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Thread Number: 34159  /  Tag: Pre-1950 Vacuum Cleaners
Voltage and older Vacuums
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Post# 370201   4/7/2017 at 08:18 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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I was worried about the fact that my line voltage is 125 RMS Volts and my Hoover 105, 541, etc. are rated for 110 V so I bought a Variac.

I set the variac to 110 V and plug my vacuums into the variac.
It also works great for running in carbons at half voltage.

Post# 370202 , Reply# 1   4/7/2017 at 09:08 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

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Hoover's instruction manuals, as far back as the model N (1915) told the owner to make sure their line voltage was "within 10%" of the stated motor voltage.

I have a friend in Ohio (Mike) who lives in a home more than 100 years old. His voltage coming into his home was about 100 volts. He always wondered why the Dyson I sold him had less suction at his home, and more in mine. I lived in a new home at the time, and was getting 120 volts coming in.

Post# 370207 , Reply# 2   4/7/2017 at 11:03 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Generally, with appliances and electronics, you don't have issues until around 130 volts. And of course, if you live rural, sometimes in their effort to boost voltage out to the country, you'll get spikes above 130 volts. The Variac may be overkill in this particular example, but sure doesn't hurt anything.


I've gotten into this a lot with vintage stereo electronics......many coming from abroad that were set up to run @110 volts. The sudden voltage spikes are what do the damage for the most part.



Post# 370219 , Reply# 3   4/7/2017 at 13:33 by toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
Simply shocking

Looking at the guts of my Hoover 105, I have no doubt that it'll handle 110v-125v. It's simple. No computers. No chips. Old world heavy construction. I'd have to think that voltage regulation is a whole lot better than it was 80 years ago.

Post# 370274 , Reply# 4   4/8/2017 at 08:33 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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Here's why I got the variac.

When I check my line voltage with a couple of cheap meters I get between 132 and 140 V, when I check the voltage with my Fluke true RMS meter I get 125 V.
My Kill A Watt meter is also RMS and shows 125 V.

Post# 370311 , Reply# 5   4/8/2017 at 17:26 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Transient spikes are the killers, but since electronics mostly have a power supply that steps down into DC, those are most vulnerable rated originally @110 volts.


I agree with the comment about keeping the line voltage with 10% of what the motor is rated at.  And actually depending on where you live, voltage regulation from the mains is now actually worse than the past.......although very few markets ever ran their mains so that you got more than 120 volts inside your home in the distant past.



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