Thread Number: 12748
Electrolux Model CB
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Post# 136314   5/12/2011 at 15:55 (4,678 days old) by Red_October ()        

So today on the way home I found something pretty neat by the side of the road; someone had been doing some heavy cleaning-out and threw away an old Electrolux model CB; the big shop-vac looking canister type. I think they were strictly commercial deals; I haven't seen much literature that mentions them. I nicked it in a hurry and took it home, only to find that it might just have been a mistake.

Someone mistook it for a shop-vac and used it to pick up water. Perhaps ages ago. There was about 4" of nasty black water in the bottom of the can, and some assorted sludge that I didn't poke through too awful much (just enough to identify one of the objects as the better part of a plastic clothes-pin). It's been serviced before, because under the top cover there is the remains of a sticker from some shop or other, and whoever did the servicing perhaps shouldn't be permitted to own tools. Every connection was just done in friction tape, and a huge bulb of friction tape was being used as a strain relief on the cord. Did I mention that the cord was chopped off, too?

The filter had rotted mostly away, leaving the rubber gasket ring and some bits of cloth stuck to the exceptionally rusty cage that hangs below the motor, apparently to support the filter cloth. This will need to be wire-wheeled away. The hose, such as it is, is stuck in the port and won't come out. The business end is shattered and was coated with strapping tape, of all things, which was difficult to remove since it was about 32,000 years old. There were no tools, of course, not that they could be fitted to the ruined end. Fortunately the end just screws off, so if I can find another one I can at least have that.

I've seen a few of these before and have always wanted one since I was a kid, and since as far as I can tell they lead hard lives I jumped at the chance to get this one, even though I don't have time or money for a big project now. What can anyone tell me about it? How old is it, what was it supposed to come with, what's the "Convenience outlet" for, and is it really wet-dry capable? (The water that had been in it long enough to rot the filter hadn't touched the stainless steel drum, which aside from looking a bit like the thing was rolled down a hill a few times, is still shiny.) I was also surprised that it's not heavy at all, I always looked at them and assumed they weighed about a million pounds, but that's not the case!

Post# 136332 , Reply# 1   5/12/2011 at 18:32 (4,678 days old) by Electrolux-Dude (Canyon, TX)        

Depending on the color of your top part of the machine has a lot to do with how old the machine is. Most of the CB's that I've seen are the same color as the Electrolux model 1205, which would be from the late 1960's to early 1970's. As a rule, they came with a power nozzle, and large floor tool, along with a 10 foot hose, with a cord wrapped around the outside of the hose, for running the powerhead. One end of the cord plugs into the convenience outlet on the side of the machine, near the top of the motor unit. They are made for Dry pickup only. Chances are if that machine was used to pick up water, it's likely the motor is bad, on top of it being rusted out. I wouldn't throw it away though--with some work it can be rebuilt. I can walk you through the steps on how to rebuild your motor, simply drop me a line at:, and I'll be happy to walk you through rebuilding the motor.

Post# 136359 , Reply# 2   5/12/2011 at 21:57 (4,678 days old) by Red_October ()        

Thanks, Dude!
I'll get some pictures up tomorrow. There is no cord wrapped around the hose; I have seen similar arrangements on very early power-nozzle equipped machines before. I suppose the ordinary nature of the convenience outlet will make fitting a nozzle of some sort quite easy. I have no idea if the motor runs as of yet but I will try to keep the forum abreast of the situation. I must say that it does appear to be actually quite a simple machine in practice, and I shouldn't have any trouble repairing it. This may be a new account but I've been here before (registered under some variation on "Red October" as I usually do).

What I am really interested in is if there is a reliable source for parts. Would a modern Electrolux dealer be able to help me or will they simply give me some combination of bemused looks, laughter, or confusion? One thing to note is that, when I had the top off to inspect the wiring, the copper windings appeared shiny and in good order. Of course this is no clue as to the operational capacity of the motor, but it's good to know, I suppose. We will find out when I put power to it. Rebuilding a motor is perhaps the only vacuum-related task I've not undertaken, so if it comes down to it I'll be glad for any advice.

Post# 136425 , Reply# 3   5/13/2011 at 13:33 (4,677 days old) by electrolux-dude (Canyon, TX)        

Probably can't get parts from Electrolux. They don't stock parts for older machines, my experience is they just "want to sell you a new machine" anytime you walk in there, you can get replacement parts from HESCO. Their website is: There are other parts supply houses you can get parts from. Chances are if the fields look good, you can usually tell if the motor is good by looking at the commutator on the armature. If it's not all burnt looking, it should be good. Anyway--I'll be glad to help you with whatever advice you may need regarding service.

Post# 136562 , Reply# 4   5/14/2011 at 17:05 (4,676 days old) by Red_October ()        
Pictures and test-fire

So I spliced up a temporary cord for the machine today, just to see if the motor would turn. It does! When I switched it on it blew a cloud of dust out of the top and then settled in to smooth operation. I checked the business end of the hose for suction, and there was what I'd describe as "Some" -about as much suction as you get from a 1990s-era cheap upright with some goofy hacked-on hose for the onboard tools that were all the rage then, not nearly as much as you'd expect from a monster like this, especially running without a filter at all. There are, of course, many reasons for low suction, possibly including the fact that I had the top cover dismounted when I tested it, and since it had no filter installed I wasn't about to go checking every inch of the long hose to see if it had a leak (it probably has several, honestly, and might leak around the swivel since I found that wrapped in old strapping tape).

One of the things I find interesting about this unit is that it was made by Consolidated Foods, who apparently owned Electrolux for some years. The serial number is clearly visible on the nameplate if anyone can put a date to this unit.

Post# 136564 , Reply# 5   5/14/2011 at 17:07 (4,676 days old) by Red_October ()        
2nd Picture

Here is the nameplate. I know the top screws are loose, I only put them back finger-tight as one of the little nuts they mate with is loose as well (I think they are rivnuts -nuts put in place like a rivet?) and I'll be in this thing again before it can be considered serviceable.

Post# 136566 , Reply# 6   5/14/2011 at 17:09 (4,676 days old) by Red_October ()        
Tool end of the hose

This has seen some wear, eh? Looks like it broke and someone merrily carried on, using the broken-off end as a nozzle of sorts.

Post# 136567 , Reply# 7   5/14/2011 at 17:11 (4,676 days old) by Red_October ()        
Motor photo No. 1

First photo of the motor.

Post# 136568 , Reply# 8   5/14/2011 at 17:11 (4,676 days old) by Red_October ()        
Motor Photo No. 2

From the other side, if it's not obvious.

Post# 136576 , Reply# 9   5/14/2011 at 17:43 (4,676 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




This version of the CB has the same motor as the 1205. Why on earth Electrolux chose to do that instead of coming up with a more powerful motor to pull air through a 10-foot hose and into that huge dirt collecton tank is surely a mystery. Especially when using the floor tool that's 1.5x wider than the standard attachment.


I found one of these at a thrift store a few years ago in beautiful condition, thinking it would be a real powerhouse. Boy was I ever disappointed!


n.b., the earlier commercial machine, the Model CA, has the same motor as the turquoise G. And in that case, the machine took a jumbo-sized disposable paper bag that quickly clogged up, causing the same drop in suction power as in the standards models.



Post# 136581 , Reply# 10   5/14/2011 at 18:27 (4,676 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
I found one of these CBs at a church garage sale one time for 20 dollars ,only it had a brown top, so im assuming it was made at the same time as the Electrolux Olympia, around 1980. It was pretty well beat up. Had been used in the church basement, and to clean the church, evidently.
It did come with a worn out silver PN(the same PN that came with the Super Js), and with a long hose, and PN wire wrapped around it. The socket for the PN on the CB itself had pulled out of the machine.
The machine was rusty and dusty inside,,and the suction was very low,even after cleaning the filter and cleaning up the machine.
Evidently alot of people assumed these machined were for wet pick up, since it resembled a wet/dry vac.
Was very disapointed in the suction, it was pityful for such an impressive looking machine.
Gave it to a friend that has a large shop/garage for working on cars, ect.

Post# 136597 , Reply# 11   5/14/2011 at 21:30 (4,676 days old) by kirbyduh (Kentucky )        
I have a CB

The bearings are dry and the PN needs some work. It is the one with the blue cover... It was used in my countie's courthouse. When it was replaced, the Judge's wife used it in her home! (He is also my uncle)I feel sorry for her packing that monster around! I dug it out of an old house owned by the same uncle.

Post# 136609 , Reply# 12   5/14/2011 at 23:52 (4,675 days old) by Red_October ()        

Now mine might be quite different to yours but mine's not heavy in the slightest; I was quite shocked at how light it was, in fact. The long hose make it seem like it would be a really nice machine to use. I plan on getting mine working for ordinary duties, honestly. I just hope that the motor can be coaxed in to giving a bit more than it is now, which I suspect should be possible. Can anyone tell me if it is a brush-type motor (since I'd be willing to bet that, even though there are no blue sparks, that they could stand a change), or provide any other hints on how to give it a little more guts? And where the hell will I find the filter assembly, or failing that, what sort of cloth to fashion a replacement from?

Post# 136613 , Reply# 13   5/15/2011 at 00:18 (4,675 days old) by collector2 (Moose Jaw, Sk)        

collector2's profile picture
Hi Guys:

A little bit about the CB's

Although I dont have an exact time line this is the order in which they appeared and some of the unique features.

CB - light blue top and tank to match model G - PN 1 but with 3 prong standard plug and metal wands instead of the plastic.

CB - brownish tan top and tank to match L - PN1 but with 3 prong standard plug and metal wands instead of the plastic.

CB - blue top and chrome tank to match 1205 and L - early versions PN1 then PN2 with 3 prong standard plug. (your machine) - later version with PN2 then PN4 with three round pin plug

CB - brown top and chrome tanks to match olympia - PN4 with three round pins on plug.

I cant say for certain in the US but in Canada the machines came with the hose wands and wide floor brush. The PN or a wide rug nozzle as well as the matching comb brush and crevice tool were optional equipment.

I do have the exploded view of the machine from the service book somewhere if I can find it.


Post# 136635 , Reply# 14   5/15/2011 at 07:19 (4,675 days old) by kirbyduh (Kentucky )        

really isn't heavy, just awkward to pack and especially take up or down stairs.

Post# 136985 , Reply# 15   5/18/2011 at 23:19 (4,671 days old) by Red_October ()        

So does anyone know where to find some parts for this machine??? I saw someplace a hose for an Electrolux central vac that was said to fit (it's 30' long but who cares, that's cool!), but that filter assembly looks like it will be a bitch to turn up. Can they be taken down and the material replaced? I've seen paper bags for the unit in a couple places on-line; are they a necessity or a nicety?

Post# 136992 , Reply# 16   5/19/2011 at 02:08 (4,671 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I used to have a vacuum similar to that-buit sold it to another VCCC member-I did try it with the Shop Vac bags-beleive the 5Gal size would fit inside the tank over the tank inlet.Makes less of a mess in dumping and keeps the motor filter cleaner.

Post# 137005 , Reply# 17   5/19/2011 at 07:38 (4,671 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture

Those were great vacuums.  I used one for years and years while I cleaned the bank I worked for at the time.  Prior to us buying it, it was used at St. Patricks catholic church in town.  


We had a wonderful wool carpet that was in the lobby of bank.  We added a new power nozzle and the machine had to have the bearings replaced once along with the carbon brushes.


It had plenty of air flow and did not loose air flow.  I always used the paper filters along with the cloth filter.


Later Centenary United Methodist Church purchased a new model.  It was had a plastic tank, the newer power nozzle and to my knowledge they are still using it to this day.  It would have been purchased in the mid 90's and was cheaper than any of the household models.


I would love to find one in perfect shape for St. Luke's



Post# 137417 , Reply# 18   5/23/2011 at 15:20 (4,667 days old) by Red_October ()        

Well today I went to the local Electrolux dealer and surprisingly the guy knew what I was talking about and actually agreed to try and hunt down the parts I need. We'll see where this goes!

Post# 137423 , Reply# 19   5/23/2011 at 16:08 (4,667 days old) by Floor-A-Matic (somewhere)        
1205-era CB

A dream vac that I hope to get someday

Post# 137492 , Reply# 20   5/23/2011 at 22:43 (4,666 days old) by veroroger (Vero Beach, Florida)        
Ah, memories.....

Our family had a restaurant/bar/bowling alley business during the years I was growing up. Since I liked to vacuum, that became my job. My mother was a devoted Electrolux user - so much so that she bought a new Electrolux every year! The new model went to our home. The unit in our home went to the apartment above the business. The unit in the apartment went to the business and the unit in the business was traded in. The dealer LOVED her!
Anyway, the dealer convinced her to buy the CB one year rather than a new unit for our home. Even my Dad thought it would be a good idea. I, on the other hand, wanted us to get the new upright. It was a good unit but totally unfit for the duty it had. It was ungainly and kept hitting anything in it's way. The cord for the power nozzle kept tightening up on the hose and we'd have to stop to untangle it to continue vacuuming. It finally got to the point where we would take the chairs from one half of the dining rooms and place on the other half, vacuum that half, return the chairs and take the remaining chairs to the cleaned area, etc. It took much longer to do the work. In the bar room and concourse, it worked flawlessly but they had more open spaces.
Evidently, while it was a good machine, using a smaller motor than needed put too much strain on the motor as it died in the second year of ownership. The dealer quoted a repair price nearly as much as a new vacuum (surprise?) and we started the vacuum merry go round again.
It was an interesting machine. Very quiet as I remember and surprisingly light. So light that I tried to figure a way to remove the casters so it would stay in place, then get moved but I couldn't get them off. I must say I thought it did a very good job at cleaning but it was just so bulky.
Roger Brown

Post# 137730 , Reply# 21   5/26/2011 at 22:26 (4,663 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        




There's a beautiful 1205-era CB on eBay!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK on eBay

Post# 137732 , Reply# 22   5/27/2011 at 00:30 (4,663 days old) by Red_October ()        

Saw this last night. Too rich for my blood right now; honestly more than I'd pay for an old Vacuum under most circumstances. I did save all the pictures for reference, though. It's good to see the type of power nozzle it's supposed to have. Was there a special larger one offered for this unit, or did it always come with whatever the home models sported?

Post# 137833 , Reply# 23   5/28/2011 at 09:42 (4,662 days old) by eluxca ()        
CA motor


I'm getting in on this late, but I wanted to mention that the motor in the CA is NOT the same as in the G. Somewhere in my early days of digital photography I snapped a picture of a motor from the CA and G side by side. It must be gone in a computer crash - I can't locate it now. The CA motor is exact design of the G but a third larger. I compare it to the Hoover 700 and its larger commercial twin.

I suspect that many original CA motors were replaced with a G service motor if it failed. I never had the respect for the CB as I did the CA because these machines DID come from the factory with household motor that was not up to the task. It is rare to find a CB with a good motor, now and also 15 years ago when I was actively collecting.


Post# 234563 , Reply# 24   5/30/2013 at 14:55 (3,929 days old) by 13071972442 ()        
Electrolux CB

I have a few questions concerning the CB model. I bought one two years ago for thirty bucks and it's in gorgeous condition and I've been using it regularly. Here are my questions : 1 - How much are these vacuums worth? 2 - I have heard there are bags for these models. Where can I get them and where on the unit does it go?

Post# 234603 , Reply# 25   5/31/2013 at 06:07 (3,928 days old) by kenkart ()        
Re Lux CA..

I can testify to the fact that the CA has WAY more power than a G, I have seen the one John Young "ELUXA" owns and it is much more powerful than a G, more in line with a Silverado.

Post# 236406 , Reply# 26   6/13/2013 at 16:05 (3,915 days old) by joevacman1 (Valley Stream New york 11581)        

joevacman1's profile picture
Some info on the CB . Have been using one in my VacShop for the Last 20 or so years.
The CB with the Blue top used the same motor as a Model L. ( Four Screw Motor Mounting Ring.) Armature is the same as 1205. When Electrolux upgraded to the Super J Motor, The larger motor was installed in the CB also.

Post# 236524 , Reply# 27   6/14/2013 at 15:39 (3,914 days old) by joevacman1 (Valley Stream New york 11581)        
Model CB Dust Bag and filter

joevacman1's profile picture
I have had used a dacron Never clog filter underneath the regular CB cloth filter which works quite well. I also have found that the Mastercraft Paper Bag #4464 Fits on the neck inside the stainless steel drum. It is a large bag and I only have to dump it every couple of months . The CB is used daily in my Vacuum Store at my work bench.

Post# 284230 , Reply# 28   6/12/2014 at 15:49 (3,551 days old) by kevin (Livonia)        

Red_October, how did your Model CB turn out?

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