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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DIY mixer repair

That's my KitchenAid mixer. Scary looking, isn't it? Don't be frightened though, it's not as bad as it might seem. Although I will admit that at first I thought this puppy was a goner. You see, my sweetie tried to use my mixer with the food grinder attachment to grind ginger root. (For future reference and to save all of your mixers from a similar fate, this was not a plan. Ginger root should be grated by hand.) In the midst of grinding, the part that holds attachments and spins around suddenly stopped spinning. The motor ran just fine, but no more mixing, grinding, or anything else was going to happen any time soon. So I googled it and found out that it was probably a relatively simple and cheap fix. There is a sacrificial plastic gear inside the mixer so that if the going gets too tough, it fails in order to save the motor. Pretty cool, right? You can find directions here for doing this repair yourself.

Now that it's all apart and the new gear and food-grade replacement grease is ordered, it will be a matter of seeing if I can remember how to get it all back together again. Could be interesting.

By the way - the head of the mixer is packed with grease. What I found was that the grease had degraded pretty significantly, so it might be a good idea to take it all apart every several years and remove and repack the grease. One of those "can't hurt, might help" kinds of things.

But I'll tell you, it feels kind of good to have a quality piece of equipment that can actually be repaired (by me, no less) rather than having to throw it away like so many things today. I like that. Hopefully with good maintenance and no more ginger grinding, this mixer will last me for the rest of my life.

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