Thursday, November 01, 2007

10/25/07 - Me vs. An Air Compressor

Yep, That's the title of this entry...

Who will win?

Hmmm... I was much more excited when it happened last Friday. It's probably not that impressive now, but I started the post, so now I'll finish it.

Last Friday, I noticed it was harder to ride my recumbent three-wheeler (read "tricycle"). I looked at the wheels and noticed they were low on air. Easy solution, just put air in the tires. Since I own a small, pancake-type compressor, it should've been even easier. Not so.

I hooked up my air compressor and let it run, building pressure. It shut off at what should have been 120PSI. Looking back, it did run as long as it usually did, but I thought it may have had some previous pressure from before. Once it stopped, I tried to fill my single front tire, which was down to about 15PSI(that's very low). I put the air chuck on the tire and heard air rushing into the tube, as usual.

Me trying to figure out the compressor.

Only it wasn't as usual. The air was rushing from my tire to the compressor, most of the 15PSI it had, and now the tire was flat. When I moved the compressor, I remember the faint sound of something making a metallic noise. I went back into my storage shed and found a nice, shiny spring. It was pretty strong, and appeared to be used as a compression type. I looked for other parts, and found a black, plastic dial under the compressor itself.

I found were the spring and dial should have went on the compressor. I tried to put them back. I recognized them as regulating the output pressure. At one point in time, the plastic dial split into two pieces. I thought there was a cam on the pieces, much like the one in a push-button pen (if you ever took one apart). It still wouldn't work when I tried to put it together. I then figured out that the "cam" was actually where the plastic broke. The spring was too strong to glue the plastic.

The broken dial, outlined in green.

That was my big revelation, that the cam was a break. That's my state of mind. So, I used the manual pump on my mountain bike to somewhat inflate the front tire on my tricycle, and then I rode down to the neighborhood gas station and used their compressor to fill all three tires.

I thought I won, because I figured things out. The next day (Saturday), I spoke with my father on the phone, and told him the whole story. At the end, he asked if I fixed it, and I had to say "No." I guess the compressor won... It was smarter than me that day.

I just checked this morning and I can supposedly order the part to fix the compressor from Sears online. The part costs $15.99. The compressor will likely still win if I have to spend my $15.99.


Blogger Unknown said...

Try ebay. You'd be amazed what you can find.


11/15/2007 1:35 PM  

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