Monday 7 December 2015

Jenny Died, but She Shall be Resurrected.

So, there I was, typing away on my laptop, Jenny was running when she started to make a scraping noise that didn’t sound healthy. I ran out there to see what the matter was and certainly knew this was not right so I shut her down. 

I inspected her to see if I could see anything bad, I checked her oil and then decided to start her up again, to see if the matter had corrected itself. That was when it happened, the pull cord came out in my hand. Jenny had melted and broken her pull cord. 

I sat there and decided what do to; here is what was going through my mind. Technically this is a relatively simple repair. You pull off one cover replace the nylon cord and put it back together. 

The trouble is that there is a large clockwork spring in there which must be wound up and held in place as you close the cover and hope that it all stays together (under tension) as you seat and screw down the cover. 

Anyone has done this repair they will relate how much of a pain in the butt that this is. These engineers don’t design the unit as a sealed unit so you could put it together on the bench and then attach it to the motor, no, that would be easy (and cost a bit more).

I have done this repair on a chainsaw that I once owned and did not look forward to doing this to Jenny with a larger spring and larger pull cord unit. I thought about paying a repair shop to do this for me. That would take days and even then the cost would be almost as much as buying a new generator. 

So I made the choice to buy a new generator. I decided to think through which size of generator I needed.  I figured out that I only need 2000 Watts to do what I need to do when Jenny is running. If I bought a 4000 Watt generator then I could run everything, from my air conditioner to my microwave. 

I don’t need the extra expense of a generator of that size so I bought a 2400 Watt generator for $350.00. Saturday and Sunday she ran fine. The next question was what to do with Jenny? I had originally thought to buy a small baby generator and fix Jenny but quickly realized that a baby one would not work and I didn’t have the extra space to cart it around anyways.

So, I talked to a neighbour and somewhat permanent resident in my Western Home and offered him Jenny as she was. It was either this or toss her out, literally. I don’t have the space to lug a broken generator around and even if I sold her, broken I wouldn’t get much for her. As it was he told me that if he got her running he would give me something for her; a nice gesture. 

Why the rush to replace Jenny? In this cold weather, I need a working generator. That generator charges my batteries; those batteries run my furnace, my fridge and yes my laptop. With a generator I can function and not freeze. Without one, things get cold and dark fast. As it is I need to run Jenny once a day on the weekend and once every two days during the week. 

The trouble is that when you name things you tend to get attached to them and feel bad when you discard them. Let me say it plainly, Jenny was a generator, a thing and in that it can be easily replaced, this was a financial and non-swearing decision. 

If Jenny was a person or even some sort of self-aware generator then the cost or bother to fix her would not be an issue or consideration. I got a year of weekly use out of her and I know that I need to figure out a new way position the generator while it is running so as to not contain the heat. 

It is my guess that running Jenny in the back of the truck with her tailpipe pointing at the inside of the box was not the best decision. Perhaps a detachable snorkel type tailpipe may be in the works. For now I will just point the new one towards the open part of the box.   

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