Question about Oreck XL21 Bagged Upright Vacuum

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My Oreck XL is very dirty inside on fan and the motor runs very loud. It is not clogged.

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These units are called dirty air units because the dirt literraly runs thru the fan attached to the motor and is blown into the bag. Most newer vacuums are called clean air because the filter bag is in the path, and the dirt is sucked into the bag, never reaches the fan or motor.

I'd say if it is that dirty, may be a fire hazard, and you may have worn out the seals on the part down at base that pivots to a point that replacement is necessary.

(I'd blow out the dust and keep using if it was me, and then check again in a few weeks, before I replaced. But I like living dangerous.)

Posted on Jul 30, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

Sparks coming from under oreck vacuum. looks like its coming from motor brushes.


Probably need to have that serviced at a repair shop. They can tell you whether or not you need a new motor or a fan blade kit.

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You probably need to take that in and have it serviced at a repair shop. They can check the motor to see if it needs to be replaced or just cleaned. The noise could be bad bearings or a fan problem as well.

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My Oreck XL vacuum does not have enough suction to pick up dirt. Any suggestions to remedy this problem? The belt is strong, the bag is not full, and there do not seem to be any obstructions.


Turn the machine on and be sure the bag expands quickly and fully like a balloon. If the bag does not fill with air, or is soft, there is probably an obstruction inside the handle tube or fan housing. Disassemble the handle to check for blockage, or remove the bottom plate to check the inlet to the motor fan.

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Remove the bottom and remove all screws at the bottom to gain access to the fan. You need to get the cap out for it is wedged into the fan attached to the motor

Jun 15, 2010 | Oreck XL Ultra Bagged Upright Vacuum

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Oreck XL intellashield smells hot and smoky when operating. New bag and belt and no clogs. About a year old.


If it smells like burning rubber with white smoke its the belt make sure the brush spins freely. If its a electrical burning it will smell real bad you WILL be able to tell which then its a motor issue you can remove the bottom plate 5 phillips head screws opposite the motor youll see 1 screw remove it pry the duct out and look to see if there's anything stuck in the fan if not its the motor its self

Dec 17, 2009 | Oreck XL Ultra Bagged Upright Vacuum

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Stopped running


orecks have a plastic fan inside and everything you pick up hits it, sometimes things can get stuck in there or break the fan locking up the motor. With the machine off, poke around where the dirt goes into the motor, behind the roller and see if you can pull anything out.

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My upright Oreck Vacuume XL 2


the main tube is clogged.
unplug it, open bag area, remove bag look for clog.
if clear, take off lower coller, pull up tube, remove blockage, either in tube or fan area.
if clear, look in bottom by intake area for blockage.
fan can not run backwards.
good luck.

Jun 07, 2008 | Oreck XL Ultra Bagged Upright Vacuum

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Sounds like the Oreck is clogged. You'll have to undo the bag by the way of the clip in the middle at the back of the main black spindel neck and then at the bottom. Then take apart the main neck by pushing the rubber mounts upwards to release the pip fitting locks and holes. You should find that either the top of the neck or the bottom - where the dust channel feeder is located - is clogged. Either that or there may be a clog in the main dust channel after the roller brush or wedged into the fan unit itself - the Oreck XL is a dirty fan system which means clogged dirt can often get stuck between the dirt and the dirt channel.

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Oreck Vacuum troubleshooting


Hi. If the motor is on its way out the motor noise will be eratic eg slowing down speeding up popping noise & a smell of electrical burning. If you have none of these symptoms then chances are its not the motor. Does the bag inflate or is it easy to collapse when you push the bag ? If bag inflates ok check belt. If bag not fully inflating check for blockages along length of the handle pipe its designed to pull apart by lifting up rubber sleeve at machine end of pipe, push ball latch in & pull pipe out remove any debris stuck in the pipe. Remove bbottom of machine as if replacing belt check to see if there is any debris stuck in the oppening that goes to motor fan, then check the fan blades you can see them through the port is there any missing or snapped off. If blades are missing or have big chunks missing you will need to replace. If fan only has minor bits missing then reassemble it should now worl well.

Sep 07, 2007 | Vacuums

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