Thread Number: 12062
Compact Electra 'new in box' does not work - need advice
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 129155   3/27/2011 at 14:07 (4,718 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

I bought a Gold Compact Electra supposedly 'new in box' from a person who also sold to many other members on this site the same type of vac. She claimed her father had a warehouse full of them, which were never used. She shipped me 2, one for myself, one for my sister in law. The one I gave my sister in law as soon as she used it, the motor burned out. She had a new motor put in. The one I kept, the Gold model, remained in box. I recently took it out in an attempt to use it. The machine ran for a while, had great suction, then suddenly it sounded funny, and had absolutely no suction what so ever. The motor runs, but no suction at all. I would imagine this means another bad motor, perhaps where the fans are not turning. I feel so ripped off by this person, she actually charged me much more than the rest of those who posted on this vac site as well. What I spent seems to be a total waste of money. I doubt I will ever buy anything off ebay that costs a significant amount of money again. I guess the machines just sat too long without being run, 30 years is a long time for a machine to sit in a warehouse. I am thinking just to offer this machine to anyone who would be interested, as I doubt I could get any significant money return on it now that I found out it does not work. I don't want to just discard it, and I don't think I want to pay for a new motor, as I am not sure a new motor would have the same power as the original, and it would probably be very costly. If anyone has any thoughts, please post, or email me. Thanks!

Post# 129158 , Reply# 1   3/27/2011 at 14:51 (4,718 days old) by kenkart ()        
Probably an easy fix!

I would guess the motor brushes are sticking in the holders because of dampness, if you can get them out,use fine sandpaper on all sides so that when put in the brush holders they slide in and out freely, should fix it, a motor doesent just go bad from sitting idle.

Post# 129183 , Reply# 2   3/27/2011 at 16:21 (4,718 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

Actually the motor is running, the machine just has absolutely no suction at all right from the base. Nothing blocking the motor, and a clean bag, makes sound like motor is going fine, but no suction.

Post# 129184 , Reply# 3   3/27/2011 at 16:24 (4,718 days old) by kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
Yes that would be very easy and if you can't do it any vacuum shop can and shouldn't charge an arm, but maybe a leg lol. but really though I am so sorry to hear about the problems, but please don't just give up on her. Keeep us posted.
Should you need a new motor they aren't that much if you find the right sorce like maybe one of us with a shop. It's also possible that the new motor will be more powerful that the original.

Post# 129209 , Reply# 4   3/27/2011 at 17:26 (4,718 days old) by HooverCelebrity (Germany)        

That is odd... I seem to recall though, that one of our fabulous club members, Tania, in Milwaukee had a similar problem with one of those same NIB Compacts that she got. She had another local collector who has a vacuum shop take it apart and look at it. I don't remember exactly what was wrong with it... While it does seem odd that something which just sat for years and years was defective, I suppose anything is possible.

Not to defend the person who sold it to you, but I do recall them being sold "as-is" ... I bought one, myself, a green one -- but didn't have a problem with it. I do also remember hearing from Tania, that the gold ones with powernozzles were being sold for more than the green ones that had the air-turbine powernozzles or no powernozzle at all... maybe that's why you paid more? Does yours have the electric powernozzle?

LAMB motors (the sort-of "fit-all" motor that goes in many types of vacs, including Compacts) are relatively inexpensive, should you need a new one (see link). Even though you may not want to put any more money into the cleaner -- keep in mind that those old Compacts are far superior to most of what's available on the market today. And the fact that yours is so mint, would make me (if I was in your position) want to get it up and running.

Compacts are relatively easy cleaners to work on, don't feel intimidated to crack it open yourself. If you post pictures of what you're doing, there's more than enough support on this site to guide you through the process of investigating what's wrong with it. Food for thought.

I see you've been a member here for almost a year, no less, thanks for joining VacuumLand and posting! :-)


CLICK HERE TO GO TO HooverCelebrity's LINK on eBay

Post# 129233 , Reply# 5   3/27/2011 at 18:38 (4,718 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

Thanks for the posts. My Gold Compact did not come with a power nozzle or turbo, they did not have any left when I contacted them. I will try to see if I can get the machine to a shop that knows Tristar/Compact. When we had a new motor put in my sister in laws, it just didn't seem as powerful as the original motor. I wonder if my machines were actually ones that may have been sold originally, then were defective so returned, and maybe that is why these were left in storage. It seemed strange to me that the machine would fail immediately upon use, in both instances. I did buy it 'as is', but never expected they would not work at all if they were never used. It is a beautiful machine for sure, and the few moments that it ran normally, it had GREAT suction. I do have a Tristar CXL which does have the same great suction, which we use as our every day vac. I was going to us this one instead, as the Tristar needs a few minor repairs. I never saw a machine's motor run, but have absolutely no suction. It is almost like the fans are not turning. Again, enjoyed the posts. I have actually been on the vac site since the days of the old Vac Forum. My old profile expired I guess when they made a change over, and I had to create a new one to be able to post to this site, which is why it looks like I have not been here long, but I enjoy every one's posts!

Post# 129236 , Reply# 6   3/27/2011 at 18:40 (4,718 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Is there even an easier one to work on? 3 screws!

Post# 129345 , Reply# 7   3/27/2011 at 23:13 (4,718 days old) by HooverCelebrity (Germany)        

Yeah, that is definitely weird that the motor runs and there's no suction. Maybe the fans did come loose? Or the gasket that seals the motor from the bag chamber dried out and is leaking? Either way, you'll have to let us know what it is when you figure it out.

Post# 129357 , Reply# 8   3/27/2011 at 23:46 (4,718 days old) by kirbykid63 (Wilmington Delaware)        
my vote is the fans

I think the fans are not turning the top nut may have come loose that holds the fans to the shaft or you have a torn up top fan blade I see this in some electrolux's.

Post# 129364 , Reply# 9   3/28/2011 at 01:02 (4,718 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
I like that idea!

Post# 129392 , Reply# 10   3/28/2011 at 08:35 (4,717 days old) by kenkart ()        

Might be right, I remember some of the NIB vacs from Ruth Hollanders has stuck brushes, so that was the first thing I thought of.

Post# 129437 , Reply# 11   3/28/2011 at 12:59 (4,717 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Ya, I don't think it's a defective motor seal; the Tristar & Compacts use a fairly thick rubber in their motor seal. I am willing to bet that ryanm's assertion that these Compacts were defects that were returned may be right.

Mike, it's probably just one of the fans in the motor....just have it looked at and it should be fine.


BTW- it's good to see you posting here after our emails back & forth. Hope you're doing well & look forward to seeing more of you on here!

Post# 129656 , Reply# 12   3/29/2011 at 04:13 (4,717 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Check the tightness of the screws holding the cleaners canister halves together-they may have come loose from shipping or handling-the canister base halves must fit together tightly with the seal-otherwise you get no suction-would try this before condemnming the motor and fans.If a fan has come loose on the motor shaft-would make quiete a racket if the motor is run.the screws can be accesed by turning the machine over-you should see the holes where the screws are.Just tighten them and see if the machine works.

Post# 129671 , Reply# 13   3/29/2011 at 07:24 (4,716 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
Sorry it's not working for you. However, the nice thing about Compact/TriStar vacuums is that they are easy to work on.

Post# 129672 , Reply# 14   3/29/2011 at 07:30 (4,716 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

Thanks to everyone who posted here! I did check the machine, everything with the cannister itself seems to be fine. I will be dropping it off today at a vac shop I found that does do work on motors. I was happy about this because I want to keep the original motor if this is a repair that can be made. As I posted earlier, with the 2nd machine I got for my sister in law, it never ran at all after I took it out of the box it was shipped in, when I brought it to a vac shop, they told me the motor was burned out, so we had no choice except to put an after market motor in it. I will be interested to see what he comes up with, and I will post here the diagnosis when I hear it. Good to hear from everyone here!

Post# 129897 , Reply# 15   3/30/2011 at 15:08 (4,715 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

DIAGNOSIS is in. The motor came off it's mount, apparently held in by a seal and a few screws, which is why there was no suction. Once the motor was re mounted and secured with the seal, the motor and machine are running great now. I am not quite sure how a motor comes off it's mount, but who knows what happened with this machine prior to my receiving it. You would think even if the machine were dropped or handled poorly during shipping that the motor should stay in place. Thanks again to all that posted here, greatly appreciated!

Post# 129907 , Reply# 16   3/30/2011 at 17:03 (4,715 days old) by kenkart ()        
The mount!!!

on a Compact is squeezed between the 2 body sections, between the 2 screws at the rear wheels, if they are loose the motor can be sucked from its proper position, glad you got it fixed!!!

Post# 129932 , Reply# 17   3/30/2011 at 20:01 (4,715 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Mike, glad to hear it wasn't anything major & you are back to enjoying using your Compact!


Post# 129935 , Reply# 18   3/30/2011 at 20:32 (4,715 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture

Post# 129976 , Reply# 19   3/30/2011 at 22:49 (4,715 days old) by HooverCelebrity (Germany)        

Yay! Super glad to hear it wasn't a huge issue! I bet you're glad, too!

Post# 130456 , Reply# 20   4/3/2011 at 16:09 (4,711 days old) by airwaylady (Milwaukee, WI)        
Compact Motor Problems"


Yes, there was also a problem with my gold Compact C-8 after I used it a couple of times, it started arking and sparking! ...I thought how could this be with a "New" vacuum? I took it to my friend Duane and he found the problem, a bad motor brush.
It is up and running like new and all is well again, so this could very well be the one problem you are having which can be fixed. The suction problem could be as stated a bad motor gasket or fan problem. When you take it in they will diagnose the problem and hope all will be good again so you can keep vacuuming!

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy