crack is wack
September 3, 2014 6:28 AM   Subscribe

The casing of my hair dryer has cracked and a chunk of it fell out. What's the easiest way to repair it?

My SO gave me a CHI Air hair dryer for Christmas last year, which I have been happily using ever since. Last week, I pulled it out from its place under the sink and found that the casing along the top of the dryer had cracked and a chunk of it had fallen off. Image here because I'm not sure if I'm describing this very well.

I'm not sure how it broke - we don't keep a lot of clutter under our sink so I don't think anything knocked into it, not to mention I am pretty gentle with it (it was expensive!). And also, in all of the years I've owned hair dryers, I've never seen this happen before.

As you can see in the image the cracked portion of the casing continues on the right beyond the missing chunk. This effectively is weakening the entire casing and this morning that whole front piece (the section that has "CHI Air" written on it) slid off in my hand. I was able to put it back, but now it is very loose. (I hope that makes sense.)

The hair dryer still operates normally.

My question is, how best can I repair this? I searched under my sink in vain for the piece that had broken off but couldn't find it. I'm not concerned with aesthetics, I just want to make sure it doesn't crack further and that the front piece doesn't keep sliding off.

Duct tape was my first thought, but that seems risky - wouldn't it melt? Would electrical tape work? Anything else I might not have thought of?

The dryer was a gift - and expensive, as I mentioned - so getting rid of it/replacing it is not an option, unless it is in fact dangerous to keep using it in this condition (is it)?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated as always. Thanks!
posted by thereemix to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
I've repaired stuff like that with sugru. It worked great.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:29 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nice dryer! I like CHI too.

You could consider going back to the store if it is still under warranty (did your SO keep the receipt?)

If they don't replace it, I would still use it i.e. after you glue the piece back I think it is still safe.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:38 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here's an image of the sugru repair. I did it quick and dirty, but if you take your time with molding the stuff it can look much better. That bowl has been through the dishwasher several times and it's still holding strong.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:40 AM on September 3, 2014

You've had it less than a year, even if you had treated it pretty roughly, it should not have broken like that. Take it back to the shop or contact the manufacturer.
posted by missmagenta at 7:03 AM on September 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another vote for sugru if you can't get a replacement. It's got a high heat rating so will be able to handle being formed onto a hot thing, AND it comes in red so you can make it look all nice and such.
posted by phunniemee at 7:05 AM on September 3, 2014

I'd contact Farouk to ask about a replacement. I know that my old hairdresser had a Chi hair dryer replaced for free after she dropped it on her tiled salon floor.
posted by neushoorn at 7:17 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Most hair dryers come with at least a 1 year replacement policy. They will replace the dryer either free of charge, or a nominal shipping fee. Call Farouk at (800) 237-9175 and let them know the situation. Ask them whether they will replace it and if so, they will give you an RMA number. They will require your original receipt, to confirm that you didn't buy from an unauthorized reseller.
posted by zarq at 7:31 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sugru appears to be an at least somewhat flexible silicone product. You might be better off with a harder setting two part epoxy like JB Weld if you end up fixing this unit.
posted by Mitheral at 7:34 AM on September 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, it may look like a repair job but why not use aluminum foil heat tape, it could take the heat and seal the hole too.
posted by just asking at 8:58 AM on September 3, 2014

Sugru looks awesome!

Mitheral, my SO uses JB Weld for all sorts of projects around the house - he thinks he could repair it with JB Weld if we could find the missing bit that broke off, but so far I haven't been able to find it. Sugru is appealing to me because I could mold it to fit the hole - can we do that with JB Weld too? It's an awfully big hole so using that much JB Weld seems wasteful...
posted by thereemix at 10:45 AM on September 3, 2014

JB Weld.

It holds up to heat well and is very much permanent.

It will be the strongest thing in that dryer.

Of course, it won't fix the underlying problem (which I might guess is that repeated heating/cooling cycles degrade whatever plastic is used in the casing), so you may get more cracks elsewhere... but as far as fixing what's broken now, JB Weld will do the trick.

(As an side, JB Weld is crazy durable. Even the quick-drying stuff is potent, but the full-strength stuff can easily fix an exhaust weld, a crack in an engine block, etc. Basically, high heat and pressure are no problem for it.)
posted by -1 at 11:34 AM on September 3, 2014

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