.

No breakfast makes for a long morning, but the refrigerator at work can be a whole other kind of experience.

The mess that leads to the notes.

Life just is not as simple as when we were kids.

Maybe some new technology will help, but I doubt it!

If the refrigerator from Sony takes off we may need some one liners like this just to get lunch!

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday W.L.May Profile: Leslie Linton

This is the part of the blog where we share a little about ourselves. Today we would like to introduce you to one of the people that help provide you with our famously fast and accurate customer service.

Leslie Linton

Job Title? 
Major Account Manager

Where did you grow up? 
Brookings, Oregon

How long have you been with W.L. May? 
17 years

What did you do prior to joining W.L. May? 
Appliance Repairman for 21 years

What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work? 
Hunting, Fishing, Riding my Harley

To what do you credit your success? 
Paying attention to what our customers want.

What do you like about working at W.L. May? 
Talking with a wide range of our customers.

Can you share one piece of advice for others in our industry? 
Listen to what your customers want.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kelly's Korner - Appliance Parts Buying 101

Hey, All,

In this day and age of instant gratification, we here at W L May do like to provide information to you as fast as humanly possible.  But we are only human and we will need some information from you to get you your parts:

1)  Brand (Whirlpool, Amana, GE, Sears, etc.)
     This helps us to be in the correct program to enter the model number
2)  Model number (we need the complete model number - sometimes part of the model number may be off to the side of the central number)
     Manufacturer's will make design changes within a model and will differentiate which part goes to which by the "engineering" number (LSR5233EQ0 may have some different parts than the LSR5233EQ2)
3)  Serial number or Manufacturer's numbers (this may be referred to as a "P" number as it will start with that letter.
     Same description as model number - changes made within the model may be reflected by the serial number.
4)  Description of part needed.
     We've heard it all!  You don't need to know the "official" name of the part.  An accurate description of what the part does will help us narrow it down.  We more than likely will ask you a few more questions just so we get you the correct part needed.

The staff at W L May is here to help you with your appliance parts needs - just give us a call or stop on in!

Have a great week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Motivation

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday: News Recap June 12, 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 some consumer friendly articles we feel would be great for sharing:
  • The CEO of Levi's recommended  you should not wash your jeans, but freeze them. LINK
  • Yahoo!Shine shared 5 big mistakes people make with their washer...and how to do it right. LINK
  • Total Protect said that when it comes to the dishwasher, you may be doing it wrong. LINK
  • Good Housekeeping tested laundry detergent. Here are some of their findings. LINK
  • YahooShine! offered us some tips to get the most out of our dishwashers. LINK
  • Daily Saving had quite a list of items you can wash in a dishwasher. LINK
  • A Year Of Productivity offered some suggestions to multi task your way through loading the dishwasher. LINK
Next, we look at a service company we work with and how they have been in the news recently:
  • Coles Appliance opened a new storefront in Longview, WA. LINK
We found several articles that might be of interest to those of you who love all thing appliances:
  • There was a scary sort-of appliance news story from Nottinham, England. LINK
Sometimes, the links we post are related to technology, business or happenings on the internet:
  • Science Recorder told us about a new nanomotor-the smallest motor yet. LINK
  • A motel owner in Lincoln City, Oregon sued for defamation from an anonymous poster on TripAdvisor. This could have an impact on any company that is featured on review sites. LINK
  • Ever wonder what kind of testing was behing the Good Housekeeping seal? This article explained. LINK
  • Nine MSN reminded us that even if you are friends with the German Chancellor, it pays to know your appliances. LINK
We close with a story that is just for fun:

  • This article describes a cause of dishwasher failure I had never considered. LINK

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Customer Service in Appliance Repair Can Get Tricky

When you are an appliance service technician, the job can be very rewarding. Like the times that you help that sweet older lady that reminds you of Mom. Then there are the times when your assistance helps a young family avoid purchasing a replacement appliance that wasn't in the budget. Most of you also enjoy demonstrating your expertise by offering advice to those who are trying to perform their own repairs-even if that is not making your company money. When you are doing appliance repairs you are in the position to be a hero, and that always feels pretty good.
Sometimes Breaking The News Can Be Tricky... (Flickr/CC)
Like any job, however, there are times that are less fun. Like when a customer pressures the technician for a lower price by saying something to the effect of :"I can get a new machine for a few hundred bucks". When this happens it may help to remind the customer of the features involved in that $200 machine compared to the features they may have on their $1500 dollar appliance. Will this explanation always help? Probably not, but sometimes it will. Simply put, for a customer to make an informed decision about a repair job it is important that they are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges when considering whether the cost of a repair would be worthwhile.

If you are billing for your services by the hour, do you find customers will try to rush out to get a job done before they get billed for another hour? Or you may find customers who are upset to pay for the time if you get done too soon? A lot of service companies have addressed this potentially awkward situation by instituting flat rate pricing. If a customer knows it will cost x number of dollars to do a given repair, they will be less likely to be unhappy that your work was faster or slower than they expected. You can work out your own pricing list or you can use a tool such as the Appliance Blue Book, either way removing the surprises can help remove some of the frustrations.

Speaking of expectations, how many of you have arrived at a call only to find an unplugged appliance? If that happens you are in an almost no win situation. If you simply plug the appliance back in, the customer likely won't feel that you should receive payment. Meanwhile you know that between your time and vehicle expenses, not charging means lost money. A lot of companies try to address this by asking the customer if they have checked the power source. Of course, most customers would not want to admit overlooking that step so they will just say that they made sure that the machine was plugged in. Many customers consider the question to be an insult to their intelligence, so many service companies don't even ask the question-even though it is an important thing to check when troubleshooting. Recently, I heard an idea of how to approach that question with some tact. Instead of asking the customer if they have verified that their machine was plugged in, this company suggests that they have found many customers were plugging in their appliance "upside down". They then suggest the customer turn the plug over to see if the problem would solve itself. Naturally any REAL problem would still be occurring. However, sometimes the unplugged appliances then get plugged in and the problem "solves itself" giving the customer the opportunity to cancel the service call and avoid embarrassment.

As you all know, there are a lot of different ways of achieving total customer satisfaction. At W.L. May we want to give a hand in however you are working to attain that goal. Let us know how we can help.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kelly's Korner - Freezers

Hey, All,

Nearly had an emergency this weekend:  I came home Friday night and went out to my chest freezer (which sits outside my kitchen door on a covered porch) and one of my dear darling children had left the lid up!  No telling how long it had been open but the meat that was on the top was nearly thawed out.

Panic!  I had just gone grocery shopping and the freezer was filled to the top.  And I didn't have room in my fridge freezer for everything.  What to do, what to do?

First of all, calm the heck down!  Nothing was ruined yet, so I shut the lid.  There was enough ice buildup inside (yeah, it needs a defrosting and cleaning) to keep things cool enough for awhile.  Enough time to see if it was going to refreeze.  I could barely hear something running but wasn't sure if the compressor and freezing system was actually working.  I think the lid had been up since the evening before.  And, since it was late Friday evening, there wasn't much I could do until Saturday - clean out inside freezer and call everyone I know to see if they had room in theirs and call my favorite techs for advice.  ARGH!!!!!

I checked it before I went to bed a few hours later - not much changed.  Things were cooler but I couldn't be sure if it was just from the coldness already in there or if it was actually working.  I woke up a couple of times during the night but couldn't get myself out of bed to go check on it - bad news will wait, right?

So when I got up Saturday the first thing I did was go check - YAHOO!!!!  Everything was frozen solid!  Happy dance, happy dance!  Someone up there loves me!  But, there are some things I do need to do and you might need to do on your deep freeze, too:

1.  Get the baby defrosted and cleaned out (should have done that before I went shopping lol!)
2.  Clean out underneath, around and inside the compressor area - please unplug before you do this and use caution so you don't disconnect or break any wires or connections.
3.  Check out the door seal (yes, mine needs replacing!)

With summer coming and harvest and hunting seasons not far off, now would be the most excellent time for you to get this done or to call a repairperson if it needs some TLC you can't handle.  And if you need to replace that door seal (or any other parts) grab your model number and give W L May a call.

Have a great week!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Motivation Monday

If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know and start charging for it. ~ Kim Garst

Friday, June 6, 2014

Portland's Rose Festival and The Arrival of Summer

"For you a rose in Portland grows" (Wikimedia Commons/CC)
This week Portland has been celebrating the Rose Festival. If you are out of the area, or somehow haven't heard of our Rose Festival, it is Portland's annual welcome to summer event. Since we are known as the City of Roses, it is kind of a big deal. All kinds of events are held all over the city, a carnival is held, and we host fleet week where several Navy and Coast Guard ships anchor to the sea wall in downtown Portland. Several parades mark the occasion with a culmination this Saturday with the Grand Floral Parade. It is the largest open air spectator event in the state, and is one of the two largest all floral parades held in the United States, the other being the Tournament of Roses on New Years Day in Pasadena California. Here are some images from prior Rose Festivals.

Early Rose Festival Float Entry (Wikimedia Commons)
The Budweiser Clydedales pull a 2008 parade float entry (Wikimedia Commons)

A popular Rose Festival Event are the Dragon Boat races, (Wikimedia Commons)

Fleet Week ships along the seawall in 2006 (Wikimedia Commons/CC)

The Rose Festival is a lot of fun. But I am not telling you about the Rose Festival to make you jealous of the good times we are having here in the Rose City. The reason I am telling you about the Rose Festival is because the event marks the beginning of summer in our fair city. Being a parts guy, that brings to my mind summer in the appliance repair trade. When summer arrives a few things happen that impact our industry.

The first and most obvious thing is heat. Summer brings in warmer weather and most areas in  the Western US will see heatwaves with high temps over 100 degrees. This causes machines to work harder, especially refrigerators. Earlier this week, we emailed our account holders with some suggested refrigeration items to have in stock for when the hot weather hits. A lot of repair companies try to keep a bare bones inventory and fill in the gaps when needed. We understand that. What we have observed is that when it gets hot, many consumers become less patient. If they have to wait for you to order parts in, you may find some consumers will book a differing service company that can complete the repair on the same day. We don't want that to happen to you, which is why we recommend stocking up BEFORE the heat waves hit you.We hope that suggested stock list may help with your preparations.
Beat the heat-Be ready BEFORE it gets hot. (Flickr/CC)
The summer time also brings a few other circumstances that could find you busier than usual. When the kids are out of school they are more likely to be playing around the house and its not unusual to hear of minor acts of appliance destruction occurring. Trim pieces like door bars, end caps and handles all surge a little in demand. We know that there are a lot of possible options when it comes to cosmetic pieces, so we stock up too. We don't want you to have to wait any more than necessary for those kinds of items.

On the subject of kids being out of school, we would like to remind all of you to be extra careful when driving through neighborhoods on your way to service calls.Those ball chasers and bike riders sometimes forget to look before running out into their neighborhood streets. Keep a close watch and stay safe out there.

We hope you all have a great summer. What are you doing to get ready? Are you stocking up on parts? Or maybe you are putting the finishing touches on some vacation plans. How do you celebrate summer in your appliance repair company? Let us know in the comments section, we would love to hear from you.

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday Trivia Challenge

So you think you know all about appliances? Here is a short set of trivia questions to test your knowledge.

1.How much would you pay for a Kenmore washing machine in 1960?
2.What female country singer has a bake element nicknamed after her?
3.What company primarally made the appliances sold under the JC Penney name?
4.What percentage of US homes had a domestic refrigerator in 2005?
5.What Year did Maytag start?
6.W.L. May stocks what brand of range hoods?
7.Can you name one of the part numbers for the most popular gas dryer valve coils? 279834 (Whirlpool version) 5303931775 (Electrolux version)
8.What do manufacturers recommend to adresss vibrating washing machines?

2.Dolly Parton
7.279834 (Whirlpool version) 5303931775 (Electrolux version)
8.Vibe Away Pads

O-2 correct: You know a bit, but still have a lot to learn. Luckily you came to the right place.
2-4 correct: You know a fair amount about appliances. Keep visiting this blog to learn even more.
4-6 correct: You know a lot about appliances. Pass some of that knowledge on to someone.
6-8 correct You are an appliance star! Great job!

To submit your own trivia questions (and answers) email: rob.m@wlmay.com with the subject line "trivia".

For more from education and entertainment from W.L. May Company click...HERE

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

3 Dryer Makers and 6 Service Kits

A clothes dryer is probably the simplest of the major appliances. There are a limited number of moving parts, they are easy for the lay person to understand, and for the most part the same designs have stayed in place for years. Since a clothes dryer is so simple it can also be one of the easier things to service. As a pro repair person, its probably a job you love. The easy diagnostics and and easy servicing make it appealing, it also makes it the kind of project a do-it-yourselfer might try to tackle.

If you are looking to do one of these repairs, or if you are helping out a DIY person with parts, it makes sense to change out all the parts that are also likely to be wearing out when you do the repair. Luckily, most manufacturers offer kits that include all the parts that have a tendency to wear out. Usually, the kits cost less than buying the individual parts.

Here are maintenance kits for the three largest American appliance makers.


  • 4392065-Used on most 27" dryers. Contains  multi-rib belt (part 341241), drum support roller kit (part 349241T), idler pulley (part 691366), and installation instructions.
  • 4392067-Used on some 27" dryers (frequently commercial machines). Contains multi-rib belt (part 661570), 4 support rollers (part 3396802), idler assembly (part 3388672), and installation instructions. 
  • 4392068-Used on 24" dryers. Contains multi-rib belt (part 3394652) drum support roller kit (part 349241), idler pulley (part 691366) and installation instructions.


  • 5304457724-"New Style" for machine from 2002-Present. Contains drive belt (part 134503600), rear bearing kit (part 5303281153), idler pulley/bracket assembly (part 131863000), upper front felt seal (part 5303937182), lower front felt seal (part 5303937183)
  • 5304461262-"Old Style" for machine prior to 2002.  Contains 88" drum belt (part 134503600), bearing kit (part 5303281153), idler pulley (part 131863007), upper front felt seal (part 5303937139), and lower front felt seal (part 5303283286), needed adhesive and grease.

General Electric

  • WE49X20697-Contains belt (part WE12M29), top bearing (part WE3M26), two white glides (part WE1M504), two green glides (part WE1M1067), and lower felt seal (part WE9M30)
The next time you are servicing a dryer, remember these kits. They can frequently save time by preventing further problems before they occur and by simplifying the parts ordering process. They can also save you money over the cost of buying the parts individually. Consider adding at least one of each kit to your inventory and remember to offer the kit to people doing their own service. Odds are that when they open the machine they will realize other areas that need maintenance as well and you will be the hero with foresight. Have a great day and happy repairing!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kelly's Korner - Other things W L May can do for you

Hey, All,

Well, the post I started for this week seems better suited for next month, so you'll have to wait for that one.  So I decided to make a short list of some of the other services that W L May can provide for you.

1.  Wanna know what parts and how many of them you have purchased in a certain time frame?  Give us a parameter (like the top 50 parts bought in last 6 months) and we can have a report run for you.  This can help you with your inventory and truck stock.

2.  Want to leave some literature with your customers on services (ex. vent cleaning) and items you can provide them (water filters, drip pans, etc.) with your company logo and contact info?  Contact us with what you would like and we can work up some things for you to take to the printers and use.

3.  Need a list of manufacturers phone numbers and websites?  We can get you a list of that info.

4.  Need help building a website?  We can recommend several places for you to look at.

5.  Want to go mobile?  We can help with that!

6.  Not sure what you need?  Call us - you would be surprised at what we can help you with!  Just let us know what you are looking for.

Parts and research are just a small part of what we can offer you!  Please use us!

Have a great week!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Motivation

"The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where they are going." - David Starr Jordan