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Old 09-30-2016, 02:07 PM
brujaja brujaja is offline
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What happened to my vacuum?

I was vacuuming this morning; and as I held the cord out of the way, I accidentally pulled it out of the wall. This has happened before, to no ill effect, but this time my vacuum would not start up again when I plugged it back in. It wouldn't start when plugged into another outlet, either.

What is the most likely event that would do that under these circumstances? The cable, plug end, etc. are all in good shape, with no exposed wires or anything. There was no charring, no electrical snap or smell of burning insulation. It just quit.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:12 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Probably broke the internal connection of wire to the plug blade. I'd open up the case and use a multimeter to check continuity of the wires before doing anything else, but cutting off the plug and replacing it is probably what's needed.

Unfortunately, you can't get really good replacement plugs any more - they're all big and bulky and industrial. Makes using and storing household equipment more difficult.

A not-entirely safe test: Plug the cord in, make sure the vacuum switch is on, and kind of grind the cable around against/into the plug body. You might get some sparks and smoke, mostly contained, but even momentary startup of the vacuum will confirm the diagnosis.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 09-30-2016 at 02:13 PM.
  #3  
Old 09-30-2016, 02:19 PM
brujaja brujaja is offline
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I'm afraid the test wouldn't work, because the on/off switch is just a button you press that engages probably a circuitboard underneath it, and then returns to position. (It's a Dyson, one of those mini ones.) So it only turns on if it can turn on, if you know what I mean. I should have mentioned that the switch was having problems anyway; I'd have to press the button two or three times before it would engage. (BTW, the plug fit in the wall fairly loosely, which is why it pulls out easily.)
  #4  
Old 09-30-2016, 02:40 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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As you probably know, nature abhors a vacuum.

--Mark
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:55 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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Did you try it in a different outlet? I had a fan fail to turn on in one outlet but worked in others, and yet a lamp plugged into the same outlet worked. It turned out that the outlet was starting to fail and had some carbon built up on the connections, and the loose fitting fan plug just happened not to find any good metal to contact when it was plugged in. The tighter fitting lamp was able to find some good metal to contact.

The problem could be in the outlet or the plug on the vacuum, but charring on the vacuum's plug would definitely be noticeable.

If the vacuum doesn't work in any outlet then the failed wire that was already mentioned is probably the most likely cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
As you probably know, nature abhors a vacuum.
Cats aren't very fond of them either.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 09-30-2016 at 02:56 PM.
  #6  
Old 09-30-2016, 03:16 PM
Kimballkid Kimballkid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Did you try it in a different outlet?
From the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by brujaja View Post
It wouldn't start when plugged into another outlet, either.
  #7  
Old 09-30-2016, 03:39 PM
markn+ markn+ is offline
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I'd also double check that the prongs on the plug are not bent. On occasion I've had plugs fail to make contact with the outlet because the prongs were not straight.

--Mark
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:11 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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Is it a Shark? Because they just stop. I've had four. I keep buying them because they are cheap and very very effective on pet hair but they only last 6-9 months, and I don't know why. They just stop. They are not clogged. There is no burning smell. They just...stop.
  #9  
Old 09-30-2016, 11:38 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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This is a huge stretch, but I'm throwing it out there: do you have GFCIs in your house? Long shot, but maybe the outlets you plugged the vac into were on the same circuit and tripped the GFCI when you yanked the plug. 1,000 to 1, but possible.

If anything else is plugged into those outlets and working, please disregard the preceding.
  #10  
Old 10-01-2016, 12:00 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Is there any chance that the machine end of the cord also came out when the cord was pulled from the wall? Our vacuum had a cord that was not wired into the machine, but simply had a female plug that was pushed onto male prongs on the base of the device.

Alternatively, is yours a new-fangled machine with its own fuse that might have blown when the power was "restored"?
  #11  
Old 10-01-2016, 12:03 AM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Probably broke the internal connection of wire to the plug blade. I'd open up the case and use a multimeter to check continuity of the wires before doing anything else, but cutting off the plug and replacing it is probably what's needed.
This is probably it. It was my first thought. If you open up the case where the cord goes into the body, you will probably find the ends of the wires held in place by screws. Unscrew them, and do a continuity test on each wire. At least one will be bad. Then, take the cord to an electronics shop, or some place like Home Depot, and ask for the closest match they have. Screw it back in place just like the old one was.

If they don't have an good match, you can buy a heavy-duty extension cord and snip off the receptacle end. Check the rating of your vacuum, and make sure it's rated the same or higher.
  #12  
Old 10-01-2016, 12:05 AM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb View Post
Is there any chance that the machine end of the cord also came out when the cord was pulled from the wall? Our vacuum had a cord that was not wired into the machine, but simply had a female plug that was pushed onto male prongs on the base of the device.

Alternatively, is yours a new-fangled machine with its own fuse that might have blown when the power was "restored"?
I wish a lot more appliances had that feature.
  #13  
Old 10-01-2016, 03:59 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
Is it a Shark? Because they just stop. I've had four. I keep buying them because they are cheap and very very effective on pet hair but they only last 6-9 months, and I don't know why. They just stop. They are not clogged. There is no burning smell. They just...stop.


Devices like this often have a fuses inside, which is both current and temperature.
Now the motor in a fan system requires the air flow to cool it.. it makes warm air even when empty... So letting it get over-full (too much in it) or dust clogged filters (dust filters clogged even though its not full.) means less air flow.. which can then mean.. blown thermal fuse.

So its cheap to get the fuse(s) replaced..

A better brand will have a thermal cutout, that resets itself.
  #14  
Old 10-01-2016, 06:35 AM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
Is it a Shark? Because they just stop. I've had four. I keep buying them because they are cheap and very very effective on pet hair but they only last 6-9 months, and I don't know why. They just stop. They are not clogged. There is no burning smell. They just...stop.
From post #3:

Quote:
(It's a Dyson, one of those mini ones.)
  #15  
Old 10-01-2016, 09:41 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
As you probably know, nature abhors a vacuum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Cats aren't very fond of them either.
Cats aren't very fond of nature? What an amazing insight, that explains almost all cat behavior.
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