Monday, February 18, 2008

How to diagnose a problem

There are many different ways to diagnose a problem, but all of them basically use the
same reasoning of deduction:

• Where does the consumer think the malfunction is located within the appliance or
air conditioner?

• Where is the actual problem located within the appliance or air conditioner?

• Are there any related problems with the appliance or air conditioner?

• How can the problem with the appliance or air conditioner be solved?

For example, the consumer states that the dryer does not dry the clothes and believes
that the heating element is bad. The actual problem might be a restricted exhaust vent, a
clogged lint filter, bad heating elements, faulty operating thermostats or safety thermostat,
or improper control settings.
When checking the dryer, you might notice that the control settings are set for air drying
instead of heat drying. Thus, the actual problem was that the control settings were not
positioned correctly. The related problem is: “How did the control setting move to the air-dry
position?” This leads to the question: “Does the consumer know how to operate the dryer?” To
solve this problem, you will have to instruct the consumer in the proper operation of the dryer.
All appliances and air conditioners go through a certain sequence of events. Understanding
the proper operation and this sequence as indicated in the use and care manual is beneficial
when diagnosing the appliance or air conditioner.

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