Thread Number: 41827  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Electrolux AF -- Remedies for door popping open?
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Post# 441928   5/18/2021 at 01:36 by Electrolux10000 (Georgia)        

Hello all

I'm a newbie who picked up an Electrolux Automatic F from an estate sale a few days ago. It's a nice design, and I've disassembled the unit entirely to inspect and clean it; however, the front door keeps popping open when the machine is powered up with the hose attached. I've cruised through some old posts on this site and learned some basics about the automatic dial feature, but I'm stumped. I would appreciate any insight and expertise anyone here can offer. I am familiar with old motors, but I know next to nothing about vintage vacuums. They are new to me. So ... Here is what I have thus far done: Using canned air, I blew excess dust out from around the motor at the rear of the housing. It was not very dirty, the brushes looked o.k., the wiring was intact and the armature spun freely and was clean. The rocker power switch atop the motor was undamaged and it's brass contacts were clean.
The automatic dial system on the backside of the front motor housing looked undamaged and not too dirty. The automatic dial knob on the front of the motor housing screws into a plastic housing that encloses a rubber diaphragm. The plastic housing is on the back of the front motor housing. A plastic hose connects it to an opening in the motor cannister. Another plastic hose connects from the plastic housing to an opening where the vacuum hose connects in the front of the vacuum. A third plastic hose connects the plastic housing to another diaphragm above it. That diaphragm is also on the back of the motor housing and it has a metal post in its center. A hook around the metal post connects to the switch on top of the front of the motor housing. All of these components,by the way, on the back of the front of the motor housing were a little greasy, but otherwise undamaged. So when I power up the motor there is a chain reaction where the pressure becomes unbalanced in the vacuum and it passes through the plastic piping that connects both diaphragms on the back of the motor housing thereby triggering the switch in the top of the front motor housing to disengage and the vacuum front cover to pop open. My question is ... Generally, what do people do to stop this problem and correct it so the front housing does not pop open?

Photos posted below.

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This post was last edited 05/18/2021 at 02:09

Post# 441929 , Reply# 1   5/18/2021 at 01:51 by Electrolux10000 (Georgia)        
Electrolux AF -- Remedies ... continued

I do have some bags that came with it. I keep one in the vacuum that's made for use with Electrolux. It has a modern, plastic hose but the original floor brush attachment. I can't help but wonder if the rubber seal/gasket in the front of the vacuum is the issue ... but I have never worked on one of these before. Once again, thanks for any help anyone can provide.

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This post was last edited 05/18/2021 at 02:12
Post# 441931 , Reply# 2   5/18/2021 at 07:33 by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

bikerray's profile picture
If you take the control valve out and unscrew the knob I'm guessing that the plastic around the O ring has broken off and the valve is leaking. You can still get the new knob/control assembly from your local Aerus dealer.

Post# 441939 , Reply# 3   5/18/2021 at 09:39 by dysonman1 (the county)        

What you need to do is get a bread twisty tie that you can remove the plastic from, just keeping the metal part. Remove the hose that connects to the intake (you can see it in your first picture). Run the wire through to the inside until you can see it protrude through the opening. Move it back and forth a few times. Crud gets built up in the tiny little air opening, blocking it and causing the front door to pop open all the time. Your control dial arrow should be pointing straight up (noon).

Post# 441949 , Reply# 4   5/18/2021 at 18:13 by Louvac (A)        

I would replace all of the clear tubing with tubing purchased from an Aquarium store. It's so easy to do!

Post# 441951 , Reply# 5   5/18/2021 at 20:19 by Electrolux10000 (Georgia)        

The Electrolux vacuumed the hardwood floor tonight, hose attached, without the front motor housing popping open.
Thanks for all the help, folks.

Bikerray's suggestion pointed me in the right direction.

I replaced a pair of o-rings on the back of the knob. With new ones in place, the knob can now snugly and comfortably screw into the plastic valve assembly. The old ones were, I guess, worn and wouldn't keep a seal, which led to the leak and the front door popping open.

Grand total: $2.20 at Ace Hardware. (I bought an extra in case this happens again. Each o-ring is $0.75.) I initially called the local vacuum store this afternoon in search of the o-rings, but the staff member who answered the phone said their suppliers no longer provided parts for the Electrolux. The closest Aerus dealer is 90 minutes away. I called that store and was told I had to bring the vacuum to the store to be evaluated for a free estimate. I am happy I could avoid that drive.

Note:I could not access the o-ring inside the knob as it was enclosed. Fortunately, it was not the culprit.

I am also going to replace the plastic hoses, per Louvac's suggestion. Didn't get to that today. I cleaned the intake as dysonman1 advised.

Photos enclosed of the knob to show location of the o-rings and the completed Electrolux.

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Post# 441954 , Reply# 6   5/18/2021 at 22:03 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
I am not surprised they would not carry parts for a 60 year old vacuum. That's like going down to the Ford dealer and asking if they have a crank handle for a Model A. lol

Got a photo of the O-rings package/ stock number for us?

I have several of Electrolux's alphabet vacs and I bet I'll have to do this same thing as well.

Post# 441958 , Reply# 7   5/18/2021 at 22:51 by Detroitdirtbag (Bottom of the Bag)        

detroitdirtbag's profile picture
Nice F. Can’t help you, when mine dies that i put a new bag in.

Post# 441964 , Reply# 8   5/19/2021 at 06:41 by Kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

kloveland's profile picture
It’s almost always the O-rings for me as well. The bottom ring falls off if the plastic on the stem is broken. Especially in the plastic bodied luxs. Good to know you can find those at Ace Hardware.

Post# 441999 , Reply# 9   5/19/2021 at 20:26 by Electrolux10000 (Georgia)        

Huskyvavs --

Here's the picture you requested for identification. I used a little silicone grease, btw, on the rings before reassembly.

  View Full Size
Post# 442914 , Reply# 10   6/12/2021 at 23:55 by Jo (Dallas,TX)        
Automatic control instructions

Set it on 3 for normal cleaning. it shouldn’t pop open until the bag is about half full…dial it to a higher number to retard the auto shut off check bag pop open feature more. Dial it to a lower number to “advance” the operation. If you have pets that shed you’ll need a lower number…or lots of fine Powderly dirt, you’ll need a higher number to allow enough dirt in the bag before it pops open.

The dial adjusts the sensitivity of the feature as it monitors how much suction is reduced by the bag filling with dirt. 6 is used only for temporary cleaning jobs of fine dust. If 6 is required to complete a job…once the task is done the bag should be changed and the dial returned to its normal position at 3.

Keep in mind with the higher number you keep it at cleaning efficiency will be reduced as the bag fills so if you are cleaning carpet, it’s better to use a lower number and change the bag if it pops open at that setting to thoroughly clean the carpet.


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