Vacuum Cleaner Problem


On the advice of Consumer Reports and others, I purchased a Hoover U5140-900 vacuum cleaner a couple of years ago. As of today, it has broken two belts. My daughter had it in her apartment at college, so it has not had heavy use.
After I took it apart, I checked the motor pulley to see if it had any dirt accumulation. Since it did, I turned on the power to the vacuum and held a paper towel against the pulley to clean it. Much to my surprise, it burned my finger. Thinking that the friction between the pulley and my finger would easily explain the burning sensation, I turned off the power and then felt the pulley (which really looks more like a spindle to me). It was very hot. There is no way that the friction between the pulley and the paper towel caused it to heat that much. Therefore, I have to conclude that the motor is heating the pulley.
The pulley has to be getting hot enough to weaken or melt the belt. I haven't taken the motor housing apart to see if there is an obstruction, but before I dig too deeply, I wanted to ask whether anyone here had heard of such a problem. My guess is that the bearing in the motor where the pulley protrudes is bad. If that's true, I doubt the unit is worth repairing, if you can even get a motor. It's not an expensive unit anyway, but it was highly rated.
Here is the manual: http://www.hoover.com/pdfs/manuals/U5140900.pdf There is not much there in terms of servicing information.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Hi, Can't see how a lightly used cleaner has so much dirt build up. Motor is self cooling with little fan blade on the shaft. Maybe dirt build up in the path of air flow for the motor cooling is plugged up. If it is using bag, replacing bag when it needs one is a must. My three stores use cleaners like that and in 20 years I replaced belt only twice. I had to throw one out. Lazy staff did not replace bag on time and it got busted ruining the unit.
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wrote:

I think there's a new college fad where people break parts of the vacuum cleaner and then see how long it takes for the rest to break.
Call the Dean of Students. They know all about it.
Either that or it's clogged. Even with little use, it could get clogged if one tries to pick up the wrong thing. Clogging is by far the biggest problem with vacuum cleaners.
I didn't look up your model, I don't even know if it's a cannister or an upright, but if it's clogged it probably won't cool the way it is supposed to.
Although I did get a used one once which was using a bag from a loaf of bread instead of a vacuum-cleaner bag. Of course the air would't go through it and it didn't work that way.
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mcp6453 wrote:

I had a similar problem with our ancient Kirby...the brush roller had hair and thread built up around the ends of the roller so that it wouldn't spin. Cleaned out the grunge and it quit burning up belts.
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wrote:

I agree that hair on the roller/brush is probably keeping the thing from spoinning freely. With the old belt totally removed, run the motor for a couple of minutes and see if the pulley gets hot. A sharp pair of scissors or a pointy knife will let you remove the hairs on the roller, including the end caps. I'd bet a weeks pension that will solve the belt burning problem.
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You might want to pull the motor apart just for grins and giggles. When the motor on my wifes vac went out I took it apart to find a ball bearing gone bad. THe number on the bearing seemed familiar to me. A little checking proved it to be the same bearing as used on most rollerblades. I found the local skating rink had the parts and I purchased a ceramic replacements replacing both bearings in the motor. I havent had anyother problems in 15 years out of that vac.
JImmie
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