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September 20, 2016

The Disintegrated Spider – Fixing a Sears Kenmore – Samsung Front-Loading Washing Machine

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:19 pm

This brief post is about repair of what is apparently a common fault of front loading washers that have been made by Samsung and other manufacturers in recent years.  Recently, our Kenmore model 592-49057 had started making alarmingly loud thumping noises during operation, especially during high speed spin cycle segments. The cause turned out to be a broken support flange or “spider” inside the washer tub. Sears Canada was unable to supply the part I needed, but after finding the Samsung model number, actually 59249057 (surprise!), I was able to figure out the Samsung replacement part number DC97-14875B for the spider for our “Kenmore” machine. I found it on ebay via a parts source in Pennsylvania by searching on the part number. It was about Cdn $140 with shipping to BC. The actually repair is pretty easy but a lot of parts have to come out before you can get at the spider.

corroded and broken

I need a new spider


July 13, 2016

Removing a Bathtub Drain That Has Broken Crossbars

Drain Extractor tool

A plumbing problem I had to deal with this week was removal of an old bathtub drain flange. What sometimes happens with these drains, and had happened in this case, is that corrosion weakens the metal crosshairs located at the bottom of the flange inside the drain that are normally used to trap a drain wrench such that the flange can be unscrewed. I tried a few standard tricks, including using a cutting wheel to notch the drain collar such that a screwdriver could be hammered against it to cause it to rotate. None of those tricks were successful. Fortunately there is a good custom tool on the market for just this job. (more…)

February 21, 2016

Repair of a Food Saver model V845

I had a great time doing some interesting repairs at the Repair Cafe event in Campbell River yesterday. One of the most interesting and challenging repairs was that of a Food Saver plastic bag vacuum sealer, for which the heat sealing wasn’t functioning, but the vacuum function was apparently OK. In this case, the problem was not apparently common heat strip failure, but rather a failed vacuum activated switch. Here’s what I did to diagnose and repair it.

the patient


November 14, 2015

Repair of a Traynor YGL3 Mark 3 Guitar Amplifier and Accusonic Reverb Tank

This post is about a fun, relatively easy repair/restoration project on a classic piece of electric guitar/music gear: a Traynor YGL3 Mark 3 amplifier. The YGL3 is a vacuum tube -based piece of rock/music history. This project grew out of the Repair Cafe event in the Campbell River Sportsplex last month that I was a volunteer repair person for. A new friend, Joedy W, had brought this amp in to the Repair Cafe, but I didn’t have the time or the parts during that busy day to do the full repair. After I got back from some travels, we were able to re-connect yesterday and I could get to work on the amp. The whole repair/restore operation had four distinct elements to it. This was a pretty interesting project for me because I had never worked on a musical instrument amp before (that I can recall), but the repairs needed were fairly easy, requiring diagnosis mainly by observation with ears and eyes and ultimately just one test instrument, an ohmmeter.

Traynor YGL3 Mark 3 amplifier

The Patient: Traynor YGL3 Mark 3 amplifier


September 14, 2015

How To Fix a Leaking Garden Sprayer, With Pieces Of An Old Bicycle Inner Tube

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:46 pm

For the past few years I’ve been using an inexpensive hand-pumped sprayer to kill moss on my roof in Campbell River. The sprayer is an HDX-branded 2 gallon tank sprayer from Home Depot, sells for about $20. The moss removal serves far more than cosmetic purposes for the house; the moss eventually grows underneath the roof shingles and can lift them up and cause leaks, as well as holding moisture that will seep into the roof. The ingredients I use for the spray are typically 20-30% vinegar (the cheapest I can find at nearby grocery store) and the rest, tap water. Low toxicity and low impact to things other than moss and other vegetation.

Anyone for a vinegar bath?


September 13, 2015

Fixing a Hamilton-Beach Coffee Grinder

Our coffee grinder had stopped working. Now that for me is a near-emergency situation demanding repair. This is the grinder, brand “Hamilton Beach”

the dead grinder


August 29, 2015

Fixing A Track Light -Most Repairs Are Easy

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:56 pm

This is an instance of a seemingly intractable repair that turned out to be very easy. One light on my neighbour Klari’s kitchen tracklight system had failed, and the problem wasn’t the bulb. Having experienced Klari’s fine cooking, this was an important repair for me to do, to help her kitchen be in the best state possible for more! (more…)

September 2, 2014

Disintegrated drive belt: Repair of an Aiwa 3500 Cassette Deck

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:32 pm

Just finished a repair of a 1980’s vintage Aiwa cassette deck: Aiwa model 3500 (see, a 3-head model with decent performance for its era. The drive system was essentially nonfunctional. Why, you might ask, would I bother fixing such an old piece of electronics? The answer is that I needed a sound source for a “goose barker” to connect up to an amp and speakers to scare some persistent geese off my mother’s lawn, and a cassette deck was a pretty good choice, given that it was here and available. (more…)

August 25, 2014

Granularity of Repair: fixing the volume control potentiometer in a Pioneer VSX-3800 receiver

Filed under: blog,electronics,environment,repair,Uncategorized — admin @ 5:14 pm

For several months, the primary audio system in Gimli’s media room (well, the couch is Gimli’s)  has had the annoying problem of an intermittent left channel due to a problematic volume control element, one part in a triple-ganged, motorized potentiometer in an otherwise great Pioneer VSX-3800 receiver . I’d tried the usual fixes such as a couple of “control cleaner” sprays, a few times, with only temporary success at best. So, based on previous similar experiences, this electronics doctor decided that it was time to operate on the patient. This time, I had no replacement part on hand, and it was looking impossible to get one shipped to me quickly. Here’s the procedure:
Pioneer VSX-3800 the problem pot (more…)

July 19, 2014

Windsurfer Centerboard Gasket Replacement

Filed under: repair,Uncategorized,windsurfing — admin @ 5:20 pm

Recently I found that the centreboard (or daggerboard) gasket on my 1990’s vintage AHD Eliminator classic windsurfing raceboard had almost completely disintegrated. Here is what it looked like.

Here’s what I did to replace it. (more…)

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