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Smart Self-Diagnosing Appliances

Smart Self-Diagnosing Appliances

There is nothing that strikes fear into a homeowner than the suspicion that a major appliance is malfunctioning. Questions race through your mind. Was the dryer making a thumping sound before? Does the refrigerator feel warmer than usual? Is that wet spot near the dishwasher spreading? As quickly as the uncomfortable thoughts arise, so too do the misguided courses of action. Do you ignore it and hope the problem fixes itself? Do you take random things apart to find the source? Self-diagnosing appliances may be just the ticket to ease your troubled feelings. Among the manufacturers whose appliances sport such a feature are LG, Samsung, and Miele.

LG Smart Diagnosis

LG's Smart Diagnosis™, introduced in 2011, demonstrates their commitment to being at the forefront of wireless diagnostic technology. This system is fully integrated with a range of appliances that are branded with the logo shown on the right. It is available in refrigerators, washer/dryer sets, dishwashers, and ranges. With Smart Diagnosis™, you can sync your appliance's diagnostic functionality to your smart phone. The appliance will transmit a sequence of sounds which your phone can interpret to determine a possible issue. To optimize the experience, it's advisable to download LG's proprietary Smart ThinQ™ app which is compatible with iOS and Android.

WF45M5500AP Front Load Washer and DVE45M5500P Front Load Dryer

Though each appliance requires a particular series of button presses to initiate system analysis, the basic approach is similar throughout:

  1. Open the Smart ThinQ™ app on your phone.
  2. Press the "power" button on your appliance to turn it on.
  3. Hold the phone near the "power" button on your appliance as instructed by the app.
  4. Press and hold the button on your appliance.
  5. A series of tones will emit from your appliance while you continue to hold the phone near the "power" button.
  6. The app will issue a verdict on your problem. You'll be directed to either:
    1. Perform minor maintenance yourself.
    2. Contact a tech to address more complex issues.

For an example of using Smart Diagnosis™ specifically on an LG washer and dryer with the Smart ThinQ™ app, click on the video to the left.

Samsung Smart Care

Smart Care is Samsung's offering in wireless diagnostics. Seeming to merely dip its toes into the arena for now, this is only available in certain models of washers and dryers. It is similar in function to LG's Smart Diagnosis™ system. However, rather than providing auditory feedback, appliances use their digital displays to visually convey information to your smart phone. You'll need Samsung's Smart Washer/Dryer app which is compatible with iOS or Android.

WF45M5500AP Front Load Washer and DVE45M5500P Front Load Dryer

For an example of using Smart Care on a Samsung washer, with the Smart Washer/Dryer app, click on the video below.

To perform appliance troubleshooting using Smart Care when an error code appears on the appliance's digital display, you'll proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Smart Washer/Dryer app on your phone.
  2. Touch the "Smart Care" button on your phone.
  3. Touch the "Smart Care" button on your phone again to start the self-diagnostic operation.
  4. Touch the "Next" button on your phone.
  5. Align your phone's camera with the error code on the appliance's digital display.

    NOTE: Hold the camera at an angle in relation to the display. It may take several attempts for the error code to be recognized, so please be patient.

  6. The app on your phone will interpret the problem and:
    1. Instruct you on how to resolve the issue.
    2. Give you the option to press the "Service Center" button on your phone should you need further assistance.

Miele RemoteVision™

Miele has taken a different direction. Their method doesn't integrate an analytical feature into every appliance. Instead, their RemoteVision™ system is a separate module that connects to each of their compatible equipment models. Miele's approach to diagnosis is more passive on the part of the user. Once the module is purchased, you'll attach it to a dedicated port on the appliance. You'll then set up the appliance/module combination to connect with a wi-fi network and register the product. If there is any potential fault with the appliance, Miele's service center is alerted and they will notify you of the possible issue. The impetus behind this is preventative maintenance where RemoteVision™ will advise you of anything amiss before a problem presents itself.

Miele Smart Vision

Famed science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke, posited, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Such is the time in which we live. Barely over a decade ago there was no thought of something as pedestrian as a household appliance being linked to a larger communications network. Because they can now communicate, seemingly by magic, your appliances will talk to you and set things on the right path. Consequently, any uncertainty about how to handle a possibly malfunctioning appliance will be relieved.

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