Nutribullet NB101B was non-functional. A cleaning of the actuator switches fixed it. Three drainage holes were unclogged. Now it works.
A friend gave me his Nutribullet NB101-B, a small blender used for smoothies. The blender was non-functional but intact. He said that the blender was well used, but started acting intermittently, after which it stopped working. There are many youtube vids on cleaning the blender, and the cleaning did fix the problem. There are, of course, extra details that I discovered.
This NB101-B blender has a cup for the container, screwed onto a base, which is inverted and set on top of the base. The base has 3 tabs, safety features, which engages the base. Pressing down the cup engages the blender. It is a common design. interestingly the Nutribullet has a larger and more powerful 600w motor. It is substantially heavier than my Magic Bullet’s 250 watt unit. The Nutribullet is larger and heavier, which takes up more counter space but will be more stable. Of course the larger motor will last longer under similar load, but will be more expensive. Do you really need a 600w motor for a smoothie blender? I do not know.
Overall the cleaning was not difficult. You do need to note that there is a drainage hole, long and narrow, from the inside of the base on down to the bottom. This was completely clogged with gunk. I needed to break the gunk up with a narrow blade screwdriver. As the hole is very narrow, there’s no way to get into the hole and clean it. There are also two drainage holes on the top of the base, where the cup engages with the base, that were also clogged up.
These clogged drainage holes contribute to the main problem, where the three actuator switches accumulate blender material, which dries and prevent the switches from moving. The machine needed to be torn down, switches removed and cleaned of dried blender material, and reassembled. The channels for the switches, an inner one as well as inside the outer cover, need to be well cleaned. The white activator slides also need to be cleaned. This is a blender, so spills are a given. A thorough cleaning is inevitable.
There are three activator switches, but only two are wired switches which need to be pressed in order for the blender to power up. The third one is for alignment and is not powered.
Overall the Nutrubullet NB101-B is very well made. Though it had gone through a service cycle and needed cleaning, the parts were robust and repairable. On on activator switch, the non-powered one, a tab broke, but this could have been reattached with CA glue. The unit did come together anyway and did work. Tear down was easy and no other parts broke.
I suppose that the main drainage hole could be a bit larger, but blending material would continue to coat the sides of the hole and eventually clog it. A much larger drainage hole would help, but there is limited room to go around the motor. The actuators are pretty well covered, but blending material can still enter where the white actuators are exposed. It does not take much blending material to clog up an actuator. Most things blended will be sugar based, which includes fruit and juice, which will crystallize when dried, and clog the actuator. There should be a redesign of the actuator so that these can be cleaned without breaking down the whole machine.
The main drainage hole at the top of the base needs to be aligned with a similar drainage hole at the bottom of the unit. I had initially reassembled the two shells but the drainage holes did not line up. Lining up the drainage holes allows the spilled blender material to more easily drain out of the blender onto the counter. Even if you do not align the drainage holes, there is sufficient venting at the bottom of the unit to drain, but blending material will accumulate at the bottom and it will be a bit more messy.
Ripping apart the Nutribullet was fun, but a bit messy. I am happy that the unit is well designed and manufactured. Such devices will last far longer, work better, and be much less burdensome to our precious earth. In the end this blender, while initially more expensive, though it lasts far longer, will be more cost effective.