Thread Number: 36527  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Asbestos in Hoover Concept One Power Drive Clutches?
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Post# 391256   4/29/2018 at 01:11 by broomvac (N/A)        

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Hello All,

Could anyone confirm whether the Hoover Concept One Power Drive clutch disks contain any asbestos? My U3317 Concept One was built in May, 1988. Would it have any asbestos?

If these clutches do likely have asbestos, I would be very interested in replacing them with asbestos-free units. I'm thinking that the clutch disks from a Hoover Windtunnel Self-Propelled should fit. Would these contain asbestos?


Post# 391257 , Reply# 1   4/29/2018 at 02:16 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I'm not familiar with the part, but here's some food for thought. Any similarly fibrous substitute isn't going to be much healthier to breath in. You know that talcum powder looks identical to asbestos under an electron microscope? (That's why they thought crayons had asbestos in them.) Also, I highly doubt there's enough force applied to the clutch to grind off dust... it's not like a car's clutch. If it's asbestos, and there's no airborne dust, it's totally harmless.

I bet it's plastic anyway.

Post# 391259 , Reply# 2   4/29/2018 at 08:19 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Let's not forget that Brake Pads on cars had asbestos for years. And maybe they still do? I am hazy as to what they make them with now. That would-be a much higher health threat than the Concept transmission pads.

Post# 391265 , Reply# 3   4/29/2018 at 10:19 by broomvac (N/A)        

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The clutch disks on my Concept are the black ones, not the white ones.

When I got the vacuum, the transmission was covered with dust which I then blew off with compressed air (yikes). Even now, it still makes some “brake dust.”

Sometimes if I work the cleaner hard vacuuming my whole house—keep in mind I have thick plush carpet which makes the vacuum particularly hard to push—I swear I can smell hot clutch like what you would smell coming from a car.

Post# 391272 , Reply# 4   4/29/2018 at 14:03 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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In 1973, under the EPA's Clean Air Act, most spray-applied asbestos products were banned for fireproofing and insulating purposes. And in 1989, the EPA issued the Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule, which hoped to impose a full ban on the manufacturing, importation, processing and sale of asbestos-containing products.
I highly doubt it will have asbestos in it, what made you think it did? It's more than likely a nylon or synthetic fiber like soft vacuum filters, asbestos would have no practical purpose in this installation since it was intended as an insulating and fireproof material.

And yes, car brake pads containing asbestos were dangerous - but only for the mechanic. Driving around in the open air, every time you brake it would just fly off and out into the wind. But for the mechanic changing them in an enclosed area, hammering them out and getting the fibers brushed off the wheel wells and rotors, that would easily get into his respiratory system.

Post# 391282 , Reply# 5   4/29/2018 at 18:32 by broomvac (N/A)        

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It is in the last post of this thread (link below) where the asbestos clutches are discussed. This collector also seems to have a YouTube channel and in one of his videos he mentions the asbestos again. It was actually that video that tipped me off to the idea that the clutches may be asbestos, and after a search, I found the thread.



Post# 391283 , Reply# 6   4/29/2018 at 18:33 by broomvac (N/A)        

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Seems I posted the YouTube link incorrectly. Sorry.


Post# 391303 , Reply# 7   4/29/2018 at 22:06 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Actually to the best of my knowledge, there's no law on the books that prohibits use of asbestos in brake pads. They made a law, then repealed it. Probably understanding that some things - like asbestos - just don't have a good substitute.

I can't say with any certainty that they are asbestos. You could collect some of the dust it makes, and send it off to be analyzed. They sell asbestos testing kits at home depot. Otherwise, the youtube guy said somebody makes new ones, you might have to do some digging. Beyond that, they look like fairly simple circles. Find a local machinist and have them duplicated in some kind of plastic, either fiber reinforced plastic, or maybe abs. Not sure.

Post# 391311 , Reply# 8   4/30/2018 at 00:31 by broomvac (N/A)        

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“Actually to the best of my knowledge, there's no law on the books that prohibits use of asbestos in brake pads.“

I discovered this fact yesterday and was quite surprised. Really, I am shocked (and disappointed) that asbestos has not been banned in the US. Call me
paranoid, but it makes me think about all the times I might have unsafely come into contact with asbestos when I thought I was in the clear. House insulation, appliance insulation, fire blankets and mitts, brake pads, clutch disks, etc.

I thought about the test, but that is a bit pricy for me. I think most of the tests exceed 50 bucks and likely require a larger sample than a bit of clutch dust.

Since I’m on a budget, my plan for now is to try to get some clutch disks from a used Hoover “Anniversary” Self Propelled Windtunnel made in, say, the past 2 years or so. Although the WT transmission is slightly different, the clutch disks appear to have the same dimensions. Surely, THOSE won’t contain asbestos...I hope. They at least look to made of a non-fibrous substance unlike the ones I currently have. A couple of weeks ago I actually saw one of these blue Windtunnels at the same recycling center from which I have sourced many of my vacuums and spare parts. This unit was marked at their flat-rate price of $5. Sadly, that vacuum is gone now, but I’m bound to run across another there before too long.

Either that, or if I stumble across a non-Propelled Concept One, I will just swap the handle grip and undercarriage and convert mine to a push-Propelled unit.

This whole risk-of-breathing-asbestos thing has really disappointed me. I’ll be parking my Concept until I get a substitute for my current clutch disks. It’s a shame because my U3317 is in tip-top condition and is a pleasure to use.

I’ll keep everyone posted. Madman, I appreciate your advice. Thanks.

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