Talking Shop Tuesdays – Episode #1 – Foot Pedals and Foot Switches
Today, for our first episode of Talking Shop Tuesday we are talking about Foot Switches and Foot Pedals, which Carl also calls Bladders in the video. First, let me make the distinction between them as this is often mixed up over the phone. The Foot Pedal is the rubber device that you step on to push air through the cord and into the foot switch that is mounted to the back of the ice shaver. The foot switch is then triggered by that air and causes the shaver to run. This topic is very important because the foot switch and pedal are so vital to our shavers, especially the Block Ice Shaver. On our Snowie 1000 and the Snowie 3000 Shaved Ice machines we have a bypass switch on the front of the shaver that will allow you to run the shaver without the foot switch. This is great to use as a backup, but not ideal on a daily basis. It is far more convenient and user friendly to use the shaver with a foot pedal. The Snowie Block Ice Shaver, however, is completely reliant on the foot pedal and foot switch, in fact, it cannot shave without it. I often get asked if it is wise to purchase a backup shaved ice machine. It is, of course, wise to have a whole backup ice shaver, but that is costly to do, especially if you are starting on a very tight budget. So my follow-up advice to that is to purchase backup switches and blades for the ice shavers. This is very cheap to do and will get you pretty far on being prepared with a backup strategy. Carl kicks off this episode by showing you two different versions of the foot pedal. We are moving back to the larger bladder and feel that it has become stronger and more reliable than the more shallow version. We have gone back and forth as each product shows greater determination to work without error. There are a couple of things that can go wrong with a foot pedal. The most common is one that Carl referred to in the video where the end of the tube begins to get stretched out or even dries out and cracks. This will allow air to escape out of the hose and not have enough pressure to trigger the switch. The fix for this is to cut an inch of end of the hose. This will give you a nice new tight fit on the end of the hose. The other thing that can happen is the foot bladder can split, especially when you have people who work for you and stomp on the pedal rather than step on the pedal. It can also happen if your pedal is flipped upside down and on its side. This will cause the pedal to be squished differently than intended and can damage its seals. The best way to search for this is to take the pedal off the ice shaver and place your finger over the end of the tube. Now step on the pedal to let all the air out. Now press your thumb firmly over the end of the tube to make sure no air is going back into the pedal. If the pedal inflates while you are doing this, then the pedal has cracked or lost its seal somewhere. The most common error in the foot switch (the switch mounted to the back of the shaver) is that it will become “welded” in one direction or another. So when you put your front switch on “Foot” it will either run constantly or it will not run at all. This happens because you are constantly triggering that switch, potentially thousands of times a day. Have you ever had one of your kids just flip a light switch on and off over and over again, and you say to them, “stop doing that, you will wear out that switch.” Imagine your child doing that all day, every day. That is what this little foot switch endures. So, although we are always looking for stronger, more reliable switches and overall solutions, it is always wise to have some backup components for your ice shavers.
Today, for our first episode of Talking Shop Tuesday we are talking about Foot Switches and Foot Pedals, which Carl also calls Bladders in the video. First, let me make the distinction between them as this is often mixed up over the phone. The Foot Pedal is the rubber device that you step on to […]