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The response by Lynnette is in reference to the power nozzle....if you are having this issue with the main unit, then it could be the armature is starting to go bad. Have your Rainbow in front of you and give us a call. We can walk you through some steps to narrow it down.
Unplug the vac and spin the acorn nut on the separator in the water reservoir. If it spins freely and this vac has run for a few years you may need a fresh set of motor brushes. Do not attempt to run the vac if the motor hums or makes a burning smell. Worn brushes are normal and can often be replaced in an older Rainbow/ Rexair
The unit and the nozzle have to be taken apart and cleaned. You almost for sure will need a new HEPA and possibly even the motor cooling filter. There is a lot of dust inside that got moist (moisture in the air,vacuuming wet carpet, maybe you have pets or everything together)
It will require a bit more advanced skills but you do not have to be a vacuum repair professional to do this.
I recently took mine apart because the motor stopped working. Realized the brushes were pretty well worn down and one side was completely gone. I was looking on the internet for detailed instructions on how to take it apart. I ended up just ripping it apart with no problems but made a tutorial to help you guys out. Here's a link to it
http://geeksquad.fixya.com/ThreadView.aspx?prdid=19674&thid=576894 Older Rainbow Noisy Posted by Capt_Troll on May 06, 2008 I Have an Older Rainbow (i think it's a d4) my Old roommate ran it once without water. it Still works now (with water), but it's Very noisy on start up Also I Can't seem to remove the separator (no instructions) but the nut at the end of it appears to free spin the motor when i try to turn it. Can I Take this apart and Clean/lube it? And if so how? Or is this thing on its last legs? Thanks Hello, I would advise you to ALWAYS to FIRST UNPLUG YOUR VACUUM before beginning any service procedure. Rainbow E Series Canister Wet/Dry Vacuum. The Rainbow D4 is an older Rainbow Vacuum and the part where the separator is part of the armature, the separator should be able to be removed and that might be one of the things making noise. As normal maintenance the separator should be removed and cleaned after every use and re-installed, then place a newspaper or towel under the motor unit and turn on the Rainbow and spin the moisture out of the motor unit. This should be done every time you use it. Other wise the Rainbow has 3 fans in the bottom of the motor and if they are weak they will make noise from the motor unit as well. Watch out… the repair of the Rainbow D4 may exceed the cost of a new motor of which will solve your problem of noise and separator --- compare the cost and the labor and make a decision. If you have further questions please feel free to contact your local vacuum cleaner dealer. . So if you need further assistance, please feel free to contact your local vacuum cleaner dealer in your area or in the yellow pages, or contact the factory phone number or website to further assist you with your questions. The Rainbow / RexAir Factory phone number is listed below: http://rainbowvacuum.com Customer Service 1-248-643-7222 Monday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST Thanks, Don the Vac Man Go Ahead. Use Us.
If the suction at the port that the hose hooks into has low suction, then most likely you have a problem with the motor. Some of these Rainbow motors sound ok running, but are running at a slower speed, thus reducing the suction and replacing the motor is the solution.