Question about Rainbow E series Canister Wet/Dry Vacuum
The answer to your question is yes. There is a "circuit breaker" within the vacuum although it's often referred to as a thermal fuse or thermal cut-off. A circuit breaker is essentially a re-settable fuse so same difference. It is not uncommon for the thermal fuse to develop a fault " or go bad". It is essentially a thermostat and can fail or develop a fault in the same way that a thermostat in an oven or dryer can - and does.
If it fails in the "open" position, the power circuit to the motor is incomplete and the vacuum will not run. If it fails in the closed position, the vacuum will run but power to the motor will not be cut if the vacuum overheats. The fuse comprises a bi-metal strip which can distort through prolonged cycles of heating and cooling. When this happens, the fuse will still function, but will cut power to the motor - usually at too low a temperature. This appears to be what is happening in your case.
The thermal fuse is usually in-series and located on the common/neutral wire near the motor - or attached to the common terminal on the motor. I service and repair vacuums but I haven't worked on this particular model so will need to check on the exact location and get back to you.
The fuse is an essentially safety feature and, if faulty, needs to be replaced. The thermal fuse can normally be removed and the vacuum will work without it, but this should only be done for testing purposes and when it's certain that the fuse is faulty - which is when it fails in the open/no power position.
Unfortunately, there are other factors which will cause the same "fault". It's possible that the motor is starting to burn out or there is a partial blockage somewhere causing reduced air-flow to the motor causing it to overheat more quickly than normal. To determine the cause of the fault, you should initially check the hoses, etc for any blockages and clean or replace your filters.
If these are all OK, you will need to perform resistance testing on the motor with an ohm-meter. Unfortunately, simply testing between the hot and common terminals is not sufficient to determine whether or not the motor is faulty. This will only give you a reading for one of the armature windings and there are several of these.
To adequately test the motor (i.e. all of the armature windings), you need to remove the motor and the brushes and test each armature winding individually by rotating the motor slowly by one full turn and probing the opposing commutator segments. You should be getting a resistance reading of about 0.5 ohms through each winding. If this reading suddenly increases dramatically, then one of the windings is damaged which would cause the motor to overheat too quickly and eventually burn out.
With the brushes removed, you can also test the stationary (field) motor windings by probing the live/hot and common/neutral terminals. Again, you should be getting a resistance reading of about 0.5 ohms.
If you have checked the vacuum for blockages, the filters are clean, and testing reveals that the motor is sound, then it's almost definite that the thermal-fuse needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, on some vacuums, the thermal fuse is only supplied with the motor and cannot be bought separately!
I hope this will assist you in solving your problem. I will check on the location of the thermal-fuse for your vacuum and, if possible, supplier details and the part number and get back to you asap.
Posted on Jan 08, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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