Thread Number: 35967  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Hoover WindTunnel 2 Rewind Pet - Rocker switch flash
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Post# 385686   2/9/2018 at 18:43 (186 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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I've had my Hoover WindTunnel 2 Rewind Pet for 4 1/2 years now, and found this issue late last year.

I noticed something weird with the power switch. Sometimes, when I go to turn the vacuum off, I see this bright flash, like a spark, coming from the switch. This only happens occasionally and never happens when the vacuum is turned on.

This is a point of concern for me. Is a bright flash from the power switch dangerous? Is it normal? Do any other Hoover uprights with rocker switches do this? Should I stop using the vacuum if this happens a lot?

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Post# 385695 , Reply# 1   2/9/2018 at 21:40 (186 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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Considering how much trouble this vacuum has given you, it may be time to cut your losses and put it in the trash where it belongs. did that with mine and never regretted it.

Post# 385697 , Reply# 2   2/9/2018 at 21:54 (186 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I have heard of this happening with other vacuums. Whether it's dangerous or not don't know, but the issue is the high amperage going across the switch when it first makes or breaks the connection.

Post# 385748 , Reply# 3   2/10/2018 at 15:39 (185 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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There's nothing wrong with it, it's normal. Just like when you plug or unplug a TV set from the outlet and it sparks. It's just the current flowing from one point to the other.

Hair dryers do this all the time when you switch them from high power to off, and I had a desk fan from the 1960's that did that. Don't listen to people telling you to throw it out, because it is not broken. I remember my grandmother's old glass fuse fusebox she had, it was a 1930's relic and when you threw on the mains switch, it would make a giant pop and a spark when the switch would contact the locking point, always scared the crap out of me, but that was perfectly normal.

But yeah, I have the Rewind 3 that I bought - as store return salvage no less - and it's an amazingly good vacuum. As long as you know basic maintenance and change parts as needed, it's very nice to use. Good weight too it too, but not overly heavy. It's common for uprights these days to fall over just using the hose on them because they are so hollow.

Post# 385779 , Reply# 4   2/10/2018 at 20:51 (185 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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So I was worried about nothing after all!

I see a spark all the time when I plug my laptop charger (for a 15.6" HP laptop) into an outlet. Electricity is one of my biggest fears. I, for one, HATE getting shocked; it's one of the worst feelings to me. I remember one time in 2002, I was 7 or 8 years old and my dad had just cleaned our carpets with my grandmother's old Hoover SteamVac (silver with stationary brushes). After that, I found an AM loop antenna and pretended like it was that SteamVac. I stuck the antenna's wire into the grounding hole of a set of outlets in the family room near the TV (the other outlet had a subwoofer plugged into it). Initially, it was fine, but one morning, I stuck the wire into the outlet, and there was a big SPARK and the TV shut off. In a panic, I ran upstairs screaming and crying. Then my mom had to reset the circuit breaker. Now I know to never stick foreign objects into outlets. Fortunately, nobody got hurt; the afflicted outlet got a small burn mark on the right side. This was one of the more dangerous moments from my childhood.

Anyway, my Hoover is still a really good vacuum. I always perform maintenance as needed, and it's still a pleasure to use. It doesn't tip over when using the attachments.

Post# 385787 , Reply# 5   2/10/2018 at 22:18 (184 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I returned a few Hoover Tempo Widepaths because of these switch “flashes” until I got one that did not do it. In hindsight, I really think it may just be factory dust burning off on the switch as the flashes seemed to decrease with time on the earlier ones I returned to Future Shop here in Canada. But I really love the performance of this upright and wanted to give it a chance I returned two of them until I got one that did not have that scary switch flash. I think this may be why Consumer Reports took it out of their ratings list a few years ago. Not sure.

Fast forward 8 years to today and Mom uses it in her apartment with no problems.

Post# 385798 , Reply# 6   2/11/2018 at 02:47 (184 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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@ niclonnic
I've gotten electrocuted a lot through various accidents that couldn't be foreseen - just bad house wiring from DIY'ers in the 1980s - it really just feels like someone stabbed you. I plugged in a metal surge protector not knowing my garage has the outlet polarity wired backwards, and getting 120v through the frame of the surge protector through my hand while barefoot, that just gave me a sharp tingling like I fell asleep on my hand. Logic said I would have died being fully grounded but I let go pretty quick. Another time I touched the switch for the ceiling fan while my right foot was on the HVAC vent plate, and that hurt even worse. Really sharp pain and I had the burn imprint of the wallplate screw outlined in my palm for about 4-5 hours.

@ eurekaprince I think it has a lot to do with just general wear and tear on the switch. You can also do this to switches if you happen to flip the switch on and off super quick. Over time the finite gap will wear and expand to a bigger gap by a fraction of a millimeter until it's big enough to make a spark when the current jumps from one leg of the switch to the other. In a way like how your car spark plugs wear down and you have to open the gaps by bending them with a special tool.

But yeah it's not serious at all and nothing to fret over. You can replace the switch if you want but I don't see any reason to. These vacuums have a high wattage rating if I recall, so they draw a lot of power.

Post# 385800 , Reply# 7   2/11/2018 at 04:12 (184 days old) by ryan1994jeep (Georgia)        

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My Moms Windtunnel (1998) used to do that. Later the switch had to be replaced due to it melting. But I believe I read that was a first generation issue.

Post# 385857 , Reply# 8   2/11/2018 at 21:51 (184 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        
@ ryan1994jeep

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Would that be the hunter green color ones with the power drive? If so, those were recalled in 2001 if I remember the article due to the switch overheating and catching fire. I have one with the original switch still and the vacuum has never been repaired or serviced, mine hasn't self-destructed yet.

Post# 385903 , Reply# 9   2/12/2018 at 14:11 (183 days old) by vacuumdevil (Denver)        

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@crazykirbydude definitely right that Hoover has lived it's expected lifespan. And then some.

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