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– a small valve commonly used to connect refrigerator icemaker water
supplies. Clamps onto, or ‘saddles’ a water line, from which it obtains
its water supply. There are basically two types: those that pierce the
water line, and those that require drilling a hole into the line.
– An entire refrigeration system, consisting of compressor, evaporator,
condenser, drier-filter, connecting tubing, and the captive oil and
– a multi-position electrical switch that routes current flow to
different circuits depending on the user’s choice. Usually either rotary
or pushbutton type switches.
– usually seen on the rear legs of automatic top-load washers, these
devices simplify the leveling process during installation. The front
feet are leveled side to side, then the machine is tipped forward a bit
and dropped down onto the rear feet. This mechanism is designed to cause
the rear feet to conform to the floor and level the washer.
– A short plastic support post that anchors to a refrigerator or freezer
liner and upon which the shelves rest. Most turn clockwise to install,
and clockwise again to remove. Come in (too) many different shapes and
Side by side
– Refrigerator with the fresh food and freezer sections next to each
other. Traditionally the freezer section is on the left side.
– In dishwashers, a coarse screen container, usually made of plastic,
that holds silverware and other small items, keeping them from falling
into the sump area.
– Lowest setting of a cooking appliance burner. In newer gas models,
this is adjustable by means of a small screw in the center of each
burner valve. Pulling a burner control’s knob off allows insertion of a
screwdriver into the valve shaft to turn the adjustment screw so the
flame is as low as possible on ‘simmer’ without going out when the
control is turned from high to simmer quickly.
– A small check valve that allows air into a drain system to prevent a
siphon from becoming established. Used mainly in clothes washer drains.
– A disc attached to a motor to prevent water from getting into it and
causing damage, by throwing it away from the motor shaft via centrifugal
force. Often seen above dishwasher motors to help protect them if the
rotary seal should fail.
– Please, no jokes about us old guys with increasingly ‘reflective’
domes! We’re thinking here of electric ranges with some version of glass
over their surface burners. Nice to look at, these are easier to clean
than conventional cooktops - but not terribly practical if you’re a
– A device that adds some friction to a suspension system to dampen
vibration. Most often used on washers in one form or another.
– My Mom had one of these, very finely honed, when I was a kid. These
days, they’re used mainly in high-end dishwashers to ‘read’ suspended
dirt in wash water.
– Electronic circuit that provides the high voltage to spark ignite
modern gas burners. Usually built as one completely sealed unit.
– A large rotary seal (which see) in a clothes washer that protects the
main shaft and bearings.
– One of the longitudinal grooves machined into a shaft to locate
whatever attaches to it, to keep it from turning.
– In dishwashers, this is a rotating, perforated tube, usually
flattened, through which the wash water recirculates during the wash
cycle to distribute it over the dishes.
– A rotating metal device in microwave ovens that ‘mixes’ or randomizes’
the RF waves as they enter the cooking cavity, to distribute them
properly for more even cooking. Often turned by airflow from the
Magnetron cooling fan, although some older units used separate, small
– The changing of a solid to a vapor without first passing through the
liquid state. Ice cubes do this in the dry air of a frost-free
refrigerator over time, shrinking in size if left in the freezer very
long. Mothballs also sublime.
– The ‘low side’ tube that connects a refrigeration system’s compressor
to the evaporator. The larger of the two tubes that make this
connection, and the biggest tube seen connected to the compressor. The
compressor ‘pulls’ on this line, causing refrigerant in the evaporator
to boil off, and absorbing heat in the process.
– Compressors are intended to move only vapor, while pumps are meant to
pump liquid. When a water pump encounters soapsuds – air bubbles – it
can’t handle them, and this is what we call it. The result is no water
– The lowest point in a water-handling system, where liquids collect and
are moved upward.
– Electric range top burner. These come in several sizes, in
‘conventional’ spiral-shaped exposed coils and similar coils of smaller
gauge wire under ‘smooth top’ cooktops. Most operate on 240 volts, and
will glow a bright red on the ‘high’ setting. Many ‘conventionals’ plug
into their own receptacle for easily removal for cleaning.
Surface unit receptacle
– Special Bakelite or plastic block, usually two-wire, into which a
conventional surface unit plugs.
System access valve
– any of the many types and sizes of valves, usually with Schrader style
inserts, used to connect to the inside of a refrigeration system. Some
of these are soldered onto the various sizes of copper refrigeration
tubing, then an interior needle pierces the tubing to gain entry to the
system without losing any refrigerant. Other styles are inserted into
the cut tubing after a repair is done and the system’s been opened. They
all allow a servicer to connect diagnostic gauges, vacuum pumps,
refrigerant bottles, etc, to the sealed system. Soldered-on types can be
left on the system in case future service is needed. Clamp-on types
should not be left permanently connected, because most rely on a rubber
pad seal that will deteriorate over time, causing a leak. This type
valve should be used only as a diagnostic tool - to temporarily add a
small ‘diagnostic charge’, etc.
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