Forum Thread

Electric toothbrush average lifetime? Motor is slowing, speeding up, slowing. Battery or motor?

Conformer101 6,694 3,011 February 28, 2016 at 06:24 AM
I purchased a Braun/Oral-B electric toothbrush like 3 years ago (bought it from SD deal, but can't find the model#). Used it for a few weeks, and then went back to manual. I've been trying to use the electric one again for the last 2 months. It was working great, easily held a charge for over a week, and now suddenly it is slowing during every attempt to use it - then speeding up, then slowing.

What kind of lifetime do these things typically have? Maybe the battery's lifetime (NiMH) was shortened by storing uncharged for a couple of years? Has anyone tried to open it up and replace the batteries? Probably not worth it in general, and I'll probably buy a replacement anyway, but I could probably re-purpose this unit for something else if I could get it fixed.

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#2
We have oral b tooth brushes. An old one we had started acting as you describe & finally the base expanded & split, we threw it away. Later I got curious just like you except instead of asking someone for their ideas on the subject. I performed a simple internet search to see what I could learn that way.

OralB Battery replacement. [bing.com]
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#3
Quote from dale_101798 View Post :
Later I got curious just like you except instead of asking someone for their ideas on the subject. I performed a simple internet search to see what I could learn that way.
[/URL]
Wow, thanks for that! Would have never thought of doing that! Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
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#4
Quote from Conformer101 View Post :
I purchased a Braun/Oral-B electric toothbrush like 3 years ago (bought it from SD deal, but can't find the model#). Used it for a few weeks, and then went back to manual. I've been trying to use the electric one again for the last 2 months. It was working great, easily held a charge for over a week, and now suddenly it is slowing during every attempt to use it - then speeding up, then slowing.

What kind of lifetime do these things typically have? Maybe the battery's lifetime (NiMH) was shortened by storing uncharged for a couple of years? Has anyone tried to open it up and replace the batteries? Probably not worth it in general, and I'll probably buy a replacement anyway, but I could probably re-purpose this unit for something else if I could get it fixed.
Some Oral-B toothbrushes have multiple modes: normal, gentle, and polish. I suspect you're putting it into polish (speeds up and slows down). Read the manual. If it sat unused and un charged for years, the batteries probably lost some capacity. Lifespan varies, generally it's at least 2 years. My mom had a sonicare fail in about 18 months and got a new one under warranty.

Also note, with Oral B the knock off brush heads are trouble.
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#5
more likely is bad connection, every connection between battery to motor. and the switch.

less likely will be the battery.
less likely will be the motor inside has short circuit, motor with brush will wear out, may have some conductive dust in the commutator ring gap, don't add grease, use needle to clean the gap
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#6
Quote from jkee View Post :
Some Oral-B toothbrushes have multiple modes: normal, gentle, and polish. I suspect you're putting it into polish (speeds up and slows down). Read the manual. If it sat unused and un charged for years, the batteries probably lost some capacity. Lifespan varies, generally it's at least 2 years. My mom had a sonicare fail in about 18 months and got a new one under warranty.

Also note, with Oral B the knock off brush heads are trouble.
I finally found the model number, barely legible on the bottom - 3728. I found a listing on ebay that indicates it does in fact have three modes. No idea how to get it into the different modes, since there is only one button. I'll see if I can find instructions.

I actually found a youtube page dedicated to replacing this exact model's battery. Smilie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLNJtNX86Dg

BTW, the head I'm using came with the toothbrush.
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#7
The instructions that appear to be for this model seem to indicate that simply starting it goes to clean mode, and then hitting the button again will cycle to the other modes. However, my unit doesn't behave any differently when trying to cycle to other modes. Regardless, any time you start it for the first time, it is supposed to be in clean mode, so that wouldn't explain the alternating speed every time I attempt to use it.
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#8
if the speed changing isn't random, maybe it's stuck on one mode. maybe the controller broken.

you can remove the controller PCB, directly connect the battery to the motor, before doing this, test if the output voltage is the same as the battery, may damage the motor, or just connect for one second, see if it spins too fast. (the controller maybe included battery protection and brushless motor controller, removing it won't work)

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try to disconnect the battery, see if it reset to default, and don't try to change mode ( won't work if the switch is already physically disconnect battery from controller)

or you need to press faster to change mode, because the control capacitor died? very unlikely. because it will stuck on regular mode instead of other mode.
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Last edited by Left4Deal February 28, 2016 at 01:41 PM

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#9
Quote from Left4Deal View Post :
if the speed changing isn't random, maybe it's stuck on one mode. maybe the controller broken.

you can remove the controller PCB, directly connect the battery to the motor, before doing this, test if the output voltage is the same as the battery, may damage the motor, or just connect for one second, see if it spins too fast. (the controller maybe included battery protection and brushless motor controller, removing it won't work)
Something really weird just started happening. Sometimes now it won't turn on at all. Maybe an intermittent connection. Clearly something is on it's way out. I think the only option will be to open it up.

Anyone have any electric toothbrush recommendations? Cheap, durable, simple. Oral B is probably best since I have two relatively new heads.
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#10
Quote from Conformer101 View Post :
I finally found the model number, barely legible on the bottom - 3728. I found a listing on ebay that indicates it does in fact have three modes. No idea how to get it into the different modes, since there is only one button. I'll see if I can find instructions.

I actually found a youtube page dedicated to replacing this exact model's battery. Smilie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLNJtNX86Dg

BTW, the head I'm using came with the toothbrush.
hug Grats! Wait Confused what EEK! same head it came with laugh out loud too funny! bounce
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#11
[QUTE=dale_101798;82283095]hug Grats! Wait Confused what EEK! same head it came with laugh out loud too funny! bounce[/QUTE]

The head has a net use of 2.5 months. Hilarious. Thanks for the continued great contributions to this thread. Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
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#12
Quote from Conformer101 View Post :
Wow, thanks for that! Would have never thought of doing that! Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
Yea I know, some people just don't get it. It's a good thing Conformer101 isn't your real name.
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