Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fixing my Samsung HC-1114 vacuum cleaner battery

For a few weeks now, my wife has been complaining about this handheld vacuum cleaner I bought more than 6 years ago. She uses it almost 3-4 times a week to vacuum the house. It's a handheld vacuum with 7.2V battery that powers it and after so many years of service, it couldn't hold a charge anymore.

So a few days ago, I finally found the time to open up the vacuum to see if the battery could be replaced. I downloaded this service manual for the battery from some russian website that had all sort of service manuals. It stated the battery was a 6 cell 1600MAh lithium battery.

The motor was working fine so I was pretty sure the battery was gone. Actually, the charger doesn't have an auto-stop charging function and I've always left it charging (for 6 years plus!). Good thing it didn't blow up on me.

After spending 10 minutes unscrewing it, I finally got to the battery.

So this is what the battery looks like inside (hey, that's my foot there!). It's a wierd battery size, not the usual AA sized lithium batteries. I think the size is called 123.

A close up of the battery, it's some obscure company in China. I googled them and they make mostly handphone batteries. I wonder how they won this contract from Samsung.

When I bought this vacuum, it was RM99. If I was to buy a new vacuum with the same specs (7.2V), it's at least RM200 now. So I did a bit of searching on Google to find a replacement battery to see if it's cheaper to repair or buy a new one.

I found one battery supplier on eBay selling a similar battery set (I think it was MAh 2000) for about RM41. After going through eBay, something turned up in my search. It seems that Remote Control cars also used similar 7.2V batteries. So I thought to myself, why not drop by the RC Pitstop shop in One Utama to see if they sell the batteries there too. If I bought it on eBay, I would have to wait 4 weeks and I have to do my own soldering. Plus, I wasn't sure if it was the right size.

I walked into the RC Pitstop shop and explained to the guy there by the name of Nik my problem. He showed me a MAh 3000 battery for RM68. At first I thought, "yeah, that's way more expensive than I thought). Then he asked me if I was going to do my own soldering. I said "yeah". He said, they do the soldering for free as part of their service. That sold me already because I hate soldering. I'm quite allergic to the smell.

So the next day I brought the vacuum back and after 2 hours, it was done! Nik had to do some minor modification to get the batteries in. He said he had to cut some plastic bits out. Also, it'll take about 24 hours to charge the batteries, which is fine since we don't use it everyday.

Now the vacuum's suction is much better than it used to be. So I'm pretty happy that of all places, an RC shop repaired my vacuum.

Plus, my wife stopped complaining about it, so that itself is worth RM68.


Sim said...

When my wife reads this, she's going to bug me to do the same to our handheld vac. Heheh

luxen said...

First you have to find the spare parts. I was lucky it was just the battery.