Sunday, July 13, 2008

Appliance Question #4: Microwave parts hard to find

I received an email from Bob:
The label that was on the back of my 'Little Litton' has gone to another world!
Bottom line, I do not find any S.N. or other data to identify it. Consequently, I do not know how to order a new control knob for the front. Mine died......
I appreciate your offer for assistance. If the knob is universal, perhaps there might be one available in Norman, OK or nearby OKC, OK
Thank you.

I answered him via email, but I wanted to share my response with you:

The serial number is not needed to purchase parts. If you still have the use and care guide that came with the microwave, you might find the model number listed in the guide. You will need the model number to order the parts needed. Also, if you remove the outer cover you might find a model number printed on the inner cabinet or the frame.

Litton Industries, is now owned by Northup Grumman. You might want to give them a call to see if the parts are still available. Another place to look is on the web. There are part companies that sell only microwave parts and they might have what you need.

The cost of purchasing a new microwave vs. the repair of the old microwave is a decision that you might want to consider since the prices for a new microwave is cheaper than repairing the old one.

let me know if that worked for you. Remember to send your appliance questions to

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer is here: Room Air Conditioner Maintenance

It's time to save some money on high electric bills.

Room air conditioners (including portable models) have air filters that need cleaning every
225 to 360 fan hours of operation. The discharge grille area also needs vacuuming to remove
the dust buildup. Twice a year, the following areas need to be inspected and cleaned:

• The evaporator coil
• The condenser coil
• The evaporator pan and base pan
• The indoor blower housing and blower wheel
• All the wiring connections and wiring
• The electrical and mechanical controls
• The voltage at the receptacle
• The inside and outside of the air conditioner
• All gaskets
• The drain system (clean it, too)
• The cabinet seal (clean the outer cabinet)
• The copper tubing

When cleaning the air conditioner, use an approved cleaner to wash the unit. Remember
to protect the electrical components and fan motor with plastic to prevent the water from
damaging the components. Refer to the use and care manual that comes with every air
conditioner for further maintenance instructions on the model you are servicing. Do not plug
in or run the air conditioner after using water to clean the unit. Wait a few hours, allowing
the air conditioner to completely dry out.

To prevent electrical mishaps, the air conditioner
must be totally dry before you can plug it in.

For more information on appliance and air conditioner maintenance and repairs order a copy of my book.