Vacuum Motor Repair: Common Signs of Motor Problem

Need help deciding whether to take your faulty vacuum motor to get repaired or do it yourself at home?

It may be difficult to tell whether a part needs to be repaired, rebuilt, or completely replaced.

Unfortunately, any unexpected fault might stop the entire operation of your vacuum and result in a significant loss for your pocket. 

Fortunately, a few signs might let you know or show you that it’s time for your vacuum to get motor repairs done.

If your vacuum loses suction, you hear a groaning noise from your machine; the vacuum emits burning smells, and the machine overheats; you should take your vacuum to a local repair shop.

5 Signs Your Vacuum is Busted

Signs Your Vacuum is Busted

If you’ve spent a lot of money on a high-quality vacuum in the hopes that it will serve you a lifetime, you must be aware of the signals that it needs to be repaired. 

Here are some typical signs that show visiting the store is necessary.

Strange Noises Coming from the Vacuum

The majority of vacuum cleaners are at least somewhat noisy. However, if your vacuum cleaner is becoming noisier or makes odd noises while in operation, this might indicate that it is reaching the end of its useful life. 

Strange noises from your machine may occasionally result from debris being lodged in the hoses, brushes, or filter, or they may indicate that the dirt-collecting bin needs to be cleaned out. 

It may be time to start looking for a new vacuum if the noises continue even after you’ve checked out these other probable problems.

Loss of Suction

Good suction is essential for attaining a clean floor. Without sufficient suction, it won’t suck dirt and dust; instead, it’ll just push them to the surface. 

There are a few potential causes if you’ve discovered that your vacuum’s suction isn’t as strong as it once was. 

First, look for any obstructions in the hose. It’s critical to regularly clean out the hose since an accumulation of junk can significantly diminish suction power. 

If the hose is clean, but the suction issue still exists, there probably is a problem with the vacuum motor. 

In order to prevent more harm to your vacuum cleaner, you should have this more serious issue repaired by an expert as immediately as you can.

Burning Vacuum Smell

A burning smell indicates minor annoyances to serious problems. In any case, it’s better to be cautious and deal with the issue immediately.

Burning smells may also indicate a blocked or damaged suction belt that is being overheated by the engine. 

To release the vacuum belt, see if anything prevents it from rotating, such as a thread or carpet fiber. 

A more severe scenario is that your motor is broken and has caught fire from overheating.

Wrong Vacuum for the Job

You may be aware that vacuums are designed for the kind of floors they should work on. 

Some users, lacking this knowledge, use their vacuums recklessly on any surface and make their vacuums suffer. 

Consult your vacuum manufacturer to know the surface your vacuum is meant to clean. If you have been doing it wrong, you need to repair your vacuum.

Blocked Vacuum Filters

Filters are sometimes used in place of or in addition to dirt canisters in central vacuum systems, and they must be cleaned or replaced regularly. A blocked vacuum filter indicates that you may need to visit a local vacuum repair shop. 

Furthermore, one of the most crucial suggestions for keeping your central vacuum system is to wipe out and replace filters as necessary. You should typically change these filters two to four times a year. 

You ought to be replacing and cleaning your reusable central air filters regularly.

Testing and Troubleshooting a Central Vacuum Motor

testing and fixing a broken vacuum motor

You will need basic manual equipment, a digital multimeter, and a non-contact voltage tester to diagnose and repair central vacuum cleaner systems. 

Despite small design differences between different makes and models of central vacuum cleaner systems, all of these systems have the same general problems, and the steps for diagnosing and fixing those issues are almost the same.

What Does it Mean When You Hear a Click When You Try to Turn on the Vacuum?

If your vacuum’s motor has broken down, you will hear a clicking sound when trying to start it. 

This clicking sound is the noise of a breaker falling off each time you turn the power switch to make the machine go on.  

Strong Smell from the Vacuum Unit

If you smell anything burnt, that is probably an indicator that your motor is burnt. The smell is particularly of the burnt plastic coating surrounding the copper wire. If there isn’t any smell, you should start the vacuum and check the motor.

How to Hot Wire the Vacuum Unit?

Take out the motor from the vacuum system’s inside, and you will see two or probably three wires coming out.

Separate the black and white wires from the others, and hot wire with a patch cord with 110 volts lead. 

If after all the self-repairing, the motor works, to your luck, you have saved yourself a considerable number of dimes. 

But, if not, you know there’s no hope for your motor, and you need to replace it.

Always Test the Vacuum’s Wire Connections

Control wire issues are rare, but when they do arise, they are typically the result of loose wiring at wall outlets. It’s more probable that the attachment’s plug is broken or that the wand’s switch is broken. 

Keeping the switch in the on position, use a digital multimeter to test for consistency in the attachments’ wiring. 

On the LCD of the meter, a functional switch and the wire that goes with it will show “0.000”. Use a switch that is identical to the defective one.

Should You Replace or Repair it?

Central vacuum systems provide a lot of benefits. But the decision to repair or replace a vacuum depends upon many factors, such as the warranty, usage years, and performance.

If the vacuum is old enough, it only makes sense to replace it since you are not covered by warranty anymore.

Given the limited lifespan of such equipment, it’s only a matter of time before the machine will meet its doom, so investing in repairing doesn’t make any sense. 

Moreover, with a new vacuum, you get better performance and can choose from various features.

When to Replace Your Vacuum?

It makes sense and is economical to update your vacuum cleaner if it is over ten years old. 

In the last few years, vacuum cleaners have made significant advancements. Vacuums nowadays have more power while also becoming smaller and quieter.

Since they have the suction force to handle most problems, lightweight stick vacuums are more practical solutions available. 

When to Repair Your Motor?

 You can get it repaired when you notice any of the above-explained signs exhibited by your device. 

Ensure that bearings and other moving components are properly greased, and examine the motor regularly. 

While performing this inspection, make sure the motor brushes are in good condition. These brushes degrade with time and may need to be changed sometimes. 

Call a specialist if the motor has a problem that must be fixed or replaced.

Final Thoughts

You can determine if your vacuum needs to be repaired or replaced based on the warning indicators listed above in this article. When troubleshooting a vacuum cleaner, following a step-by-step process can assist in swiftly identifying the issue and, consequently, in determining the best course of action.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth repairing a vacuum cleaner?

First, consider the age and condition of your vacuum cleaner. It may be worth repairing if it’s relatively new or in good working condition. However, if the vacuum is several years old or has significant wear and tear, purchasing a new one may be more cost-effective.

If the damage is related to a broken belt or filter, these are usually simple fixes you can do in minutes. However, if the motor has gone out or some other major component needs replacing, consider replacing it instead of repairing it.

What causes a vacuum motor to burn out?

Vacuum motors can burn out due to a variety of reasons. One cause is excessive use or overloading of the motor, which can lead to overheating and burnout. This usually happens when a vacuum cleaner is used for too long, with too much suction power, or if it’s used to pick up large objects that it wasn’t designed for.

Another common cause of burnout is lack of proper maintenance or cleaning, leading to dirt and dust getting lodged in the motor and blocking air intake.

Finally, vacuum motors can also burn out due to electrical problems such as voltage surges or shorts in the wiring. You should address these issues immediately to avoid further damage.

Are vacuum cleaner motors universal?

Generally, most upright vacuum cleaners and canister vacuum cleaners use interchangeable motors among different brands and models. This means a motor from one brand usually fits in another’s model

with minor adjustments.However, some specialty vacuums (such as central vacuums and robotic vacuums) may have unique motors that are not interchangeable.

Additionally, some manufacturers produce their proprietary motors for their vacuum models, making them incompatible with other brands or models. So, it is best to consult your vacuum’s manual and local repair shop to determine if a universal motor will work with your specific vacuum.

How much does it cost to replace a central vac motor?

The cost of replacing a central vac motor will depend on the type and model of your vacuum system.
Generally, regular replacement motors can range in price from $50 – $200 USD depending on the brand and features.

If you have an older or more complex system, it may be necessary to purchase a new motor which could cost anywhere from $150 – $400 USD.

Additionally, installation costs may vary depending on the complexity of your system, so it’s recommended to ask a qualified technician for an accurate estimate.

Robbert Randy

Robbert is an expert in vacuums. He graduated from the University of Applied Science with a degree in Commercial Economics in 2019. He tests and provide troubleshooting tips to vacuum users on his website. He don’t do this for profit–he simply want to research the best models out there and share his findings.

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