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My Dust Collector MELTED!

by JMB
posted 09-23-2010 09:05 AM

17 replies so far

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3805 days

#1 posted 09-23-2010 05:07 PM

You could try blowing out the inside of the motor housing. There tends to be a lot of sawdust accumulated after running it for years.

-- Ed

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2994 days

#2 posted 09-23-2010 05:33 PM

This is an intriguing mystery. All of your analysis seems well thought out and reasonable. I trust your ears regarding the motor bogging down, which suggests that the filter bag was not plugged up.

My only input is chancy at best: I had a similar Delta unit, made in China, and the motor never did start right. Ran good, didn’t start all the time. IF yours was likewise sourced, it’s POSSIBLE there were other failures in other motors of a given run.

Another part of the mystery: did the motor overheat and melt the box, or did the heat originate at the box?

I don’t know the long term effect of running a 220 wired motor at 110, but I am quite sure your ears would have noticed the difference.

In our area there are a couple of shops which deal in electric motors and rebuilding them. Some questions posed to the guys that do that sort of thing might be very productive.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3704 days

#3 posted 09-23-2010 06:13 PM

Me thinks that maybe you just had a bad connection in the switch housing. It is normal for motors to be very hot to the touch after continuous use under load.

-- Joe

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4416 days

#4 posted 09-23-2010 06:17 PM

Were you running on an extension cord? If so, if it was undersized or too long this can cause problems….

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3010 days

#5 posted 09-23-2010 06:25 PM

Was it a 115/230 volt motor?

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

391 posts in 3226 days

#6 posted 09-23-2010 06:36 PM

Another thing to keep in mind is that all blast gates closed is the lightest load for the motor, since very little air is moving. Running it unrestricted (all blast gates open and no filter) will put the greatest load on the motor.

Some of the smaller cyclones appear to have sized the motors dangerously close to their max limit. The undersized filters are needed to limit the amount of air moved. The motors will probably burn out if you put on larger filters and larger pipes.

-- Steve

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3447 days

#7 posted 09-23-2010 06:38 PM

This is a good reminder for guys like me who have their DC units outside of the shop to check on them often for maintenance. Thanks for posting this.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Richard Dunlap's profile

Richard Dunlap

65 posts in 3009 days

#8 posted 09-23-2010 06:51 PM

Thr first thing I would suspect would be accumulated dust inside the motor if it is not totally sealed. Second would be a loose electrical connection. Loose connections , like a loose screw terminal at the switch, will cause the motor to run hot and create heat in the wiring. Also a too long or small extension cord will do the same.


View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3413 days

#9 posted 09-23-2010 06:56 PM

I wonder if a bearing or the brushes are damaged? Pics might tell more…if it was electrical the motor should have shorted out…and the fuse(s) should have blown? That is why I would suspect perhaps the problem is mechanical? If it was wired for a different voltage it would have sounded sluggish…or would not have started…as the switches would be different?

I use a one and one half horsepower DC on my planer (20” grizzly G0454) and so far have not had a problem with it for over 2 years. I have used a shop vac when I ran out of bags for the DC…and it worked ok….left alot of chips though…and I was glad to return to the DC.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3010 days

#10 posted 09-23-2010 06:58 PM

Get an electrician. DISCONNECT POWER! (unplug cable and turn off breaker) before doing this. If it’s a 115/230 volt motor it can be set up to run off of 115V or 230V. It will say 115/230 V on the motor plate usually. If it does, then he can open up the junction box on the motor and see if the wiring diagram is on the inside of the junction box – the wiring diagram may also be on the motor plate itself. If he can find the wiring diagram then he can open up the junction box and see if it is actually wired for 115V or 230V by comparing the wiring diagram with how it is actually wired up. Some motors have a nice terminal bloc with jumpers others simply have motor leads with numbers on each wire. You said that you plugged it into a 115V outlet. But I would do this just to see if it was wired up for 230V just to see. I’m not an electrician. TopmaxSurvivor is. He’s a Lumberjock. He can probably help you.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3170 days

#11 posted 09-23-2010 07:10 PM

Sounds like a switch contact shorted Or something went to ground !! If the box was in contact with the motor sounds like a insulator or gasket wasn’t placed back properly and when it went to ground A.k.a. Hot motor!!!!!
Get a exploded view of the switch and then dismantle the burned pieces till you find out what happened. then you will be able to get parts for your dust collector and make the right repairs :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View rance's profile


4263 posts in 3304 days

#12 posted 09-23-2010 07:47 PM

Loose wiring in the switch housing would be my first guess.

> “I don’t know much about electricity.”

Don’t go guessing on this. :) You CAN get a wiring diagram. Get that and double check it before you power back up.

Abbot, good point about DC’s in another room or closet. Maybe add a smoke detector in that ‘other’ room too.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 3087 days

#13 posted 09-23-2010 07:48 PM

What I will do:
1. Take the piece to have it rebuild. Discuss with the guys what might happen. We might help you, but each of us probably had such problem once Those rebuilding shops deal all days with such problems, and have trillions of situations and experience.

2. I tend to agree with Joe from Bella Vista and Max. Also if the wires are old, or the copper rusted, or any inappropriate cord extension (Mainly AWG section used, Amp rating of housings, etc) , could be the cause of the problem. Since all of the above will produce that the motor instead of getting 110v, will get 80, 90v o whatever. This will produce the motor to work with excess heat. All of the harness wiring is insulated with some kind of paint. With excess heat paint will melt. And there you are. You can burn a switch, a fuse or the motor itself.

PS It took me a while writing this at lunchtime. Sorry for that. It seems I am saying the same as Helluvawreck and Richard

take care you all

-- Back home. Fernando

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4443 days

#14 posted 09-25-2010 01:24 PM

It could be possible size of the wires in the in cord are too small, that could cause overheating. The previous owner may have changed the cord on it. If you had it plugged into an extension cord with lightweight wires could also cause this.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3202 days

#15 posted 09-25-2010 03:02 PM

You should be able to find technical info on that DC at I also like the suggestion of taking the motor to an electric motor repair shop and get it checked out.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3447 days

#16 posted 09-29-2010 05:42 AM

I am going to take the time to clean and inspect my DC unit tomorrow morning. Thanks again for the post.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6164 posts in 3338 days

#17 posted 09-29-2010 06:53 AM

I have this same Delta 50-850 as you. I’ve had mine for about 15 years, and the only trouble I’ve had with it happened about a year ago. The start capicator melted completely. Never smoked or anything…when I tried to turn it on, it would pop a breaker. That’s when I knew what it was. Replaced the capacitor, and good to go. I keep the d.c. in a seperate room with my a/c unit, and never had any trouble at all being in there. But..
my unit was built in the U.S. then, and not China…It runs some days for several hours….Pretty good track record for one that old….I keep thinking I’ll probably have to replace it, but it’s just like a good old Timex watch. I also put a Wynn canister filter on about 6 months ago, and what a difference it made on the
CFM increase…at least 10-15% added. Hope you find the problem and can get it fixed….

edit: You got some really good advice on what to look for from the above post, so I won’t give any…......

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

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