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Friday, May 9, 2003

Disposable goods

The air compressor at work gave out today. Not a big piece of equipment, just a small one, about three feet long and a couple of feet high. Five horsepower though. It's about the same size the one I have at home, but mine is only like two HP. It hasn't given up completely, it still runs, but it won't develop enough pressure to trip the shut off switch, so it just runs and runs and runs. It's a noisy bugger, too. When we first got it, which was about five years ago, when we first moved in here, the guys in the shop built a big wood box with fiberglass insulation to contain the noise. Box wasn't big enough though, and it cooked itself. So then they built a "doghouse" so it could sit outside in the rain. So every morning when we open up, someone has to wheel the air compressor outside and turn it on, and every evening when we go home, someone has to turn it off and wheel it back inside. No one has stolen the dog house.

But after five years the compressor is worn out. We were thinking about repairing it, but a new one only costs two or three hundred dollars. We could fix it, but you add up the cost of the parts, the time we would spend fixing it, and the delay in obtaining parts and it is probably cheaper to buy a new one.

How much life is left in the old compressor? I suspect motor and/or switch would be next component to fail, and they should last another five or ten years being used as they are. For home use they would probably last forever. So is it worthwhile to fix it? We shall see.

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