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TroubleShooting Power Unit Issues Q&A

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Questions & Answers

116515-13 Motor Trips Breaker

Hello, I have an Electrolux 1590 Central Vac with a Lamb 6765-07 motor that is worn out. It still runs but the brushes have worn right down and grooved the armature. I ordered a new motor from a vacuum Dealer locally and he supplied me with a Lamb 116515-13 motor. When I install it and hook it up it keeps tripping my main breaker on my breaker box. This is the second motor he has supplied me because we assumed that the first was faulty but the second one is doing the same thing. It cuts in for a split second then trips the breaker. What is the deal ??? If I install my old motor back in the unit it starts up and works fine and does not trip the breaker. What do you think?


Your system requires a Lamb Ametek Motor 116756. The one you have is a 240 volt motor, not 110 volt.

1970s Motor Needed

Have Nutone Central Vac about 35 years old. Motor is making loud noise and probably needs to be replaced. Do not know model number and it does not appear to be shown anywhere on the outside of unit. Any idea where mondel no. might be without taking it all apart in order to shop for new motor? John/Jacksonville


You will be able to figure this out without the model number as there were just a few motors used back then. Take a look at the Lamb Ametek 115334 and 116765 Motors. If these do not match, take a look at all of our replacement motors or send us a photo of your motor to find a suitable replacement.

24 Volt Light Out on Unit

I have an older Eureka central vac unit, Model cv1001d. It was working fine then one day, it wouldn't start when the hose was plugged in. I notice the 24v light on the motor unit is no longer lit. I suspect, perhaps a 24 internal transformer is the culprit. What do you think or what do you suggest to troubleshoot. Thanks


Use our Troubleshooting Flowchart to troubleshoot and find the right problem and solution for this issue.

AirForce Vacuum Issue

Have a MD AirForce Power3 Control System central vac has issues. Sue West Chester, Ohio

Please call us toll free at 1(800) 997-2278 Monday-Thursday 7am-5pm PST and we will be glad to help find and resolve the issue.

AirVac AV425 Burning Smell And Sparks

I AV425 AIRVAC System. It is about 14 years old and has not been working for a while. When I use a hose or the switch on the cannister, it comes on for a vey short time and then turns off. I see sparks coming out and smell of something burning. Does it sound like a Motor issue or the brushes need to be replaced? Thank you


This indicates the motor is bad on the unit. Any burning smell is not a good sign and once this issue appears the motor is already damaged beyond repair. You can find the replacement motor on our website.

Always On

Hello, I have the SilentMaster. Recently when I removed the vacuum hose, I noticed that the power unit kept running, there was still suction at the inlets, and it didn't shut off. Now the unit won't stop unless I unplug it. If I plug it back in, it starts running again when I'm not even vacuuming. Help!


Most likely the issue is that the relay is stuck and will need to be replaced. We recommend using our Troublshooting Flowchart to isolate the exact issue with your system.

Always On

Our 15 year old nutone central didn't turn off. Then while we were away the main unit came on and was running when we got home. The vacuum hose was not connected. What can cause the unit to turn itself on. This happened several months ago?


Most often this is caused by a low voltage short. That is most often caused out-of-the-blue by the wire being chewed on in the basement or attic. Disconnect the low voltage wire from the unit and plug the unit back in. Toggle any on/off switch on the unit and see what happens. If always on with the low voltage wire from the home disconnected from the unit then the unit relay is shorted. But if it does turn off then the low volt wires are shorted somewhere in the home. Rarely does it short behind the wall inlets where they are connected but you can check that out. If you can't find the short then you will have to move to a remote control system that fits all central vacuums.

Beam 2100 Shuts Off After 10 Minutes

Beam 2100 shuts off after about 10 minutes. I just replaced the lamb 6765 motor with a new one. The unit has excellent suction. What can be the problem?


It is possible that the mini breaker failed when the motor failed resulting in the issue you described above. If your mini breaker (reset button) is on a circuit board, the entire board will need to be replaced with our Beam Circuit Board #235SB. If the mini breaker (reset button) is a separate component, you can replace it with our 15amp Mini Breaker #251.

Beam Unit Intermittent Power

Ron & Jeanne --Minong, WI--We have a Beam Central Cleaning Systems--our problem is that the system may work for a while--then quit. Other times it will quit in seconds of starting the system--then sometimes it will go off and on real quick--the system will run when switched to manual--tks.


This could be an issue with the relay or the motor. Connecting power directly to the motor will determine which problem you have. If the motor runs without issue with the power connected directly, the issue is with the relay and it needs to be replaced. If the motor will not run for at least 15 minutes uninterrupted, the issue is a bad motor that needs to be replaced.

Beam Will Not Turn Off

We have a Beam Classic Central Vac with a RugMaster Plus Powerhead. When the hose for the Powerhead is first plugged into the wall, the unit operates correctly and comes on when the switch is pushed to one of the ON positions, but it will not turn off when the switch is turned back to the off position. I initially thought it was a bad switch, but that did not solve the problem. If the hose is unplugged from the wall or if I disconnect one of the low voltage wires at the power unit, the unit turns off. Once everything is reconnected, the problem will repeat and the switch will not turn the unit off . Is this a relay problem or something else? Mike -Jacksonville,FL.


It sounds like the control board is at fault. Your actions are forcing it to reset. Replace it with our Beam Circuit Board #235SB and it should resolve the issue.

Black Soot Around Power Unit

Bob,Kings Park,N.Y. My Nutone# CV-353W unit has black soot on all the pipes closest to the unit itself. The unit runs fine.My wife is concerned! thanks.


The black soot is carbon dust from the motor brushes wearing out. Depending the dynamics, the soot may start collecting the first day the vacuum is used. On other systems, it starts collecting when the motors are about to expire. Some systems never collect soot at all because it is designed that way. We suggest you use your machine until it stops working. The soot is not harmful.

Blue Sparking - How Much Is Too Much?

I have a Galaxie GA-100 with a 3 stage motor. I'm not sure on the age as it came with the house when purchased. It has a 7.2 Ametec Lamb 116507 motor. How much sparking is too much? I see some blue sparking at the brushes as well as some yellow sparking around the armature, but I don't have any history to compare to. The motor brushes look fine upon inspection. I'm also getting quite a bit of heat and a slight smell out of the motor. Could the motor be getting tired as the suction doesn't seem too strong?

If the blue sparks are constantly wrapping around the entire center piece (armature) where the brushes ride, the motor is going bad. The smell is also an indicator that the motor is heating up and failing. The brushes may be fine but there are a lot of other "non-replaceables" that begin to go bad and lead to the motor's end. The 116507 Lamb Ametek Motor is currently replaced by the 117507 Lamb Ametek Motor. We recommend replacing the motor at this time to keep it from overheating and possibly damaging the electronics.

Central Vacuum Barely Works, Only with On/Off at Unit

Hi from Darin in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. We moved into our 2001 home about 10 months. It has a Kenmore Central vac system. It does not work at all now. It worked fine the last time I used it, but nothing at all now. The breaker hasnt tripped. I tried replacing the wall inlet plates, still no luck. I tried shorting the wires on the cannister and inlet plate but no luck. Tried re-setting, also. There is an on/off switch on the handle of the hose. Could this be the culprit? Or possibly the control panel or motor. If I turn power on at the cannister it does work with some suction but not the same as before. What do you think? Thanks.


This is likely caused by one of two problems. 1: The motor is basically dead and needs replacing. 2: The circuit board failed and should be replaced. If shorting the low voltage at the unit doesn't trigger the motor to start, the electronics could be bad - but if it doesn't start that could also be the motor failing. We recommend replacing the motor first, especially if the motor is fairly old. Then, if that doesn't work you can try replacing the circuit board. If you don't want to chance it, replace the entire unit.

Central Vacuum Continually Burning Out Relays


It sounds like you have a short in the low voltage wiring in the home, which could be fluttering the relay and burning it out. When you disconnect the low voltage wire to get the unit to function correctly, that tells us there is a low voltage short in the home somewhere. These are hard to find and replacing the relay may not be the final solution. We would recommend bypassing the low voltage wiring in your home with our Radio Frequency Products.

Central Vacuum Is Noisy, Smelly, and Shuts Off

Hi. We have an Electrolux, "The Boss" central vac. model # CV1801, Type D. The unit is approx. 20 years old. I vacuumed up pine needles dropped from our Christmas tree, and now despite emptying the unit (which was not full), it makes a lot of noise, smells like something burning and then shuts off. The motor will run again after it cools down, but only for a couple of minutes before a repeat of the same problem. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


The vacuum motor is dead/dying and needs to be replaced (or replace the unit with any brand such as our Silent Master, MD or FloMaster Options). If the unit cannot run continuously for a minimum of 15 minutes, it indicates a faulty motor that needs to be replaced.

Central Vacuum Left On Without Hose Attached, Is The Motor Ruined?

I have a Beam system. It is just about 1 year old. It was accidentally left running after the hose was removed for ~30mins. Now when we turn it on it makes a loud noise. Is the motor ruined?


The motor would be the one thing that would be damaged by the heat built up. You most likely have to replace it with one of our Lamb Ametek Motor Options.

Central Vacuum Trips Breakers

I have an AirVac 550A. There is a dead short in it. I plug it in and the house breaker goes immediately. I have run direct current to both motors and they appear to run just fine.


The motors may still be the issue. Please run them for at least 15 minutes continuously and see what happens. If the motors are able to run without any interruption, it could be the electronics. An electrician can replace all the electronics with the replacement board for a dual motor system handling 120V and 15amps on our website.

Central Vacuum Turns On and Off By Itself

Hi, Rusty from Frederick Md. I have a Nutone CV-350-W. Motor runs for5 mins. & cuts off, then 3 min & cuts off, until it stays on for only seconds. It's 10 years old but started acting this way 5 years ago & haven't had the $ to fix it. It does work long enough to clean my vehicle but my wife is left in the dust, literally. She wants her central vac back. After reading the other Q&A's I'm thinking I need a new motor. What do you think? What about a circut board? The model number is Lamb Electric #117465.


Yes, you need a new motor. You can save money and do it yourself. You can view our replacement options and instructions on our website.

Central Vacuum Use Immediately Pops Main Breaker

Suddenly started tripping the main breaker. Hi, I'm from San Francisco and have a 10 year old Dirt Devil 699E Platinum Force. I've never had any problems but now it will trip the breaker immediately when switched on. I also looked for a reset switch but I don't believe it has one. As it happened so suddenly I'm thinking its the relay, or could it be the motor?


That is usually the motor spiking and at 10 years old it is the most likely cause. However, the main breaker could be weak and needing to be replaced as well. Plug the vacuum into another outlet to see if it is the motor or breaker. If the breaker pops, you need to replace the motor. If the breaker does not pop, this indicates a home electrical issue.

Central Vacuum Will Not Start

I purchased a home with central vac. It does not work. When I connect the hose into the wall, any wall, even the one closest to the motor, I get nothing. Where should I start? What will it cost me to have someone come out to look at it? I know nothing about central vac systems. Jason, Massachusetts


You may be able to fix this yourself. You will be able to at least isolate the issue by using our Troublshooting Flowchart. If you would like to have someone take a look at your unit, you can use our Dealer Locator to find someone in your area.

Change Motor or Motor Brush?

Thank you for your reply. I don't know how much the unit has been used, since it came with the house I bought. I still don't know how to tell whether I should try replacing the motor brushes, or if I need to replace the entire motor. Is there a way to tell? Thanks.

We recommend replacing the motor itself in the debris canister if it has run its 800 or so hours of use. Motor brushes can be replaced around 500 hours but after that the motor itself becomes weakened at the armature and bearing.

Comes On without Hose

Why would our Fasco central vac suddenly just come on during the night? The system normally comes on when a hose is inserted into the wall fitting.

Usually the low voltage wire has been chewed through. At times it may be a bad circuit board but yours doesn't have one. Also, check the inlets to see if the contacts are being shorted by a coin or screw.

Dust Blowing Out, Not Sucking In

dust is blowing out instead of sucking in


This most often happens at the main unit because the intake from the home was connected to the exhaust of the unit. Please double check or switch them to test it. If this has nothing to do with the unit but instead the carpet brush then it is either a clog in the brush or the suction is not being activated (though it may sound like it is). Try the suction without the carpet brush attached to validate it turns on when the switch is in either position. If one position doesn't have suction then the hose switch is bad, or the main vacuum unit motor is bad, or there is a low voltage issue in the system. Use our Troubleshooting Flowchart for more help with that.

Hearing A Hum and Clicking Sound While the Motor Spins Freely

question from randy: i have a Fasco model number 851 dm that has worked flawlessly for 25 years. tghe other day while vaccumming the unit shut of on its own. standing by unit i hear a hum noise,when power is diconnected i hear a click. clicks again while plugging back in. two motor system, both motors spin freely. i am thinking power relay , but your website does not show anything like what i have. any suggestions???


The hum is the normal sound of some older unit and means nothing is wrong. It is the transformer vibrating within itself and there is no loss of electricity. The clicks you hear tell us the relay and transformer are working properly. Most likely one or both of the motors are bad (they usually do spin freely when they are bad). See if there is a reset button(s) that needs to pushed in. That may get one motor going again but not for long. We recommend replacing both motors with Lamb Ametek 116336 Motors.

Hose Causes Breaker to Pop

We have an on/off switch hose. Plugged it in and tripped the house breaker for the vacuum unit in the basement. Has worked fine for the past year. Plugged in my old hose without switch, worked fine but now it too has the issue. Any suggestions. Jaye


Your relay in the vacuum suction unit is failing and needs to be replaced. Please review the photo and details our part #242 to see if it will work with your system.

How to Convert to Bag Filtration for Better Suction

I have a 93 house vac, not a turbo model. Unfortunately the Model # is not readable. It has a large canister, but due to the filtration type (12" round 1/2" foam) it clogs way before there's any appreciable amount of material in it. It has good suction power. Is there a bag or ??? to increase the filtration area? Any suggestions would be appreciated, thx. Brad, Oroville


This is possible if the debris enters into the machine via a tube with a ID or OD of 1-7/8 . A central vacuum elbow and bag adaptor will then fit. Read the following instructions and product descriptions to help you with this conversion proces:

  • How to convert an inverted cloth bag filtration type to a disposable bag type:
    Remove bottom dirt holder (remove the inverted plastic cone, if there, and previous filter). Put a PVC Coupling on the 2 OD debris pipe that enters through the side into the unit's cavity. Add a Bag Adaptor to the Coupling and finally put a #723MF-5 bag on the Bag Adaptor. Attach the bottom dirt holder and you are done!
  • Product Descriptions from Website

Indicator Light Reset

My hayden 6000 is 10 yrs old with no problems. The red service light is on. I have contacted hayden and was told this happens after so many hours of usage. I have checked the motor and nothing seems wrong. How can I reset the light so the green light will be on if the unit needs cleaning out. Thank you. Kathy. BRACEY VA


To reset the light unplug the vacuum. If that doesn't work, flip the switch or press the button 7 to 10 times. Central vacuums with these lights are all based on hours of usage and do not tell you if the motor is bad or not, if the filtration is truly full, or if it truly needs service.

Intermittent Motor

I have a Fasco 851. The unit sometimes will not turn off. Sometimes if I flick the manual switch a couple of times it will turn off, sometimes not. The hose switch also works intermittently. I suspect the relay but I would like some guidance on a replacement. It is an 18amp "Essex RBM 8317". From your parts list it looks like I will need a new transformer too. Can you help?


Yes, the relay is going bad. We suggest an easier and less expensive fix than replacing a relay and transformer. A new circuit board made for the central vacuum is better as it replaces the minibreakers too. You can view/purchase the compatible circuit board on our website. Your electrician can use the large photo of it as a wiring guide and do the job in less than an hour. The unit is attached to the vacuum with the minibreaker screwing on from the outside.

Little Circuit Breaker Pops

I have a Nutone red series central vacuum 15 years old(it says model cv352 on the lower outside label and model cv350 on the label on the outside of the motor unit on top). Anyway - It runs for a few minutes fine and then shuts off. The little circuit breaker switch on the top (motor unit) pops out --- I push it back in and plug the hose in and it runs about 5 seconds and pops out again and the motor stops. This repeats over and over ever time I push the reset switch in. Does it sounds like a relay or the motor going bad? Ft. Lauderdale -- thanks Zack


This indicates your motor needs to be replaced. The relay does not appear to be an issue. We offer compatible motors and instructions on how to install them.

Lost Pressure?

How do I know if my central vac has lost too much pressure and needs to be replaced? Is there a test? I am having a hard time picking up cat hair. Thank you. Celeste in Temecula


Try these steps to find any possible issues: Troubleshooting Low or No Suction.

Loud Motor Sounds

I have a Kenmore model 116-4802-080C. It is 13 years old. I have suction but it makes an awful racket at the top of the canister. I have tried to remove the cover, the 4 screws are stripped. Do I need to change the motor? If so, which replacement unit should I use.


It sounds like you need a new motor, but if you can't remove it you will need a new unit. Please use our Dealer Locator to find pricing information for a new unit. We do have the fittings to make a new unit work with your existing PVC pipe. For the correct motor please compare yours to the ones listed on the Kenmore page on our website.

Low Voltage Test Works, Hose Doesn't

Frustrated Bob, Kansas City. Beam Model 190, circa 1984, would not run even when using manual switch. Because of much arcing, age of Lamb 115334 motor, I replaced it. New motor runs great but power unit won't start using on/off switch on hose. Checked all 4 outlets for broken wires, found none. Unit comes on when 24v terminals are shorted. To test hose, switch, relay, etc., I used a spare wall outlet, plugged hose into it, then inserted wires from the outlet directly into 24v terminals on power unit. The switch turned the power unit on just like it should. I am 110% sure I do not have any rodents, e.g. rats, chewing on wires inside the house. But now I don't know what else to test and surely can't rewire an entire 2 story house. Have any other ideas?


When you short the contacts at the wall plate does the suction start? If so, the hose has too much resistance and you need a low voltage booster box. If not, there must be a break in the wires in the hose somewhere.

Manual Switch Works, Not Hose

hi have a smart vac will not switch on when hose is connected to wall but will work when switched on manually at unit thanks, Fred Ireland


Did the same hose work before? Does it have a switch? The switch can be bad or wires to the switch can be broken. If no switch, go to the unit and short the low voltage connection (small wires from home attach to these leads). If the system starts it indicates the low voltage line is broken somewhere between the unit and your inlets. You may use our RF Products to bypass this issue.

Mini Breaker Pops

Hi there: Our 3 year old vacuum turns off after about 5 minutes of use and the internal breaker pops. If we reset the breaker right away it will stop working again very quickly right after. If we wait about 10 minutes it gives us about another 3-5 minutes of power. Any idea what might be wrong with it? Adam from Ottawa


Usually that means the motor is bad. If not the motor, it indicates the minibreaker. Since it is such a new system, you should contact the manufacturer and see about warranty service.

Minibreaker Bad? Motor Working?

I have a NuTone CV-350. I think I may have a bad circuit breaker. When I remove the circuit breaker and touch the two wires together, the motor does come on. The unit is almost 20 years old, so I'm not sure how to tell if the motor may be starting to go -- and if so, if I should try to just replace the brushes or the entire motor. Any suggestions? Thank you.


Many times the motor will work on older machines when the motor or tank is moved. It reseats the brushes and gives the motor a bit more life. Usually, in these cases, the motor is bad, not the breaker. Put the wires back to the breaker and the motor will work, most likely. It may only work for 10 or so minutes before shutting down and may pop the minibreaker out (normal). We suggest replacing the motor because they are designed to be replaced after their 900 hours, or so, of use. See our Nutone Page for the correct motor replacement and let us know if you are experiencing different results then given here.

Motor Loud And Has Weak Suction

We have vacuflo model 107, we bought it at least 14 years ago, but only installed it 4 years ago. I did not know to reach up and clean the screen. Now the motor is very loud and suction poor. Can we get a new motor for that model? Bernice Onalaska WI


You will need to replace the motor as it is most likely filled with hair. We highly recommend switching to a bag filtered unit such as the FloMaster C650.

Motor Makes Whining Sound

When we turn on the vacuum, there is a loud whine coming from the motor of our in house vacuum. We have tried every inlet and each one whines when we turn it on. Can you help


If the vacuum is new, the motor is most likely compressed. To decompress it, you need to remove the motor and tab on the metal seam on the side of the wider part of the motor using a hammer and screwdriver. If the motor is older, it may be going bad and needs to be replaced.

Motor Starts When I Bang On The Canister

I have an electrolux model 1590 central vacuum. The motor stopped running but when you bang on the motor housing it starts to run. Any idea on what the problem may be?


This indicates the motor needs to be replaced. It has used up its 800-900 work hours and the carbon brushes are not making good contact with the armature in the motor. If the motor is not too old (used less than 600 hours) you may be able to replace the motor brushes. Search our site with the replacement motor 11XXXX number to find the brushes.

Motor Was Loud, Stopped, And Now Only Clicks

my central vac was super loud one day so i emptied it and changed the filter hoping this would be the problem. Toay it was even louder and than it just stopped working. you can here it click but nothing happens any ideads what is wrong should i just buy a new motor?


The stop and click indicates your motor has failed and will need to be replaced. You can purchase a new motor and find instructions for replacing it on our website.

Motors Hum, Don't Spin

I have a Filtex central vacuum system a product of M&S Systems. It has 2 NTS300 12.25 Amps 129 volt AC motors. The system is about 20 years old I replaced one of the motors 2 years ago because it was sparking and the unit has worked fine until now. When plugged in and turned on ( there is a on/off switch on the electric box on cannister) the unit just hums softly the motors do not start and spin as they had in past. Where do I start looking to fix unit. Ed


Seeing that you have a newer motor, it should work apart from the other motor, the issue is not the motors but instead with the electronics. Most likely you will need to replace all the electronics with a circuit board or replace the entire unit.

Muffler Won't Stay Connected

Louise Oakville Ontario The muffler on the cannister blows off when I am vacuuming. What causes this and how can I fix it?


You can apply some rubber cement to hold it on.

New Brushes, 50% Power

Filtex SB 300L--New brushes placed--Now suction about 50%--any suggestions? Thanks, John


As that can be a number of things, start by isolating both motors to make sure they are both working. One has to be turned off and taken out to test because they spin when not working due to the air flow. It sounds like one motor is not getting power, is dead, or the brushes are not installed correctly.

New Relay But Still Stays On?

I have a one year old MD Modern Day central vacuum unit. About six months ago, the unit would not turn off unless unplugged. I disconnected the low voltage wires and it still kept running. The installer came and checked the house low voltage wiring and the outlets. He replaced the relay switch. Each time, the unit works for awhile and then same problem. What is wrong with this installation? Roy in Plymouth.


You proved it was not the low voltage wiring the first time and now with the new relay the unit still stays on? Try removing the low voltage wire from the unit again. It may be the manual switch on the unit it bad because 99.9% of the time replacing the relay solves the issue when it is not the low voltage wires in the home. Are you using a new hose with switch or longer hose? If the low voltage wiring is not 20 guage, but thinner like telephone wiring or your low voltage wiring is compromised, the weak signal from these issues will burn out your relay. Your solutions could include a Low Voltage Booster Box, finding the low voltage wire area that's compromised, or going back to a basic hose or a shorter hose with switch.

New Unit Shuts Down Quickly

I just bought a new Agressor and it will run for a few minutes and then kick off. We have rewired, bought new inlets and a new cord. It is like the filter that goes up when the unit chokes it off. My husband vented it. It says it does not have to be vented, could this be the problem?

If a new unit is kicking off that quick it either has a badly manufactured motor or, as you state, the filter bag is covering the intake internally and overheating the unit. Try running it without the bag and you'll know if it's the motor or bag.

No Clog, No Suction, Normal Exhaust

michael,raven,va My 2year old nutone vx475 power unit has lost suction at the base unit . Cannot find any clogs and the exhaust seems to have alot of force. But no suction. Now what?


Sounds like a pipe is broken or disconnected, which is how the exhaust is still able to function. Double check by disconnecting the hose from any port, turning on the vacuum manually, and testing the exhaust. If still high or normal exhaust then there is a break in the pipe or something internally wrong with the vacuum. Be sure the debris compartment door is completely latched and sealed (or the bottom bucket is on - with other models).

Relay Stuck Again

Hi, I've read through a lot of your advice but still have a particular question i haven't seen answered . I have a cyclovac E715. within a year of instalation it started misbehaving by not turning off. I unplugged the low volt system and determined the relay was stuck. With rest and /or a few taps it would return to working condition. I got the installer to replace the circuit board and relay. Now its happened again. What could cause the relays to fail? Thanks for the help.


Relays will often fail when the low voltage signal is weak or compromised. The relay chatters, heating up, and then stays stuck. Did you recenly buy a different hose? Hoses add more resistance to the low voltage system. What wires were used for low voltage? Thin telephone wires or 20 gauge speaker type of wire? Any work done on the home recently? Any pests? Something is compromising the low voltage.

Removing Bottom Tank for Emptying

We have a "Signature Central Vaccuum Systems, Inc.", model 449. We can't get the bottom of the canister off to replace the paper bag. There are two clips which we released and expected the bottom to come off but it doesn't. We tried twisting and pulling but it wont budge.

We know your frustration. Too many times bottom emptying cyclonics get jammed with dirt and are extremely difficult to undo. They either twist off or just fall straight down. We suggest lightly striking the unit along the two parts with a soft mallet.

Replacing Motor Brushes

I changed brushes 6 month ago on 116765 Lamb Vacuum Motor. I have to change it again now. Is this possible that the new brushes were bad stuff or its probably more a defective motor (armature) ?? I didn't look for blue spark but the rotor (bearings) was turning well when changed the brushes. Thank for your andwers ! Sebastian B


If you're replacing the motor brushes every six months, you most likely have bad motor armature. It's time to replace the motor. You can only use an armature and replace the motor brushes for so long before the only solution is a new motor.

Short in Hose? Suction Always On

My Hayden Central vacuum is turning on automatically when plugged into the outlet--just the suction. It used to be that the green light would go on when it was plugged in and I had to push the button to turn it on---forward for power head and back for just suction. The power head still works when I push the button forward as before. However the green light does not come on and it won't turn off when I put the button in the middle( or off) position. I have to just pull the hose out of the outlet in order to have it turn off. What to do? How do I tell if some wire is shorting? Thanks. Danielle in Salisbury, MD


If your suction stays on when the vacuum hose switch is off, it usually indicates a low voltage signal issue. In this instance, it is difficult to troubleshoot for a quick resolution. We recommend continuing to unplug the hose from the inlet valve to turn it off, until something fully goes wrong or it stops working completely.

Sparking and Smelly Motor

Happy to have found your site. I have a Filtex Model #FX900 installed by my contractor 1993. Our home is about 4500 square feet. Last week while vacuuming the unit smelled like it was burning and then sent off sparks. Turned it off and when turned it on same thing happened. Alas what to do? Can you recommend an honest dealer in the 91784 area who could look at the system without burning down our home. We are senior citizens who are unable to do our own repairs. Thanks, Dawn I did send for your troubleshooting guide. Incidentally your website is easy to use.


You need two new motors and a repair person should charge you around $400 for the entire job. Use our Dealer Locator at to find help in your area. Call and ask if they have replaced motors in a central vacuum before and ask for referrals.

Spits Out Dust

Hi there, We have a central vacuum sunbeam and we just emptied the canister, but everytime we turn it on, it spits out dust everywhere. what could be wrong??


The filter must be installed correctly. Please make sure it is in the proper position.

Static Shocks from Wall Inlet and Hose

I am getting shocks from my central vac. This is not just static , there are actual sparks coming from the wall outlet . It's like it is not grounded but worked fine last week Have checked where the unit is plugged in and everything looks fine. Any suggestions where to start. Thanks Kathleen


This is a build up of static electricity. Wipe the hose down with a dryer cloth and rub a dryer cloth all over the hose and inlet. This will put the build up in check.

Still Popping After New Motor

My Vacuflo 560 from 1999 recently started to stop after a few minutes of operation. The reset button would pop out. You can reset it but only to have it run for about 15 seconds before it would pop again. I took it to a service center and they supposedly replaced the motor and circuit board (under warranty). Got the unit home and its continuing to have the same behavior. The suction seems to be as good as the day bought it. Is it possible the the reset switch has gone bad?


Certainly the motor is the issue and should have been replaced with a new one. Since the minibreaker is still popping it would be the next issue, as they can fail when the motor fails. If the minibreaker(s) is on the circuit board then replace the entire circuit board. If the minibreaker is stand alone then replace it with one of our minibreaker options on our website. The vacuum will work properly following these actions.

Stops, Starts When Cooled

NewTone CV-450, main unit runs a few min. then stopps, then starts when it cools off it seems like, but if I open the door where it's installed,it runs longer. Motors both seem fine, but get very warm. If a relay dropps out on a motor, will the Vac over heat and cutt off? There are two motors. Verne, Idabel, Ok.

Those symptoms show that the motors are getting hot or the eletronics are failing. Motors get hot when they need to be replaced. Electronics cut off when they get too warm from the motors. Rarely do they go bad but they can. Look to see if there is a lot of blue sparking at the motors.

Suddenly Stopped



Try turning the bag around to resolve this issue. The reason it stopped at first can be diverse. Did the minibreaker on the unit pop? Did the breaker in your home pop? When you try to start it do you hear a click? Then the motors are dead. If not then the relay is dead, if the machine is getting electricity.

Sunbeam Central Vacuum Filter

Hi, i have a sunbeam central vac (5yrs old) that has what is believed to be dirt above the bag (other side) that captures dirt for the container below. Can you advise how to gain access to this area? Shane in Duncan.


To remove the cloth filter, pull inward from the top side. The outer rim flexes and the fitler falls out. We carry replacement Inverted Cloth Filters in various diameters. Also, all of our accessories and tools fit your system.


Hi I am Gary from Penticton, B.C. I have a Electrolux Central Vac. Model # E130A The motor seems to surge on and off after vacuuming for awhile. I was wondering if this could be caused from a paper filter sock put on the exhaust pipe, thus causing the motor to overheat??

Start with removing the exhaust filter. After that remove the intake from the home. Isolate the unit and see if it does it on its own. Remove the internal filter as it may be clogged too. Find where the hinderance is in order to solve this mystery.

Switch Works but Not Low Voltage

I have a Zenex 375 central vac that will not power up with the low voltage contact at the hose. I put a screw driver across the low voltage plugs on the vacuum to short the low voltage see if it was a wiring problem and the vac did not work. You can turn it on with the manual switch on the vac. Does this mean i have to replace the electrical board?


That does sound like the board is bad. It really can't be anything else. The motors work and the only thing left is the board. Please review the replacement Circuit Board options on our site to confirm compatibility.

System Stopped, Where to Start Looking

I have the old Broan system. I replaced the hose, power nozzle, and the tools about 2 years ago. Last week, the system stopped working. I am not sure if it is a short at the hose or if it is the actual central vacuum canister.(it is 14 yrs. old)I just need to know where to start. Thanks!


To get started, please use our Troubleshooting Flowchart to help isolate the issue.

Tank and Piping Have Good Suction Separately but Not Together

I have a Kenmore central vac that has always worked very well. Recently I have lost suction. I disconnected the piping and seemed to have plenty of suction at the unit. While I had the piping disconnected I put my shop vac on the piping and had plenty of suction in the house thus eliminating a piping problem. Any ideas what my problem may be? Thank You!


The problem is probably a clogged hose. Put the shop vac directly on the tank where you disconnected the intake PVC to check it.

Temperature Effects Vacuum Control?

the central vacuum canister is located in the stared running by itself. The garage door had been open for close to an hour. The temperature outside is a few degrees below zero. It ran for about 15 minute and shut off by itself. after I had heard it turn on I went to the basement(which is heated) and had that door open for awhile trying to figure out what was wrong. After it shut off, I plugged the hose into the outlet and it worked Could the rrxtreme cold in the garage have triggered the machine to turn on. Sheila


Temperature will never cause the vacuum to turn on by itself. However, an old motor may cause it to shut off and then it may start back up by itself when it cools down. If that is the case, replace the vacuum motor.

Testing Minibreakers

I have a vacuflo 566q it is about 5 years old. I can vacum for about 5 min and the minibreaker on the unit will pop. The motor dosent feel to warm to the touch if you reset the breaker it will start and run right away but only for a few minutes. I am thinking the minibreaker is bad is there any way to test it?


The minibreaker doesn't have to be hot to pop. Popping usually indicates a bad motor. If the motor is new, it is most likely the minibreaker that needs to be replaced.

Toying with Reset Button

Anthony -Little neck ny The vacuum works well, and job completed next day vacuum not turning on,i play with reset button and works reset button bad. It is a Eureka central vac.


It is difficult to resolve your issue without more testing. Take the filter out and see if it runs for a longer time. In new construction, wall dust cakes on the filter and motor and causes trouble. But it may be that the minibreaker has gone bad (which is rare, but possible).

Unit Not Starting Via Hose

the original unit was a nuttone I recently replaced the power unit to airvac. The sytsem has worked great until today. The unit comes on when I switch in on, in the garage, but the outlets in house are not turning on when I plug them in.


It sounds like your low voltage wire connected to the main unit may have come loose. Please check it. Short the contacts of the low voltage connection to ensure that they are live and that the suction will start that way on the unit. If suction does not start, use our Troubleshooting Flowchart for further assistance.

Unit Not Turning On

Stacey, St. George, UT I have a Beam Unit that is about three years old. One day it was working fine and then the next, it will only turn on if I have the carpet attachment turned on high. They hard floor attachment doesn't work, my dustpan doesn't work, and not even the carpet attachment on low. I did have a power outage the morning it stopped working, could that have affected it? What can I do?


With the power outage, you may need to just press the reset button on the side of the unit. Check the breakers on the house as well. Most likely, the main unit is not getting any power.

VacPan Surge

I have a Hayden Premier central vac, when you turn on one of the vac pans the suction surges. Don't notice any issues when using wall connections.


The Vacpan uses a flip-top lid that is very different from your wall inlets that connect to your hose. When your Vacpan is activated, the air will rush by the lid as it opens giving a louder sound at first, then lowering as the lid is completely opened. This is normal.

Valve Inlet Not Working On Vacuum Unit

filtem model 695a Garage ouylet on unit will not run yet in side the house is no problem


You typically have to use the on and off switch located on the vacuum when using the valve on the unit.

Ward Central Vacuum Motor Replacement

I need a motor for a Ward model mr-110 12amps central vac. mfr out of business was in dallas tx


Please advise the motor number listed on the motor itself inside your unit. Once we have this information, we will be better able to assist you with a replacement.

Where To Find On Off Switch At Unit?

I am uncertain if there is a on/off switch at the unit. Wayne B. Eagle, WI


If a unit has an on and off switch it will be located near the minibreaker reset button. If your unit empties from the bottom then it will be on the top side. If it empties from the top then it will be on the bottom side. Usually all central vacs have an on/off switch.