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I would use hot melt glue to hold everything in place. The air cleaner works by charging the air particle at the front and there is high voltage on the plates. The polarity of the plate alternates where the first plate is positive, the second is negative, the third is positive, forth is negative, etc .
With first wire in front charging the dust particle, the plate attract the charged dust particle to the plate to capture it.
The plastic insulators may have become dislodged. If the filter is fully dry, and it is arcing, look for plates that are nearly touching. and look for the distinctive black residue the arcing will leave behind.
Depending where the arcing is occurring, the cell may need to be replaced if inslutors have degraded excessively.
If hair or a dust bunny get in there, it is comparable to a bumble bee getting caught in a bug light zapper- it might take a while to clear.
You should also try rubbing the ionizing wires with 600 grit finishing paper first.
If that does not work, you can purchase the cells individually from many vendors. But I would give the finishing paper a try first. The ionizing wires do funny things to silicone compounds, it usually results in the ionizing wires getting slighly glassified, or coated with silicon dioxide..
It's possible that the board is at fault. Triple check and make sure all the ionizing wires are in place on both cells and that the thin collector plates are not touching each other. Also, make sure the contact points are clean on both the cells and the cabinet.
The F50 is an obsolete EAC, so parts are becoming difficult to get. If the board is bad, I would recommend unplugging the unit and using a MERV 10 media filter in its place (Honeywell designed that EAC with the same cabinet as the media filter... all they did was add a power pack on top for the EAC. The media filter will slide directly in the cells place.) You will get better filtration with much less maintenance.
Broken discharge plates have to be replaced, otherwise the high-voltage shorts-out through the break. The glue being burned is an additional clue.
The fan is a separate circuit/function.
Replace the glass plates (purchase from EcoQuest Intl. or from a EQI dealer near you, expect to pay ~$20-30/plate depending on model and shipping costs. I also sell them as I am an EcoQuest™ dealer, though the shipping charges may make me less economical than someone local to you. If you want my contact info, please respond with a "FixYa" rating - thanks in-advance.
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If this solves the issue, please rate it accordingly. My goal is to earn a "FixYa" rating from everyone I help.
Check for any of the metal layers in the cell to be touching or too close together. These units are very expensive to repair and to be honest the best option is to find a disposable box filter that will fill the hole.