Bissell vacuum sparking and smelling terrible.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by RealRobD, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. RealRobD

    RealRobD New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Ohio
    My vacuum suddenly acted as if something got stuck in the brush and began to make a terrible noise and smell awful. I figured it was a quick pop it open, free the brush and I'd be on my way. Nope! Turns out the motor is sparking more than normal at the armature and brush contact point. And the motor acts as if it's under a lot of stress. I disassembled it, cleaned the armature, inspected everything and it looked okay. Plugged the motor in and gave it a brief whirl and quickly off as I could see the same issue persists. A new motor is about $50 but I'd rather keep that in my pocket and do a minor repair. If the armature is bad or hell even if it's just the brushes, I don't believe you can buy them. You're forced to buy a new motor instead. Any thoughts?
  2. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    You can clean out between all the bars where the brushes contact the armature and it may help but I doubt it. If this is something you are going to use all the time then buy the new motor.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Many times the beater brush assembly (Not Motor brush) will get something in its bearings and that can stress the motor and belt.

    You have to disassemble to clean and lube the brush bushings. I use sewing machine oil.


    It may not be worth a new motor, Unless it is a high end model. It could have a bad bearing.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  4. RealRobD

    RealRobD New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Ohio
    Motor bearings are fine, clean between bars on armature.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    Did you take the brushes out and see how much was left? That gunk between the bars on the armature probably came from wear on the brushes...they don't grow back!
  6. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Very True.


    If the old brushes are good and they are used, they should be installed in the same position / direction.

    They do make a special cleaner bar for cleaning the armature, That you can get from a motor rebuilding company.
  7. RealRobD

    RealRobD New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Ohio
    Brushes were removed in my original tear down and inspection. They each have about 1" of carbon left on them.

    The armature's communicator bar slots are "gunk" free.

    Resistance tests between communicator bars at 180º and bar to bar resulted in equal measurements all the way around.

    Resistance between communicator bars and armature stack is 100%.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You may just have a motor overload problem, something binding.

    What is the smell that you get ?

    Does that motor have a capacitor ?
  9. RealRobD

    RealRobD New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Ohio
    Best I can describe the smell as a phenolic material burning.

    No cap on the motor.

    I'm pretty much down to it's a bad armature. I may get good reading out of service but it may be failing under power.

    I'll just have to replace the whole thing anyway. Seeing as I can't buy just one part for this particular motor. I knew this from the beginning, I just like to solve the puzzle :)

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