May 11, 2010 – How Ice Makers Work

Posted in appliance parts, Home tagged , , , , , , at 7:10 am by Liliana

Icy Lemonade

Icy Lemonade

An ice maker is an independent small appliance that resides within the freezer.

Components of the ice maker:

  • An internal motor that (together  with a micro switch) specifies how long the water-fill valve needs to stay open in order to supply the correct amount of water. The motor also controls the ice-ejection sequence.
  • Tray for the ice cubes.
  • Thermostat that senses when ice is at proper temperature.
  • Ice cube tray heater; located under the ice maker water tray, it slightly warms the ice cubes to loosen them for ejection.
  • Sweep fork or push bar that pushes the ice cubes from the tray.
  • Holding bin that holds the ejected ice cubes.
  • Shut-off arm (looks like a coat hanger) that operates the switch turning the ice maker on and off.
  • Water-fill valve supplies household water to the ice maker; located on the outside (back of the refrigerator) near the bottom.

How ice makers work:

  1. The internal motor signals the water-fill valve to open the flow of water specified into the ice maker tray.
  2. When water tray thermostat senses that the tray has reached the right temperature, it signals the ice maker to begin ejecting the cubes.
  3. The ice maker then turns on the ice cube tray heater, which warms the tray enough for the ice cubes to move freely.
  4. The sweep fork then rotates and pushes the cubes up and out of the tray; if the ice maker has a push bar instead, it pushes the cubes up and out of the tray.
  5. While the ice maker is discharging the cubes into the holding bin, the metal wire swings up to let the cubes drop down.
  6. When the cubes have dropped, the wire goes back down, unless the holding bin is full. If the bin is full, the wire can’t go all the way down. This action turns off the ice maker until there is room in the bin for more ice.
  7. When there is room in the ice bin, the wire goes all the way down once again.  This allows the ice maker to refill with water and repeat the process.

Enjoy cool, icy drinks on warm days this May.


April 13, 2010 Answers Questions About Water Filters

Posted in appliance parts, Health, tagged , , , , , , , , at 7:11 am by Liliana

Clean Water

Clean Water

How can I be sure that my water filter is working properly?
The only way to be sure is to test the water that comes through your water filter. Inexpensive household testing kits can be purchased at most local hardware stores and home-centers. You can also contact your local water utility company to obtain information regarding your state or national testing labs.

Which is the best type of filter for me to use?
This depends on the level of filtration that you need and want. A basic, activated-charcoal filter is enough to improve taste, and eliminate odor and particle deposits. A reverse-osmosis system is more effective in eliminating water-borne parasites, heavy metals such as lead, and other contaminants.  You need to know what impurities are in your water, before you can decide which type of filter is best for your household needs.  Again, the only way to know what you need exactly is to have your water tested.

Do water filters remove desirable elements, like fluoride, together with the harmful contaminants?
Reverse-osmosis filters remove just about everything, both good and bad. Charcoal filters don’t remove fluoride but may not remove some of the undesirable contaminants, either. It is important to find the correct filter for the contaminants that you want to filter out.

Do I need to filter my city water?
You should not need to, but you may still want to do it.  To be considered safe municipal or city water must meet strict guidelines, mandated by law. To find out more about the water in your town, contact the municipality that provides it. But, even though your city water is safe, you may still want to filter it in order to improve taste and eliminate odors.

Do water filters remove chlorine?
Yes, they do. Activated-charcoal and reverse-osmosis filters both remove chlorine from your water.

If you have more questions about water filters or your other home appliances, please visit

March 24, 2010

Relay For Life®

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Health, tagged , , , , at 7:01 am by Liliana

Relay for Life

Dear friends,
This year, I am participating again in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® with a team from (our team is called The Fix it Crew!) I hope that you will support our efforts with a donation.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life® is a fund-raising event that gives people across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors and people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Relay For Life® raises much-needed funds and awareness to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer.

Please support me in my efforts by visiting my personal web page to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation.

Thanks to your support, the American Cancer Society can:

  • Help people stay well by helping them to take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it’s most treatable.
  • Help people get well by providing around-the-clock assistance and support
  • Find cures by funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand the causes of cancer, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it
  • Fight back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight

Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against cancer … whatever your reasons, I hope you’ll choose to make a difference by making a donation online to support my efforts. Together we can save lives.

Thank you and I will keep you updated on my progress.

January 21, 2010

Chili for Dinner

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes,, Work tagged , , , at 8:01 am by Liliana

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

If you can’t think of what to have for dinner tonight, try this simple chili recipe. It is healthy, delicious, and will warm you up on a cold winter evening. I have made it  a number of times at home and in our RepairClinic kitchen. It was a success every time.

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 4


* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 small onion, diced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 zucchini, sliced
* 2 carrots, thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 2 cans (19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
* 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed


1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
2. Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.