Topic: Academy Talk

Master Samurai Tech Schematic Lab Webinar 10-22-2015

Posted on October 24, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Tech Talk

Wow, what a great Schematic Lab Webinar we had. It was a Schlabinar!

It was our biggest turnout yet for a live webinar. This is a topic that serious students of appliantology can’t seem to get enough of, and I’m not surprised. As y’all know, I preach the virtues of pre-diagnosis, schematic reading, and troubleshooting. These are the premier technical skills we can possess as technicians. Interpreting the mystic scribblings that the manufacturers provide on their tech sheets requires quite a bit of background knowledge, such as understanding basic electricity, series and parallel circuits, and Ohm’s Law, not to mention collaboration with your Brethren in the Craft.

As with all skills, however, it gets easier with practice and knowledge, which was exactly the point of the Schlabinar. We pored over the actual tech sheets for 5 different appliances, using them as a springboard for diving deeper into the interpretation of these documents as well as their use in your troubleshooting.

If you missed it, or would like to review it again to fully absorb all of the info, you can watch the recording and download the tech sheets we reviewed here (NOTE: you must be enrolled as a student in the Samurai Tech Academy and logged in).

Why is it so hard to find good help these days?

Posted on August 1, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk, Career Talk

cost-of-bad-hire-chartIf you’re an appliance repair operator with a fleet of service trucks, you may be finding it difficult to keep them all on the road these days — not because your trucks are broken down but because you can’t find skilled service technicians to staff your growing business.

Why are qualified techs in such short supply? Because, unfortunately, ready-made appliance service techs with the background, experience, technological knowhow, and interpersonal skills you need to keep your business flourishing are nearly as rare as unicorns.


It’s not just the appliance repair industry that’s feeling the pinch of skilled trade scarcity. According to the National Association for Business Economics, there's a shortage of skilled technicians and mechanics across all sectors of the U.S. economy. The Association reported that in July 2015, 44 percent of small businesses came up short in their search for qualified technical personnel. That adds up to a lot of jobs going unfilled — and in our industry, appliance repair business lost.

A lot of this talent shortage can be blamed on the too long and too recent “Great Recession” of the first decade (plus a few years) of this century. So many people who lost jobs simply gave up looking for work and remain unemployed or underemployed to this day. How many of those people, properly motivated and trained, would find excellent and rewarding careers in the appliance service industry? This is a subject ripe for speculation.

Another real problem is the 20th century emphasis on four-year college as the only valid pathway to achieving the American Dream. Thousands upon thousands of young people who took this mantra to heart now find themselves with expensive educations and crippling debt, but no real skills to enable them to pursue rewarding and productive careers. What if a significant proportion of those young people had been encouraged to train for technical or trade jobs that didn’t require the magical BS or BA degree but did offer intellectual stimulation, job stability, good pay, and personal satisfaction? If they had, the jobs outlook for the long-term employed might not look so dismal today — and our industry would be able to find the qualified techs we need, when we need them.

Of those young people who did find themselves in the appliance repair trade, many if not most have learned on the job. Unfortunately, that means they may not be trained to a level that allows them to cope with the increasingly sophisticated electronics and computer-controlled mechanisms of modern appliances. As a result, the appliance repair trade is full of parts-changers calling themselves technicians. Too many of them are really good at taking things apart and (maybe) putting them back together, but troubleshooting, schematics, circuits, and the expanding complexity of 21st century home appliance technology are far beyond their ken.

And to be blunt, some of the blame for lack of good help must rest with repair service owners themselves. Some owners are very skilled and up to date on current and emerging technology but don’t have the time to pass on their knowledge to their techs. Other owners may not have kept their own skills current so can’t properly train their staffs. And a certain percentage of owners simply don’t see the value of comprehensive training or think they can’t afford it.

If you fit into one of those categories (we won’t ask which one), Samurai Tech Academy can help you develop the your technical team’s skills. We are a reliable resource that is convenient and effective, and our courses are offered online so techs can complete modules at times that fit with their work schedule. We’ve found that having a trainee spend an hour or two a day working on the courses, then spending the remainder of the day alongside an experienced tech, gives them an ideal combination of theoretical and practical experience that improves learning and knowledge retention.

A trained, skilled workforce may be easier to find than you think. Samurai Tech Academy can help.


Electrical Concepts for Appliance Technicians, Part 1

Posted on July 26, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Presentations, Tech Talk

Earlier this summer, the United Servicers Association, Long Island, NY, chapter asked me to do a live webinar training for their monthly meeting. They were in a conference room at a hotel in New York while I was in my office in New Hampshire, hosting the webinar from my computer. Webinar sessions are an awesome way to provide in-depth training to techs; not only was I able to show and annotate the presentation, but I could answer questions real-time and carry on a discussion.

Since my audience was experienced techs, I moved pretty quickly through the material and we covered a lot of ground in one evening. The four major topics were: 1) the basics of electricity; 2) series and parallel circuits; 3) Ohm’s Law; and 4) understanding and reading schematics. All of these topics and more are taught in our online Fundamentals of Appliance Repair training course.

This video on electron flow, voltage, and current is the first in a four-part series where I'll be sharing the recordings from that training session. Come with me now on a journey of Total Appliance Enlightenment…


I unpack this much more thoroughly in my presentations in the Fundamentals of Appliance Repair training course. If you or your technicians would like more in depth learning on these topics, check out the Fundamentals course. We offer online, comprehensive, up-to-date, technical training for appliance technicians in the 21st century!

How to Enroll in an Appliance Repair Training Course at the Samurai Tech Academy

Posted on July 13, 2015 by - Academy Talk

Online_Training_400Enrolling in an appliance repair training course at the Samurai Tech Academy is fast and easy!

If you already have an account at, go ahead and log in now.

If you've never registered at the Samurai Tech Academy, don't worry about it-- you can register and enroll at the same time, just continue on...

1. Go to the Courses page to read about our various courses and then decide which training course or course bundle you would like to enroll in.


2. Go to the Enroll page and select the course or course bundle you want to enroll in from the pull down menu. Then, if you haven't yet registered at the STA, you'll enter your profile information.


3. Scroll down to the section of the form that says "Billing Method" and click "Add Billing Method" in the gray box. A secure Stripe payment window will pop up where you can enter your credit card information. Then click the red "Submit Form" button. The tuition payment transaction is completely secure and processed by, a major online credit card processing company.

If you prefer to pay with Paypal, scroll down further and click the link to the Paypal check out page.

That's it! Once your tuition payment has been processed, you are good to go and can begin your studies right away.

If you have any questions about the Samurai Tech Academy course content or enrolling, please call us at 603-290-5516.

Multi-Tech Operators: Can your techs fix these three washers?

Posted on June 12, 2015 by - Academy Talk, Business Talk

If it seems like laundry technology is advancing faster than you and your appliance repair techs can keep up with, fasten your seat belts, because we’re taking a fast ride into a future that is here right now. Here are three examples of innovative laundry systems your team may be called on to service in the not-too-distant future:

Whirlpool Smart Washer/Dyer Combo

Whirlpool's Smart Dryer

Whirlpool's Smart Dryer

Whirlpool’s Smart Front Load Dryer takes advantage of the Nest Learning Thermostat to integrate a home laundry system into an energy-saving mode that senses when a home’s residents are away and automatically reduces dryer heat and drying time to conserve energy. A sophisticated electronic control panel guides decisions about what materials and colors can be washed together or separately and automatically controls water temperature and volume based on load size and content.


LG Twin Wash System

LG Twin Wash System

LG Twin Wash System

Double ovens have been around for a long time, but double washers are a fresh out-of-the-box innovation. LG’s Twin Wash can manage two loads of laundry at once. Imagine the convenience of being able to simultaneously wash delicates in one gentle cycle while a heavier load of towels or jeans gets a thorough cleaning in another — all in a compact, stacked appliance. The dryer unit recirculates heat to save energy, helping keep utility costs under control. If the owner likes to iron clothes right out of the dryer, a steam function within the dryer sprays a fine mist directly on the clothes to keep them at the perfect all-over dampness level for easy ironing.

Samsung activewash

Samsung activewash

Samsung activewash

Samsung’s newest washing machine harkens back to great, great grandma’s washboard — and that’s a good thing. A small sink-like compartment on top of the washer lets users soak or gently hand-scrub fabrics ahead of washing, offering one-stop convenience on laundry day. No more running back and forth to the bathroom to soak delicates in the sink.

Although products like these are so new to the marketplace they probably won’t need service immediately, it’s a good idea to bring your appliance repair techs up to speed before that time comes so they can perform flawlessly when called on. With ahead-of-the-curve training they’ll have the knowledge and confidence to quickly diagnose problems and make needed repairs, keeping customer satisfaction high and company services running smoothly. And having your techs fully trained early in the game will enable them to perform warranty services your less-prepared competitors may have to pass on.


Master Samurai Tech specializes in developing custom continuing education programs designed to keep appliance repair technicians on the cutting edge of technology. Beginning with the Master Samurai Tech Fundamentals of Appliance Repair Course and continuing through the Advanced Schematics Analysis and Troubleshooting Course, you can be assured of thorough, comprehensive training on the ins and outs of home appliance repair — customized to your unique needs, if desired. All Master Samurai Tech training courses develop your employees’ knowledge base with the exact information needed to have a handle on modern appliance technology.


Best of all, Master Samurai Tech self-paced continuing education programs are available on-demand, so your techs can complete the coursework at a time and a pace most convenient for them — during lunch periods, slack times during a work day, or at home on weekends and evenings.

Please call Scott, the Original Master Samurai Tech, at 603-290-5516, so we can understand your needs and help your techs to be prepared for any new model that comes their way.

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