can i save my broken air purifier?
January 20, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

I knocked over my Whispure 510 air purifier and now it doesn't turn on. No power, no noises, no nothing (yes, it's plugged into a socket, yes, the socket works). Is there any hope? Can I fix it myself? Is there a website or book that can teach me how to do this?

Right now, it's dead dead dead. I'm hoping that some wire came loose in the fall and i can save it by opening it up, finding the magic wire, and reattaching it. Is this a thing?

Um, I have no electrical experience, but I am generally handy, and I have nothing to lose by trying, I don't think (as long as I unplug it first, which i will, no worries).

Can anybody help me with a cure for my air purifier please? I'm looking for websites or videos that can help me fix this myself. I realize an electrician is an option, but I am more interested in trying this one alone.

thank you!
posted by andreapandrea to Technology (10 answers total)
I often succeed in fixing electronic devices by taking them apart and putting them back together, sometimes tightening a screw or cleaning contacts in the process. Have at it. The only risk would be that you somehow create a short circuit and it catches on fire or blows a fuse once you plug it back in and turn it on. Don't do that. Go slow, use a plastic screwdriver if you don't want to mark up the plastic when you pry it open.

I see from your link that it costs $300 and comes with a 5 year warranty - might want to check if the warranty is still active before you break out the dissecting kit.
posted by ChrisHartley at 6:43 PM on January 20, 2011

Let me say the dumb thing right off the back... before you take it apart... unplug it. (I know you knew that, but we would all hate ourselves if nobody said it and we read about this in the paper tomorrow!)
posted by HuronBob at 6:44 PM on January 20, 2011

First thing I usually try is unplugging it for a few minutes and then plugging it back in and trying
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:55 PM on January 20, 2011

Soldering is the name of the skill you will need. There are many sites that teach that skill, just google. That is if it is just something loose.

Btw an electrictian is not the right Person to fix it. It would be an appliance repair person.

Good luck
posted by d4nj450n at 7:05 PM on January 20, 2011

I would also suggest taking it apart and back together. I have a purifier (different brand) that, when the front panel is off for filter changing, has a cut-off switch to prevent a user from shocking himself. If you knocked over the unit, you may have knocked loose whatever was holding that switch down, automatically disengaging power. Make sure all the tabs and slots lock back into place properly.
posted by Wulfhere at 7:44 PM on January 20, 2011

Using a multimeter to check for continuity when the switch is on?
posted by buzzman at 7:45 PM on January 20, 2011

A lot of fans, air cleaners, and heaters like this have a mercury switch or "tip switch" built in that senses if the device is knocked over and, if so, quickly kills the power. Sometimes there is a separate reset switch which must be tripped to get the device working again, sometimes it's a matter of setting the device upright and leaving it unplugged for a period of time, usually several minutes. I'd investigate that possibility before opening it up.
posted by xedrik at 10:10 PM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whirlpool user manual is here. See page 5, "Control Lock", could that be it?
posted by xedrik at 10:14 PM on January 20, 2011

Step one is to do nothing for a little while and see if it fixes itself. Step two is to switch the thing on, plug it in and wiggle the cord around, especially at the plug and at the end where it goes into the appliance; if the appliance comes on for even a moment, you're probably dealing with a damaged cord. Step three is read the manual, especially any troubleshooting sections. After step three you're stuck with opening it up and doing some internal diagnostics, which it sounds as if you might not have the tools for, and which might require a lot of pictures and back-and-forth explanation to get you through.
posted by jon1270 at 4:27 AM on January 21, 2011

Thanks everyone! The little 'auto-shut-off' trigger was flipped when it landed on its front and one of the door latches got jammed. with the help of that manual and all of your comments, i opened it, saw it was jammed, wiggled it, closed it, and, um, it re-started.

i was going to throw this out and be sad. now it's perfect! thank you!
posted by andreapandrea at 12:49 PM on January 21, 2011

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