Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vacuums Suck
A. was thrilled when our VERY old Electrolux AP200 didn't respond to electrical input. Dust was overtaking the house at an alarming rate. We couldn't have visitors in unless we kept the lighting dim. Hairballs threatened to choke us with every breath. Clearly it was time to make a decision, but since the car needed major brakework the same day, the decision (which would have been to go shopping for a new vacuum cleaner) was to haul the heavy artillery up from the basement...screwdrivers, pliers, current meter, etc. etc. The diagnosis, scientifically arrived at and sound until proven faulty, was that the cord was fini. It could no longer carry it's fiery load. The black wire had committed bisecticide - never to flow with juice again.
The solution: $8 worth of electrical cord & a plug from the Home Depot (and a 10 wait while the customer ahead of me asked the most inane questions about metal plates - I think he had one in his head). Then several hours of unaccustomed tinkering at the kitchen table with a rapt audience getting stressed out by the fiddley bits.
Electrolux machines - at least this one - are the apex of industrial design. Everything is so perfectly put together that any small aberration (like a heavier gauge of cord) puts the whole system out of alignment. The cord recoil mechanism was designed so that the exact size of the original cord kept the connectors in perfect position. Nothing was fastened down - everything kept everything else in place. So when I got the assembly back together (I jerry-rigged a couple of items), the unit kept popping apart, which meant it wouldn't quite fit EXACTLY into the cannister, which meant I couldn't close the cannister with the cunning little plastic sliding strips (with NO room for a bit of slack) we (I) had to think it out again.
We again have a working vacuum cleaner, sans the recoil assembly which was replaced by a Pringle's chip container. Houston we have contact! Once more the house is (relatively) dust free. And boy, do I feel good!


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