Thread Number: 323
Why one should never pick up water with a vacuum cleaner...
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Post# 3006   10/25/2006 at 02:28 (4,312 days old) by hoovercelebrity ()        

Here's an example that came in to the store last week...

A lady brought in a model S1015 Hoover PortaPower (the white one with the blue and red stripe). I knew it was an older model--with a
Dial-A-Matic/Portable/Slimline motor in it because it had the white flippy Convertible switch.

So, the customer said "It just doesn't work". We took it in for an estimate, as it very well could have been a bad switch (although the switch felt fine), could have been the cord, the carbon brushes, so on...

So, I eventually got to it, popped it apart... Tested the switch. Fine. Tested the cord. Fine. Ok, let's pop the motor apart. Wow. Look at all of the rust!.. so I popped the [rusty] end off of the motor, and dang. I've never seen an armature that's more corroded and fried! That, and the bearings and just about every drop of metal in the motor are so corroded/rusted that the armature is quite difficult to turn by hand.

I doubt that this just happened, because of picking up water one time... granted this machine is at least 25 years old. But, dang. A good example why cleaners shouldn't be used in moist conditions.

They ended up having us toss the machine, and bought a brand new PortaPower.
I took it home... and just happen to have a spare Portable motor that I'll put in it...

Anybody else have any "moisture not playing well with vacuum cleaners" stories?


Post# 3007 , Reply# 1   10/25/2006 at 02:29 (4,312 days old) by hoovercelebrity ()        
Another shot


Post# 3008 , Reply# 2   10/25/2006 at 02:30 (4,312 days old) by hoovercelebrity ()        
And another...


Post# 3011 , Reply# 3   10/25/2006 at 05:18 (4,312 days old) by robgwisdala ()        


Post# 3015 , Reply# 4   10/25/2006 at 06:40 (4,312 days old) by myvacsrock (Dayton, OH)        

myvacsrock's profile picture

Post# 3017 , Reply# 5   10/25/2006 at 06:47 (4,312 days old) by buffalo-joe ()        
Plastic Shells

This is one instance where a plastic shelled machine is good. Replace the rusted motor and you have a working machine again. I've had water damaged vacs before and the plastic ones were easily restored. Metal bodied ones, forget it. On the opposite end of this, I had come across an Electrolux E that was in a fire. Not burned, but every piece of rubber or plastic was melted or distorted in some way. Even the hose melted off. The vacuum ran well, so I just kept the motor as model E Electroluxes are still a dime a dozen. This illustrates the weak points of plastic, although extreme. I guess each material has its good points.


Post# 3018 , Reply# 6   10/25/2006 at 07:01 (4,312 days old) by seamusuk (Dover Kent UK)        
I have one lol!!!

Hey Fred/All

Kinda reminds me of a woman that brought her Electrolux Z345 in after her 3 year old grandson had decided it would be fun to empty the dog water bowl with it(Golden Lab so a big bowl)!!!.

Apparently it went bang very loudly and threw the main circuit breaker in the house(suprise suprise lol)- doubt the kid was too impressed either!!!!

Anyhows she did actually have the motor replaced at a cost of 55 from memory(it was a couple of years back). Although she could have brought a new cleaner for less it had been a wedding present in 1975(making it one of the first of this model which ran from 75-82) so she was attached to it lol!!.

Another one involves a friend of a friend being very"ill" after a heavy session in the local and deciding it would be a good idea to clean the large ammount of sick on the living room carpet with a Dyson- apparently the clear bin looked like a blender!!

That was an expensive night as he was made to replace it- the old one was straight in the rubbish next day lol!!


Post# 3021 , Reply# 7   10/25/2006 at 08:50 (4,312 days old) by convertible68 ()        

Wow...I've seen what a "normal" DAM motor looks like, with the removeable end in sort of a dull aluminum, and this is completely the opposite. I can't believe how much corrosion the brushes and armature sustained as well; no wonder they were difficult to turn!

Before it died, I can only imagine what that thing sounded like when it ran; probably the worst racket EVER. Idiots, I tell ya!

Post# 3023 , Reply# 8   10/25/2006 at 08:55 (4,312 days old) by convertible68 ()        
As for others...

I bought a seemingly nice Celebrity I (wheeled with cord reel) on eBay, but when it arrived it was a different story. Rust all over the bag chamber, smelled like wet dog when it ran, and the bearings sounded HORRIBLY dry. When I saw the inside of the hose end that connected to the machine, it happened to be rusted. I could never get that smell out of the machine (and I tore that thing down too!), so I ended up saving the useable parts and getting rid of the rest. A perfectly good machine ruined because some retard didn't know what they were sucking up.

And pardon my mistake on the above post...meant to say more of a "dull metal", like the other half of the case. If it was aluminum, it wouldn't have rusted.

Post# 3027 , Reply# 9   10/25/2006 at 10:12 (4,312 days old) by thunderhexed (Edmond, OK)        

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I have a Sanitronic that I let a friend borrow one day to clean his house... when he was done, he put it down in the basement, he ran a load of laundry through his washer, which was in the basement as well and wouldn't ya know it.. one of the washer hoses sprung a leak and left the basement floor in about 8 inches of water before he caught it.. when i got the vacuum back, he didn't tell me what had happened and when I took the front head off to put on the attachments for use, abotu half a cup of water came out from the fan housing and the belt shaft was all rusted.. thankfully, the machine is still operable but i didn't use it for quite a while until I knew it had dried outand I could clean it up.. some friend huh?

Post# 3032 , Reply# 10   10/25/2006 at 16:21 (4,311 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        
Haha...listen to this!

I forgot to put the separator into my Rainbow D-2. Black water came out of the "seam" where the chrome meets the brown metal. still works!! Well, it didn't work after I let it dry, and then I turned it on, spun the vacuum to get it going (spun the armature and got it to turn), and kept it going for a while. I guess it got the possibly rusted bearings to loosen up some. I am so surprised it still works! I can't get it apart to look at it, but I have a feeling it is VERY rusted on the inside just from humidity! That is why I don't care to use water vacuums.

Is it okay to suck up water with a Rainbow? I heard "no," but I am not sure. Thanks!


Post# 3057 , Reply# 11   10/25/2006 at 20:22 (4,311 days old) by buffalo-joe ()        
Fan Cover

Hey Fred,

How hard was it to get that fan cover off of that motor? I don't see alot of dents where you have pried. Whenever I work with those motors, there always are alot of pry marks in the cover. Not to mention separating that housing to get at the field coils. In my opinion, one of the hardest Hoover motors to work on.


Post# 3070 , Reply# 12   10/26/2006 at 00:05 (4,311 days old) by hoovercelebrity ()        
Hey Joe~

It took a few tries, but there are definite grooves in the bakelite where you can get a flathead screwdriver in, and *gently* tap the screwdriver with a hammer--and loosen that end cap, until you're able to just pull it off.

I love rebuilding DAM motors (something that is probably necessary to do with all DAM motors, as they get FILTHY over the years)... The first few were a bit tricky.. but I've gotten the hang of it. If you were to give me one in pieces, I'd be able to put it back together no problmeo! Just don't loose the 3 little roll pins that hold the rear bearing plate in!


Post# 3072 , Reply# 13   10/26/2006 at 05:57 (4,311 days old) by buffalo-joe ()        
Roll Pins......

Those little buggers stumped me the first time I tried to work on one of these motors. I still have that broken bearing plate.


Post# 3077 , Reply# 14   10/26/2006 at 13:25 (4,310 days old) by hoovercelebrity ()        
Broken bearing plate.

Yeah, my first DAM motor didn't make it either. After maybe an hour of trying to get it apart, I ended up just getting infuriated with it, and smashing the bakelite end of it with a screwdriver or hammer or something.

Then I found out about the roll pins.

Learned my lesson... but it felt good to smash after it had gotten me so pi$$ed off!


Post# 3096 , Reply# 15   10/27/2006 at 05:32 (4,310 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I haven't seen too many vacuums that have picked up water-but did see a Sharp upright vacuum-the owner tried to clean the fireplace with it-the machine ingested some live ashes-the housing melted-and melted so bad you couldn't open it to get the bag out.The owner was lucky his house didn't burn down.The vacuum store kept the machine display-"How NOT to use your vacuum cleaner"The motor still ran.

Post# 3100 , Reply# 16   10/27/2006 at 07:23 (4,310 days old) by thunderhexed (Edmond, OK)        

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Granny has a Kirby Classic Omega that had to have the bag replaced last year due to her vacuuming up hot ashes around the fireplace. She sucked them up with the hose and the next thing she knew, the whole bag was engulfed in flames. It was simple for me to get a replacement bag for her, but she didn't need to know that, I made it out to sound like it took an act of congress to locate a replacement for a machine of that age, and the price!!! we didn't even mention that ;) She learned her lesson...

Post# 3573 , Reply# 17   11/6/2006 at 15:44 (4,299 days old) by rexairman ()        

Last week an old man brought in a practically new Hoover Wind Tunnel upright which he had vacuumed up water with and ruined the motor. I couldn't help myself - I looked straight at him and said "What were you thinking???" He hasn't decided whether to have it fixed or trade it in. A couple of weeks ago another old man (a real know-it-all) came in insisting he has a wet pick-up Electrolux. Electrolux claims to have never made a wet pick-up machine. I'm sure the stupid old codger is using a CB commercial canister to pick water up. I told him I'd like to see his wet pick-up Electrolux, but he hasn't been back. You ask why I didn't try to sell Rainbows with the big water basin to these guys???? I have found that I can't sell good equipment to idiots. They are too stupid to understand or appreciate it.

Post# 3589 , Reply# 18   11/6/2006 at 21:29 (4,299 days old) by centralvacman ()        
My Bissell shampooer

I had a Bissell carpet shampooer motor that looked like that after 2 years old,steel lamb motor housing no good for that ,application,Bissell company knows better than dointg that to their customers

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