|Model #||Motor 1||Motor 2||Filter||Circuit Board|
|Motor 201 Details & Instructions
Only hear a "click" at the motor when trying to start the Rittenhouse system? Or, does it shut off and start back up in a few minutes? These are common signs of a dead motor, which leaves two options: replace the motor or replace the unit. If you liked the amount of suction the Rittenhouse model had, then replace the motor using the information above. If you'd like stronger suction, or a cleaner disposal system, then consider a different unit or alternative brand from MD Vacuum. Our units are Assembled in the USA with the finest materials and backed with excellent customer service.
Much like a regular portable vacuum, the basic maintenance of a Rittenhouse Central Vacuum System is changing the bag, or, in most cases, emptying the dirt receptacle on the main unit. To do this, remove the base of the unit with a twist or by unlatching, then dump the debris and put a plastic bag over the bottom and shake the center-weighted cloth filter. On top emptying models simply open the top and remove the bag. On bottom models without a cloth filter, reach up and remove the mesh filter or clean the debris screen. Some models may have a foam filter that can be removed and washed and completely air dried.
Rittenhouse Main Motor Maintenance
All Rittenhouse units used permanently sealed motors in their main collection unit. They require no lubrication or oiling. Routine maintenance for typical residential usage should include checking the motor brushes approximately every five years. While checking the motor brushes, make sure the center motor shaft is solid and has no play or wobble. If it does, the bearings are going out and the motor will need to be replaced. If the motor brushes are worn to 3/16 inch long, replace the motor brushes.
If the unit does not have any paper or cloth bag filtration, then a certain volume of debris may accumulate on the motor's internal fan blades. This is not easy to remove and any attempt to remove it has the high possibility of offsetting the balance of the fans. An imbalanced fan causes premature motor failure on the motor bearings.
Here are instructions for checking and replacing vacuum motor brushes. Motor brushes conduct electricity into the motor while touching the center shaft. Over time, they wear down. If they wear all the way down, they can damage the motor.
Click on the image above to understand how a vacuum motor works.
Rittenhouse Pipe System Maintenance
The pipes in your system should last for the lifetime of your home if properly installed. If black carbon dust has gathered on the exterior of the pipes through static electricity, it can removed with a damp, soapy cloth.
We recommend cleaning out the interior of the piping system at least once per year. The most effective method is with Free Flow Central Vacuum Maintenance Sheets. They do a couple of things. As the sheets are pulled through the pipes, they push along all kinds of items that sit in dead spots, as well as deodorize the hose, pipes, and unit. Some amazing things can be pushed out from your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum pipes, resulting in better suction. We have seen Match Box Cars, C02 cartridges, pencils, rocks, paper clips, and huge clumps of nasty debris.
Rittenhouse Vacuum Hose Maintenance
Your vacuum hose will last longer if it is stored on a hose hanger, always being detached from the vacuum after each use. Simply create four or five loops and hang it up. Consider a Hose Cover to protect the hose and your baseboards. See if any of these Storage Items can help your situation. Consider hose hangers, wand hangers, hose straps and more. You can get everything off the floor for a more organized closet.
Reminder Emails Sent to Empty Your Rittenhouse Vacuum
Sign up for Free Quarterly Email Reminders to remind you to dispose of your central vacuum debris. Operating your unit with a full filter can reduce suction, making the unit run hotter and clean less efficiently. Your email will not be used for any other purpose, or be sold or borrowed. We simply want to help you remember to keep your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum working at its top performance.
(The image above does not reflect all types of central vacuum filtration.)
Troubleshooting Your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum
Self diagnose your system using this Interactive Troubleshooting and Repair Solutions Guide for Rittenhouse Central Vac. We guide you through a simple, methodical deduction of tests and symptoms to find the problematic source of anything from:
We then offer a description of the problem and solutions to repair your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum. We also have 100s of local, independent dealers you can reach out to for help.
Rittenhouse Central Vacuum Motor Replacement
You have a couple of options when it comes time to replace the motor on your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum. Contact a local dealer for service, or consider doing it yourself. Motors on the Rittenhouse vacuum have a few fasteners and wires that need to be unattached, then reattached on the new motor. It should take less than one hour to change your motor(s). Here is a quick "how-to" change your motor:
Note: Your new motor may not have the correct wire ends. If that is the case, we recommend cutting the wires from the old motor and wire nutting the new motor wire to the old motor wire. Using the original wire with the correct end to attach to the components makes your job a lot simpler and the connections safe and secure.
Note that a motor may have many numbers on it, but typically the complete motor number starts with "11" followed by 4 more numbers and maybe a dash with two more numbers (e.g. 115334-00). Years ago, they didn't put the complete part number on the motor.
For more information, see our detailed Rittenhouse Motor Replacement Instructions.
Circuit Board, Relay, Transformer, MiniBreaker
All central vacuums have transitioned to an all-in-one control board. They no longer use (and rarely supply) replacement individual relays, transformers, and mini breakers. If your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum needs a new relay, transformer, mini breaker, or even a new control board or circuit board, use one of these powerful, durable, cost-saving central vacuum circuit boards. The reality is, a central vacuum really only requires a motor and one circuit board. Some models have a couple of boards or fuses and multiple components that appear to be important, but they can usually all be removed and replaced with a single circuit board. It is not terribly difficult to retrofit a circuit board. An electrician can do it in under an hour.
To find the circuit board you need, verify the number of motors in your unit and the amperage requirements. Choose the correct board from one of these Durable Generic Circuit Boards made by the industry leading manufacturer. Or, use your model number and the Motor Replacement Parts Chart for Rittenhouse to see our recommended circuit board. The most common board replacement for Rittenhouse Central Vacuums is the Vacuum Motor Circuit Board for Single Motor Units 110 Volt. The board is strong yet generic, and may need to be retrofitted. There are other Generic Circuit Boards for units with different voltage and multiple motors. Print and use the large photograph of the board as the wiring guide.
Motor Brush Help for Rittenhouse Central Vacuum
The Rittenhouse motor has two carbon brushes in each motor that wear down but can be replaced before they damage the motor. Rittenhouse motor brushes should be checked every five years in typical residential applications and should be replaced if the 3/4 inch-long solid carbon "brush" is worn down to anywhere near 3/16 inch. Here are instructions for Checking and replacing vacuum motor brushes. Motor brushes conduct electricity into the motor while touching the center shaft. To find the replacement motor brush for your Rittenhouse Central Vacuum, type the motor replacement number (not brand model number) in the search box and the motor brush will come up in the search result; instructions are on the motor brush page.
Know that the Rittenhouse motor may go bad for other reasons, such as bad bearings or dust build-up in the motor (both are not repairable). If your motor brush doesn't show up under your original motor model number, replace the motor, not the motor brush.