Introduction: CatGenie: Repairing (And Preventing) an Arm Rotation Pin Failure
The pooper scooper or "GenieHand" on a CatGenie is attached to a bent metal arm. On the other end of this arm is a large gear that rotates to extend and retract the hand. Through a hole in the arm is a pin that is locked into the gear and transfers the rotation of the gear to the arm.
A common failure of the CatGenie is this pin. I first learned about this failure in the forums and sure enough - two days later it failed. If your CatGenie is in warranty, by all means call 'em up and get a new one. Their customer service is fantastic and they'll have you up and running right away.
If, however, you're out of warranty or happen to be on a long holiday weekend, you can repair a broken pin yourself with minimal effort.
If your pin isn't broken (skip ahead to step 6), there are preventative steps herein (adapted from the forums) that will (hopefully) prevent the failure in the first place.
Step 1: Disclaimer, Safety and Required Equipment
This modification MAY void your CatGenie warranty, I do not know. You'd have to ask the nice folks at CatGenie. I am not responsible for your actions, you are. You assume all responsibility for what you do because of this Instructable, got it? Be good humans.
Please wear eye protection and gloves - there is a hammer and epoxy involved, and I don't want you blaming me if you lose an eye or can't get epoxy off your hands or whatever. Be careful and use your head - you should be okay.
You will need the broken arm assembly, a hammer, vise (or vise grips), epoxy, stir sticks, and above all a replacement pin. I used a "roll pin" (a "C" shaped rod that you can force into a hole for a tight fit) but I am not sure where to send you for one, as I got mine at work. A hardware store or auto shop might have roll pins, so ask around.
I didn't have a roll pin handy that was the right diameter so I took one that was too small and enlarged it - you could do the same if needed.
Step 2: Remove the Broken Arm From the CatGenie
1. Remove the hood over the hand and set aside.
2. Remove the motor and set aside, being careful not to kink the hose.
3. Remove the hand from the arm and set aside.
4. Remove the upper housing (and you guessed it) set aside by pressing down on the impeller drive with your thumb while lifting from the back with your other hand.
Now comes the interesting part.
5. It is not necessary to remove the impeller housing completely. Just lift it up about two inches and let it settle back down. It will hang up and not go completely in the hole - a good thing, in this case.
6. The arm is held in place with two black tabs. Grab the gear with your left hand and the bend of the arm with your right, then push down with both thumbs on the lower assembly. It'll pop right up.
Step 3: Remove the Gear
This was easier than I thought it would be. Stand the arm up on the ground with the gear in the air. Put your foot on the bent portion to hold it down, grab the gear with both hands and pull it off.
The gear is held on with a tiny flange around the arm - the pin has nothing to do with keeping the gear on the arm, it only rotates the arm as the gear rotates.
Step 4: Insert the Pin
Take your roll pin and bang it into the hole with the hammer.
Step 5: Re-Attach the Gear to the Arm
Put the arm in the hole of the gear, then rotate the arm to line up with it's little groove. Once properly aligned, press hard and seat it fully. If it won't go all the way you can tap it vertically on the ground to force the arm into the hole. I had no difficulty.
Sorry about the glare in the picture.
Step 6: Get Messy: Adding Epoxy
I am using two-part "Fast-Weld 10" epoxy - so called because it sets (hardens) in 10 minutes. This explains why there aren't a lot of pictures of me applying the epoxy - I'm working against the clock here.
JB Weld or any other epoxy should be fine for this application, so long as its not too runny. Mix your epoxy per the directions (if needed) and apply it over the pin, encasing it completely on both sides of the arm. Let it set completely (according to the directions) before reinstalling.
This should keep out any moisture and prevent any future corrosion from causing a repeat failure.
Step 7: Cleanup & Reinstall!
Congrats, you're done! Put the arm back in the CatGenie and put it back together by reversing the steps used to disassemble it. Remember to put the hand on the arm before you put the motor on!
Clean up the mess you made, throw away your trash and you're done! Nap time! Relax and enjoy your now once again functional CatGenie.
ScottSEA (and Ashe, my little gray buddy)