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REPAIR : When There's a Vacuum in Your Cleaning

September 29, 1990|From Reader's Digest

If your vacuum cleaner is sluggish, excessively noisy or not functioning at all, there are a number of simple checks and repairs you can do yourself before taking it to an authorized repair station.

Be sure to unplug the machine before doing any work on it.

If the motor doesn't run:

Be sure the plug is inserted firmly in the outlet.

Check the wall outlet with a lamp you know is working. If the power is off, replace the fuse or reset the circuit breaker.

On an upright unit, check the fan and remove any obstruction. Lay the vacuum on its side, and remove the bottom plate. On most models, this will expose the fan's blades. On a canister, a filter in the bag compartment usually protects the fan.

If the power cord, the on-off switch or the handle cord (from switch to motor on an upright) is damaged, have the parts replaced by an authorized repair shop.

If the suction is sluggish:

Clean the dust bag. If it is more than three-quarters full, empty or replace it.

Clean the port where the bag is attached on an upright, or the intake and exhaust ports on a canister.

If a canister has poor suction:

Clean or replace a dirty filter. Filters should be replaced at least once a year.

Make sure a canister's hose is properly connected to the cleaner.

Clear any obstruction in the hose by pushing a broom handle through it.

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