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Power goes on and off. - Vacuums

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It could be three different things- or one or more of these three, but more than likely just one.
1- a bad cord or plug end
2- a bad switch
3- a motor brush is losing contact due to poor pressure due to the carbon brush being worn- of the two motor brushes, their length is normally sufficient to last for years with trouble free service. However, if a vacuum is neglected, as in the filters never cleaned or replaced ( use 10/ $2.99 electrostatic register vent filters from any home store's furnace filter section. Cut to fit, and in the case of the Hepa filters, if you have a dusty family you'll go broke changing these so just cut your electrostatic ones and maybe stack a layer or two, but since they are cheap be liberal and change often). What happens with dirty neglected vacuums is they overheat causing the motor brushes to glaze the copper commutator they ride on and eventually wear out the carbon. The added brush dust cakes up and acts as an abrasive.
Alright, so it's not an issue of neglect or jerked on cords? Well, unfortunately several manufactures have lately installed somewhat inferior switches on their vacuums by way of saving a few cents in manufacturing costs. The amperage ratings on the switches are rated just above the typical 12 amp motor ratings on the vacs motor. In real world use though the strains of suction resistance and cord resistance caused by ultra thin copper wire in the cord add up to extra heat at the switches terminals. The plastic in the switch will get very hot as you vacuum and when you flip the switch off each time you finish vacuuming it literally shifts the switching contacts into positions a little more distorted from their original setting. Arcing is the next thing that happens and then its a heated plug end.
That's the story of how a vacuum cleaner works when it's stressed and strained. Ironically when all of this goes on the bearings also overheat due to the arcing motor brushes. And because the belt for the roller is on this motor as well, when you shut the vac off the belt will heat up and even melt slightly. Then when you go to vacuum again the belt will vibrate causing more damage...
This is why bag vacuums are better.
Better yet, get a Rainbow D4 and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS spin the separator by hand to assure the brushes are not sticking before powering it up. The D4 is the best vacuum ever made. The Eureka Vibragroomer is the best upright ever made.

Posted on Oct 07, 2009

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