How to Diagnose a Noisy Refrigerator

Nobody likes a noisy refrigerator. It’s loud, obnoxious and disturbs the serenity that you should always have when partaking in food related activities.

So below are some simple diagnosing methods that should keep you from wit’s end.

But first, ask yourself one question: where is the noise coming from?

Is the noise coming from inside the refrigerator?

  1. If it’s coming from inside, the problem is most likely the evaporator fan motor. To check, take the evaporator cover (in the back or bottom of the freezer) off. Once you’ve removed it, you should be able to see the fan and verify that it’s noisy. If the fan is noisy, you should replace it.
  2. If it’s not the fan, and the noise is coming from the freezer, then there may not be much of a problem. At times there will be a groaning noise coming from the freezer from when the compressor has just cut off. So no worries there!
  3. If the noise is coming from inside the fresh food compartment, the only thing it could possibly be is the defrost timer, which is located near the control – and again, you should replace it.

Is the noise coming from outside the refrigerator?

  1. The compressor and condenser can cause a very noisy refrigerator. Take the back off the refrigerator and make sure nothing is in the fan. If there isn’t anything in the fan, unplug the refrigerator then unplug the fan motor. Next, plug the refrigerator back in. If the noise is gone, in this case, the fan is bad and need to be replaced. If the noise doesn’t stop then the compressor is bad.
  2. If the compressor is bad, you might want to consider resigning to gritting your teeth every time you go near your fridge or consider getting a new refrigerator. (As it were, compressors are very expensive.) But if it’s noisy when it cutting off, the problem is the compressor. If the noise is coming from the front of the refrigerator, it’s the defrost timer and it should be replaced.

No one should have to be subjected to a bad kitchen or food experience. If your refrigerator is noisy, give it a quick check up and a little TLC, and hopefully you can nip the problem in the bud.

Whirlpool Still Crying Foul at “Un-Fair Play” of Competitors

Some time after Whirlpool filed an official complaint against competitors, “dumping” is still continuing and is now a major threat

I wish there was some way to put a positive spin on the practice of “dumping,” however this tactic, used in competitive selling of appliances, really has no sweet spin or happy ending but rather employs an “unhealthy” sense of competition and only serves to hurt the consumer in the end. For those caught unawares, “dumping” occurs when you have two or more producers competing for sales, but one will sell a product abroad for a ridiculously low price to steal customers and business away from the other producer. You may be thinking that lower prices means good news for you, however the opposite could not be more true.

Whirlpool claims to have been the victim of this for quite some time, and this time is not unique except that the potential costs are more apparent now than ever. Whirlpool understands that, despite its pushes to promote American manufacturing, everyone else might not always play as fair leaving prices undercut and consumers left wanting. I suppose that the true test for Whirlpool will be how long they can wait out this practice. Whirlpool’s major competitors have been accused of this practice for some time and Whirlpool knows that their accusations could possibly not yield any results that would benefit them.

This, then, leaves Whirlpool playing the “waiting game.” How long can Whirlpool last? If they can continue to hold out, then “dumping” will eventually hurt Whirlpool’s competitors and will allow for consumers to see that Whirlpool is engaging in practices that promote the interests of the consumers as well as the manufacturers.

Consumers, ASSEMBLE! It is now that matters most in product purchasing. However, terrible practices will continue to carry on if you do not take a stand. Remember, just because you may see cheap prices does not mean that those prices are meant to benefit you and only you. There is a price to pay for every price that is cut, and Whirlpool’s competitors are not focused on benefiting the American consumer. I urge you to pay your respects only to corporations that will pay you the proper respect.

The Unsung Heroes of Our Household

Appliances matter and we all need to take notice

I’ve never come across a clothes washer that wears a mask and fights crime, and I’ve never used a dishwasher that had superhuman strength or used an air conditioner that could transform into a masked crime-fighting superhero. Basically, I’ve never met any major home appliance that really impressed me. However, the fact remains that I have used all of these and many more on a daily basis, and they have become as ingrained into my way of life as brushing my teeth or taking a shower, which I happily report is a daily routine.

The truth? We need our appliances, as badly as Gotham needs Batman, and as frequently as the Hulk has a temper tantrum. From the very minute we wake, we use an array of appliances to aid us in our daily battles. In the course of one single day, we use everything from the refrigerator to the dishwasher, with stops at the washer and dryer, shower, sink and microwave oven, just to name a few. If one of these has even a minor malfunction that disrupts our daily routine, our days are forever altered and we just can’t seem to be as effective at work or as happy at home. Essentially, our appliances are the unsung heroes in our lives and silently get us through each and every day, and we give them less attention than we do our cell phones.

This is why appliances matter, and why we all should pay a little more attention to the purchases we make and the care we give to these “aids” of humanity. I urge you to imagine a time where you could not throw your clothes in the washer or dryer, or could not take a hot shower, or even worse, couldn’t heat up a frozen dinner in the microwave. This is a time that we have only read about in history books, but with one malfunction we find ourselves back in an age that we cannot comprehend and could never understand.

GE, Whirlpool and other major producers are in the market of dealing out the essentials in our lives, except that we just are not quite aware of it yet. We hear of these companies, but do we actually pay attention to what it is that they are giving us? These producers give us these unsung heroes that stay with us for most of our lives, and yet we continue to disregard talks of outsourcing and the effects that it truly has on our national security. In the wake of the newest tropical storm, and in any time of crisis, it is essential that our own country be able to provide its own with supplies and tools needed to survive such tragic natural disasters. Truth? We still have to wait for most of our supplies to be shipped in to us, and that means putting our very livelihood in the hands of potential enemies. I am not one for debating politics, but I am one for the essence of survival. Why leave anything to another nation to take care of?

Bottom line, appliances are our best friends, for I don’t know any dog that can help me eat. However, it is almost comical to think of them as cherished necessities, yet that is quite essentially what they are.

No, they do not wear cool costumes or fight crime when we sleep, but our major home appliances keep us sane and give us the convenience and luxury that we take for granted every day.

Microwave Maintenance for You or Your College Kid

You can always tell it’s almost time for class to start up again when the television blares nonstop “back to school” commercials.  They tell us that we need backpacks, notebooks, desktops, laptops, but while the commercials tell you what to buy, they don’t tell you what you need to maintain!

To get back into the groove of “back to school” let’s talk about what your children (and maybe even you) need to do to maintain appliances and save money on repairs and replacements.

One of the most commonly used kitchen appliances – besides the coffee maker during finals week – is the microwave.  A lot of students just throw a Hot Pocket into the microwave, push a few buttons and, after the cheesy and gooey snack is ready, they never look back.

Whether your child is on their own for the first time or a hardened college survivor, microwave awareness will help keep money in your pocket and your kids (and their dorm or house microwave) safe.

Equip your child and yourself with these five rules for the future of your microwave and peace of mind:

  • Clean the interior often to help ensure good microwave oven performance.
  • Wipe down the outside touch panels with a damp, soapy cloth. Rinse the cloth with fresh water and re-wipe to remove leftover soap.
  • Do not heat food with foil wrapping. Use paper towels or microwave safe lids to cover foods.
  • Never use metal containers to heat foods in the microwave.
  • Never run the microwave empty. You run the risk of damaging the components from feedback.

Regardless of brand, whether Whirlpool to Maytag to KitchenAid, microwaves have proved themselves worthy in this fast-paced time.

Don’t take this time-saving gadget for granted – maintain it and help it help you in your time of dire hunger need.

A little “TLC” fosters growth in Ohio

CEO of Whirlpool reinforces commitment to Ohio

Yesterday marked an eloquent address as the chief executive of Whirlpool Corp., Jeff Fettig, spoke to the Toledo, Ohio Rotary Club concerning Whirlpool’s manufacturing presence in Ohio and the planned continuance of such a presence for many years to come. “We have more assets invested in Ohio than any other state,” says Fettig, “and we have more employees in Ohio than in any other state.”

This is not a new trend for Whirlpool Corp, as they have continuously shown their commitment to American manufacturing and fostering growth in jobs and production in the United States, while many of Whirlpool’s competitors have been outsourcing manufacturing for quite some time. Whirlpool states that 82 percent of it’s sales are made in the United States, and a significant portion of that 82 percent comes out of the Toledo, Ohio plants.

Keeping with this continued trend, Whirlpool has pledged to invest $ 1 billion in its U.S. operations by 2014. Whirlpool, which is the world’s largest major appliance manufacturer, also recently insourced mixer production from China to Greenville, Ohio, and brought some operations previously done in Mexico to its Clyde plant. These moves point to a committed pledge to American manufacturing and it seems that Whirlpool plans to keep this trend going, giving hope to a depleted market that is in desperate need of rejuvenation at home.

Whirlpool is moving “American manufacturing” back to America, and due to its status, these moves might be enough to propel the U.S. manufacturing market into a more productive zone, akin to the massive stimulus that Ohio has seen due to Whirlpool’s excessive presence throughout the state. This points to a simple yet seemingly effective strategy. If you want growth, you have got to plant the seeds. Whirlpool, quite literally, has planted themselves strategically throughout the state of Ohio, and in return, Ohio has become a most profitable place and quite possibly a long-term home for the Michigan-based corporation. Five of Whirlpool’s eight U.S. plants are located in Ohio, and about 11,000 employees are working in Ohio.

Essentially, despite higher benefits and labor costs within the U.S., Whirlpool is able to offset these costs because of productivity gains and money saved in logistics. Fettig isn’t just simply playing American favorites either, as Whirlpool is making solid profit by staying with U.S. manufacturing, specifically, within Ohio. “We’re not doing is because it’s Ohio,” says Fettig, “we’re doing it because it is the right business decision.”

Robot Manufacturing Here to Stay?

Manufacturing is on its way back, but at what cost?

Bottom line, American manufacturing leaves much to be desired and has for some time. Fortunately, there is talk of a revival in the U.S. manufacturing market, a revival for the ages. A revival that will make everyone happy, except that they will be watching this revival from the sidelines. The time has come for fictional robots, like Star Wars “R2-D2,” to take over assembly level jobs and there seems to be nothing we can do to stop it. Times are changing, folks, so strap in…

It may seem rather odd that robots and robotic technology are being discussed in an appliance blog, however the truth remains that robots have arrived and they are here to stay, which leaves humans jobless on the assembly line. Essentially, robotic technology has advanced far enough to replace assembly line workers in all facets. Specifically, robots have made an impact already in the area of distribution, which can be troublesome for human workers due to obtuse objects and poor lighting that can get in the way. However, with inventions like Microsoft’s “Kinect,” robots have the technological capacity to anticipate random objects that are difficult to see and adjust accordingly to poor lighting, while not needing any outside assistance.

There is a sense of impending doom looming over some workers, which was the case in Tolleson, AZ, where 60 union workers went to their city council to protest the construction of an automated grocery store. This store would dramatically boost production rates but would put many out of jobs in the area. Is this somewhat minor incident a precursor of things to come? Will more unions be protesting the construction of all things automated? Is technology quickly becoming our greatest achievement while simultaneously becoming our future downfall? Will producers, such as Samsung and Whirlpool, be employing a machine in place of humans, in the future?

We bring this article to you again, the consumers, with whom all power will always lie. If we continue to walk down the path of advancement, we will eventually see a trend that seems fictional right now, yet will become quite real. Stay sharp, folks, what seems like fantasy can become reality sooner than we ever expect….

iRobot Brings Forth New Wave of “HomeCare”

iRobot Corp. launches new robots

Technology is affecting our lives with every tick of the clock, and the convenience of technology has finally landed on the home care front. This week iRobot Corp. launched a new iRobot Looj gutter cleaning robot and new iRobot Roomba 600 Series vacuum cleaning robots.

The Looj 330 is designed to take over the work of home-gutter cleaning using a high-velocity, four-state auger at 500 RPM to blast away all the debris that can gather in your gutters. This device has many automatic sensors and is equipped with different speeds and settings that allow the everyday homeowner to step away from cleaning and focus on other tasks.

The Roomba 600 employs the same type of technology but focuses on indoor cleaning and allows carpets, tiles and the like to be cleaned with efficiency and ease. This device has multiple settings as well and allows for one to leave it be and tend to other projects while cleaning is in process.

This technology is breaching new frontiers in the sense that cleaning has always been a “hands-on” type of job, and there hasn’t been much room for technology to overtake this industry. However, these two new robots have made human cleaning a moot task and begs the question as to how much major parts suppliers might be affected, such as GE and Whirlpool. If these creations take off we may see a whole new line of parts being supplied.