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Restoring My Ionic Breeze Quadra Air Purifier

I guess because I live in San Jose, CA, a standard locale for metro-polluted air, allergies are an ongoing problem for me. I purchased one of those Ionic Breeze air cleaners in 2001. I don't think Sharper Image considered how dirty the air where I live could be when they stated "simply wipe down the array every week or two".

While it started out just fine and would only start making its little popping and fizzing noises after a week or two, after three years of trying to clean the air in my bedroom, my poor cleaner was popping, fizzing and crackling all the time. It was really grumpy. :) No matter how often I did it, cleaning the collection array (the insert) and making those little glass beads glide along the wires just weren't sufficient to keep it happy.

I was about to toss the whole thing out. But after remembering how much I paid, I figured I'd hold onto it and see if there was something I could do to restore/ repair it. After using the following simple items, I think I restored my cleaner to be as good as new (or at least close).

  • a little patience
  • a small Phillips head screwdriver
  • lots of Q-tips
  • a small piece of 1000 grit sandpaper

I thought other folks would like to know what I did, since when I went searching online for some info about these things, all I could find were ads. So here's what I did to restore (or if you prefer - repair) my Quadra.

1

I first unplugged the thing and removed the collection array (the insert thing).

I laid the tower on its side so I could access the base, removed the 4 screws holding the base, then I pulled off the base.


2

After removing the base, I could see a 1" long stem with two screws, removed those.

When I looked closely, I could see 12 teeny, tiny screws along the front and back spines. Yup, I removed those, too.


3

Up top, I could look down to see four deeply recessed screws. Removed those. Ever so gently, I slowly pulled out the top a little bit. I pulled on the top carefully, because the top was attached to the unit with a few wires.

 



4

I tried pulling the two panels apart, but something was still keeping those two side panels stuck together. More screws?

Ah ha! I peeled away the sticker located near the base, in the back that contains warranty warnings and other useless info, and tossed it. ;-)

Then I carefully removed one of the side panels so I could access the inside.

5
With a small 1"-2" square inch of 1000 grit or higher sand paper, I very slowly and carefully sanded those two thin wires with the glass beads. After four years of doing whatever those wires do, they were coated with something rough and slightly crusty, which I think is what made my cleaner so grumpy and ineffective. I folded the sandpaper in half and slowly slid it along the wires. I noticed, if I pulled to quick or too hard, the wire would stretch and start to kink. (I suspect kinked wire is not a good thing.) Sanding seemed to do the job quite nicely. The wires felt smooth again.

6
With lots of damp Q-tips, I cleaned the clinging dirt from all the nooks and crannies on the inside. Since it isn't holding any of the cleaner's electronics, I was able to rinse one of the side panels to quickly remove dirt and dust from between the ribs. I used Q-tips to clean in between each of the ribs of the other side panel.

 


7

Reassembling:

  • I put the side panel back in place, but didn't screw it back together yet. Carefully, I jiggled, wiggled and repositioned the top and the side panel until they clicked back together. This took me the most patience. :D
  • Then I reversed the steps I took to get it apart.

I estimate only needing to do this once process every one to two years or whenever the cleaner acts totally grumpy again.

 

 

 


6 July 09 - Allen Hart kindly sent me this:

"I had to add several extra steps because the unit kept shutting down after the cleaning:

  1. Reassemble without using the 12 teeny, tiny screws (in case you have to open the unit again - as I had to do)
  2. I had arcing from the electrics in the base which kept turning the unit off. I disassembled the unit again and liberally sprayed the electrics section at the base with CRC 2-26 electrical grade, plastic safe, multi-purpose precision lubricant (contact cleaner) which I had purchased from (Radio Shack??) many years ago. I left the unit disassembled for about 4 hours to allow the cleaner to thoroughly dry and then reassembled it (again without those teeny, tiny screws which I felt were superfluous, anyway).

The unit now seems to work as well as it did when first purchased, and no longer arcs. "


Last update to this page: 6 Jul 09. Send comments, questions or suggestions to Desiree McCrorey.