EasyFix: Repairing a Vacuum Cleaner Cord
Damaged cords on electrical appliances are dangerous — they can smoke, spark and catch fire. In general, a power cord on any appliance takes a beating when it is wrapped, twisted, pulled or used by your pet (or child?) as his favorite chew toy. A vacuum cleaner cord may be damaged when dragged under the unit. Repair or replace an electrical power cord immediately. For vacuum cleaners, contact a repair service or, if you want to save money, do the job yourself.
- Replacement electrical cord
- Electrical tape
- Screwdriver (Phillips or slotted)
- Soldering gun, if needed
- Solder, if needed
- Wire stripper
- Wire cutters
- Notepad and pen
Remove the cord from the wall’s electrical outlet and open the vacuum’s casing to reveal the power source. Unscrew the vacuum’s bottom plate, remove it and then take out the roller brush and belt. Depending on the unit, you may have to remove a filter or two.
Slide your fingers up the cord to the vacuum cleaner motor and remove the shell. Unless the plates just “pop” off, you may need to unscrew them. Write down the steps and arrangements of disassembling the unit—you must reassemble it the opposite way. Remove any clamps, strain-relief devices or loops that may be fastened to the cord. Access the wire terminals inside the motor—do not remove the wires. Remove the old power cord but not the clips that held it in place. You must use the removed strain-relief devices when securing the new cord.
Untwist the terminal screws that hold the cord in place. Insert the new cord so that it folds into the motor—clip in place and screw it into the connections. If the old, twisted cord wire is secured with wire nuts, unscrew them and untwist the wires. If it is fastened with connection points, separate them. If the old cord is soldered directly into the terminals, you can replace it by soldering in the tips of the new cord. If you are not handy with a soldering gun, however, take the unit to a qualified repairman.
Strip off about an inch of insulation from both the old and new cords to expose several thin wires on each of them. Wrap and clip the exposed wires around the connection points if the cord is attached to the motor with brackets. Remove an inch of the cord’s outer coating and twist the wires from both cords around each other. Tightly seal the exposed wires with electrical tape.
And Then ...
Reassemble the vacuum. Place the strain relief and power cord retaining pieces with a pair of needle nose pliers if the vacuum uses wire nuts. Twist the cord retainer and strain relief into position and then fold or wrap the new power cord into the motor casing. Adjust the fasteners and wires and replace the motor casing, screwing it on, if necessary. Replace the vacuum cleaner’s outer casing and then test the appliance by plugging it in to an electrical outlet.
Remember to ...
- Take note of the way you’ve taken the unit apart, you must assemble it in the opposite order.
- Remove the unit’s hose and brush attachments
- Consult your vacuum cleaner’s specific annual for parts and troubleshooting information
And This is Important ...
- Use a new cord—not a refurbished one—that is an identical replacement for the old one. Consult your local hardware store or the Internet for suitable replacement cords
- Test the unit AFTER replacing motor’s outer casing. Do not plug the vacuum into an electrical outlet if wires are exposed.