Sunday, December 27, 2009

Slightly off topic today with portable Generators

Hi Neptuners!

It seems that we rely on our homes to be energized with electricity to run all sorts of time and labor saving devices.

What happens when your power line is severed during an ice storm or a car collides with a utility pole?

I asked myself the same question and decided to be prepared. I recently purchased a propane generator. Actually, it was a Christmas gift for myself. ;-) It is a 3,500 watt model, single phase 120 VAC. I figure it will run the furnace (natural gas), fridge, freezer, sump pump and some lighting. It uses the standard grill type propane tanks and should run about 9 hours at half load.

Once I received it... I filled the oil (.6 qt.) up and hooked up the propane tank and fired it up. I was impressed with how quiet it was. How useful is a generator just sitting there? Not very... I also purchased a 30 amp, 120 VAC inlet box, 10 ft. 10-3 generator hook up cable, the Square D breaker panel generator interlock kit, 30amp 2 pole breaker, 15/15 tandom breaker, 10 ft. 10-2 w/gnd romex wire and misc. hardware.

I plan to install all of the components during my holiday break until Jan 4th! I will shoot some video for you to see like I did for the DVD duplicator I purchased last month. The DVD duplicator has produced about 50 mini DVDs, 35 CD's and so far has done a great job for me so if you need to do some CD or DVD duplication check out the DVD Duplicator site I put up.

I also put up a quick generator site you can check out, too. I love putting up websites... can't you tell!

If you would like to put up some websites I am putting together a training class to teach folks how to put up websites step-by-step. Contact me at if you're interested in putting up websites.

As always, if you have a Maytag Neptune with a timer knob... check out Neptune Help Song for a video that explains the faulty door latch wax motor issue.

Until next time...

Monday, December 7, 2009

DupliQ CD DVD Duplicator is pretty clever

DupliQ CD DVD Duplicator - I just purchased one of these and I was impressed with its simple operation. I was looking for a duplicator that can burn the mini 8cm DVD-R's. It looks like I found it! This device is made by Acronova Technology Inc.

I was going to upload a demonstration video but the Blogger 100 meg limit won't support it.

I have the video at DVD Duplicator where you can watch this clever machine in action...

The reason: I put together a new video for my Neptune Bearing kit purchasers that shows them how to disassemble their Neptune Front Load washers to expose the outer tub. I felt bad because the Tony Tool renters get the famous Tony Tool video that shows Shirley taking apart her Neptune and replacing the bearings and seal. So, I decided it was time that the folks who purchase the Maytag Neptune Bearing and Seal kit get to watch a disassembly DVD as well.

There are basically two types of CD DVD duplicators. You have the stand alone (manual disc load) version where you have a tower with a controller and a number of CD DVD drives. The second is the Host type where the PC runs the duplicator via software and the USB 2.0 interface. The DupliQ is the Host type which is fine with me because my PC stays on most of the time anyway. I wanted to set it and forget it for totally automatic operation. The stand alone duplicators need you to remove and load the discs manually... Not!

Besides, I could not find any stand alone duplicators that support the mini 8cm DVD-R media. I needed this format because it will fit into my bearing kit shipping box where the 12cm DVD would not. Another plus, it adds very little weight to keep the bearing kit under 2 pounds via Priority Mail. Yes!

If you have a need to create CD's or DVD's then check this duplicator out. I also read that there is a way to use this device to automatically rip Cd's into Windows Media Player using free software. You just keep the hopper full of CD's you want to rip. The article writer mentioned he ripped 1,700 CD's in one month using the DupliQ. I know folks that have huge music libraries that could use this cool benefit.

Check out the video at DVD Duplicator and below is the link where you can purchase this duplicator.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maytag Neptune Bearing Question from the blogosphere

Here is a Question I received from a future customer and I noticed he also asked one of the online appliance repair forums and I wanted to share the forum's response to his question...

"Neptune MAH4000AWW "disintegrated" bearing"

10 year old washer was making a lot of noise and I told my wife to just close the laundry room door and ignore it. Wish I'd done some research before I've gotten to where I am. The unit finally failed about 2 weeks ago.

When I took off the front/top I found the belt laying in the bottom of the unit, it looked warn & stretched & warped so I thought "OK, I'll just buy a new belt and put it on". Ordered a new belt from and when it arrived I took the back access off and discovered pieces of the disintegrated rear bearing laying in the brown muck covering the inside bottom of the washer

So now I'm considering an attempt at bearing replacement using instructions from the web (maybe renting the patent pending neptune bearing tool I came across). I've already got the PDF of the repair manual and it has been helpful, except the part about the bearings not being replaceable.

My questions...

1) When the bearing failed the spin basket dropped and the drive pulley carved some groves in the back of the outer tub. I thought a fiber glass /epoxy repair kit would take care of that problem. There are 5 places that are grooved, one near the top completely penetrated the outer tub (about a 2 mm hole), one at the top on the opposite side is almost penetrated and the other three are minor scratches that I probably won't touch. There is also some wear front shroud assembly where the spin basket scraped on it when it dropped while spinning, but it does not look like significant damage. Is attempting a repair on this a good idea? Or should I bite the bullet and buy the entire outer tub with bearings for $475?

2) I purchased a new drain pump when I ordered the belt, because I read that the newer 80 watt pumps are quieter than the old 40 watt pumps. And it's 10 years old. Now that I've got it apart I'm also wondering about the recirculation pump. Or do I return the new (unopened) drain pump and just clean up the old ones?

3) From my research I'm definitely replacing the door locking wax motor. I have the "brown" kind and I guess I've been lucky so far! Thinking about putting a fuse in line with the wax motor to protect the control board based on some instructions I found on the web. Is fusing the wax motor a good idea or pointless with the newer wax motor?

4) As long as I have the unit this far apart are there any other parts I should consider replacing? I'm wondering about struts, springs, hoses, etc. What wears out after 10 years?

5) I'm also buying my wife a new dispenser assembly bottom for $18 because the old one is very rusty from our bad water.

6) Or is it just time for a new washer

The boot was replaced several years ago with the draining type under warranty after the class action lawsuit.

Overall I would have to say that this washer is nice to work on, things are fairly accessible. I'm not an appliance repair person, just a handy person who tries to figure things out. I don't mind putting in the time to do the work. I'm just debating how much money to invest in parts. I'm at $90 now and I just hope another $150 and 3-4 hours of work will get the washer to "near new" condition. Really don't want to buy a new outer tub if I can avoid it.

Thanks for your time and I welcome answers on any questions you think you can answer."

Response from Jake:
"Yes, you would need the outer tub assembly, at almost $500, its not worth fixing, you can buy a brand new Frigidaire front-loader for about $650.

These Maytag Neptune's had so many problems its not even funny. If I were in your shoes I wouldn't waste my time or money on your Neptune, unless you want an endless money pit."

My Response:
There we go again... Jake, another technician whining about how 'bad' the Neptunes are...

I get tired of these techs spewing negative things about the Neptune front load washers. Besides, I thought their lively hood depended on making appliance repairs so why would they complain about Maytag failures? It has really helped my business grow in the last 4 years. ;-)

For Neptune Bearing help and the Tony tool rental see Neptune Bearing.

Yes, the Neptunes had some design issues but they are solid machines once these issues are corrected. Maytag was the first residential front load so you can expect some design issues on a product of this complexity. The issues can be corrected easily, too. I think the issue most Neptune owners have is that Maytag did not stand by their product as well as they should have when the design issues started to surface.

What were those design issues? The door latch wax motor ($20), the door boot mold issue ($64), the motor / motor control board reliability ($174) and now the bearings ($79 or $155 with Tony tool rental). The Neptune timers are very reliable as I have not sold one in 4 years. The door boots do smell moldy but my 8 month old Kenmore Elite HE3T smells moldy after a few days of sitting?

As for the motor control board reliability, I recommend a good surge suppressor and you wait until it fails. You can replace it for $174 at Neptune Help. It takes about an hour to install.

Let’s talk about the new Whirlpools with the rotting spinners… I’ve yet to see a Neptune spinner support rot out. You know why? They are made from the more expensive stainless steel vs. the cheap alloy that Whirlpool uses. Here is an article on the rotting spinners.

Let’s talk about the new Kenmore Elites HE3 and HE3T’s that need bearings and seals after only 3 years… See Elite Bearing for replacement HE3 and HE3T bearings and seal kits. Guess who makes the Kenmore Elites? Whirlpool.

The appliance techs I’ve talked to recently say the new front load machines don’t address the bearing and seal issues enough. I guess water and bearings don’t mix? Maybe the washer Engineers should focus on the bearing / seal reliability issues instead of adding steam, faster spin cycles, etc.

Presently, I have non-technicians starting side businesses repairing Neptune bearings (with the Tony Tool) from placing ads in craigslist and local newspapers charging $200 instead of the $900 to $1,000 that is quoted for fixing the Neptune bearings. Another person is purchasing the returned Neptunes when people buy a new washer and dryer set from box stores for $12.50 each and rebuilding them for resale. He says he can’t keep the Neptune Stackers in stock because customers love these. I’m thinking about starting a new Neptune service army made up of local people who can repair Neptunes… Who knows maybe we can put the whining service tech’s out of a job?

Until next time...

"Everyone knows someone who owns a Maytag Neptune..."


It looks like Jake did not like being called a Neptune whiner.... I guess I could have said complainer instead? I apologize for that. I received the same email from this customer and actually suggested this customer try to patch the outer tub because I know folks who have successfully patched their outer tub... It is obvious he was willing to do the repair and with the Tony Tool rental he could replace his bearings and seal. By the way, I do have an engineering (not technician) background so I believe in finding solutions to problems.

Jake also brought up the Neptune recall as evidence that Neptunes are not worthy machines? I see where Frigidare just recalled new machines in July, 2009, due to fire hazard? And Jake recommended this guy buy a Frigidaire for $650... By the way, Jake must not be married because the wife will want a new matching dryer, too! So the $650 just doubled... And she will want the largest washer for the comforters so the basic Frigidaire will be too small... Look to spend $2K for a decent front load set.

Back to this guy's Neptune... It seems most of this damage could have been prevented if the washer was not forced to keep operating when he knew something was wrong as he said he told his wife to close the laundry door and ignore it.

When it is all said and done... I would rather repair a machine with a few known problems then shell out $2K for a decent new front loader set where I will get to discover all of the new problems...