Sunday, October 25, 2009

Plastic Parts

Cheap, yes. And light. But not always the best idea. Two examples spring to mind.

Case #1 - the hated vacuum cleaner

We have 100% wood floors in our house, with a few area rugs. We also have an upright vacuum cleaner that got good reviews on Consumer Reports. It works great on the area rugs we have (all three of them) and would be excellent on wall-to-wall, since it is self propelled on carpets. But since we have lots of wood surface to clean, and it is big and bulky and hard to maneuver, and quite possibly a danger for scratching the floors, I end up using the attachments quite often to clean the wood floors. The wand attaches via a plastic nub on the nozzle that interlocks into a slot on the accessory. A soft plastic nub. Which wore down to nothing approximately six months after the warranty ran out. So I end up having to bend over to hold the floor cleaning attachment at the midpoint junction so that it stays attached to the hose (sort of) and get a huge cramp in my hand and it still falls out every few minutes. And did I mention that all those plastic parts somehow did not prevent that vacuum from weighing about twenty five pounds? Fail, and Fail.

Case #2 - the rolling cooler that no longer rolls

The rolling cooler is, in theory, a great idea. We have a definite need for such a device. Our football parking area is a long way from where our friends host the tailgate party (they donate lots more dough than we do, thus the premium parking for them). We used to carry our big assed cooler in by PDM carrying it in his arms. It doesn't really have handles so you have to make do. Not fun. So for Christmas, I got us a large capacity rolling cooler. And it worked great, for about a quarter of a mile, on the first day we used it. Until one of the wheels fell off. Upon closer inspection, the problem was that the metal axle got very hot from friction and melted right through the fracking plastic housing that attached it to the bottom of the cooler. Bad design, fellas. It is not rocket science to figure out that the axle would heat up. So why use a plastic with a low melting point?!? Maybe they should have used whatever the suitcase companies use, because those rollers work fairly well. Probably because they aren't PLASTIC. What kind of rolling distance did they use in their design calculations? Ten feet? You don't need a rolling cooler if you park right next to the picnic table. I would have designed it for at least a mile.

Buyer beware. Look out for plastic. Because it is NOT looking out for you.


LL said...

Drill out the center of the wheel and put in a sealed ball bearing. That's what I'd do. Well... if I tailgated... and if I took the cooler... and if I wanted to drag it down the way...

As for the vacuum... could you replace the soft plastic nub with a metal screw or some such? Either that or you could just get one of those sham wow mop thingy's... But you'd better call now, they can't keep the price that low all day.

Jeni said...

All points very well taken and I for one, agree wholeheartedly with your views on these two items!

Dr Jenn said...

get a dust mop, old fashioned but work. As for area rugs hand over porch beat with a broom.

The cooler? You know them little metal things that have wheels that people generally use to put suitcases on? They fold up quite compact but I think after 911 you cant use anymore, anyway... get one of them and put your cooler on that with a bungie or two.

Dr Jenn said...

oh and rolling coolers don't work well at the beach either, they bog down in the sand. great theory but they just don't work.

Dave said...

Re. the vacuum, just be glad you don't have to walk five miles to school in the snow.

The cooler: as I read, the Bud Lite radio commercial about "Mr. Rolling Cooler Cooler Man" kept playing in my head. Oh, the solution, drive by the premium site, drop off the non-rolling cooler, drive to the boondocks and walk back unencumbered.

"Here's to you Mrs. Robinson...."

BC said...

As for the vac, I have wall to wall in every room and with the dog and the cat and the kid, I use it pretty much daily. The only hard surface floor I have is the kitchen and Im all for the swifter things. I use the wet and the dry depending on the degree of cleaning. Less mess, no bags, no filters and only a pad to throw away. I also use them at my fathers house when I clean his floors. They work great on pet hair too.

If you dont want those, for hardwood floors, I would recommend a dust mop with some wood spray like Pledge or something of the sort. Picks up all the dust and makes them shine nicely without spreading more dust.

As for the cooler, the rolling ones suck unless you get one that costs big huge mucho bucks. You would be better off with a regular cooler in a wagon. You can get a standard wagon pretty cheap and it will last forever.

trinamick said...

I love my rolling cooler, but I haven't had any wheel woes yet. I will now, of course.

I bought me a great bagless Bissell vacuum with the special head for pet hair. I hate paying that much for something that makes me work, but that suckers takes up cat hair like a dream.

fermicat said...

Damn. I just wrote a massive comment that had individual replies to everyone and blogger ate it. Sorry y'all.

Dr Jenn said...

mmmhmmmm sure u did . . . who blogger eat post and comments... nah never~ that's almost blasphemy! LOL