common problems in vacuum cleaners

common problems in vacuum cleaners

Here we will briefly discuss the common problems in vacuum cleaners and the tips for maintaining your Vacuum Cleaner.

When your vacuum cleaner develops a fault, do not immediately think of dumping it and purchasing a new one. The fault may be a minor one, like cleaning the filter or replacing a broken hose. Small do-it-yourself repairs or cheap replacements can often add years to your vacuum’s life.
A little understanding of the functioning of the different vacuum cleaner parts can help you in getting the maximum life out of your appliance.

How vacuum cleaners works?

Vacuum cleaners function on the principle of air pressure, that is, air from areas of high air pressure flows in towards areas of low air pressure. This principle can be explained with an-every-day-example. When we drink juice from a glass using a straw, an area of low pressure is created inside the mouth when we suck in. Air from the high air pressure that exists around the glass, gushes in towards the low-pressure area in the mouth pushing the liquid along with it. In the same way, the motor in the vacuum cleaner creates low air pressure inside the cleaner. Air from outside the machine gushes in to fill the vacuum or the low-pressure area inside the cleaner. Dirt and dust is sucked in when the air flows in. The air inside the cleaner is directed to flow through a filter that collects the dirt, dust and debris in the air. The dirt deposits into a bag or a container depending on the type of cleaner.
Hence, the most important parts in a standard vacuum cleaner are the motor, fan, filter. Fan attached to the motor is what creates a vacuum inside the cleaner.

What are the Common vacuum cleaners Problems?

Following are the most important common problems that mostly occurs in vacuum cleaners.

Loss of suction

vacuum cleaner problem - dust bags

You decide to clean a dusty floor surface in your home. Even after two or three passes, you notice that the floor is not cleaned. The dust is still there. A possible reason for this could be your vacuum losing suction power.

Dirty or worn out dust bags, dirty filters, or clogged suction path, worn-out hose or the motor could be the reason for the loss in suction power.

Dustbags Problem

Vacuum cleaner fault - Hepa filter


Vacuum cleaners that use dust bags, collect the dirt present in the air passing through the cleaner, into dust bags. These dust bags can either be reusable bags made of fabric or disposable paper bags.You would need to empty the dust bags as often as possible depending on the frequency of use and the nature of the area on which the appliance is operated. Dustbags that are full or even two-thirds full lead to reduced suction and compromise the amount of dust that can be collected. Tears or holes on the bags affect the suction power. Damaged bags or bags that are more than two-thirds full must be immediately replaced. If your machine uses reusable bags, they need to be changed regularly. Always find the correct replacements to keep your vacuum operating at its peak performance. The manufacturer’s notings regarding the type of bags suitable for your particular vacuum model can be your guide.

Filters problems:

Dirty or clogged filters can cause a loss of suction. Some machines are fitted with HEPA filters which are said to last a lifetime. Running tap water through the filters would most times be sufficient to clean them. Ordinary filters would need to be replaced once every six months.
It’s important to replace your vacuum filter or HEPA filter regularly to keep your vacuum working best. Not only will this increase the life of your vacuum, but it will also keep unwanted dust, dirt, and allergens out of the air.

Blockages in the airflow

vacuum cleaner problems - hose


Any blockages or clogs in the path of air flowing through the machine can also result in reduced or no suction. First check the hose that connects the brush roll to the machine. If the suction at the point of joining the machine is good but low at the other end of the hose, there could be some debris blocking the free flow of air, inside the hose. Try and run thin stick through the length of the hose. Any dust or debris would be forced out that way.

Hose problems

Any tear or holes in the hose could also reduce the suction. Constant usage over a period of time could result in wear and tear. Replace the hose with the new one.

7 tips for maintaining your Vacuum Cleaner

Your vacuum requires maintenance like any other gadget. With little effort in maintenance, the machine can serve you in keeping your home clean, for a long time. Cleaning the machine does not require any expert knowledge or skill. The manual that comes along with your cleaner can guide you in cleaning the unit.  Let’s take a look at 7 tips for maintaining your Vacuum Cleaner

1. Check the dirt container regularly

Vacuum cleaners come with or without bags. A quick way to keep your vacuum cleaner in good shape is to check the dirt compartment regularly.

If you are using the bagless variety, you can easily see how much debris and dirt the machine has already sucked up by checking the marker on the receptacle. This marker lets you know when to empty out the container but it’s still a good idea to empty even when it’s not full yet to avoid dirt settling and caking in the unit. If the model allows for it, rinse out the receptacle with water and dry it thoroughly. The attached filter can also be cleaned gently and some are even washable.

For bagged models, note that the suction air has to pass through all the accumulated dust and dirt so the more the dirt, the harder the machine has to work. In such conditions, it would likely not clean as well as it should. Another sign of a full bag is leaving strips of dirt where there were none before. Aim to change the bag once it’s about 2/3 full. You can easily determine this by feeling with your hand along with the bag.

2. Ensure the bag is properly attached

Each model has a bag that works for it. Check the reference number of your machine and the one printed on the bag you are about buying to ensure it’s the right fit. It’s also a good idea to buy bags in bulk once you get the right fit.

Fixing the bag can take some getting used to with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the model. Check that any clips, holders or hooks are firmly attached and there is no gap for dust and debris to slide past the bag entrance and get into the body of the equipment. This can permanently damage the unit.

3. Clean out the brush roll

This is often known as a beater bar and is a spinning brush under the vacuum cleaner designed to brush out dirt from carpets.

A brush roll that is due for cleaning will be covered in thread, carpet fiber, hair, and other items. The brush roll can even stop spinning properly if the dirt tangled in it is too much.

Depending on your level of expertise, you may just use your fingers, a large-toothed comb, or scissors to remove the dirt while the brush is still attached to the machine. If you want to go further for a deeper clean, remove the brush roll following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Most have a plate holding the brush in place. Confirm you are able to fix it back properly before removing it in the first place. Removing the brush roll entirely allows you to also clean and lubricate the bearings and caps as well.

4. Check the Belt

There is a belt that holds the brush roll in place. Confirm the state of the belt by comparing it to an unused belt: if it appears narrower, melted in portions, slack or frayed compared to the new one then change it. You can easily detect a belt that’s worn as it would have shifted out of position off the drive shaft. A good rule of thumb is to replace it every 6 months to 1 year but this is determined by how frequently you use the machine.

It’s actually easier than it sounds, just check the instruction manual for the step-by-step process for changing the belt.

5. Replace and clean the filters.

Your vacuum cleaner may come with a filter on the exhaust air to catch particles. Check the manual to confirm if it does, most of the newer models do. Filters made out of plastic or foam can be removed and rinsed out. Paper and fabric filters should be tapped or shaken gently to loosen accumulated particles. Cleaning out the filter is an important procedure as it can affect the quality of the very air you breathe, especially for those that own vacuum cleaners with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

6. Clean tube and hose

The suction tube and the hose pipes may get clogged with the dirt or carpet fabric or pet hair sucked in by the vacuum. When they are clogged, suction is not maintained uniformly and the cleaning efficiency goes down. Clean the tubes and hose exhaust by blowing compressed air. If that is not available, drag out the debris using a brush or fork.

7. Be careful with the power cord.

Avoid running over the machine power cord with the brush roll as this happens fairly often especially when you are in a hurry. Things like tugging on the power cord and running the cord far till it jerks out of the power outlet are a big safety risk. Remember to always switch OFF the power before carrying out any maintenance on the vacuum cleaner.

With these tips you should get top performance from your vacuum cleaner but if all fails please take it to the repairer’s shop to have it fixed at very little expense.

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