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Thread Number: 34153  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Patience testing Kirby
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Post# 370135   4/6/2017 at 06:36 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

At the end of last year / start of this year my Kirby developed a power supply issue.

I opened up the machine, had a quick visual check for loose wires and blew the motor area out with compressed air as inside had built up a layer of light fluff and dust.

The issue seemed to go away for a week or two but then returned full force leaving the machine unusable.

I'll include a video of what it was doing....

Anyway, the machine still had a month of the 3 year warranty remaining (I'd bought it brand new), but having seen the general attitude and workmanship of one of our local Kirby dealers repair men when I went through them for a warranty claim on the power cable a year or so ago I wasn't too keen on having them fix it again.

The fault seemed to be the power switch and I found a seller on eBay selling what they claimed were new, genuine power switches for 25. I bought one and the part I received was blatantly old and used.

Unwilling to fit this to my machine I ended up buying a power switch from the local Kirby service place at an eye watering 80.

When fitting the new switch I found that the fan was showing signs of heat damage where it meets the belt shaft and needed replacing. So a new, genuine fan kit was also fitted.

At this point my Kirby was fully working once more, but unimpressed at it needing a new cable due to an internal breakage, a new power switch and a new fan after only 3 years of light use I put the machine away and left it for a few months.

The other day I was looking at Kirby stuff online about people rebuilding G series machines and saw something about only putting the fan on finger tight. I remembered I'd tightened my fan on as tight as it would go so asked the question on here about how best to tighten it and ultimately I ended up getting my Kirby back out from its months of solitary confinement in the cupboard to loosen off and then retighten the fan only finger tight.

Happy that I'd not messed anything up or overtightened anything, my love for the Kirby started to return and I decided yesterday to give the house a good going over with it.

Now I've read multiple things online where people and collectors say they have never resealed a fan case after a fan change and have never had any issues at all.

Well, guess who's fan case was leaking fine dust at the top?!

So this morning I've had to open it up again, for what I hope will be the final time!

My advice to anybody would be if you're fitting a new fan it is SOOO much easier to apply the small amount of extra effort to seal it while you already have it in bits. Rather than my way of reading online where people say "it will be fine without" to find that it isn't fine and you have to strip it back down

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Post# 370136 , Reply# 1   4/6/2017 at 06:38 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

After cleaning up the excess silicone sealant that had been pressed out when tightening the fan case back up....

Small amount is visible inside of the fan case but this will wear off with use.

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Post# 370137 , Reply# 2   4/6/2017 at 06:41 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

And a quick polish to finish off with. Hopefully I won't have to strip it down again for many years.

I've learned a few lessons along the way too... such as don't try to cut the corner of not sealing the fan case!

Going to give it 24 hours to make sure the sealer has dried before using again just to be sure

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Post# 370139 , Reply# 3   4/6/2017 at 07:19 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
Matt you should always clean off old sealent and renew it or as you have learnt it will blow dust out.

Glad you've got it back to full working order. Think you may have just been very unlucky for the switch to fail after just 3 years.

Probably a stupid question but why don't they use a rubber gasket to seal the fan housing?

Post# 370140 , Reply# 4   4/6/2017 at 07:43 by Matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

That's a very good question regarding a rubber gasket. Would make more sense

Post# 370156 , Reply# 5   4/6/2017 at 13:02 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        

Did you actually see dust building up somewhere on the front cover? I only ask because to date, I've redone 5 Kirbys (Heritage II Legend, G4, G5, G6, Sentria II) and have had zero dust leakage. Not even a dust film build up.

But, I always completely, painstakingly, remove all the remaining gasket material and then a very, very light sanding with 400 grit. My fan casings fit airtight at all five connections and I measure the airflow with a digital anemometer to verify any possible CFM loss. No issues in going on several years now.

BTW, I had to replace the switch in my Sentria II as well, but that's why I was able to get it at a thrift shop for $55 last July. I got the switch from a highly reputable seller for about $30 (used).


Post# 370171 , Reply# 6   4/6/2017 at 18:15 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Guessing due to very close manufacturing tolerance?

Post# 370173 , Reply# 7   4/6/2017 at 18:55 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        


Yes there was visible dust escape between the top of the fan chamber and headlight housing.

When I removed the fan plate to apply the sealer there was also an amount of dust and fluff wedged between the two halves of the fan case at the top also.

When I first cracked it open to fit the new fan I didn't remove any of the original seal and just reassembled so perhaps that had contributed to the leak.

However second time around I was careful to remove as much of the original seal as possible prior to applying the new sealant.


Post# 370263 , Reply# 8   4/7/2017 at 23:42 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        
Yup, That'll Do It Alrighty...

Leaving behind blobs of sealant will create minute holes for dust to escape. Glad you were able to get your Sentria II all fixed up though.


Post# 370385 , Reply# 9   4/9/2017 at 16:04 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        
So today....

I had a rather filthy car to clean - a family members car - mine gets a full clean once a week.

Anyway it was pitted inside and was probably a bit too far gone to be using the Dyson V8 on it so I figured it was the perfect opportunity for me to put the Kirby through its paces and check the resealed fan case was okay.

Fan case is perfect. No leaks.

Machine was running constantly for at least 30 minutes with the hose on.

When I turned it off, to my horror it emitted a loud screeching noise as the motor wound down.

Took the hose off and span the belt pulley by hand. Again a loud screeching. Sounded very much like a rubbery sound and I had a pretty good idea what it was.

Post# 370386 , Reply# 10   4/9/2017 at 16:13 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

Turns out when you replace the fan and all the associated washers and seals you should pack behind that little bugger with fresh grease. I've never had to do this on any other Kirby but as I'm quickly learning my Sentria likes everything done by the book.

So once again I've had the bloody thing in bits. Took the motor out the back way to avoid having to open the fan case so I've at least escaped having to reseal that again.

I didn't have any grease and at 6pm on a Sunday all the shops were shut. My grandparents had some that is possibly older than me but inside the tub was still fresh so I gave it a good smearing, pushed the rubber seal thing into place, wiped off the excess that splurged out the sides after refitting the rubber thinggy and put it all back together again.

Motor winds down nice and quiet once more.

Another Kirby lesson learned the hard way *bangs head off wall*

At this rate I'll be able to strip em down blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back

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