Question about Rainbow E series Canister Wet/Dry Vacuum

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I used to be a dealer and used to repair rainbows in my shop but its been solong now that I can,t remember everything about it now. I have an eseries model in the 93xxxxxxxx serial numbers. If iI remember correctlly, is there not a circuit breaker that will shut the rb off if it overheats and then start after it cools down? If so, will this breaker go bad sometimes and keep shutting the RB down or is there another problem that might need to be corrected to fix the situation?

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  • Ron Kimbel Jan 06, 2011

    I know there is an answer. Is there a knowlegable Rainbow dealer out there?!!!

  • Ron Kimbel Jan 11, 2011

    Thanks! I used to replace thermal fuses on the D4/SE's and I had forgotten this. I appreciate your help very much!
    Best regards,
    RonKim

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  • Master
  • 1,140 Answers

Hi,

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.

Regards,
BElectric





Posted on Jan 08, 2011

  • 1 more comment 
  • DILLIGAF
    DILLIGAF Jan 08, 2011

    I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, but I have to cover my a** so, in the interests of your safety, please disconnect the vacuum from the power outlet before any dis-assembly or testing of your vacuum.

  • DILLIGAF
    DILLIGAF Jan 08, 2011

    Hi.



    Unfortunately the thermal fuse on the E-Series is integral to the motor (in-series on the field winding)and is not available as a separate part. If it has failed or is faulty, the motor will need to be replaced. Unfortunately, this is going to be rather expensive ($200+) so I would definitely recommend performing the checks I described above before committing to this.



    I omitted to mention that this fault can also be caused by worn motor brushes or worn motor bearings (causing uneven wear on the brushes). Either of these would generate additional heat, causing the thermal fuse to trip correctly, although seemingly prematurely.



    If you are planning to disassemble the vacuum to test the motor, you should also check the brushes for excessive/uneven wear and verify that the motor rotates freely with no "play" in the bearings. Please ensure the power is disconnected at the wall before attempting any inspection or repair on your vacuum and make note of the correct wiring connections to the motor.



    I trust this sufficiently answers your question. If you need any further assistance - or help with sourcing suppliers/parts - please let me know.



    Regards,

    BElectric

  • DILLIGAF
    DILLIGAF Jan 12, 2011

    No problem - glad I could help. I know my way around most vacuums, but I've only worked on a few Rainbows in my time. They aren't very common here. As an ex-dealer, you've probably forgotten more about these than I know ;)

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