Today I fixed a wheelbarrow tyre. Someone, who shall be nameless for reasons that will become clear, gave me a nearly new wheelbarrow they didn’t need. It’s just been standing unused in a corner for couple of months so I wasn’t surprised the tyre was flat.
I’ve got a foot pump so some minutes later I was re-inflating it. A minute later it was flat again, I could actually hear it hissing. The person who gave it to me then really shocked me by saying it was only a cheap barrow and would I like him to take it to the tip as it was useless?
It never occurred to him to mend it. Maybe it’s my age, but if something breaks my first thought is to repair it, not throw it away. Even my cheap trainers had the sole stuck back on a few times before I gave up. Truth be told, that’s more because the old ones are comfortable and it takes weeks to break a new pair in. Even if something can’t be repaired, I’m likely to squirrel it away for spare parts or try and find another use for it
Repairing the wheelbarrow tyre
Now I don’t have a bicycle but I do have a puncture repair kit which comes in useful for wheelbarrow tyres. Much searching around and thinking how I must sort out the workshop this winter followed before I finally turned it up.
As it happened, the inner tube wasn’t fixable. The join between the tube and valve had split and my bicycle repair kit wasn’t going to patch it.
Well some searching on Ebay soon turned up a replacement tube for less than a fiver. Quick tip – on both the tyre and the tube is a set of numbers like 3.50/4.00 – 6 It’s important to get a replacement with the same number or it won’t fit. Also the valve can be straight or angled. Once again, get the the same type as before.
The old inner tube can have a new life as tree ties. Just slice it up with a Stanley knife.
Changing the inner tube is one of those jobs that can be fiddly but isn’t too difficult in itself. Another tip for you when replacing an inner tube. This may seem obvious but don’t put the old leaking tube back in the tyre, put the new tube in. Did I feel an idiot? Yep! Still, an extra wheelbarrow for £4.50 is worth a bit of time.
Restart Parties – New Lamps for Old!
When it comes to repairing rather than replacing, most of us give in when it comes to hardware faults with computers, a radio or a vacuum cleaner. Yet many household goods that die can be fixed if you know how.
There’s an organisation called Restart who hold ‘parties’ where people take their dead appliances and experts show them how to fix them if possible. My pal Dave Darby over at Low Impact went to a restart party about a year ago and blogged it along with more information here: Restart Party
If you’re a bit rusty on changing tyres, this video from Youtube will help