Last week, the $100 stainless steel flip top kitchen garbage can we bought 6 years ago broke. By "broke" I mean the pedal no longer made the lid go up. I'd foolishly located the garbage can Just Below an over-hanging counter top, and every time it opened, it slapped the lower edge of the counter. If you stepped on the pedal harder, it slapped harder. Well, injection molded polyethylene is not immune to LCF (low cycle fatigue), and over time, I found the weakest link, as the underside of the actuator failed in torsion.
Using the ubiquitous Gorilla tape and some Loctite cyanoacrylate applied with toothpicks, I attempted a repair without disassembling the garbage can's actuator (see photo above). Dabbing super-glue on the cracked plastic, letting it dry, and then wrapping it in Gorilla tape the best I could. I let it dry over-night, much longer than needed in the low humidity AZ ambient. (see photo below, to the left).
After a day and night of drying, I righted the garbage can in a new location that allowed un-hindered lid movement, and prematurely declared victory! Properly applied adhesives to the rescue!
Then, 2 days later, the lid raised in an impotent fashion, and then, refused to lift at all, no matter how firmly the pedal was depressed. A more thorough solution was needed.
So, disassembly began. Simple Human has straightforward phillips head screw construction. Removal of the pedal actuator, connecting rod, and lid bracket were not difficult. Removal of the 1/2 applied tape was sort of a pain, but I was the dolt who applied it.
Then, the over-kill began. After reading the directions on the liquid Gorilla glue bottle completely, I clamped and glued the cracked plastic. Over a 2 day period, I repeatedly applied thin films of glue until it caked over the joint. [warning, Gorilla glue slowly "bubbles up" in low humidity environments.]
After building up a firm foundation of durable duct tape OVER the hardened Gorilla glue, I reassembled, in reverse order.
It's been reinstalled for 2 days, and functioning very well. I do not think it is premature this time, to declare victory. The new assembly is now strong enough to lift a brick on the lid.
The tensile, compressive, and LCF properties of the Gorilla tape and glue are close to that of the virgin injection molded polyethylene, and better in impact resistance. I'll be dead and decomposed (or cremated, per will) long before the assembly will fail in HCF (millions of cycles).
If the pedal actuator DOES fail again, I have some left over handles from bath room cabinets that match the kitchen - ugly bronze colored things that Dr Desert Flower could not stand having in the bath room. I can easily install one of those on the lid for lifting if necessary. Il faut voir.
2 months ago