There are times when only no-nonsense suck will do. Other vacuum cleaners offer the moon on a stick, but rarely live up to the repeated abuse of everyday life. Henry on the other hand is tough, no-nonsense and above all, reliable.
Reviewers of this kind of thing, seem to agree.
Make and model: Numatic International ‘Henry’ vacuum cleaner HVA200a
Fault reported: Dead/ not running
Cost of replacement: About £130, give or take
Cost of parts: £17.25
Hours spent on repair: 1
Tools needed: Cleaning tools/ cross-head screwdriver
Sundry items: Silicone spray/ cleaning rags
Repair difficulty: 2/10
Cups of tea: 1
Biscuits: 1 bourbon, I think
I have friends in trades who will only buy and use Henry ‘hoovers’ as they last, always work and are easy to use. And above all, who doesn’t like an appliance with a smiley face?
The example in the picture above had been used by a local Worthing taxi driver everyday for the last 15 years without any problems and was in pretty good nick. The filter was clean and apart from some wear and tear scratches, still looked like the current model.
One day, Henry failed to switch on and after the owner had checked the fuse in the plug, he decided to get in touch with the workshop.
The HVA200a has two speed settings, one at 600 Watts power and one at 1200 Watts power, selectable by a red switch and indicated in a red tell-tail lamp. When plugged in, nothing was happening.
Time to perform surgery.
Opening up Henry’s casing was straightforward and top marks to the designers for creating sensible parts that fit together logically. Henry is designed to last and be repaired. All very pleasing.
With the lid removed, all electrical checks were made from the plug to the end of the flex, down to the motor. The flex was in good condition with no snags, shorts or earth faults. The cable winder on this model is a simple handle operating spindle and was a bit sticky. The contacts inside the gubbins were also tarnished, so while it was all in pieces, I decided to clean all of the electrical contacts with cleaner and make sure all the sliding parts of the cable winder were clean and had a small dab of silicone spray for smoothness.
Testing for current around the circuit revealed that the speed control board was where things stopped. The speed control board was dead and required replacing.
To prove this fact, I was able to temporarily by-pass the controller and connect the mains switch to the motor, which revealed that the motor was strong.
A quick bit of shopping with my favourite parts suppliers yielded a replacement (updated) speed control PCB for under £20, which seemed like good value to me. After making a note of the wiring (see slideshow), the new PCB was connected up, the casing back together and Henry was ready to run, once more.
I also decided to give Henry a little polish too, just because.