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How to Identify and Fix Common Vacuum Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced Vacuum Technicians :

Why is the vacuum is blowing dusty air out of the back? Simple: the bag or canister is full and the vacuum has nowhere to store the dust it is collecting. Empty the canister or bag. If that doesn`t fix it, the vacuum filter needs to be cleaned or changed.
Check the filters: A clogged filter can cause a vacuum cleaner to blow air instead of sucking it. Check the vacuum filters and clean or replace them as needed. Check the hose and attachments: Check the hose and attachments for any blockages or obstructions. Clear any blockages you find.
Blockages or dirty filters may cause this to happen, the safety cut off will activate and switch off the electrical supply. If the cleaner has cut out, simply unplug and check for a blockage or dirty filters.
What`s happening with your vacuum cleaner is that a clog has built up and debris being agitated by the roller is spitting out or stirring up dust without sucking it in.
Push a broomstick through the hose to force any large clogs out. Take the end of the broomstick and feed it through the hose. Push the stick in slowly so you don`t accidentally break or puncture the hose. If there is a large clog in your hose, the broomstick will force it out from the other end.
Check for a plugged hose:

Plugged vacuum hoses are sometimes the reason for a loss in suction. Hoses can get clogged with hair, dust bunnies, string, or anything else that can`t pass through the other end of the hose. Airways inside the machine should be looked at as well. Wherever there is an air passage, check it.

Clog located in the vacuum hose

Turn the unit on and feel the suction at the end of the hose handle. If there is no or low suction, then the clog is in the hose. You can remove the clog by running a long, stiff object through the hose, such as a butter knife, starting at the wall end.

The most common problems found in vacuum cleaners are low suction force, excessive noise, burning smell, vacuum not turn on, and overheating. These issues can be fixed by either cleaning the device or replacing some parts of the device. At times, it is best to seek a professional to fix the cleaner effectively.
Loose connections will cause your vacuum cleaner to lose suction. Make sure that the dust container, the hose, the tube and the brush are all attached properly. If the problem continues, your vacuum cleaner might have a technical problem. If you suspect this to be the case, contact an authorised service agent.
Why does my Shop-Vac® wet dry vac blow dust back into my room? The dust isn`t being stopped by the filter and is being exhausted out of the blower port and back into the air. This can be caused by a hole in the filter, the filter not being properly installed, or the dust being too fine for the filter.
Vacuuming every day, or even a few times a day, is not going to create any long term problems. `But,` you might be thinking, `doesn`t the brushes spinning over the carpet on a beater bar wear it out? ` Sure, but a very small amount.
If the filter bag or canister is too full, it cannot pick up any additional particles and will simply jam or the motor will overheat and shut down. So, when you suspect your unit is about 75 per cent full, empty it!
Start the engine and spray

Scope out all the vacuum lines under the hood. Then start the engine and spray each connection with a light stream of water. If a connection sucks in the water, you`ve found your leak. A vacuum leak can cause a rough idle, high rpm, poor gas mileage and even trigger a check-engine light.

To release the wand on the Hoover® REACT™ Powered Reach™ Plus press the Powered Reach™ Mode button on the top of the canister. This will allow you to remove the canister and access the wand release. The wand release button is located on the spine of the vacuum directly behind the dirt cup.
Vacuum means the absence of all matter including air. As there is no air in the vacuum, air pressure will be zero.
The more air flowing through a vacuum, the better, which therefore means that the higher the airflow rate, the higher the cleaning power. An average airflow rating for a vacuum cleaner sits between 50 – 100 CFM.
Certain vacuum cleaners spit fine dust and bacteria back into the air, where they can spread infections and trigger allergies.
Bugs that do survive the suction and stay alive in the vacuum bag can crawl out. Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister when done vacuuming so that they don`t have the chance to get out. Discard in regular trash bags, and then spray bug killer into the bag or cover/seal it to make sure the bugs die.
Signs of Vacuum Pump Leaks

Oil from the exhaust port running down the pump. Rumbling sounds coming from the pump. Repeated failure to reach maximum pressure for tasks. Mist or smoke coming from the exhaust section of the pump.

The average life expectancy of a mid-range vacuum cleaner is about six years. You can fix or replace things like blocked filters, jammed brush rolls, frayed hoses, worn-out stick vac batteries and broken accessories yourself.
First, How long should you expect a vacuum cleaner to last? On average, According to Consumer Reports, vacuum cleaners last a median of eight years. But the lifespan varies wildly by not only brand but your own personal use. This should be expected.
Factors may include having a bad motor, incompatible pump applications or poor ventilation. Constant overheating may indicate a malfunction.
Check that the vacuum cleaner is plugged into a working power outlet and that fuses and breakers don`t need resetting. An activated thermal cut-out due to a blockage is the next most likely cause of the problem. Check for blockages in the hose and filters, and remove any obstructions that you find.
If all you hear from the vacuum unit is a click at the when you try to start the vacuum motor from inside the house, then the motor in the unit is dead and has to be replaced. A strong odor from the shellac, which coats the copper coil windings, is an indicator that the motor is about to or has burnt out.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Kirby turns on with hose attachement but not with head attachment
ANSWER : Front of the unit, black switch that is pressed by this plastic protrusion from hose coupling has two parts. It is because ANY generation Kirby has speeds – HIGH for vacuuming with hose and LOW for using it with nozzle.
Looks like the switch went bad (Switch HERE)

We have instructions for replacing it too.
The “funny noise” with hose throws me off a bit though. Check if there is nothing in the hose (put a nickle through it).

Good Luck

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My bissell proheat upright steam cleaner is spraying out through the attachments just fine, but will not spray to the floor when using upright. we’ve taken it apart to find that there is no water at all going through one of the hoses, but it appears the hose is connected behind the on/off and heat switches, we can’t seem to figure out how to get in there to replace that hose….any suggestions on how to access this?? just curious how you would get in to replace the hose, we know it is the hose..
ANSWER : Hi,

Here is a tip that will give you all the information you need to fix your BissellProheat Vacuum Problem.

Bissell Proheat Upright Wet/Dry Vacuum Problems

heatman101 .
.xbnxb

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I have a Kenmore upright progrssive intell clean. For some reason it isn’t sucking when I use it to vacuum. When I use attachments they work fine, but when I plug the hose back in after using the attachments and turn it back on it makes a weird noise and I can feel air blowing out of the back. Can you help me resolve this problem?
ANSWER : Open this manual to page 18 and clean all the filters listed to restore air flow.

http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/lis_pdf/OWNM/L0908343.pdf

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Attachments when using the attachments for cormers and such, when you pull the hose out to use the attachments dust comes out the open hole where the hose originally goes?
ANSWER : Check also filter and replace if necessary.

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I have a Kenmore upright progrssive intell clean. For some reason it isn’t sucking when I use it to vacuum. When I use attachments they work fine, but when I plug the hose back in after using the attachments and turn it back on it makes a weird noise and I can feel air blowing out of the back. Can you help me resolve this problem?
ANSWER : You have the answer and just don’t know it. You are there so keep looking. Somewhere between where the suction hose connects with the lower hose and the power-head. There is a blockage, you may need to turn the unit upside down and look there or try using a wire with a hook on one end, to extract the blockage. but something is blocking the tube from letting air and debris from traveling up the tube.

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How do I attach and use the shampooing attachment so I can clean my couch?
ANSWER : Http://geeksquad.fixya.com/ThreadView.aspx?prdid=11557&thid=579274
.How do I attach and use the shampooing attachment…
.Posted by rottylvr on May 08, 2008
.I have a Kirby Vacuum and Carpet Cleaner that I know how to use, all except the attachment that I am not sure about. I am not sure if it is a vacuuming attachment or can I attach it and use it to clean my couch, I do not have the user guide for my vacuum as I got it from my son’s ex girlfriend in lieu of money she owed me. It looks like it should be used for shampooing things like stairs and furniture, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out! Can you please help me? Tell me how to attach it if it is supposed to be used to clean stairs and furniture or tell me where I can find the user guide to look at and see how to use it……Oh by the way I have a 160 pound rottweiler that tries to live on my furniture and my couch is in desperate need of cleaning, this is my only day off and I have spent all day cleaning carpets due to my dog and would love to clean my couch before returning to work and putting my dog in the back yard now that it is warm enough for him to be outside all day.
Thanks,
Desperate to reclaim her couch


.
.Hello,
I would advise you to ALWAYS to FIRST UNPLUG YOUR VACUUM before beginning any service procedure. My suggestion is that you contact the Kirby Co in Cleveland listed below and they will instruct you either to down load a owner’s manual or they will mail one out to you, there might be a local Kirby dealer in your area that might have a manual as well. Also, there is a separate shampoo head that will be in the owner’s manual, you remove the vacuum head and bag assm and attach the shampoo head, make sure you use genuine Kirby shampoo for the carpet. So if you need further assistance, please feel free to contact your local vacuum cleaner dealer in your area or in the yellow pages, or contact the factory phone number or website to further assist you with your questions.

.http://kirby.com/ Customer Service – United States & Canada 1-800-494-8586
.Hours 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST) U.S. & Canada Fax # 1 (216) 529-6146
.Mail To:
.Consumer Relations
.The Kirby Company
.1920 West 114 Street
.Cleveland, OH 44102
.Thanks, Don the Vac Man
Go Ahead. Use Us.

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My hoover floormate h3060 has not been used for some time, when I went to use it, it would not dispense the cleaner..The last time I used it, I used a mixture of amonia and borax. I think the hose is clogged. What should I do??
ANSWER : You most likely have either a clogged screen at the bottom of the fill tank or the jets that spray fluid are clogged. You can unscrew them and power a paper clip through them. If the hoses are by chance clogged which doesn’t happen often, Pull one off at a time and blow real hard to unclog, then put it back on, then move to next hose.
Do NOT take all of them apart at the same time or they can get mixed up and it’s a pain to figure out how it all went back together.

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Hoover Jet and Wash 1500w S6254 001. Used once with great difficulty as assembly and use instructions are hard to follow.Now will not work as carpet shampooer at all, although assembly is correct as far as I can see and both motor and pump appear to be working and I am using the recommended cleaning fluid.Hoover website is no use at all in solving the problem.No cleaning fluid is being drawn up from the tank in to the cleaning fluid hose.There is suction from the suction hose so the problem appe
ANSWER : I am having the same prob my uncle got me one i cant find the manual anywhere to set it up the prob i have is where does the handle to make the water go out connect tooo ??? on the main pipe that sucks it back up i have tried every which way but not the right way obviously lol as for it not spraying mine did for all of 2 secs but think it was because i got a bit happy with the solution so gunna just try water and if its too hot it stops it spraying properly too !!

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