Thread Number: 9331
Oreck XL9100 Repair Help Needed
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Post# 102534   7/4/2010 at 18:24 (2,849 days old) by louvac (A)        

Hey Guys!

Yeah. I know. It's an Oreck! Anyway....

Completely disassembled it. Washed it and reassembled it. Can't figure out why the bulb on the left side of the machine is dimmer than the right side. I switched the bulbs to see if one was a higher wattage, but I got the same results. One of the wire labels that I used popped off when I was taking it apart. Could it be I attached it to the wrong lead? Both illuminate when the machine is turned on.

And, I also noticed that one motor brush is sparking way more than the other one which is actually hardly sparking. I hit it with a carbon stone and it didn't seem to do much. The spark color is orange which kinda tells me it's not the armature (??). I removed the brush also, and it appears to be fine-no chips, or gauges. Is this normal for these screaming motors?

Post# 102607 , Reply# 1   7/5/2010 at 17:58 (2,848 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

Hello Lou,

First off, Oreck is a a fine vacuum! Like anything else, it has a niche audience, and there are some who despise it (as much as I despise the Die-soon, er, I meant Dyson.) Anyway, unfortunately the problem you mention with the motor will only get worse. The light taps come off solenoids on the motor that step down the voltage to 12 volts. If there is excessive arcing around one of the brushes, you may develop a short in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, the only way to rectify this is to replace the motor. They're readily available on eBay for around $50.00. Hope this helps.

- Karl

Post# 102632 , Reply# 2   7/6/2010 at 03:57 (2,848 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I would also take an Oreck over a Dyson.

Post# 102654 , Reply# 3   7/6/2010 at 12:51 (2,847 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Same here, Love my Oreck XL21. It may not be a deep cleaner, but for everyday general cleaning it is awesome. It fits under everything, the Buster B is handy to grap to dust the bare floors..and everything contained within a bag.

Karl, doesn't the excessive arching mean that the armature is going bad?


Post# 102656 , Reply# 4   7/6/2010 at 13:01 (2,847 days old) by vacuumfreeeke (Orlando, FL)        

vacuumfreeeke's profile picture
Sorry you're having troubles! I was able to rewire the Oreck a co-worker gave me with no problems at all, first try, which almost gave me a heart attack. The good news is that quite often Orecks are a dime a dozen on Craig's List (though sometimes they are WAY overpriced too), so maybe you could at least find a capable donor for 10 or 20 bucks, which is less than a new motor! It would be really helpful if someone had a color coded wiring diagram or pictorial... I searched online for a long time before I just decided to take my chance and see what happened. I figured if it blew up, I got it for free anyway!

I like my Orecks OK, but give me a Dyson any day. They look great, and are powerful, easy to use, versatile cleaners. But alas, Oreck versus Dyson isn't the topic of this thread (nor should it be, they are completely different "animals", no pun intended)! :o)

Post# 102719 , Reply# 5   7/6/2010 at 21:50 (2,847 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

Yes Morgan, I had that happen to me not too long ago with a mint XL-100C from 1984 that looked as if it had seen no use at all. One of the copper bars on the commutator went bad, so the motor was running at about half speed, arcing like crazy. Unfortunately, the only way to remedy this is to replace the motor, which is sad, I liked the 2.8 amp motor it originally had WAAAAAY better than the new 4.0 amp motor. They run smoother, quieter and more energy efficient. I also prefer the perforated vinyl outer bag (yes, I know it's far from hypo-allergenic)!
A long time ago, I photocopied a section on vacuum repair from an appliance repair book dated 1981. Some of the vacuums they show you how to dismantle and repair are the Hoover Celebrity, Electrolux Super J & Oreck XL-4000. Even then it was recommended if there was any problems with the motor on the Oreck, replace it.

- Karl

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