Vacuum Troubleshooting

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Why does my vacuum have no suction? / Why doesn't my vacuum pick up?

Is it that it doesn't suck or doesn't perform like it used to? One question, am I noticing poor performance on bare flooring, carpeting or through the hose? If it's on bare flooring or just the hose then I have a suction (air movement) issue. If it's on carpeting than I have an agitation problem. The first place to look is at the bag/filtration area. Clogged units have very low airflow and if the air isn't flowing, neither is the dirt. Secondly, agitation accounts for better than 40% of a vacuums cleaning ability on carpets. Belts need to be changed annually (flat rubber belts) while agitator brushes or the brushroll brushes should be changed every five years. Any of these items will greatly affect the performance of your vacuum.

Plugged Central Vacuum?

Very rarely will a Central Vacuum plug. Usually this is the first thing we think of when poor performance happens. Again, we need to ask ourselves the suction question: am I noticing poor performance on bare flooring, carpeting or through the hose? If it's on bare flooring or through the hose then I have a suction (air movement) issue.

If it's on carpeting than I have an agitation problem. The first place to look is at the main unit to see if it's full. Next, without the hose plugged in, fish a coin through it and see if it comes out the other end. Clogged units have very low airflow and if the air isn't flowing, neither is the dirt. Agitation accounts for better than 40% of a vacuums cleaning ability on carpets.

Belts need to be changed annually (flat rubber belts only) while agitator brushes or the brushroll brushes should be changed every five years. Any of these items will greatly affect the performance of your central vacuum. A plugged central vacuum pipe in the wall will always indicate incorrect installation. Contacting a professional installer is the only way to truly unclog and repair the ducting system in order to avoid further problems

I sucked up water in my vacuum.

Wet pickup in any vacuum is damaging to the vital moving parts of the vacuum cleaner itself. Any moving part will seize if left to dry slowly as it takes time for metal for form rust.

The easiest way to avoid permanent damage to a wet vacuum is to quickly dry out and off what you can see with a towel, remove all bags, filters or anything that may hold water like a sponge. Then take the machine outside and allow it to run for 30 to 40 minutes. This will create heat within those vital moving areas and dry it faster than the rust can develop.

If a machine however has been wet (or very damp) and allowed to sit longer than 24 hours, it should be replaced as it will just be a matter of time before it will seize.

I sucked up water in my central vacuum.

It depends on the amount of water sucked up as to the amount of damage which may occur.

First of all, you should suck a few paper towels through the damp hose and lines to dry out what you can. The main unit should be allowed to run for up to five minutes only during this procedure. Once you've done this go to the main unit and clean out any dampness that may have reached it.

Once you're comfortable that you've gotten the majority of the water, plug in the hose and allow the system to run for 30 – 40 minutes allowing the hose, lines and main unit to fully dry. The final step is to replace the inlet valve or vac pan in which the water was initially picked up. If this is not done you may have a premature starting of the central vacuum at a later date causing major damage to the motor.

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