Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I am a repairman

Oh dear, how I had been set up to fail. About three years ago R bought Mother a new upright vacuum cleaner. For a while she continued to use the smaller rechargeable one her friend had bought her, but in time she grew to like the cleaner R bought for her. The machine's dust container is a little tricky to empty. Even smart Tradie Brother kept getting its reassembly wrong. I think he needs reading spectacles. About a month ago when I last visited Mother, I emptied the container and put it back together properly and mentioned to Mother that Tradie Brother had not been putting it back correctly. Mother passed this on to Tradie Brother quickly enough, and he agreed that he had not put the dust container back in the absolute correct position.

Score over Tradie Brother.

Two days after emptying the vacuum clearner, Mother rang. There is something wrong with the vacuum cleaner. It is very noisy, not cleaning properly and cuts out after ten minutes, then restarts after five minutes.

Full of self doubt, I ran through my mind, did I really reassemble it correctly? Did I put the filter in the wrong way. Self doubt gave way to analysing. I knew what the problem was. It was so obvious to me. Friday past was the first opportunity I have had to visit Mother and have a look.

In the meantime, Mother's male friend has looked at the vacuum cleaner, as has ABI Brother, Tradie Brother and Sister. Each time, Mother said, don't worry, Andrew will fix it. What a responsibility. The day before my visit to Mother's R said, you better take your mother to the shops and buy her a new machine. There is a light weight Hoover upright rechargeable being advertised on tv. I was non committal. Just let me look at her old one first.

Mother's only helpful remark was that the thing doesn't spin around anymore. Mother, it is only dust swirling around in the dust container.

The night before I told R, it is perfectly logical. The motor has not worn out in three years. Electric motors are wonderful nowadays and they last forever. There is a blockage in the cleaner, a more serious one than when a toy of Little Jo's became stuck in the machine. The air is not flowing through the machine properly and the motor is overheating and a safety cut off is switching the motor off until it cools down.

Mother was continuing to use the machine, vacuuming until it overheated and then finishing the clean once it cooled down and restarted. It was so noisy, she was putting cotton wool in her ears.

I pulled this part apart, and it was blocked with dust. I pulled another part apart and it was blocked with dust. The dust has spilled all over the carpet. Mother, get a wire coathanger to cut up and I can shape it to a hook to burrow down. Sorry Andrew, I don't have any wire hangers. They mark the clothes. Mother, they only mark the clothes when the clothes hang on them for years. I poked around in the shed and found some wire. No joy. Mother finally found a painted wire hanger, but too late.

These two screws hold a flexible tube in place. I will undo them. Wish I had brought a torch. Mother? Amazingly she produced a Dolphin torch. Yes, more clogged dust found. The whole machine is clogged with dust and I am now scratching around in its innards with a piece of wire. Andrew, stop, I told myself as I sat among multiple piles of dust pulled from various orifices. Think. Right, the air passes through here into this tube, up this tube, and then.............. the handle part. Look, two more screws. I can take the handle off. Ok, the electric lead goes in there. The air flows through this opening, up into the handle and then into the dust container. What is that black thing that is not sitting nicely? I quickly worked out that it was a cover for the electrical connection and had dislodged and been sucked up into and blocked the air passage in the lower part of the handle. I dug with a screwdriver and extracted it and with a the sharp rap of a screwdriver handle, tapped it back into place. I reassembled all the bits, with none left over and................the machine worked.

"Look Andrew, that thing is spinning again, just like it used to." I did not remind her that it was swirling dust.

I got off lightly. Mother was so grateful, I only had to take her for lunch, visit ABI's place for five minutes to tell him the Gmail reply button is at the bottom of the page and that I don't know about T Box and I don't want to learn, and go to two chemists.

I expect by now Mother has bragged to all and sundry about how son number one, Andrew, fixed the vacuum cleaner.

To me, it was just a logical process. But do believe, I was very pleased that I did fix it, as such weight had been placed on my ability to fix it.

A couple of days before, Mother sent the clipping in the post.

12 comments:

  1. Well done MacGyver! Love the sheep pic :)

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    1. Never seen the show Fen, but by osmosis, I know what the reference is about.

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  2. The performance anxiety is SO worth the #1 Son mantle, yes?

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    1. Red, Mother would have defended me if I failed. 'It was absolutely stuffed. Even Andrew couldn't fix it'.

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    2. Win-win, right??!!

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    3. Yep, too right.

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  3. Well done! I take my vacuum apart too and clear out the pipes and wash the filter. I even unscrew the suction head and properly clean the brushes. I have a barrel cleaner with flexible hose that attaches to two metal pipes, which I clear by shoving a piece of old curtain rod into if necessary.

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    1. River, we too have a barrel cleaner, but it never blocks up. All our cleaner sucks up is sock lint.

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  4. Well done Andrew for fixing the machine and especially for being patient with your mum.

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    1. Ever so patient Diane. I just give over some time and do whatever she wants.

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  5. Well done Andrew...till the next time...then the fighting started hahaha!

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    1. Grace, so far not, but who knows.

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