Major Appliances: Operation, Maintenance, Troubleshooting + Repair--Intro + Index

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This guide has been designed to provide a thorough and practical study of the major appliances used in most residences. This guide will provide a basic knowledge of electricity, electronics, refrigeration, and major appliance operation. This guide is designed to be a complete text for anyone wanting to learn this exciting and rewarding field, especially those in a post-secondary training program.

The content emphasizes more practical aspects of the subject matter. Wherever possible, sections are included that cover the operation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of major appliances.


1. The fundamentals necessary for successful servicing of major appliances are covered first, along with sections on safety, the service occupation, customer relations, tools and instruments, service techniques, installation, basic electricity and electronics, proper lubrication procedures, refrigeration principles, air control, water chemistry, and combustion.

2. The operation sections contain in-depth information on how each appliance is designed to work. The theory of operation is presented in clear, familiar terms so that the beginning learner is not discouraged or confused.

3. This guide is written using common terminology and language pertaining to the field.

4. Each section is concluded with QUIZ (where applicable) that the learner should be able to answer after completing the section.


  1. Section 1 provides the learner with the common safety procedures used in the major appliance industry. This section covers the safety of the worker, safety of the equipment, and safety of the contents, in addition to welding safety, safety in handling refrigerants, safety in working with electricity and electronics, and safety in working with solvents.
  2. Section 2 covers the occupation of major appliance servicing. Also presented are the nature of the work, the responsibilities and different classifications of appliance technicians, problem solving techniques, customer relations, advancement, effective use of time, and the need to continue learning the business and covers the basics of customer relations involved in the major appliance service business. Also covered are appearance, work habits, and the ability to communicate effectively.
  3. Section 3 provides an overview of the tools and instruments used in the trade. Each of the tools and instruments common to the field of appliance service is presented separately, so the learner will have knowledge of its use when it becomes necessary to use it.
  4. [under constr.] Section 4 introduces the learner to basic electricity and electronics. The electron theory, sources of electricity, resistance, electrical and electronic circuits, diagrams, charts, P and N materials, current carriers, diodes, transistors, IC circuits, circuit boards, and modules are covered, along with control problems and unusual service problems.
  5. Section 5 covers the reasons for proper lubrication, how lubrication works, bearing types, bearing failure, and bearing replacement procedures.
  6. Section 6 introduces the learner to the principles of refrigeration. Also presented are heat flow, heat laws, pres sure, temperature, pressure-temperature relationships, the refrigeration cycle, flow control devices, trouble diagnosis, and service procedures.
  7. Section 7 covers the basic control of air in buildings. Air movement, pollutants, filtering, germicidal and ozone lamps, the effects of temperature and humidity, and air system maintenance are also presented.
  8. Section 8 presents the chemistry of water, water testing, detergents, and the different qualities of water to the learner in familiar terms so that the material can be easily understood.
  9. Section 9 covers the fundamentals of combustion. The different types of fuels used with appliances, the combustion process, the different types of flames, and the upper and lower limits of flammability are also presented.
  10. Section 10 covers the operation of room air conditioning units. Sizing room units, air systems, electrical diagrams, the refrigeration cycle, and troubleshooting charts are also presented.
  11. Section 11 covers domestic refrigeration systems, their operation, location, automatic ice makers, electrical problems, electrical diagrams, and troubleshooting charts.
  12. Section 12 presents domestic freezers, their operation, location, refrigerant cycle, electrical components, electrical diagrams, and troubleshooting charts.
  13. Section 13 covers the use and operation of dehumidifiers, along with the different types and their capacities. Section 13 also discusses the need for humidification equipment in buildings. The effects of different types of water, air flow, water flow, and maintenance are also presented to the learner.
  14. Section 14 covers dishwashers. The installation, operation, electrical power supply, water supply, use, opera- lion, and service procedures are also presented. Trouble shooting charts and electrical diagrams are presented to aid the learner in understanding dishwashers.
  15. Section 15 presents electric and gas dryer installation, operation, component replacement, electrical diagrams, component location, burner adjustments, and troubleshooting charts to the learner.
  16. Section 16 covers gas laundry centers. Washer and dryer construction and operation are covered. Also included are maintenance and component replacement procedures to help the learner understand these operations.
  17. Section 17 presents the theory of microwave ovens. Use, safety procedures, installation, service procedures, electrical diagrams, test instruments, and troubleshooting charts are also covered.
  18. Section 18 covers electric wall oven operation and maintenance. Self-cleaning ovens, electrical diagrams, and troubleshooting charts are also provided to the learner.
  19. Section 19 discusses the operation and maintenance of gas ranges. Also presented are control adjustments, burner adjustments, and gas ignition.


It’s difficult to express the amount of self-satisfaction realized when a dedicated appliance service technician success fully completes a service procedure. This satisfaction comes from knowing that a correct and economical service has been provided to a fellow human being.

To achieve this type of success requires dedication to learning and use of this knowledge in performing appliance service work. The knowledge is gained through study and understanding information such as that presented in this textbook. The more a person knows about a given machine, the easier the troubleshooting, maintenance, and repair of that machine becomes.

Each brand and model of appliance will be a little different from the rest. However, when the basics are known, they can be applied to aid in determining the cause of the problem and the steps required in repairing it. This guide provides that basic information.

There are several steps that you can take to make certain that you are getting the most from this guide and course. The first step is to become aware that learning re quires active participation by you, both in the classroom and when you are studying the material in this textbook. You must take an active part in the theory as well as in the laboratory exercises.

There are several habits that must be developed. First, you must regularly attend class. While in class, don’t sit back and let someone else do the projects. To learn the most be active in class participation.

You should take time to learn the terminology used in the appliance industry. You need to know these terms so that you can apply them correctly at the proper time. Take time to commit the meaning of new terms to memory.

Follow the procedures and examples given in the text book. This will help you develop the analytical skills that are so important in appliance service work. Remember that practice, in addition to study, will help you tremendously in developing service skills.

You should realize by now that there is a lot involved in being an active learner. However, the knowledge gained will be well worth the extra effort. Your skills as an appliance service technician will be indicated by your increased ability to service appliances. This increased ability will also be rewarded by better pay and recognition. My best wishes go with you always.

Table of Contents

Section 1 SAFETY

  • Safe Servicing Practices
  • Safety Procedures
  • Welding Safety (Oxy-acetylene)
  • Safety in Handling Refrigerants
  • Safety in Working with Healing Equipment
  • Safety in Working with Electricity and Electronics
  • Working on Energized Circuits
  • QUIZ


  • Classification of Appliance Personnel and Their Responsibilities
  • Requirements for Appliance Technicians
  • Repairing the Machine
  • Pre-service Inspection
  • Customer Instructions
  • Use of Your Time
  • Service: A Necessity
  • Education: A Never-ending Task
  • Customer Relations
  • Things to Remember when Working with Others
  • Affecting the Customer’s Attitude
  • Understanding Yourself
  • Knowing Your Customers and Fellow Employees
  • What to Expect from Good Human Relations
  • QUIZ


  • Tubing Cutters
  • Flaring Tools
  • Tubing Reamers
  • Reversible Ratchets
  • Gauge Manifolds
  • Pocket Thermometers
  • Charging Cylinders
  • Fitting Brushes
  • Materials
  • Test Instruments
  • QUIZ


  • Friction
  • Equipment Design
  • Bearings
  • Lubricant Properties
  • Shaft Seals
  • QUIZ


  • Theory
  • Use of Controls
  • Installation Information
  • Electrical Grounding
  • Testing Outlets
  • Disassembly, Adjustments, and Replacement of Parts
  • Troubleshooting


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