In January 2011, I started using a treadmill desk. Early on, I stopped using it for a year or so (I wasn’t keeping track exactly) but about eight years ago I started a habit of walking at about 3.5 miles per hour for about an hour every weekday morning. This past thursday morning, the 9th, the breaker tripped while I was walking. I reset it and tried again, and the instant I started the treadmill, it tripped again.

This almost certainly means that there’s a fault in the driver board. I looked and the inrush-limited NTC thermistor looked cracked, and I saw posts online that this was a common failure mode, so I ordered a new thermistor to replace it with. Friday morning, when I would otherwise have been walking, I removed the driver board and removed the thermistor to prepare to put the new one in, and saw that what had looked like a crack was a stray line of silicone glue. The thermistor is fine. Some other component is at fault, and nothing shows physical damage. A replacement board is about $250. After eight years of fairly constant use, even with appropriately liberal lubrication, the walking belt is almost completely worn out; another $200. The replacement bearings I installed in the motor are louder than the old bearings and could be replaced again with tighter tolerance bearings (buying loose tolerance bearings was a bad decision).

It’s hard to invest about $500 to repair a nine year old treadmill and wonder what will fail next, when a completely new treadmill that (unlike my old treadmill) was actually designed as a walking treadmill is only twice that and comes with a warranty. The LifeSpan TR1200-DT3 has good reviews.

I’m not looking forward to carrying it up the stairs.

Update: My youngest had asked for some pulleys for a project a few years ago, so we grabbed some light line and made a quick block and tackle to pull the box up the stairs. It worked great. 36 pounds of force is less than 144 pounds, and pulling down was easier than pushing up.

The deck is about an inch and a half lower than the old treadmill, so in order to work with the desk I built, I just set it on top of a pair of 2x4s, raising it to the right level. Some day maybe I’ll adjust the desk or buy a new one, but for now I’m set.