Friday, September 26, 2014

What Happened to My Mixer?!!

There it was... my beautiful mixer under some emergency surgical procedures and so close to the very busy wedding month of October!!  Yes I pushed it a little... ok I lied... I pushed it a lot!  Well, how else can you make countless batches of marshmallow fondant without a 20 quart commercial mixer or manually exhaust yourself to pieces?!

Yes, I learned my lesson... but not until after the 6th batch.  Sooo if you EVER go through this yourself read on for how to fix it!

I was pretty happy with myself for getting through 6 batches and I happened to turn on my mixer and to my surprise (shouldn't my mixer be able to handle anything??!:)) it was making a horrible knocking like sounds!  And I pretty much flipped... October it is one of the busiest cake months.. this was NOT a time to plan equipment rebuilds!!  The mixer still turned

but the sound was horrible.  Did I overload the motor? How much longer will it work?  Will it be able to handle batter load but what about buttercream load (and let's just forget about fondant!)?  Did I start the gears down a stripping path?  So this is the part where I was reminded just how *awesome* my husband is for being a millwright (aka equipment mechanic).

But if you are not a millwright... no problem!  Anyone can do this! Especially with the help from ereplacementparts.com and a little YouTube!:)  We bought the spare parts (see list below) and here is their You Tube video to help guide your initial fix (read further for the alignment fix!):




So, after installing our new parts, we closed it up and... to our surprise it still made that horrible noise!!
 Aahhh!!  It turns out that although I had wore the gears out a little I had MOSTLY just got my mixer out of alignment... Which was what was creating that horrible knocking noise.  In this case, and likely in many others where parts are replaced, alignment is critical.  I have heard people say that their mixer makes a lot of noise because 'it has been fixed', however, it turns out that the loud noise has everything to do with alignment not necessarily that it was 'rebuilt' (and don't forget to re-lube as shown in the video).  So how to fix this?...

Realign Your KitchenAid!!

Step 1.  Take your mixer apart and fix according to your needs.

Step 2.  With all of your gearbox parts in place gently place your gearbox cover on top and just flush mount your screws.  DO NOT fully tighten them.

Step 3.  UNSCREW your motor screws so they are just flush mounted.

Step 4.  Turn on your machine to a low setting - this part is resetting your alignment.  You will hear the noise subside as the mixer finds it's comfortable aligned spot.

Step 5.  'Freeze' this aligned spot in place: gently and evenly alternate tightening the screws at the gearbox and then at the motor.

And that is it!!  Test that the awful noise is gone and your KitchenAid re-alignment is done!
Now let's get back to caking!!:)

Christie