All things made, will eventually break. Things that are made eventually wear out and either must be replaced or repaired. However, some things wear out a little faster than others.
Planned obsolescence and manufacturing budgets mean that parts within products can wear out faster than reasonably expected and fail totally, rendering the rest of a perfectly working item, useless.
This is where us repair folk come in. We refuse to accept this problem and work away tirelessly in sheds and lockups everywhere, working on solutions to problems such as this, keeping things going, a little longer.
A friend’s DC32 Animal cylinder vacuum cleaner’s roller beaters had stopped turning and made nothing but a horrible noise, when the cleaner was in use. Not cool.
The roller beaters on this model are literally vacuum operated by a turbine/ fan which spins fast when air passes across it, driving the beaters by a toothed belt and gear. There is no separate motor to drive the roller beaters, which is quite an elegant solution to a complex problem.
Fast forward to the issue and despite identifying the broken part and then contacting Dyson directly for a replacement, they would not sell what I needed, a part that would probably cost no more than £10 to supply. Such a shame.
The price of the (original equipment quality) complete Dyson Turbine Head, suitable for the DC32 vacuum cleaner, is £60.00 as a direct replacement from Dyson, but the part is now copied by other manufacturers. A pattern part design is available for under £20 and if this was my machine, I’d be tempted at that price. Pattern parts have their place, but I suspect that at this price, performance won’t be quiet as good as the original.
So, a choice:
- Replace the part with a brand new Dyson part – too expensive
- Replace with a non-original part, that will probably do the job – unknown outcomes, unsatisfying
- Attempt a repair on the original part. Of course it’s what I’m going to do!
On with the repair. The Turbine Head is screwed together using Torx head screws and the side vents that secure the main drive unit, pop-off the main casing, with some encouragement.
A picture paints a thousand words and the above slide shows the dismantling and reassembly process for the Turbine Head. If attempting this kind of thing yourself, remember to keep all components free of dirt and grime.
In the absence of a replacement, I attempted a repair to the existing fan and since it was made of plastic (some kind of nylon derivative I think) it was going to be difficult. Not many glues will stick this type of plastic well, so my choice was going to be ‘make or break’, literally. I considered an epoxy resin, but opted for Gorilla Glue, since it expands slightly in use, to all of the microscopic gaps. I also used it to modify the fan by filling-in around the spindle to try and prevent slippage, when spinning. When dry, I lightly sanded any high spots of glue away.
Once the whole unit was back together and reconnected to the main vacuum cleaner, the head roller beaters spun once again without a horrible noise. Question is, how long will it run for? If anyone thinks they can make a replacement using 3D printing, please let me know!