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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

MacGyver brings back the dead

March 10, 2014

Yesterday it was so friggin' hot that we mostly stayed inside Apsaras and did projects.  Melissa got caught up on bills and emails, and she cleaned up the boat.  She also put in a cardboard separator between the head pump and the air conditioning intake.  Sucking air across part of the sewage system into the air conditioner doesn't exactly result in the cleanest smelling air blowing out of the air conditioning unit.  We also found a ton of lint in the air conditioning vent intake.  So getting that all cleaned out helped the air conditioning unit to function better.

Meanwhile yesterday and today MacGyver worked on the ice maker.  We installed an ice maker in September - a mere 5 months ago.  And this week it died.  Not to be deterred, MacGyver decided to try to fix the thing as warrantee repairs from where we are located would be impossible.  What he found was a design flaw.  And interestingly the unit no longer appears on the manufacturer's website - though there are still a few units for sale from Amazon.  So Dave started to wonder if maybe they pulled the unit because they couldn't find the design flaw.  So we decided to send a letter to the manufacturer to describe their design flaw:

The motor that actuates the upper rotating water bucket starts up in the wrong direction when the unit is powered on.  It continues to apply force against the end stop even though the stop switch is activated for that direction.  This appears to be a software issue where the stop switch indicator is not being correctly accounted for.  I checked and the stop switch itself is functioning correctly.  This results in overstress to the attachment point where the motor connects to the bucket and breaks it.

Unfortunately this particular model is the only ice maker that will fit within the space that we have.  So simply purchasing another unit isn't an option until the design flaw is fixed - there's just no point in getting another one that's going to break in a few months.  Hence, determined to have ice for his martini's, Dave doesn't give up.

It took two days to figure out a solution, one trip to Home Depot, and he was able to repair the unit.  He attached a screw with some nuts to the bucket.  Then used a 1/4” drive 5/16” socket wrapped in electrical tape (so as to make it the right size shaft) as the coupler between the motor and screw assembly.

He hooks up the unit, fills it with water, and dang it, the pump doesn't come on.  Dave suspects a problem with the water pump being clogged due to all the bits of plastic floating around.  So he cleans out the pump by back flushing it to blow any stuck bits out.  He hooks it up again, and Ta Da, we have successfully made ice!  But after one batch, it stops working again.  The hex nut attached to the drive shaft had unscrewed itself.  So Dave takes the unit apart again.

This time he super glues the nuts in place.  This works for about 20 minutes, when the motor going the wrong direction wrenches the assembly that is glued to the bucket off.  He takes the unit apart again, and this time mechanically secures the hex nut assembly to the bucket.

And finally!!! The unit has been operational all afternoon!  Whoo hooo!

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Nice one, Martinis; the ultimate motivator until you have a couple, and then the ultimate de-motivator.

Cheers!



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