I own 2 of these units, and over the course of a few years here have at times not used them (due to the pain of cleaning them) but have always done the spray cleaner recommended by oreck and have always let the cell FULLY dry before putting it back into the unit.
Recently I had a sinus infection and decided to fully clean and start using these again (hoping they would help), the one is pretty much fine (same as it always was noise wise) yet my other unit is easily 2x louder, it has an annoying noise almost like bearings need oil, altho i am not sure where exactly the noise is coming from or I would try some bearing oil or something.
Overall wish i never bought these 2 units mainly due to the pain of cleaning them, but if anyone has a detailed video or sheet about where or how to lubricate them please let me know.
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I have the same problem although I figured it was due to the filter being close to five years old. I have had the Healthmate since 1996 and the current filter is 4 1/2 years old. The unit is in my son's room and I had noticed for a while (maybe the last 6 months or so) that his room had a foul sour smell to it. My wife & I thought it was our son as he is close to puberty and starting to need deodorant but I took the unit out of his room and the smell is gone. I'd be willing to bet that both you and I need a new filter.
I've had a problem with the contacts being broken. there are little contacts on the bottom of the plates that spring out when it is reinstalled. they push against 2 wires inside teh unit. make sure they have good contact...
the only other places that you could check would be like a hardware store. kmart, wal-mart. if you have those in your area. ace hardware. places that would normally carry that unit. the big ones mainly are lowes and menards.
At the rear of the unit is the filter. When the filter is removed, the small screw or whatever it is called, that is attached to the filter on the lower right side, disengages the the safety switch just below the filter on the unit itself, if there is nothing to hold down this safety switch the unit will not operate. So take off the filter, there is a small notch on the unit, inside this notch is the safety switch, Try pressing down on this switch and see what happens. I hope this helps. Also, it may be the fuse.
My Orek was making such a bad noise that my wife was going to sell it at a garage sale, I'm glad she didn't. It takes about 20 minutes to fix. All you need is a phillips screw driver, can of compressed air (or air compressor) and a can of silicone spray.
Pull out the filters and turn the unit upside down. Using a phillips screw driver unscrew the 9 screws holding the bottom to the top. remove the bottom. Use care as to not damage the fan. The fan will stay attached to the motor , pull on it and use a good cleaner like 409, Simple Green or a similar product. Wash clean and dry. Next get out your air compressor and clean everywhere, see the silver bearing holders on the side of the motor? Get out your can of silicone spray and give a good squirt on both bearing (close to the shaft. also spin the motor with your hands. See the large thing attached to the shaft? Those are the windings. See the metal housing the winding spin close to? Spray the silicon in there, a good amount. Make sure you didn't get any silicone on the end of the motor shaft where the fan sits on. If you did get some nail polish remover or acetone and wipe clean a few times. Then reassemble.
My Orek was horribly noisy, now it's quiet. My wife says is beeter than new.....
Ozone plates need to be cleaned periodically. I use non-sudsing ammonia in a flat pladtic container big enough to let the plate lie flat in an 1: of ammonia. I let it soak for a few minutes (do this OUTSIDE due to the ammonia fumes) then scrub both sides of the plates with an old toothbrush. When done I rinse it under the sink, along with the bowl and brush (windows open). Let it fry thoroughly before reinserting in the machine (slide carefully in track and gently hold contacts aside with fingers so it slips in easily to avoid cracking the plate).
I have a sharper image ionic breeze hybrid gp that ran fine for years unitl it recently started sparking / arcing at the base of the grid blades and always in the same spot. I cleaned it several times but the sparking always came back and the unit went into either "drying grid" or "attention required" mode. The solution I found was to stand the removable grid in 2 inches of Pine-Sol cleaner 50/50 diluted with water for 24 hours then brush again with the cleaning brush and hot water. Presto! No more sparking.