January 4, 2009
I thought tonight would be my first chance in more than two weeks to work in my shop. Itâ€™s in my garage and itâ€™s been so cold that thereâ€™s been no point in trying to heat it. But it made it into the 30s today and I had a rare night off from appointments and other obligations.
But it was not to be. I got home late after getting my hair cut, then my neighbor stopped by to chat (the nice one, not the one who blows her leaves in my yard), then I had to snowblow and shovel some snow, and then finally, when I thought I could play, I found I had to fix Harold.
Harold is the name we gave our 500 series Roomba, a robot that vacuums your floors. So far Harold has been one of the best purchases Iâ€™ve ever made. He automatically vacuums our upstairs every day and does a great job. All we have to do is spend a few minutes each day emptying his dirt bin and cleaning pet hair from his brushes. He works so well that Iâ€™ve been very tempted to spend another $200 or so on another one to keep downstairs.
But my wife mentioned that he seemed to be having some problems. So I turned him on and he quickly started complaining about his brushes needing to be cleaned. Sometimes they get wound up with pet hair from our two Labarador retrievers and four cats. But that wasnâ€™t the problem this time. So I Googled for some advice.
He was also making unusual clicking and clunking sounds and I found a YouTube video by someone whoâ€™d had the same problem. He found that the drive gears for the brushes on his machine were clogged with dirt and pet hair and he showed how easy it was to clean them. So thatâ€™s what I did and it did fix Haroldâ€™s problem.
But by then it was almost 9 pm and then I got sucked into watching the last part of #! My Dad Says when I walked by the TV. I did eventually get to the garage but it was too late to really start anything, so I just cleaned and puttered for a little while.
I want to mention that I bought an extended warranty for our Roomba from a company called Square Trade. Ordinarily, I would never spend money on an extended warranty because I think they're a bad gamble and a waste of money. But while reading Roomba reviews someone recommended buying one from Square Trade. Considering how expensive and complicated Roombas are I decided to look into them.
I found that Square Trade gets great reviews, although there were complaints about them when they were starting out. I also learned they charge considerably less than their competitors and they occasionally have sales where you can get 25 or 30 percent off. So I bought one for Harold and since then Iâ€™ve bought a couple more for other purchases.
I have yet to file a claim so I donâ€™t know if they really live up to their reputation. But if youâ€™re interested check out their reviews on ResellerRatings.com
Â ResellerRatings has been around for a long time and I really trust their reviews. I donâ€™t buy anything from a new vendor until I check them out there first.