Defy Refrigerator E4 error code

E4 error code on a Defy Refrigerator is a indication that there is something wrong with the air movement inside the freezer compartment. (Older defy models has a red light blinking)

REASON for code

The freezer has made too much ice and is now all frozen-up or
it could be that freezer system  is low on refrigerant (gas)

Possible Causes

1. The freezer door wasn't closed proberly - just closed enough to switch off "door open" alarm and open enough to let moister in - resulting in over condensation on condenser.

2. Abnormal high open and closing of freezer door. In our part of the world (Port Elizabeth) the over icing often happens during summer because we have more humunity in the air during summer and the freezer are opened more frequently for treats.

4. Defrosting Element not heating - therefore not melting the ice - buildup

5. Pc control panel has gone on the blink

6. Refrigerant tubs has rusted  causing a gas leak.

I hope the post has help you to make a more informed decision about your next step. Also read some of my previous post  



Refrigerator Regas or Not

Refrigerator Repairs

Refrigerator Re-gassing or Not!

That is the question!

This post is to help you make better informed decisions if you should regas your refrigerator or not.

Refrigerator sides and insulation removed 

Disclaimer:  I do not want to talk myself or any refrigerator-contractor out of business. I am all for helping any client with their refrigerator problem. Therefore with this post is to help you make better decisions about appliance repairs. 

Another reason for this post is to help you ask the correct questions, then weigh-up the pro and cons before re-gassing your refrigerator.

First step is for you to confirm your unit is low on refrigerant - if you haven't read my previous post on "Signs of low refrigerator gas" do it now! just click here.

General refrigerator principals
  • Refrigerant (gas) doesn't get used-up by the fridge, it is recycled all the time.  if refrigerator needs gas; it has a Gas leak!
  • It is normal for a industrial refrigerator to develop gas leaks (because of the powerful compressors and fans going On/off all the time) but its not normal for a domestic refrigerator to start leaking.

Questions to Ask
  • Was the refrigerator moved recently;- sometime the movers pick the unit up by grabbing on the outside hose to get a firmer grip. Causing one of the back gas-tube-connections to spring a leak. (this is a easy repairs)
  • Were the refrigerator wash and cleaned recently - pressing on the inside to clean could make the all ready rusted gas-tubes to crack causing the gas (refrigerant) to escape.

Refrigerator Gas pipes exposed

Why did the old refrigerator lasted longer
  • Vintage fridges and freezers were build from better materials, the Appliance manufacturers used more coppers and aluminium inside the cooling-units. Fridges were so heavy, people didn't move them around all the time
  • The older refrigerators where build to last because companies still believed in building Brand names and the honor that gets associated around them. Now they build fashion refrigerator that will enhance the kitchen decor and also the shareholders wants a turnover
Refrigerator must look good! 

  • All the ugly gas tubes and motors must be hidden away - inside the unit
  • In the Heydays manufactures made used of cold-plates (condensers), no galvanized  cold pipes were use to form ice. Tubing would come straight out the fridge and be sandwiched in-between the hot evaporator to make sure that no condensation (water) settles on the gas tubes 
  • Manufactures construct modern refrigerator by letting galvanized gas-tubes run around the cabinet then they add insulation foam in between the sides. This is a sure recipe for a gas leak.
Do the maths! Galvanized gas tubing + Ice/H20 (water) @time = Rust # Gas-leak

Refrigerator rusted gas tubes exposed

Clients ask us everyday to regas or top their refrigerators with refrigerant(gas) and we always are very happy to oblige on condition they are aware the risk involved.

Re-gassing or topping a refrigerator  is a catch 22 situation; you have to do it to see if it is going to work. There is just no way of knowing if the compressor pump is circulating the gas or if the gas system has a blockage (preventing the gas from circulating).

 I do hope I have given you enough information to work with. Should you need more just drop me a line.

Washing Machine filled with water

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

How Do you get Trapped laundry out of a washing machine

Whatever you do - Don't ever use physical force!
Two things will happen if the door are force-opened
  1.  You are going to break the interlock door switch(safety switch) - Expensive mistake!
  2.  Secondly you are going to flood the floor when the water comes gushing out.
The Door-safety-switch will not open while the washing machines inner-drum is still filled with water.

There are several reason why water gets trapped inside a washing machine;
  • Kink or bend in outlet hose
  • Drain-Filter is blocked
  • Drain pump has failed
 But let me answer the important question first

 " How do I get my trapped laundry out of the washing machine?"

You know now that the washing machine door has a interlock switch (safety switch)behind the front panel that prevents the door from accidentally opening during a washing cycle. 

This switch is there because you do not want little children to opening it during a high speed spinning cycle or while it is still filled with water. So the big thing here is to get the water out

This brings me to the Next BIG question. . .

"How do I drain the water in the Washing Machine" 

  1. Line up two buckets or water containers on the floor
  2. Unhook the Washing Machines drain hose from the wall outlet
  3. Drop  the washing machines drain-hose into the first bucket
  4. Let it fill 3/4 with water and move the outlet hose to the second container
  5. will the second containers is filling with water empty the first containers water
  6. Keep rotating the container till all the water is drain from the washing machine
  7. Once all the water is drained out of the washing machine the interlock-switch will release
  8. Washing Machine Door should open like normal to release the laundry

Heads up! Some washing machine has a little drain hose hidden in the front cover, all you have to do is just open it. Let the water drain-out into the rotating bucket system.

If you lucky and the washing machine is standing close to a outside door - just drop the outlet hose and let the laundry-water run out.

Draining the laundry water with the bucket-system will tell you two thing

  • If the water are draining slowly out of the washing machine, there must be a blockage somewhere in the draining system
  • When the water are draining freely - it means no blockage in pipes and there must be a gremlins in the Electric-water-pump.
WHY does Electric water-pump fail

A water-pump normally goes on the blink when something ( hairpins, money) get lodge in the pump impeller - preventing it from turning. By the time you realize the washing machine is not drain, the water-pump has overheated and burned-out.

Most of the time you cannot even see the that the water-pump got damage and when you touch or move the pump impeller it works fine again for a short-time. Just when you really need to get important laundry done it will go on the blink again.

So just the right thing replace the old pump with a new water-pump.

Happy washing!


Bosch electric hand Drill

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Bosch Electric Hand Drill

Bosch makes some of the best power tools at a decent price. There are better brands like Dewalt and Makita hand tools but I assure you your pocket will feel it.
repairs to electric hand tools

The biggest reason why electric hand tools fail is overheating, especially domestic types can only work for short periods of time - work 10 minutes then rest for 10 minutes.

Part time handymen tend to hold the electric tool with their hand around the tool cover the  vents - not good.
Always to use the extra handle supplied with the tool, do not hold the electric machine in your hands because the changes are very good that you are going to "accidentally" block the vent while operating it, causing it overheat.

The two above tips are good but try telling that to my friend Bjorn who is of those high powered executives which likes to get everything done at super fast  speed.

                "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" - Alice in Wonderland

Asking him he to work slower with his electric hands tools, Is like telling the white rabbit to it easy.
Damaged Bosch Drill carbon brush holder

The above drill overheated and melted the brush holders. Changing the position of the brushers with change the direction of the drill bit rotation. Because it was melted together the operator tried forces the selector(big red plastic) and off cause you know what happened.

I was very fortunate to find "seconds" at the guys down in north end. Always great to know people who still provide good old fashion service that goes the extra mile.

Appliance Thermostat

Appliance Thermostats

All Appliance has some kind of a temperature controller in them to regulate the heat or cold build-up in them.
Stove and refrigerator Thermostats

Thermostats are nothing more than a on/off switch with a intelligence which can control a predetermined  temperature for Appliances like Refrigerators, Ovens, Microwaves, washing machines, tumble dryers and even GHD's has it.

Most people tend to think that a thermostat works the same as a water-tap; -

If you turn the thermostat setting higher more coldness or heat will flow.

Nothing can be more further from the truth

Refrigerator compressor and stove elements only work at 100% capacity - circulating refrigerant (gas) at full speed. The same with a oven element it only works full blast.

Once electric power is connected to a heating element it will go red-red hot till you cut the electricity by using a on/off switch(wall plug) or regulator( stove plate switch) and lastly a thermostat. Same with a compressor it only pumps gas full speed.
so you see there is no such thing as heating element or compressor operating on a slower
Appliance Thermostats

There are so many thermostat variouses on the market but I will just cover some of the more popular types we use in repairing everyday appliances.

I just need to get this out of the way first, a stove plate/element regulator (switch) is not a thermostat but I will tell more about them in another post.

Electronic temperature Probe for refrigerator

Kinds of thermostats

  • Mechanical thermostat; Used in Refrigerators and Ovens
  • Electronic thermostat(module); Fridges like Defy has them and the new generation ovens of samsung and whirlpool
  • Thermistor; used in GHD's, toaster, irons and kettles

Appliance thermostat Anatomy

  • Capillary; A Thin tub filled with gas which reacts with temperature changes 
  • Sensor probe: Attached to one end of the capillary tub one and connected to the unit you want to control.
  • Controller; Other end of capillary is connected to controls and the knob has number on it giving you the impression that you are increasing or decreasing "something" . . 
Well I hope this has given you something to think about and next time when you refrigerator over-ice or the oven over-tan the pie don't just assume that it is the thermostat that has gone on the blink.

Should you need more information write me an email.

083 52 52 522

Samsung Microwave Switches

Most microwaves has three micro-switches in the door which controls the flow of electricity and also acts as a safety mechanism. 

Never Ever-EVER stop the microwave cooking process by opening the door, rather press Stop button.

Energy Regulators

Stove Repairs in Port Elizabeth
Siebel Energy Regulators

Energy Regulators are Infinite switches that turns electric stove plates/ elements/ burner on and off. By turning the rotary knob to various setting it controls the temperature of the heating device (stove plates).

How an Infinite Regulator works

Inside the Regulator is a bimetallic strip that heats up when electricity passes through it. After a few seconds the heat causes the bimetallic strip to bend (warped) - then a spring-loaded control to open (cutting the power flow). Once the power is cut the bi-strip starts to cool down again, returning to its original position (Shape). When the bimetallic strip is back in its original shape the whole process starts over again.

The abovementioned mechanical actions is done on very petite scale and it cannot handle the heavy current of a stove plate or heating-element. The simmerstat (fancy name for regulator) needs the help of a more robust spring loaded switch or contactor that mirrors the actions of the little guy mention in the first paragraph.

Now who says the little guys has no Say? -  I will tell you more about the mighty contactors in a later post.

By turning the knob to its highest setting it will take longer for the little guy (bimetallic strip) to reach "cut-off (bend) and the heating device gets hotter


Mechanical switches/regulators generate a spark (arcing) everytime it make contact or switches on/off which can cause interference on a radio and electronic gadgets. However if this situation should ever occur, it is easy-peasy rectified with the help of suppressors.

As always I hope this has added some value to your thinking, should you need more leave a comment or contact me on Facebook.

083 52 52 52 2

Diagnosing Noisy Toploader Washing Machine

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

The reason for this post is to help you identify possible causes and solutions for a noisy Toploader washing machine. There are a couple of things that can causes a Toploader Washing Machine to become noisy and the noise mostly appears during a Spin-cycle. Everyday things like a bra-wire, coins or hair clips get stuck between the inner and outer drums of your Toploader washing machine will make a racket when washing machine goes into the spin-cycle.
Anatomy  of Toploader Washing machine undercarriage
There are two areas where the noise normally comes from in a toploader washing machine and that is from the drain pump or the inner washing machine drum. Actually there are more things could cause a noise (stabilizers) but they are so far and wide that I'm not even going to discuss them today. If they should ever come up you just drop me a line and we can chat about it.

Drain Pump 

You should hear a noise every time when the machine goes over into a drain cycle. All you have to do is open your drain filter hatch and remove all debary that is lodge inside the filter house-ing.

if the noise persists even after you have cleaned the filter, it means that the pump-pulsator is damaged and the drain pump needs to be replaced.

Noisy during Spin cycle

There are a couple of things that could causes the Washing machine to become noisy during the Spin-cycle.

  • Inner wash drum has detached from outer wash drum
  • Inner drum assembly (spider) has crack
  • Gearbox is busy failing
  • Center bearing is rusted and dry
  • Foreign object is lodge between inner and outer drum
Do the following exercise

Run the washing machine on the Spin cycle without anything in it 
  • If the noise are gone it means the inner drum spider assembly is cracked and needs to be replaced
  • If the noise are still there without a load in the washing machine it could be two things
  1. There is a foreign object logged in between the outer and inner drums. This is a easy fix and all you need is a set of "braai-tongs" and some pointer from me.
  2. Center seal has collapsed and water has leaked through the gearbox - onto the bearings. Tilled the washing machine about 45 degree backwards and let it lean against a wall. Get down on your knee and while you down there you can do two things;-  humble yourself, have some gratitude and be grateful for the luxuries of owning a washing machine. Secondly look for rust and water leaks.
When a toploader washing machine has rust markings in the centre it means that it is leaking from the centre seals. 
Speed Queen washing machines has a mechanical seal that can be replaced. 

Samsung and LG toploader washing machines normally springs a leak through the gearbox and seals are not available in South Africa which means you have to replace the whole gearbox assembly.
Whirlpool washing machines never leaks, actually I have had it once or twice that the agitator shaft seal would go and water leaks straight into gearbox

Defy toploader has the durability of the speed queen and whirlpools but are in the economical price range of the samsung's and Lg's, they hardly ever develop centre water-leaks. 

Lastly look for water streaks around around the edges on the outer casing of the washing machine because sometime this will tell you its not that serious and it is only a water hose that has perish.

Thank you for stopping and I hope you have found some value, should you need more - leave a comment below.


Cooking Pot at Jose Pearson Hospital

Industrial Catering repairs in Port Elizabeth
Cooking Pot repairs at Jose Pearson Hospital
Oil jacket industrial Cooking Pot
The Oil jacket Pots are cooking again and the food is great at Jose Pearson Hospital. If you ever should feel like staying over in hospital for a meal this is thee place. The kitchen is loaded with talent, from the cooks to chefs the just amaze one. When it comes too dishing up the warmth and friendliness fills the room

Only one contactor is working
Heads-Up for the Kitchen staff at Jose Pearson Hospital. Keep creating masterpiece in each plate you are serving.

Bon Appetite!

Remote gate Repairs

Remote Gate Repairs in Port Elizabeth

The biggest reason why remote gate motor fail can be prevented by performing a few simple tasks regularly.
Spiderweb covered control module

Simple Preventive maintenance tasks

  1. Grease the Wheels: 
All visible wheels should be lubricated regularly (once a month if you are staying at the coast like we here in Port Elizabeth). In the olden days we use to use oil but now you can buy a can of silicone spray or liquid grease. These canned products makes it so much easier and cleaner to lubricate the wheels.  Most gates has two wheels at the bottom and two stabilizer wheels on top.

      2.Pop the Top:

Remove the top cover of the gate-motor regularly to do a visible inspection of the inside. 

Look for the following 
  • Water streaks and marks - moisture on the electronic can cause havoc. 
  • Insects - If you see one you can be sure his friends are sleeping somewhere in the warm gate motor dome.  Crochers love to lunch on the printed electronic boards.
Ants on the other hand are gathers, they bring you food and stuff. I myself are a ant person - just love the little hardworking fellows. So don't use mean insecticide on them. Rather go for a more natural ways to make them move.  
  • Chalk-line around gate motor unit - ants hate getting covered with chalk
  • Cotton Balls dipped in peppermint essential oil - they don't like the smell 
  • Peppermint oil mixed with water in spray bottle have the little hallers move quick-quick
  • Some people also spray vinegar diluted with water but if you spray directly on them they will die.  Rather do not use this method
Weather damaged Gate-motor control  module
Did you know

The chemical progress (between positive and negative ions) inside a battery is slower once the outside temperature gets cooler.

If you are living in an area where the temperature drops very low at night it might be a good idea to install a lamp inside the gate motor dome that is connected to a temperature sensor. The lamp will turn once the temperature drops and heat up inside the gate motor dome so that the battery can perform at it optimal level.

You can buy these temperature sensor at most good hardware store. They are inexpensive and it is a easy DIY.
Centurion control module neatly covered

Do you have tips and advice on how to keep our little friends at bay and maintain your remote gate unit. Please leave us a comment below.

Happy remoting
083 52 52 522

Ovens and Stoves Cleaning

Oven and Stove Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Dirty Defy stove controls

Here at All Appliance Repairs we always suggest not keeping your oven too clean. 
Ovens need a fatty/oily layer to protect the grooves and seams from moisture causing rust.

Defy Ovendoor covered in grease

Recently we had the pleasure of working on a extreme Dirty Defy Stove that even had me blinking and because I love appliances - seeing an appliance go into despair just breaks my heart.

Dirty Spiral Plate 

Too much fat buildup will have the opposite effect, instead of protecting - it allows the steam/spills to go underneath the buildup preventing moisture from evaporating causing the oven and plate-under cups (reflector cups) to rust even faster

Rusted Spiral Plate reflector cup
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying you should keep a dirty oven or stove in your home, I'm just suggesting that you take precautionary measures and leave a thin layer of fat/oil. It’s actually funny seeing some people’s faces turn to horror when I tell them their oven is too clean, some women even shiver in horror by the mere thought of a dirty Oven in their home.

Over the years I've had the honour to be rubbing shoulder with some of Port Elizabeth greatest Chefs, One thing I know from them is that the secret to a magnificent meal is in the equipment and the preparation. If your cooking equipment is dirty or if it works inconsistently, you will taste it in the end.

Tip: Never tell the cook his oven too clean!

Defy stove Hob can be lifted to clean

"I'm late, I'm late, I'm late." said the White Rabbit.

Modernday oven and stove cleaners are extremely aggressive, its made to give you instant cleaning-results.  (it's especially made for people with no-time-to-waste on cleaning their ovens because they must Earn-more to pay for regular oven replacements.) The Combination of aggressive oven cleaners, moist air and heat will get into the joints will get into joints/grooves making it rust.

The following Cleaning methods has stoot the test of time;

Bicarbonate of soda cleaning method          

  •  Mixed Bicarbonate of soda with Hot water so that it forms a paste. Then smear this paste onto the grease inside the oven and leave for a couple of hours. The past will soften the dirt and also absorb odours. Your might still need a little bit of elbow-grease but in the long run it is worth it. Some people say instead of water one should use white vinegar. Give it a try and let us know about this one.
  • Alternatively made a cleaning past with Lemon juice and bicarbonate soda is great to remove odours and minor grease in your microwave oven
  • Cooking oil or silicone spray will break up grease if dabbled over the dirty spot. This is especially recommended for glass and stainless steel ovens or hobs.  appliances will shine after cleaning with this method.

The above cleaning methods with leave your appliances fresh and clean without the harsh chemical smell to breathe-in.

Enjoy the cleaning but above all enjoy the baking

Pine Pienaar 083 52 52 5 22

Ps. Did you know baking soda is a type of salt - sodium carbonate plus sodium carbon dioxide

Refrigerator sides are Hot

Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Refrigerator sides are hot

Being warm on the outside is normal for a Refrigerator.
Commercial fridges even have heating elements fitted but Domestic Freezers and Fridges have warm pipes inside the cabinet walls circulating around the refrigerator.

How does it heat up happen

Refrigerant (gas) is circulated through the system by a compressor. The tubing that radiate heat are purposely installed inside the sides of the cabinet foam to emit heat from the gas while the compressor is working

When the compressor is off, the sides are cold.

Why the Heat
  • It helps to prevent condensation (sweating) and ice forming on the outside of the freezer, preventing rust
  • Keeps the fridge door gaskets soft
  • It also stops freezer door from icing up, preventing the door gaskets tearing upon opening

Reason for excessive heat

In summer when the outside temperature is higher, refrigerators-sides also tend to feel hotter than usual. We tend to rely more on our fridges for contentment in hot weather which means it get open more often. Every time you open the door all the cold air falls out and hot air rushes in, the compressor must work more often to get the content chilled again.

·  Refrigerator compressor runs more/longer than normal when:-

o Large quantities of warm food or beer was loaded into refrigerator
o Refrigerator has been off/storage for a time
In both these instances the sides should cool down once the inside load cools.

Possible Solutions and Preventive measures
  • ·         Make sure there is enough space at the back for ventilation
  •           Check that it’s clean behind refrigerator (the condenser coils).
  •           Pet hair, lint and dust will make refrigerator run warmer
  •           Move fridge to a cooler location - never near a stove or oven

As a last resort you could set up a desk fan behind the refrigerator but I think this is more for your own peace of mind.

Enjoy the summer



Should you need more information just drop me a email or shoot over to Facebook