Thread Number: 44307  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Kenmore Canister Plug & Prongs Scarily Hot
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Post# 461196   3/11/2023 at 23:13 by vacuumdude222 (Canada)        

Back in August, we purchased 2 Kenmore BC3005 (81414) bagged canister vacuums - one for each floor since we have a ton of carpet despite the house being around 2000SF.

The units themselves are great, I was even more impressed when I saw that they use the same core parts from the Kenmore Progressive Panasonic built counterparts.

The vac upstairs though, the plug end gets scarily hot, so much to the point when after I finish vacuuming the plugs plastic is actually soft and malleable. The one downstairs also gets hot, but it seems to be at a much more understandable temperature for a 12 AMP machine.

I switched out the wall outlet upstairs, no change.

I ran both machines through a watt meter, the downstairs machine under load with power head and canister running at full - clocks at around 1420-1440 watts which either matches or goes under 12 AMPS.

The upstairs unit, under the same conditions clocks at around 1475-1500 watts...which exceeds 12 AMPS.

Is this situation normal at all??

Post# 461198 , Reply# 1   3/12/2023 at 01:44 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Make sure your filters are all clean and/or replaced, and try with a fresh bag. Clogged filters on bagless vacuums can do the same thing, which is because of restricted airflow the vacuum has to draw more power to maintain suction while suffocating.

The only other thing it can be is a bad socket, where wear on the socket can cause a loose connection to the plugs and cause arcing and heat, but you replaced that so it should not be a problem.

It could be bad manufacturing perhaps.

Post# 461205 , Reply# 2   3/12/2023 at 07:37 by Ctvacman (CT)        

That has always been my experience with these machines from the day they were taken out of the box

Post# 461210 , Reply# 3   3/12/2023 at 10:57 by vacuumdude222 (Canada)        

The bag is a brand new Kenmore hepa bag. The pre motor filter is clean and while the exhaust hepa has captured motor carbons, is also clear.

Post# 461217 , Reply# 4   3/12/2023 at 15:58 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Wiring in the house might be a higher gauge wire. If you wire 20 gauge wire on 20 amp breaker and the other running 10 gauge wire on a 20 amp breaker.
The outlet is wired for less volts and its not going to run at full capacity. It can't run higher because the house is wired differently.

Post# 461223 , Reply# 5   3/12/2023 at 18:24 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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As Les suggested, it's worth looking into your house wiring, but I don't think a 12amp vacuum could overload a circuit breaker unless you have a really old house with old wiring.

I'd probably presume they cheaped out on the cord wiring and it can't handle the vacuum's motor current. Knowing how Kenmore is today I wouldn't doubt them.

If you feel adventurous maybe have a new cord put on it from another brand either permanently or temporarily and see if the same happens. Maybe a cord from a Kirby or some other high amperage vacuum.

Otherwise keep a close eye on it, it's never good when the cord heats up to that point as it can cause a dead short and possible fire.

Post# 461228 , Reply# 6   3/12/2023 at 20:39 by vacuumdude222 (Canada)        

The house wiring is as follows:

15 AMP circuits at 14/2 wiring.
20 AMP circuits at 12/2 wiring.

To code as far as I can tell. The vacuum is being plugged in on a 15 AMP circuit.

Replacing the cord sounds alright. I've used 1200 watt Shark uprights...and they never had this issue.

Right now my options are:

Replace with a refurbished Miele C3 and pair it with a new SEB 236 powerhead which will eventually handle both levels.

Replace with a used Kenmore Progressive canister built by Panasonic.

Replace the cord.

Post# 461230 , Reply# 7   3/12/2023 at 21:07 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Are running a 12 amp vacuum on a 15 amp breaker. The gauge of the wire is the same.
Plug both vacuums on the same outlet upstairs and on the same outlet downstairs.
It should trip the breaker both times.
It could be a cord. If your breaker trips on both outlets you can rule out the house wiring.

Post# 461260 , Reply# 8   3/13/2023 at 19:16 by vacuumdude222 (Canada)        

There isn't anything wrong with the wiring of the house. Breakers trip as expected.

Inspecting the plug on the unit, it appears its already began melting between the two prongs as there is a crater/dip between the two on the surface - only a matter of a few more uses before it caught fire or shorted. The gauge of the cord is 17 AWG after all, I expected thinner given how warm it gets but anyways that wasn't the concerning part.

I surprisingly found reviews complaining about the same thing I experienced. There is definitely some sort of manufacturing defect/issue on these.

Post# 461448 , Reply# 9   3/18/2023 at 14:14 by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
Wow yeah sounds like a recipe for disaster. I had an old 1950's work light that had rotted the cord in storage hanging up. The cord all looked fine and it seemed OK, so I plugged it in. I clicked the switch, and nothing. I put it down to go get a bulb and then I heard whistling like a tea kettle. I was like "huh???" and then before I could process that thought, the cord went POP with a big bang like a firework and then there was hot rubber flying all over the place and the cord had caught fire while plugged into the wall and the end was burning like a lit candle as well as some rubber on the floor burning. It was small enough I just blew it out with my breath, but wow that was so scary. What happened was the wires had decayed near the plug end and molded together, creating a dead short, and they heated up until it blew apart.

Would probably be a good idea to have a vacuum shop wire a new cord on there that would work with the winder reel, I am sure they have spare cords from other vacuums that would work. You could likely get away with replacing just the plug with a new plug but I wouldn't trust it that the entire cord and plug together are suspect.

Post# 461459 , Reply# 10   3/18/2023 at 20:36 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Learned dismiss the basics and work from there.

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