Elecronic air cleaner unit


Came into possession of an electronic air cleaner unit from a small commercial building that was being gutted and renovated. Overall size about 24 by 18 inches and appears to have been installed directly in the ducting of a hot air furnace/air circulating sytem etc.
It contains two slide out 'filter' units with fins on air input side and thin wires on output. The power unit contains a Wabash transformer (120v, 30 watt input) which presumably supplies a high DC voltage to the filter units.
When 'found' in a dumpster it had been scrapped; the filters were stuffed full with lint and hair (it seems the renovated building may have housed a small hairdressing salon!). It seemed to have not been cleaned out for 20 years!
Question:.Got 95% of the debris out without damaging the polarizing wires/fins but OK to wash remaining dust and wisps etc. out with a hose and then dry thoroughly?
Before testing the 'transformer' presume the output voltage will be several thousand volts which cannot therefore be tested by an ordinary test meter. There is a metal 'shorting' device, presumably to safely discharge static/capacitive voltage on the filter units before they are removed.
Intention is to convert the unit to a stand alone semi portable air cleaner device, probably on casters, with a fan inside to move the air. A plug in move around unit!
Any comments or advice re the electronic air cleaner unit. This house with baseboard electric heating but not having any air circulation or air exchanger, except to open the windows, and a workshop in the full basement is somewhat dusty and this unit might help?
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Might help. When I worked for Sears, my trainer used to slide out the section with the fine wires. Soak it in hot water, and powdered dish washing machine detergent. Dry completely before put back together.
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On May 13, 1:39 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Good idea; if not in a plastic (fish) tub then maybe on a towel in the bathtub! Thanks for suggestion.
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On 5/13/2010 12:07 PM, terry wrote:

The electronic unit I had in my old house had instructions to wash the filters in the dishwasher. I used to put the 2 electronic and 2 coarse non-electronic filters in the dishwasher with regular dishwasher soap and run through the full cycle. I'd usually try to open just before drying as the filters seem to hold lots of water in crevices. I'd tip them to drain, then put them back and continue the dry cycle. BTW, there is very little to go wrong with the power supply. Usually the big capacitors die. I replaced mine with new ones from Mouser. They actually had a higher breakdown voltage and were pretty cheap. A high voltage probe, like what is used to fix TVs (does anyone fix TVs these days?) is helpful.
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terry wrote:

The thin wires are on the input side. They charge the dust particles so they stick to the plates as they go through. The filters are generally reversable. Turn them around (move the handle to the other side) if you want the air to go the other way, and move the metal prefilters to the inlet side.
You can put the filters into a dishwasher to clean them with a non-phosphate detergent. Tip them up on a corner to drain after washing.
You can probably find a users manual on the manufacturers website.
There is probably a "test" button near the bottom of the unit. When operating, pressing the button should result in a "pop" noise from the internal spark producer by the high voltage.
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More advice; thank you to all who post. The two easily removable filter units each have a label on them that says 'Air direction' and closer inspection shows an arrangement of fins and wires connected to the postive terminal of the so-called 'transformer' (HV DC power supply!). The positive suppy is applied through an insulated metal stud on top of each filter. The negative is metal frame grounded. Still lots of little bits of hair etc. clinging to the wires; may have to use scissors to snip them clear!
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terry wrote:

Just don't nick the wires. They may be individually removable.
I think there are two high voltages. One on the wire to charge the particles, and the reverse voltage on half of the plates to collect the dust.
My local Honeywell service place actually sells a detergent for cleaning these in the dishwasher. He was the one who said to use a non-phosphate detergent.
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