September 19, 2014

Recall: Frigidaire Clothes Washers Due to Fire Hazard

Name of Product: Crosley®, Frigidaire®, Kelvinator®, Kenmore®, Wascomat®, and White-Westinghouse® clothes washers

Units: About 35,000

Distributor: Frigidaire, of Cleveland, Ohio

Hazard: An internal defect in the washer’s drain pump can cause heat to build up, posing a fire hazard to the consumer.

Incidents/Injuries: No incidents or injuries have been reported.

Description: This recall involves the Crosley®, Frigidaire®, Kelvinator®, Kenmore®, Wascomat®, and White-Westinghouse® top load washers, 3.1 cubic foot front load washers and laundry centers.

Product Type Brand Model Serial Number
Top Load Washer Crosley, Frigidaire, Kelvinator,
White- Westinghouse
CTW100FW GLWS1749FS SWS833HS
FTW3011KW KWS1349DS SWX703HQ
FTW3014KW MWS939AS SWX703HS
FWS1233FS SWS1233HQ WWS833FS
FWS933FS SWS1233HS WWTW3000KW
GLWS1439FC SWS1339HS
GLWS1439FS SWS1649HS
XC90306228 to XC91606302
Front Load Washer Crosley, Frigidaire, Wascomat,
White- Westinghouse
CFW2000FW FTF530FS WE17N
FCCW3000FS GLTF1570FS WTF330HS
FTF1240FS WE17M
XC90501765 to XC91607678
Laundry Center Crosley, Frigidaire, Kenmore,
White -Westinghouse
97812 CLCE900FW GLET1142FS
97912 FEX831FS GLGH1642FS
97962 FGX831FS GLGT1031FS
C97812 FLGB8200FS GLGT1142FS
C97912 GCET1031FS MEX731CFS
C97962 GLEH1642FS SWSG1031HS
CLCE500FW GLET1031FS SWXG831HS
XE85104013 to XE91603486

*Not all serial numbers within these ranges are affected.

Model and serial numbers can be located as follows:

Top load washer = open the product’s lid, and the model and serial number are located inside the product’s lid, on the top, right hand corner.

Front load washer = open the door, and the model and serial number are located with other information at the top, center.

Laundry center = open the door to the dryer, and the model and serial number are located on the outer edge of the door nearest the door’s handle.

Sold by: Sears and other retailers nationwide from February 2009 through May 2009 for between $300 and $1100.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately unplug and stop using the machine. Consumers should contact Frigidaire or Sears (if unit was purchased there) to schedule a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Frigidaire at (800) 734-4519 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.laundrypumprecall.com. For consumers who purchased their product at Sears, call Sears toll free at (888) 549-5870 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday, or visit Sear’s Web site at www.sears.com

CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell them about it by visiting https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx

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Recall: Fiesta to Repair Gas Grills Due to Fire, Burn Hazards

Name of Product: Blue Ember Gas Grills
Units: About 88,000 units in the United States (47,000 gas grills were previously recalled in October 2008) and 25,000 in Canada
Importer: Fiesta Gas Grills, of Dickson, Tenn.
Manufacturers: Unisplendor Corp., of China and Keesung Corp., of China
Hazard: The hose of the gas tank can get too close to the firebox and be exposed to heat, posing a fire hazard to consumers.
Incidents/Injuries: Fiesta has received 161 reports of grill fires, resulting in nine injuries, including two incidents of major burns on different parts of the body, six incidents of minor burns, and an incident involving temporary hearing loss.

Description: This recall involves Blue Ember liquid propane (LP) outdoor grills with model and serial numbers listed below. The cabinet style grill has two doors and is silver and black or silver and gray. “Blue Ember” is printed on the grill’s hood. The model and serial numbers are printed on a rating plate label on the rear of the grill.

MODEL NUMBERS SERIAL # RANGES
FG50045
FG50057
FG50069
07000003 thru 07010912 07057153 thru 07060224
07015613 thru 07018300 07062217 thru 07062344
07064221 thru 07064604
07029021 thru 07031580 07065373 thru 07065500
07032093 thru 07038876 07039261 thru 07039743 07067165 thru 07073548
07039837 thru 07039964 07074189 thru 07074316
07040221 thru 07042332 07074573 thru 07074828
07043013 thru 07043112
08K000001 thru 08K000640
07046416 thru 07046465 07049362 thru 07050897 07056257 thru 07056896 mnorman@fiestagasgrills.com or visit the company’s Web site at www.blueembergrills.com

Note: Health Canada’s press release is available at http://209.217.71.106/PR/recall-retrait-e.jsp?re_id=807

GE’s Appliances for Smaller Homes

One outcome of the declining real estate market has been a move to building and offering smaller homes. It was a trend that had been suspected but earlier this year the statistics were announced that back it up. The average size of homes started in the third quarter of 2008 was 2,438 square feet, down from 2,629 square feet in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.1

Many consumers are looking for smaller digs for a variety of reasons. Some have made a philosophical shift considering a move to a smaller living space less of a down-sizing and more of a right-sizing decision. They choose to use less of the earth’s resources.

Others have made the switch for demographic reasons:

  • The 80 million-strong Generation Y, the so-called “millennials,” want to live in exciting urban settings, are interested in value engineering, and consider smaller living spaces acceptable.2 Urban lofts are hits in cities less populated than New York City or San Francisco– including Louisville, Kentucky; Des Moines, Iowa; and Spokane, Washington, to name just a few.
  • Aging baby boomers are selling their larger homes and trading them for more convenient patio homes, one or two bedroom homes or condos in communities where shared fees pay for property and landscape maintenance.

“Regardless of why a consumer decides to live in a smaller space, there is no reason to lose upscale features in the furnishings within that space – especially appliances,” noted Marc Hottenroth, Industrial Design Leader for GE Consumer & Industrial.

“Both GE Profile™ and Monogram® lines also offer selections that are perfect for the empty-nester who is moving to a smaller home or condo,” said Hottenroth. Monogram was the first GE product line to introduce undercounter refrigerator modules including wine reserve, double drawer refrigerator, beverage centers, fresh food refrigerator or bar refrigerator with ice maker. In addition Monogram offers a slim 18-inch wide dishwasher with stainless steel door or personalized with customer-supplied cabinet-compatible panel. Both models provide effective, yet quiet cleaning power with a five-level wash system and hidden, integrated electronic. The new Monogram 30-inch chimney hoods with sophisticated bold angles and lines, all hand-finished to seamless perfection, provide powerful venting and a striking focal point that elevates small-scale kitchens into grand statements.

Choose the Profile single double oven wall oven or free-standing range, and, in the same space occupied by a standard free-standing range or wall oven, consumers can have 6.6 cu. ft. of combined oven space. The two ovens can be operated at two different temperatures — up to 450 degrees. That’s twice as much cooking for the same amount of space.

Laundry is Moving Up

The next generation of laundry has arrived and the status quo is getting a much-needed makeover. New washer and dryer technologies and innovations in detergents and clothing care save time and energy, making laundry feel like less of a chore.

Everything in its place

Laundry rooms used to be relegated to the basement, but more people are finding space for washers and dryers in convenient areas of the house like upstairs near bedrooms. Experts say installing a “laundry nook” is not only a good investment and can raise the value of your home, but it can make hauling baskets of clothing up and down flights of stairs a thing of the past.

The closer the washer and dryer are to living spaces the more important it is for them to be quiet. “Look for machines with new technologies that reduce vibration for nearly noiseless laundry sessions,” says home design expert Doug Wilson. “If your washer and dryer are out in the open, look for colorful and sleek models that can stand out stylishly on their own. New models are available in a variety of designer finishes such as wild cherry red, Riviera blue and even colors that give the look of stainless steel without the stainless steel price tag.”

Near the laundry area or on the go, make sure to keep the latest stain removal products handy. Treating a stain as soon as it happens can help to ensure your clothing won’t be ruined and prevent the need for multiple washings to remove the stain. Oxygen-based stain removers are gentle, nontoxic and effective on nearly every stain and most types of fabrics. And portable stain-erasing pens and wipes are handy for treating stains no matter where you are.

Get the most out of your wash and save energy

Until now, washers only used one washing motion — tumbling — to clean clothes. Select washers from LG now feature technology that provides a new way to care for your clothes with four new washing motions — rolling, stepping, swinging and scrubbing.Cold care, heavy duty and enhanced hand-wash cycles use a combination of these motions to gently and effectively clean clothes. For example, the cold care cycle uses cold water in combination with these motions to clean clothes as effectively as the normal cycle that uses hot water, but with an energy savings of more than 60 percent.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label on washing machines, and you can cut your water costs by up to 50 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. There are also machines that automatically adjust the water temperature and the amount of water used for each load to prevent excess and waste. Detergent designed for use in cold water helps to save energy by effectively cleaning clothes without hot water.

Another trend in laundry is the use of steam for greater energy and water efficiency. Steam washers and dryers also offer enhanced clothing care options such as short, steam-only cycles that help to reduce wrinkles and remove odors from clothing with using water and detergent (and can help cut down on trips to the dry cleaner in the process, helping to save money in addition to energy).

Stay healthy

With 70 percent of U.S. households affected by asthma or allergies, LG’s SteamWasher with Allergiene cycle gently and effectively reduces allergens, including common triggers — like dust mites and pet dander — on fabrics by more than 95 percent, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

“Now there’s a washing machine that is so effective at reducing common household allergens, the LG SteamWasher, that we are able to certify it ‘asthma and allergy friendly,’” says Mike Tringale, director of external affairs for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Upgrade Your Heating and Air

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are often out-of-sight and out-of-mind when you’re looking to buy a new home, moving into one or just making sure your current home is in good repair. However, updating your HVAC system now can increase the comfort and energy efficiency of your home, and might even qualify you for a tax credit.

With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit if they purchase certain types of HVAC systems, water heating equipment, or make other energy-related improvements to their homes now through Dec. 31, 2010. More information about the tax credit is available at www.AmericanStandardAir.com and www.irs.gov.

How do you know what HVAC improvements are right for your home? American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning offers a quick overview of basic components to consider when purchasing a new system or planning an upgrade:

Outdoor units: air conditioner or heat pump
An air conditioner offers cool, quiet comfort during the hottest days by extracting heat and moisture from indoors. A heat pump does double duty, acting as both an air conditioner and a furnace. But unlike a furnace, it doesn’t burn fuel to create heat — it uses electricity to keep your home warm in winter, cool in the summer and comfortable all year long. A Heritage Hybrid Comfort System combines two different energy sources and automatically operates in the most efficient and economical mode. American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning’s line of Allegiance air conditioners and Heritage heat pumps range in efficiency from 13 to 20 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, the measure of cooling efficiency.

Indoor units: furnace or air handler
A furnace works with an air conditioner to heat and evenly circulate air throughout your home. An air handler performs the same duties as a furnace in homes that use electricity instead of gas. It works with an air conditioner to circulate cool air in the summer. Or, when paired with a heat pump, it circulates cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter.

Air cleaner or filtration system

For even greater comfort, an air filtration system can be added to your furnace or air handler to filter out unwanted airborne particles. A whole-home air filtration system can remove the allergens from the air your family breathes, including dust, dander, pollen and bacteria.

Humidifier
A humidifier adds moisture to the air in winter and in hot, dry climates. It can be attached to your furnace and programmed to automatically turn off once humidity reaches a certain level.

Thermostat
A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts temperatures throughout the day, ensuring greater energy efficiency and enhanced indoor comfort.

Paint Your Appliance Pink Contest

PartSelect.com is pleased to announce the launch of its Paint Your Appliance Pink contest which runs from July 1, 2009 – September 1, 2009. Contestants can enter to win 1 of 3 Pink Prize Packages valued at $369.97 and help PartSelect donate up to $10,000 to Breast Cancer Research.

Breast Cancer is the second most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death in women. It is so common that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.

For each valid contest entry received, PartSelect will donate $25.00 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, up to a maximum of $10,000.

The contest is easy to enter. Simply paint a pink ribbon on any major home appliance and send a photo of it to PartSelect. The ribbon can be located anywhere on the appliance and only needs to be big enough to be visible in the photo. A valid entry consists of one pink ribbon painted on one major appliance. Contestants can enter once per appliance.

Each contestant will be entered into 3 monthly draws to win 1 of 3 Pink Prize Packages valued at $369.97. The Pink Prize Packages consist of a Pink KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Pink Stand Mixer Cover, Pink Silicone Spatula, Pink Silicone Heart Pan, Pink Measuring Cups and Spoons Set, and a Cook For The Cure Apron. Draws will take place on August 3, 2009, September 3, 2009, and October 3, 2009.

The official contest webpage and rules can be found at Paint Your Appliance Pink.

Cleaning Your Water Heater and Some Tips

Cleaning out the water heater might be some people’s idea of a fun day’s activity, but it sure isn’t mine. If you really plan to take this job on, please read on for what essortment.com has to say and be certain that your are ready for the task. Once you start, you’ve got to finish or you’ll be getting soapy water from your faucets for quite a while.

Mineral deposits in the tank, or problems caused by them, are the most common reasons to clean a tank. If you have a gas water heater the deposits form on the bottom of the tank and are usually stuck to the tank itself. Cleaning out the water heater will only remove a fraction of the deposits in there, if that’s what you are attempting to do. Electric water heaters collect any mineral deposits on the heating elements and they usually fall to the bottom of the tank over time. Some of the deposits from an electric tank will flush in the cleaning process; however, many are too large to flush through the drain valve.

If there are a lot of deposits in the tank, you might have to go through the cleaning process more than once to achieve the desired results. In water heaters that are over seven years old this process may cause the water heater to leak so much you will have to replace it, consider this before starting.

Cleaning the tank:

1. Turn the water heater off.

2. Turn the cold water supply to the water heater off.

3. Hook a high quality garden hose to the drain valve.

4. Place the other end of the hose where hot water will not cause damage. The hose should be as straight as possible and all turns should be gradual.

5. Open the drain valve.

6. Disconnect the cold water inlet pipe on the top of the water heater. This step will let air into the water heater so it will drain.

7. When the water heater is empty, close the drain.

8. Pour a gallon of acidic tub and tile cleaner into the coldwater inlet pipe one cup at a time. CLR works best and can usually be found in an economical gallon size. Pause a few seconds after each cup of cleaner is poured into the tank, failing to do so will cause the tank to spew cleaner all over you.

9. Three to five hours later drain the cleaner out of the tank. By this time the cleaner will have either dissolved all of the mineral deposits or have been neutralized. To check if the cleaner is still working, gather the open end of a small plastic bag tightly around the open coldwater inlet pipe. If the bag gradually inflates, the cleaner is still working. If the bag does not inflate, the cleaner has stopped working.

10. Reconnect the cold water inlet pipe and turn the supply back on.

11. Open the cold water inlet valve and let the water heater flush for several minutes.

12. Close the drain valve and open the hot water faucet nearest to the tank and let the water heater fill.

13. When water starts to come out of that faucet, reopen the drain and let the water heater continue to rinse.

14. When the water seems clean and is free of bubbles, close the drain. Open all the hot water faucets in the house to remove all air from the water heater and hot water pipes.

15. After all the air is out of the water heater, turn it back on.

You may get a slight amount of soapsuds from the hot water faucets for a day or two after cleaning your water heater. By this time, the cleaner is so diluted that there is no harm in the small amount remaining. After all of this you may still have problems with your water heater such as rumbling, which means there is sentiment left in the tank. As stated before, this whole process is quite complicated. If you’re still having troubles, it’s back to step one!

Now, if that seems like too much work, you might consider a chemical free cleaning. This cleaning is simpler. Follow steps 1-7 above to drain the water heater,then remove the drain plug.

Next, using a long narrow brush, go through the valve opening and scrub the bottom of the tank, side to side and front to back. The idea is to loosen all the rust calcium deposits and sediment you can. When you’ve finished scrubbing, reinstall the drain valve. Don’t forget to apply teflon tape or pipe dope to the threads so it won’t leak.

Attach a garden hose and open the drain valve. Turn on the water supply to your water heater. Let it run 15 to 20 seconds and turn it off. Let all the water drain out of the tank, add more water and drain again. Repeat this process until the water runs clear, that means your tank is clean.

Once your heater is clean, it’s time to consider prevention so you don’t have to go through this again. Every two to three months you should flush your water heater, as this is much less complicated than cleaning the tank. All you need to do is hook up a garden hose to the drain valve. The hose should be placed so it is as straight as possible with only the most gradual turns. Open the drain valve and let the water flush through the heater; the incoming water will agitate the deposits and some of it will flush out.

Also, installing a water softener is a good idea if you live in an area with hard water. A water softener will break down the minerals that accumulate and cause problems in your tank. Or, you can always replace your current water heater with a self-cleaning version made by State Industries. It’s costly, but may be worth it if you’re constantly battling with mineral deposits.

Buying a Used Appliance

Washing machines and other hardworking appliances seem to know the worst times to breakdown. With the economy causing most of us to be careful with our spending, replacing a major appliance is not high on anyone’s to-do list. Sometimes your just need a few more months out of the machine before a big move or remodel, but then it happens, the squealing, leaking and motor problems – time for a new unit.

A second-hand washer, dryer or refrigerator can be just what you need. We’ve got some suggestions on where and how you can get what you need.

    Buy used appliances at furniture stores. Most of these stores have a section for used appliances and furniture that people have traded in. Check to see if there is a warranty left or if it is “as is.” Some stores offer their own short return period of thirty to sixty days.

    Check the want ads in your local newspaper for used appliances. If you see an ad for something you want, make an appointment to go inspect the appliance. These will be “as is” so make sure the appliance is fully functional before you buy.

    Go online to online stores that sell used appliances. Make sure to inquire about the return policy and ask if there is a warranty on the appliance.

    Visit flea markets in your area to find used appliances to buy. Most of the time these will be “as is” so make sure you plug it in and find out if it works before you buy.

    Find out about neighborhood garage sales to buy used appliances. These are usually advertised by people putting notices around the neighborhood, stating when and where the sale will be held.

    Search craigslist.org for used appliances in your area. Again,be certainthe appliance is in working order as there will be no warranty.

    Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.CPSC.gov) for any recalls on the appliance you find.

Buying a used appliance can be a smart choice, as with any large purchase, do your research and shop carefully.