Fix, Repair or Toss? Vacuum Repair

The title of this article is self-explanatory.  We have become a throw away society.  Why?

Typically it is because it is cost prohibitive to repair most items.  However in the age of the Internet, you can find the parts to repair most anything. For example.

Today our vacuum stopped sucking.  When that happens, things really start to suck. We have five kids, three dogs and a cat.  Can we talk about messy?  We go through a vacuum a year on average.  Today I decided to take ours apart and see if I can fix the problem.

First it is a matter of locating the model number on the unit.  Ours is on the back near the base.  You take that number and go to the manufacturers website.  On Bissell.com we plugin our model number of 13h8.  This search returns: http://www.bissell.com/powergroom-pet-compact/  From here, I can download the user guide which typically includes a parts schematic.

On the parts schematic, I find an exploded view of the vacuum.  I can see how many screws there are to allow me to get the bottom off the unit.  In our case, I want to take the whole bottom off, as I don’t think that the problem is just in the roller, as it still spins when the motor runs.

I pulled all of the hoses loose, and discovered that two were plugged, and one was wearing on the bottom.  So I looked up the part number of the hose I need to replace.  (toothpicks and nails are not friendly to household vacuums.) The first three places I looked for the lower hose assembly turn up the idea that the part is no longer available.  Nevertheless, I looked three pages deep in Google’s results.  and found one.  Tenacity.  I was surprised that I couldn’t find the part on ebay.

So I cleaned the unit up a bit, wrapped some electrical tape around the hose that is wearing through, thus recreating the suction, and wait for the replacement part to come in.

Total elapsed time, including searching for a Phillips head screw that dropped on the floor?  Half an hour.  Cost for repair?  12 dollars including shipping and tax.

More updates when the piece comes in and I pull the unit apart again.

I wonder what else I can find in the house that I can take apart…

Enhanced by Zemanta