The Best Way You Can Destroy Your Treadmill
This could be the quickest blog post that we have ever done but you know I can’t let you go so quickly. If you want the Cliff Notes version, the way most treadmills fail is from the accumulation of dirt. If you want to know the reason why this hurts treadmills, keep reading.
Dirt is naturally attracted to a treadmill– A DC motor (which is in almost all treadmills) is a giant electromagnet. You might say “big deal.” The reason it is a big deal is because a great number of particles that we recognize as dirt have metallic components or components that are naturally attracted to an electromagnet. When you combine this with the common silicone lubricant, you get a formula for disaster. In addition, the spinning bearings also naturally create a charge that attracts dirt so you get a double-whammy of multiple parts that are pulling dirt to the machine and silicone that locks the dirt in.
Dirt harms the running surface– Keeping the top of the walking belt is a great idea but also keeping the area between the belt and the deck is a great idea too. The top should be cleaned to make sure dirt does not create a layer of insulation. Between the belt and deck, most people use silicone to lubricate their treadmill but the problem is that silicone has a charge that naturally attracts dirt. When we were formulating our lube, we included a component that changed the lube’s charge to have the opposite charge so dirt is actually repelled when you use our lube. In the past, keeping dirt from accumulating under the treadmill was more of an issue but with the fold up units these days, it is much easier to keep that area clean. This is the #1 area that helps you destroy your treadmill. When dirt gets trapped between the belt and deck, it turns the running belt into a giant sander that just takes the surface off the deck and causes the treadmill to fail faster than you can say Home Depot.
Dirt harms the bearings– Typically when we see roller failures and many motor failures, the reason is that dirt has accumulated in the bearing areas and bearing packs if they are shielded and the dirt turns into tiny little abrasives that tear up the small metallic ball bearings that are the little workers in a bearing. When you start messing with them, they start messing with you and bearings knock, seize, and increase the friction of the drive system which helps burn up key components and tear up the component that contains the bearing.
Dirt harms the electronics– When servicing machines, we have regularly seen where dirt accumulated on the electronic boards and you can literally trace the short on the board where dirt had connected a circuit that wasn’t meant to be connected. For the layman, the dirt caused the board to create a tiny bolt of lightning that destroyed the board. If you simply keep dirt from accumulating on the electronics boards and the connectors you can easy prevent a failure that is a senseless loss.
Dirt harms the cooling– All of us love treadmills that don’t take up too much space and the smaller the footprint, the less area engineers have to work with to make a proper airflow to keep the motor and electronics cool. Heat is a normal byproduct of an operating treadmill. If you have dirt clogging up the system (and some of the openings used to circulate air are quite small) you can quickly stop the air and then the temperatures really build up and the heat rises like a Summer day in Atlanta!
If you want to destroy a treadmill just let dirt accumulate in all the areas we mentioned above and you will be well on your way to destroying your treadmill! Congratulations!