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This upgrade could be a violation of the warranty but it is a huge improvement:
It is a known problem that Festool dust extractors have a junk power receptacle. It was very frustrating to click on my sander or saw only to find that the power cord across the room had fallen out. I tried taking apart the receptacle and bending the contacts to create more friction; the change was noticeable but the holding strength was still inadequate. Finally, I decided to modify the system…
You can see the result in the photo. I have three grounded outlets with a power indicator light. The receptacles have five times the holding strength and the flexibility of the extension makes it so my cords never fall out. I didn’t damage any of the original parts so I could easily return it to its original configuration.
Parts you will need:
2ft heavy duty multi-outlet extension cord
3 female 12 gauge terminal connectors (crimp style)
carlon 2-gang electrical non-metallic box cover (you may be able to find one with a 3/8″ knockout but I just used a 7/8″ forstner bit to drill my own)
3/8″ twin-screw non-metallic cable connector
Tools you will need:
T15 Torx bit + driver
Allen key set
7/8″ forstner bit (unless you find a cover plate with a knockout)
Put it together:
Pop the flip-up cover off the vac with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the four surrounding screws with a torx driver. Remove the four screws from each corner of the main faceplate. Remove the two large allen bolts from the center of the faceplate. Do not pull the main faceplate more than an inch or so off the frame. You will see a white plug that connects hot neutral and ground. Note the wiring pattern before you remove the plug. It should be black(hot), white(neutral), green(ground) in the order top, middle, bottom. You will need to use a long flathead screwdriver to help ease the plug off the connections.
Cut the extension cord, strip back the cable sheath to expose 3-4″ of wire. Strip 1/2″ of each wire and attach female terminal connectors to each wire. Crimping is adequate but a little solder never hurts. You will also want to wrap each connection with electrical tape or use heat-shrink tubing. Use the foam dust-seal from behind the old outlet as a template on your plastic cover plate to layout the square shape and four holes. Drill the 7/8″ hole for the cable connector and the four holes for the screws. Finally, cut the cover plate to size.
Thread the extension cord trough the locknut, through the cover plate, through the dust shroud and finally through the twin-screw connector. Tighten the assembly. Insert the terminal connectors into the outlet opening and connect black to black, white to white and green to green. Replace all screws.
When you plug your dust extractor into the wall, the LED power indicator light should illuminate on your extension block. Now you can have multiple tools plugged in at once and never have to worry about cords falling out or coming loose!
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We had three in my last shop - and they were all bad in short order. It's ridiculous, really. I like the modification, but I'd go with a Qwik Loc plug, and then just plug in a good tri-tap when I needed it.
I spoke with a Festool Rep at one of the shows and asked him if they were still having issues with the receptacles. (I'm on my third one.) He said yes and that it is the only part on the units that are made in the U.S. Ironic . . . yes?
My Festool Power outlet is just about worthless now. I have owned it for about 4 years (out of warranty), but it hasn't had much use, and certainly wasn't abused. Started out just loose, now it is to the point where you have to bend the cord this way or that and then hope it will work.
Very disappointed in Festool over this. I will be taking mine apart and looking at some sort of similar modification. Thanks for your idea.
Thats an interesting modification, but I have never had any issue with my Festool 22 and I've never heard of that problem before. If it becomes a problem for me though I will definately look at your modification more closely.
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