Pierre is hard working and, despite being French, surprisingly effective, but we are kind of hard on him. For one thing we spend most of our days moving back and forth between inside and outside - a lot! - and since we're not inclined to take our boots off every time we do (The refrigerator is out in the barn where we don't have to listen to it run all the time. Can you imagine trying to make dinner if you had to take your boots on and off with every trip!!!) we are constantly tracking grit into the house. On top of that our floor is raw concrete so is pretty tough on Pierre's underpinnings.
|Poor thing looks like a turtle turned over on its back!|
So, over the years we've had Pierre we've replaced bits and pieces here and there but the other day he threw a new kind of temper tantrum (And not the cute kind like when the little bump-sensor on the front gets stuck and he starts spinning around on the floor like a cat desperately trying to back his head out of a can!) This time I noticed that he sounded different and a quick check showed he wasn't picking up the grit. On further investigation I discovered that the vacuum part of him was working fine but the brushes underneath weren't spinning and picking up the heavier stuff. Well I'm no expert, but that can't be good!
I knew the problem was in the brush unit but I didn't really know what was in there. Maybe a belt was worn out, a clutch was dirty, the motor wasn't getting juice?? Who knows. But what the hell, he already doesn't work, so how much worse can I make it?!
I took my screwdriver to him and started performing surgery; blind surgery. And found he has a whole gearbox inside that red brush-carrier. A gearbox that wasn't gearing anymore. . . Fortunately IRobot thought of that and designed the motor that turns those gears with a clutch so nothing was burned up. Not knowing what I was doing still didn't stop me and I kept taking more and more bits apart until I opened up the gear box and found it all bound up. Fortunately I was able to pop each gear loose and clean the gunk out of them and the housing with alcohol and an old electric toothbrush (Honest! I used an old one!) and I even managed to get all the bits put back in the right places again! I don't know exactly what sort of grease was in there in the first place but now he has a load of lithium grease in his gears and is back to doing the job he's paid to do.