Simple troubleshooting tricks for you vacuum

July 27, 2015

If your vacuum isn't working, it's not the end of the world. It could be one of these easy to fix problems.

Simple troubleshooting tricks for you vacuum

The simple vacuum test

  1. Sprinkle sand or salt in a small area and vacuum as usual.
  2. Then, check your work carefully. Even a poorly functioning vacuum may leave neat groom marks on the carpet.
  3. Make sure the granules have been picked up and have not been pushed farther down into the pile.
  4. The cleaner the test area, the more efficiently your vacuum cleaner is working.
  5. If there's still plenty of granules. It could be one of the problems below.

Vacuum maintenance

If your vacuum cleaner fails the above test, unplug it and check the following:

  • Dust bags: A full dust bag will drastically reduce a vacuum cleaner's suction power. Change or empty the bag when debris hits the "full" line.
  • Filters: Some vacuums have filters that are designed to keep fine dust from getting into the motor and damaging it. To work properly, they need regular cleaning or replacement. Keep extra filters on hand.
  • Hoses and wands: A blocked hose or wand could be the hang-up. Attach the hose to the exhaust and the nozzle to the intake, sealing the space around with a rag to create pressure.
  • Alternatively, disconnect the hose again and carefully feed a garden hose or a broom handle through to the obstruction. Push gently to dislodge it, taking care not to tear the hose.
  • Rollers: A brush roller belt that's not functioning well can drastically reduce cleaning power. If you find yourself making repeated passes to pick up a piece of lint, or if you smell burning rubber, your problem might be a detached or slipping roller belt.
  • Belts: Most belts are relatively easy to change. To buy replacement belts, you'll need the machine's model number, which appears on the underside or back of the unit.

There are plenty of things that can jam up your vacuum and greatly reduce its cleaning power. But the good news is, these problems are often easy and inexpensive to fix. By knowing what to look for, your vacuum could last longer and save you buying a new one.

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