Monday, November 19, 2018

How to repair a Electrolux canister vacuum with a dead head

I was generously given a Electrolux Ultra Flex canister vacuum bringing the total owned by my extended family to three.  Electrolux has since released a new model after mine was purchased.  

It sucks well, it cleans very well, it's decently quiet, fantastic on pet hair, it's great on stairs, and the vacuum itself is easy to clean.  

Overall, it's probably the best vacuum I've ever used, except one has had a few issues.  The clip for holding the wand upright broke, the retractable cord doesn't stop recoiling forcing me to use a clip on the cord when vacuuming, and worst of all the the head stopped working after a few months.  No lights, no roller.  The first two issues aren't a deal breaker, but a dead roller is a show stopper. 

I troubleshooted to an electrical issue where the detachable hose meets the canister.  The electrical collar had a bad connection.  I attempted to clean it of any debris but that didn't seem to help. 

I called Electrolux and they sent out another hose assemble with no problems.  After a few weeks the new hose died as well.  Since two hoses had died and Electrolux just released a new model I figured there was a design problem with the older model I owned.  At this point I decided to fix it myself. 

A few warnings:
  1. This is an electrical modification and you should know what you are doing.  
  2. The canister collar will no longer be able to spin.  This is a hard wire fix.  If this isn't suitable for your vacuuming style, you will need to find another solution.  This isn't really a concern for me.  
  3. Make sure this is the issue.  It was easy for me because I could interchange parts with other vacuums.  Also by wiggling the hose or holding it down it was obvious there was an issue with the base of the hose.  
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Phillips screw driver
  • Three 1/2 stainless steal screws
  • Small gauge electrical wire insulator, like shrink tube or electrical tape/paint
  • Drill with a small drill bit.  
Open the collar port.  There's a single black screw to do this.  Then gently slip the outer collar from the inner.  An o-ring might slip out.  Be sure not to damage it or loose it. 

Slipping off the outer collar reveals two copper rings.  Removing the copper rings reveal the wires connected to the hose.  Cut the wire off the copper ring (and be sure not to cut the wire off from the hose!). The wires under the copper ring are bare and you will need to be insulated.  Put the o-ring back and slip on the outer collar feeding out the two wires attached to the hose.  

Now you're ready to hard wire.  The collar port contains two wires that attach to the main canister body.  Wire the black to black and white to white.  Use an insulator to make sure there's no bare wire that could short circuit.  

Now that it's hard wired, the collar _must not_ spin.  I drilled three small holes from the outside and used 1/2 inch stainless steal screws.  This will stop the base of the hose from spinning so that the new hard wired solution won't be ripped out. 

Finally, slip the collar port back on and attach the black screw.  That's it!  If you've had this problem like I've had with two of mine, that should fix the issue. 

Happy vacuuming! 

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