New vacuum cleaner causes a slight burning smell. Defective or not?
March 28, 2014 12:52 PM   Subscribe

I received a new vacuum cleaner a few weeks ago. When it ran I noticed a slight burning smell so I exchanged it for a different one (same model: Eureka Boss SmartVac 4870 series). I've run this one for perhaps 15 seconds and again, I notice a slight burning smell. Maybe there's some dust on the motor coils that will burn off after some initial use?

Is this to be expected or a defective product?

posted by metadave to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Best answer: It's perfectly normal.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:00 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I always smell that as well, and it's usually the belt moving for the first time that is the worst offender. Plus the whole machine is covered in plastic that may still be offgassing.

It wouldn't worry me unless it continued to smell strongly after several sessions.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:03 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I had a Eureka "The Boss" that I received secondhand as a gift. It was a few years old when I got it and I kept it for years after that. I fastidiously cleaned the filter and brush, and kept the belt maintained.

It never stopped making that smell.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:44 PM on March 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

it's probably a mixture of the belt, and the insulation spray-on coating stuff they put on the coils of the motor. Basically anything new with a higher amperage motor that isn't completely sealed makes some variation of that smell.

personally i prefer the older stuff that didn't have sealed bearings and would just smell like hot machine oil, but that's just me...
posted by emptythought at 2:58 PM on March 28, 2014

Ok, if this is normal for that model of vacuum, then there is clearly a design flaw present and you should return the vacuum and buy a different make and model altogether.

My refurb Dyson DC14 doesn't do this...
posted by oceanjesse at 6:06 PM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: It's normal, and if you have any long haired mammals living in your home, the slight tang of burning hair may be included! Feature, not a bug!
posted by Sphinx at 6:39 AM on March 29, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you for your responses. I guess I'll keep the vacuum cleaner as long as the smell doesn't get any worse.
posted by metadave at 1:31 PM on March 29, 2014

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