Almost New Shop Vac Sparking


Old 07-19-05, 09:53 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Almost New Shop Vac Sparking

I got my hands on an almost new Shop Vac
Craftsman 16 gal 5.5 hp

I say almost new because I would say it's been used once
Looks like it was bought to clean up some water in a basement and was left sitting there
Maybe a few months, maybe since last year
They did not change to a "liquid" filter, they left the paper "dry" element in
Needless to say it's a little moldy

I turned it on, ran it for a few, and smelled something burning
You know how you can see where the motor is through the top on those things, well it was sparking pretty much all around it
Sparking pretty good I'd say, almost like flaming would be a better word
One side it was purple

Normally I'd say sparking is worn brushes, but this thing really is extremely low mileage
Could thay have damaged it using it once for liquid with the wrong filter?

If I get a chance I may open it up today or tomorrow
Any ideas or suggestions as to how to procede or what to look for?
Thanks in advance
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Old 07-19-05, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,778

They may have flooded the motor if they didn't use it properly.
If you see visible signs of arcing or damage to the windings the thing will be toast.
All you can really do is flood the windings with contact cleaner and let it dry out if moisture is the problem.
Old 07-19-05, 08:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
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Thanks GregH
I haven't opened it up yet
I've got some cans of CRC Electrical Connector cleaner and CRC Lectra-Motive electric parts cleaner (the one with the pictures of the starter and the alternator on it )

It would be a shame if this used once machine's motor was toasted
The canister is still shiny
You'd swear this thing was new...if it weren't for the purple and yellow fire-ball shooting out the top when you turn it on
Old 07-21-05, 04:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
Posts: 1,172
I plugged my shop vac into a 220 volt outlet once. (Hey, we all make mistakes). The result was a pretty show of flying sparks jumping all around inside there! It was really cool! Of course the motor was shot after that.
Old 07-21-05, 05:54 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Ha ha
Yeah but I'll bet it cleaned up the workshop in no time
Well, before it burned up anyway

I took it apart and cleaned it up as much as I could
Along with another older smaller rustier one from the same basement

They don't look to bad now but I'm going to let them dry overnight before testing them
I got them pretty good and those cleaners are a bit whiffy
I don't want to blow myself up if it still sparks up like that

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