Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hand Dryer repairs in Eastern Cape

Hand Dryer Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Electric hand driers! -  Best thing since the invention of sliced bread, they have elevated bathroom hygiene to new levels.  
I always get the shivers when I have to walk pass one of those bacteria invested waste-baskets overfilled with used paper towels – even worse are those rolled cloth towels. Somewhere along the line you have to touch where the previous visitor just did his “business”. Jugg! 
- Lets rather move on to what I actually what to tell you about in this post.  

Hand dryers are so convenience, just hanging silently on bathroom wall ready to spin into action as soon as you rub your hand underneath it. Like all modern day appliances the convince come at a price to the environment.

It is true Electric hand dryers do save tree's - but all those plastics and metal used to build them. Then there’s the electricity they use? In all fairness the new generation Hand Dryers uses much less electric energy that their older counterparts.
Printed circuit board (Pcb) of a hand dryer
One Handdryer that stands a little above the rest (paper/cloth towels and old school dryers) is Xlerator. Comparing the Xlerator to other new generation hand dryers I unfortunately cannot give you an accurate comparison because I haven't had much experience with the other brands. (The older generation handdryers - yes!) In our part of the universe (Eastern Cape) we don’t really see much of the other newer trade names

Like all Electric-Appliances, hand driers need periodic services. This is also the single biggest reason why they come in for repairs – “the dryer were never serviced or cleaned”! 

The inlet grill get clogged with fluff and then the motor starts running hotter than normal - Overheating! doesn't matter if it is a tumble drier or vacuum cleaner overheating is very bad for any kind of electric-motor. All you have to do is get your handyman to remove the cover and wash the little inlet grill  

Inlet grill of a hand drier

Personally I think the manufactures should have installed a removable filter grill at the in let.
Small electric motor carbon brushes and damage commutator

The second cause why electric hand dryer fail is Carbon Brushes. These little buggers are responsible for making the motor turn by allowing electric current to run through them into the commutators. The electric current creates a north and south pole in the motor. The little carbon brushes now push the commutator sections away - one cell at a time, creating rotation.

Once the carbon brush starts wearing-out, it stops making secure contact with the commutator. As you know when you have a loose or bad electrical connection excessive heat starts to develop in a unit. 

You can see in the above picture the commutator was burned black by the excessive heat. 

Schematic of the electric Hand drier

I do hope this post has given you more insight as to the working of a electrical hand drier and also how to avoid unnecessary expensive repairs. If you should need more info get  us at or just send us a e-mail

083 52 52 52 2

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dishwasher Problems and Troubles

Dishwasher Repair in Port Elizabeth
Dishwasher not dispensing detergent

When opening a Dishwasher in anticipation of clean sterile dishes and cutlery but instead  the dishes are cover with smears and stain marks. That is a major let-down! 
Dishwasher are great machines when they work. . . . ! but when it starts giving inconstant results, it becomes a huge source of frustration. 
Lately we have been receiving a lot of inquiries about dishwashers giving inconsistent cleaning results. I have highlighted some of the most common problems my clients have with their dishwasher and possible solutions. 

Cutlery and Dishes has a stain residue on them when washed 
Most people use their dishwasher on after dinner and the machine remains close for the night then the following happens

  • Steam then tends to condensate on cutlery if dishwasher is left closed - leaving residue marks

Ø  Dishwashers should be opened after 20 minutes program has ended - allowing hot air and steam to escape
Ø  When dishwasher cycle is finished machine should at least be left closed for another 10 minutes

Detergent powder is not dissolving
·        Check spray arms for blockages in the little end jets
·        Was the dispenser chamber dry before inserting cube/powder
·        Was the cutlery and dishes pack so that it could have prevented the soap dispenser flap from opening

Dishes remaining wet at end of cycle
·        Dishes must be arranged so no water puddles are formed on cutlery
·        No salt in Dishwasher result in;
o   lime scale building-up on heater elements
o   which in turn effects the drying results
§  a descaler should be used to dissolve lime
·        To little rinse aid can also have an effect on the drying result

Dishes has smears and streak marks
Ø  Overdosing of rinse aid will results in streak marks at the end of a cycle 

Once you have tried the above advice and the problem still persists it means the machine has a default some were and you need a professional to open the Dishwasher up.

I do hope you have found some value in this post

Have a streaky-clean-day

Ps. Related post and information just click on link

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Laminator repair in Port Elizabeth

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Laminator Repair

Their Laminator just suddenly died and it is one of those you buy from the big chain stores with no after sales or backup - once the guarantee is finish  the are also finish with you. As a last resort Ann ask us if we could help.
Laminator PCB repair
Upon opening the laminator unit we found the little drive motor and bushes were still in excellent condition. It was only one capacitor on the PCB that exploded. After cleaning and good lube job, the unit was ready to go back into commision.

The was all done cheap-cheap! (when you like one of our social media and bring your broken unit in the quote is free)

Isn't that great from now on you can make informed decisions if you should repair or chuck.

Cell no; 083 52 52 522

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Surge Protectors and Suppressors

All Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Electrical Filter is the layman's term for suppressors and surge protectors. Most good appliances has Surge protection unit build into them.

Microwave Oven Surge PCB

All Appliances in South Africa has been taking beatings and major abused from our National Electrical supplier with their inconsistent ("Loadshedding") power supply schedules.
Although the "loadshedding" has become less, we still have daily uncontrollable electrical spikes.

In South Africa and most other countries receive AC power (alternating current) from their national grid supplier. Like the names says "Alternating Current" - it means the power supply is alternating (like waves in the ocean) The voltage goes Up and Down. Sometimes it will spike at 300+Volts and then down to 180 Volts. In the RSA we use 220 volts, the USA and Europe use 110 Volts.

Surge spikes (also called transients) are measured in units of 10 -6 Second. Transients that cause havoc inside appliances normally are in the several hundreds range and a lightning strike goes into the Thousands.

Electrical Surges and Spikes are a fact of life and they will always be with us

This is the reason why all appliances need surge protectors and suppressors

TVSS (transient voltage surge suppressors)

These little devices  or commonly called SPD (surge protection devices) come in many different and sizes but for this simplicity I will only cover the ones you find and use in everyday Household appliances.
Washing Machine Electrical Line Filter that has exploded

Surge Diverter

The surge diverter relays (or blocks) a electrical spike above a certain voltage down to the ground. This normally creates a electrical short in your system but I will discuss this effect more in detail in another post.

Transient Voltage Suppressor

TVS's  is commonly used in Household All Appliances and it react to momentary voltage spike . Commonly known as voltage Zener suppress diott.

Metal-Oxide Varistors
Hoover PCB With MOV

MOV is more found in electronic circuit boards and TV, sounds systems and top range microwaves. The Mov's are fast and they respond to a voltage surge much quicker than any of his other suppressor buddy,s. Their main function is to protect the other electronic components  from a "over-voltage"

One can just keep on going about the many different types of suppressor and diott that is out there - like you also get a unit that is filled with gas.

OK, ok! I will stop now!

I do not want to risk losing you because of overexpose to boredom. My fascination might be toxic to your entertainment system.
Getting back to the reason why I am telling you about these little appliances (suppressors) is because of safety and also to tell you it doesn't always pay to be a cheapskate.

MOV has been Documented to Burn

Some electronic manufactures tend to be cheap when designing voltage protectors and the installation thereof.
Defy Dishwasher PCB overheated causing panel to meld

While the overvoltage might not be enough to blow the fuse or destroy the MOV, it does cause the PCB unit (printed circuit board) to overheat. The overheated MOV will eventually then start the fire.

The are many factors that separate the good manufacture from the not-so-good ones but here are a couple easy noticeable ones
  • Silicone wire is used or flame retardant materials (Defy appl use it in most of their units)
  • The surge PCB is installed in a remote area inside the appliance so that even if it catches fire it will not cause the whole appliance to burn
  • As a habit one should always try to fit and use surge protection units but there are so many dummy units out in the market place. It is very difficult to direct you from a distance what to look out for because on the outside they all look legit.
  • I would recommend is to find yourself a good electrical supplier (be careful for the national franchises because they buy in bulk from the east on "good deals") and also think twice next time when you buy cheap unbelievable deals. (they can make it so cheap because they schimp on necessary safety equipment). 
  • Always ask about the appliance backup service because after the supplier guarantee period has expired you could be stuck with an electrical item with no backup service. 

Hope this information has added some value to your time and should you need more leave a comment below or see you over at our facebook page

www.pinepienaar. info

Mobile No: 083 52 52 522

Friday, May 13, 2016

Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer model VHC 391

Tumble Dryer Repairs in Port Elizabeth

We recently had the honor to service a Hoover tumble dryer mode VHC 391. I can actually count on one hand the times we had this specific model in our workshop. This Dryer was build in the true Hoover Superior tradition and it has so many unique feature which will take forever to tell you about them.

The Condenser Dryer

Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer modelVHC 391

Condenser Dryers keep the wetness/condensation inside the dryer and it has a unique drip-tray where the water accumulates. Just to explain what this means, in our part of world (Eastern Cape) if you use a normal tumble dryer the water evaporates into the air which is all fine on normal days
The snag comes in when you live in a small apartment or the machine is kept in a small laundry room. On a humid days combined with the evaporated water from the drier results that wetness moves into already dryer garments.

This dampness which you don't think is now on your garment and it will make your clothes start to smell moldy.  
Most of the time you don't even pick it up straight away, its only when your body starts heating up from around about 10 - 11 in the mornings. This also the time when most people tend to blame their Washing Machines or detergent.

Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer model VHC 391 front door switch and inner drum expouse
We can go more into how important it is to keep the environment around your tumble dryer clean at all times because when taking dried out garments out of the dryer it will suck-in moister from the immediate surrounding straightaway. If the kitchen dustbin or smelly dirty garments are lying nearby the newly dried garment it will get some of those smells in newly dryed garments. I will discuss this drying process more in a another post

The actual reason why I did this post is to show (pictures) you the reason why it is so important to have your tumble dryer serviced or cleaned regularly. Autumn is here and winter is the time when you use tumble dryers the most and you don,t need a breakdown when you need it the most.

Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer model VHC 391 Front covered with fluff


Fluff is the number one reason why tumble drier fail
  • Fluff blocks the flow of hot-air inside the tumble drier which results that instead of the Hot air move through the garments and to the outside, it now lingers inside the dryer unit causing the motor and timer (programer) to overheat.
  • When the tumble-dryer airflow are restricted it takes much longer to dry Garments resulting in using more electricity.

Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer model VHC 391 Motor is completely covered with fluff
When the motor is covered with fluff the operating temperature rises by two or more degrees causing the motor fail.

One of the most common symptom of a failing motor is that it does not startup (turn) on its own. You hear this humming noise and the drum heats up but nothing is turning.

When you swing the motor with your hand it works fine again - THe reason for this is that the start winding is damaged but the run-windings are still fine.
Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer model VHC 391 Motor
Motor windings

Windings are the copper wire coils around the motor armature - in which the electric current flows. The electricity in these copper coils creates a north and south pole (like in a magnet). Once the motor overheats the insulation between the copper coils melt and it starts to lose their poles.

In Tumble Dryer and Washing Machine motors there are more than one set of windings. The following sets are found;
  • Left Start winding
  • Right start winding
  • Left run
  • Right run
Most of the time it is only one set of windings that get damage resulting that the Appliance still has some limited functions

Hoover Condenser Tumble Dryer model VHC 391 Before and After Servicing

Sadly I must report Hoover has gone by the wayside and backup service are limited. I can't help but wonder how such a super manufacture of legendary vacuum cleaners and household appliance just faded away. 

If you have more information about this please share it with us

Ps. The only cost effective condenser tumble dryer is the same class as this hoover model are the Whirlpool which also has a very big inner drum.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Stove bake Element explodes in Oven

Stove Oven Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Bake-element Blisterd

All electric Elements at some point and time stop working, Most of the time it is the Ovens bake element that goes on the blink!

As a rule the electric element normally goes quietly during the night and then the next time when you want to use the stove-oven. it just doesn't heat up or it takes a very long time for the oven to reach bake temperature.

Other times the bake element "goes-out" in a blaze of glory! There is a loud bang, smoke and even flames! Man, this has all the makings of a spark-tacular show and it guarantees to get your heart pumping

The electric oven need 3 components to Function

  1. Thermostat: The thermostat is like a regulator it controls the temperature inside the oven cabinet. This process happen with the thermostat switching the electricity on and off.
  2. Wire: Electricity gets Transport from the thermostat to the electric element. Very Important - Because elements draws a lot of amps it is important  to use only silicone wire and at least a 2mm thick.
  3. Elements; This is unit that actually create the heat by using electricity supplied  by the thermostat through silicone wire
Silicone Wire
In a next post I will cover how to troubleshoot a electric element if there are no visible signs of a blown element

083 52 52 52 2

If you need more information or advice feel free to leave a comment below or shoot over to our facebook page for a free quotation

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Frost Free refrigerator Red light flashing

Frost Free Refrigerator Led lamp flashing 

Refrigerator Repairs in Africa

Lately we have been receiving a lot of calls for Frost Free Refrigerator that has a LED light flashing, which is also a indication that something is wrong with the refrigerator temperature . 

One of the most common and visible symptom is that the fridge section stops cooling. 

Frost Free Refrigerators make use of the "chill-factor-principal" to cool the air and also freezing stuff inside the Freezer Compartment. This means you have to have air-movement all the time inside the refrigerator. To create these ideal cooling conditions inside the refrigerator you need a couple of components to work together.

Main 4 Components needed  to achieve the chill –factor

1.   Evaporator
2.   Blower (fan)
3.   Air movements
4.   Timer

 Refrigerant is circulated through the evaporator unit by the compressor causing the evaporator to Ice-up. (Cold source)

 The fan sucks hot air through the evaporator unit and blows cold air out the other side (into freezer and fridge compartments)

Air movement
 This where the real magic is - the "chill-factor".  If one can get cold air to move it will become even colder. (Like the southeaster wind in the Cape) The principal is simple but if something like a piece of ice or food partial interfere with the movement of air inside your refrigerator then all kinds of bad things start to happen

That was the short version of the cooling working of the Frost Free Refrigerator now we will cover the heating section of the frost free refrigerator - this side is almost as important as the cooling section. 
The heating section is to help the refrigerator's defrosting control module from not developing an ice buildup.

Components needed for Defrosting

1.   Heater Element
2.   Micro heating temperature Controller
3.   Timer
4.   Main Refrigerator Controller

Heater Elements
The heater elements are mounted against the evaporator unit, which is made from aluminum. Aluminum is a great heat exchanger so when the heater gets turned on it melts the ice on the evaporator in seconds.

Micro temp Controller
This little pouch of components controls the heat temperature while the heater is turned on.
Defrosting timer

Timer unit controls the defrosting cycle. In other words how many times the elements should come on like every 6 hours or every 8 hours. Most modern fridge do not have separate timers in them. The older Defy and Whirlpool refrigerator model has them but the newer Samsung, Bosch and Lg refrigerator Refrigerator gets control controlled from the main Pc circuit module

The main refrigerator controller
The main purpose of the electronic controller is to have all these gadgets and parts working together in perfect harmony.  

In a next post I will cover more about the trouble shooting of the frost free refrigerators

I do hope this post has given you some information to work with and has added value your time. Feel free to leave me a comment below or shoot over to our facebook page and press the “Like” button for more information.

083 52 52 52 2

Related post to check out;

Monday, January 11, 2016

Samsung Toploader Washing Machine Burning

Washing Machine Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Always use reputable Appliance Repair Company to repair your appliances otherwise it could come back to haunt you. This post is about checking-out and evaluating a contractor.
Solenoid valve had a electrical-short

Hiring a Contractor 
All contractors differs from each other - as every tradesman has different skills which he specialises in.
An Appliance technician are not same as a electrical contractor or a building contractor with whom you are going to spend a couple days/weeks with. With an appliance Chap you just want your unit working as quickly as possible and that is it! - but it is also important that you feel comfortable with your appliance guy and that he has relevant experience.

How to quickly evaluate your Appliance Contractor

There is whole procedure of checking out a contractor that is going to do work for you. In the case of having your appliances repaired you don't want spend hours or sometimes days to check out someone's background and previous work experiences who is just going to change the Microwave oven lamp.

Here is my list for evaluating a service provider.
  • First Impression - Trust your instincts. 
  • Is he working from a physical address - just incase something goes wrong.
  • Does his business have a landline (telkom phone number)
  • Internet profile check it out  or his company
  • If he is soliciting business off the street directly to your door - do not let him in.

Samsung Toploader washing machine

In a next post I will go into more details for checking out a building contractor and how to do background checks.

Please if you have more ideas for checking-out a appliance technician - let us know leave a comment below or one on facebook.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Faulty Radiant burner Element in Glass top electric stove

Stove Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Faulty Radiant burner Element in Glass top electric stove 

Don't you just love the visual effect you see from a Radiant burner Element in a electric Glass top stove - Not to talk about the instant surface heat, it's like having a open flame gas burner stove.
Russel Hobbs glass top stove hob

To do creative cooking on these burner element you need three components to work together in perfect harmony.

Underneath the shining glass top there are;
The switches and wires I will cover in another post but for now just the stove burner/element. When you start noticing dark spots on the element, it is indicating a pending fault. 
Other times It is difficult to always see a visual break in the system but the burner just doesn't come on. 
Then you have to do a continuity test with your multimeter (it should read 0 and 115 ohms of resistance) - No continuity means the element is broken.

Yaks! I heard that !!

 - Ok I will also cover continuity testing in another post because You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do this test but this information will save you plenty in callout and quote fee's.  
Faulty Radiant Element
Once you have removed the glass Check for burned spots like the picture above or if there is a break in the coils.  Don't try to repair the element just replace it.

Beverley I do hope this information help you to make a better informed decision for getting your stove sorted in America.

Enjoy your electrical DIY

Ps: should you need more information leave a comment below or shoot over to facebook

Thursday, December 3, 2015

41ER Stove Switch replacing the NF1 Satchwell Switch

Stove Repairs in Port Elizabeth

41ER Switch

Instead of the old NF1 Satchwell regulator switch Defy is now using a more sturdy switch for their Stove plate (burner / element) controls.

Connecting the wire to the new switch might seems a little more complicated but that is why you have me.

41ER Stove plate switch

If you are as  lucky as I am to Live in Eastern Cape then your stove plates should also work off single phase electricity (220 Volts) and you must add a jumper wire between P1 terminal and terminal 4 (see picture)

The other wires of your stove plate should be connected in the following sequence

  • P2 - Pilot (lamp)
  • 2  -  Load ( to stove elements)
  • P1 - Live (from fuse box or main power terminal)
  • 4A - Neutral (blue wire or Negative)
I hope this information helps to make your appliance repairs more pleasurable?
Should you need more information - leave me a comment below or shoot over to our Facebook page and just ask.


083 52 52 52 2

Monday, November 16, 2015

Operating Theater Lights

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth - Operation Lights

Surgical Lights
Livingstone Hospital Operating room
In the hey days (1800) operating rooms had big windows and they were build facing the sun. The drawback was it meant that operations could only be done at a certain time of day.
Fortunately this has all changed with the invention of electricity.
These days even greater demands are been put on getting a focus color filtered light in the operating theaters because different color lamps makes certain tissue more visible but above all it must also show the true tissue color

Lux Meter is used to measure the amount of visible light at a certain point. Lux units are then measure at 1 meter distance from the emitting light field center to get maximum Lux intensity. One of the major problems with operating theater lights centration and illumination. was heat radiation. With the the help of light emitting diodes this problem was solved and it also help to reduce energy usage.

Guidelines for Operating light requirements

  • Colour Rendering: (Ra) should be 85 to 100 (this is used to distinguish to tissue color)
  • Central Illuminance: Should be  40 000 to 160 000 lux
  • Shadow dilution:  Should be 50% using four different cross light field sections (the ability to minimize obstruction
Listen to me rattling along here but I just can't help myself - illumination is such a fascinating subject to me.

But that is enough information for one post I just don't want to risk losing you to boredom.

On the rare chance Should you need a little more information feel free to leave me a comment below.


PS. Heads up; One of the advantages of doing my craft is you become invisible to the average and making observation about how other people practise their craft has become a hobby of mine - that is why I can confirm that the operating theater matron is running a tight ship and even the personnel of Livingstone Hospital operating theater are just so committed to excellence.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cleaning Washing Machine Inner Drum

Washing Machine Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Cleaning a Washing Machine

How do you know it is time to clean your washing machine inner drum? - when it starts talking to you through your nose and your washed clothing also smells.

Another noticeable sign that your washing machine inner drum is dirty is when you start seeing black spots on the clothes after it has been washed.

After you have put on washed cleaned clothes it always has that freshness smell, but after an hour or two when your body and garments heat up.. . .  a smell starts to filling the airspace around you it could mean
Reasons for smells
  • You are using an inferior washing detergent to wash your washing
  • Under dosing - (using to little cleaning agent will make clothes smell clean but it will not actually remove all the bacteria) 
  • Inner drum of Washing Machine is dirty and covered with bacteria
  • Your personal hygiene skills needs improving

Here is how you should do it

  • Select the Heavy-load or Maximum water setting, because you want your machine to fill up right to the rim.
  • Fill washing machine with Hot water and once it stops add another liter or two which you pour in by hand. The idea is to get the water level over its usual level because just above that normal level is the "black-greasy-rim" which you want to remove.
  • Pour a cup of white vinegar and a cup of soda. Sometimes I use Dishwasher detergent instead, which also removes scum off the inner drum beautifully.
  • Then Switch on the washing machine and let it do a couple of turns  - so that the cleaning mixture can dilute and mix with water.
  • Switch off and let the washing-machine stand for at least 24 hours. Personally I like to leave it for a weekend. Friday to a Monday morning
  • After this soaking period switch the machine on and let it complete the washing cycle with the cleaning mixture
  • If you want you can run it through another wash cycle without anything in it but it not really necessary because most washing machine have about rinse cycle which they take in water and pump it out again.
  • Cleaning a front-loading washing machine is basically the same as a Toploader washing machine you just follow the steps as described above
  • Select hottest wash 
  • Pour Cleaning mixture or 150g Dishwashing Machine detergent directly into the drum or pour it into the soap dispenser tray
  • Switch washing machine on and let fill with water. After it has turn a couple of times it will start to heat up the water. Once it has the machines water is hot (feel the glass door). Turn machine off. then add another 4 liters hot water which you pour in through the soap dispenser.
  • Let it stand for a day or two with water/detergent mixture inside it.
  • After the soak period switch turn power on and let machine complete cycle
I recommended that you clean your washing machine every 6 months but it is entirely up to you,It also depends on what you wash on a regular basis, if it is overalls or sweaty sports clothing - then you should do it more often.

 If you feel you wanna do it every month - Go-for-it!


Ps. We would like to hear from you Leave us a comment. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dirty Washing Machine Hose

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth
Dirty Washing Machine Hose

When was the last time you cleaned your washing machine?

Do you know there are Aliens living inside your Washing Machine and they are multiplying daily.

And you are wondering why you are getting sick

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Cleaning washing machine inner drum