Shop-vac back in action

All it took was less then $4.00 in parts from Radio Shack, and my Show-Vac was back in action. It cost me $1.69 for a thermal fuse, with a 129C limit/10amp rating, and $2.19 for a bag of mixed bullet electrical connectors. At first I thought about just hard wiring the fuse to the circuit. But if the fuse blew up once, more then likely it will blow up again. So I might as well make my life easier, and wire it up using bullet connectors. That way it will be easier for me to swap out the thermal fuse in the future.

This Shop-Vac almost turned into the proverb about “all for want of a nail“. But it helps that I have at least some technical knowledge to get me out of a jam. I would categorize this situation as only a small jam, hence only about an hour or two of time invested into this project, and now I’ve got my Shop-Vac back up and running.

4 comments on “Shop-vac back in action

  • Michael K says:

    Great post! Thought I’d share my experience today. On my way to find the fusible link, I noticed one of the wires had come loose from the switch. Perhaps the vibration. I put it on and it worked again.

  • Aargh! Why didn’t I know to look for the thermal fuse in the first place? I took off the fan to get a better look – I suppose if I were very careful and had marked the position of the fan and motor shaft, I would have been safer. Thanks for the info… I’m off to Radio Shack right now!

  • First off, you’re welcome.
    Well I started off using the lowest rated fuse at Radio Shack, which was 129C thermal fuse. And after it blew out twice on me, I then moved up to 144C thermal fuse. And that fuse lasted until the shop-vac started smoking, and then stopped working permanently. What I didn’t know the first time that I took apart the shop-vac, was that you’re not supposed to remove the rotor fan from the drive shaft. So when I re-installed the fan, it was then out of balance. And since it was now out of balance, it generated a wobble that eventually completed burned up the motor. So whatever you do, don’t remove the fan from the shaft. If I wouldn’t have removed the fan, I really think that the 144C thermal fuse would have kept the shop-vac going indefinitely.

  • Thanks for your solution. After suspecting a fusible link, dismantling the vac, testing the switch (working), and jumping the fuse – I figured out the problem but didn’t know where to get the part to fix it. Just have to get the parts now.
    I wonder how many poor souls have thrown out their vacs or bought full power units when it is such a cheap fix.
    Out of curiosity, how did you settle on the rating of the fuse you did? Did you just go with the lowest temp? Have you had to replace the fuse yet?
    Thanks again for the excellent discription.

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