Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seeking Peace in My Own Heart and the Art of Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

I would have written "Zen and the Art..." but I'm not Bhuddist, so there.

We bought our vacuum cleaner in November of 2008. It's a Hoover Wind Tunnel. Big, bulky and rather heavy. When we got it, it worked like a dream.

Somewhere in the past seventeen months it has stopped being wonderful and merely been a big pain the butt. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to vacuum around here. And when they do(usually involving vast amounts of monetary compensation-which is how the kids earn their allowance around here), it doesn't clean correctly.

I'm sure you have had similar frustrations with your own vacuum, whatever the brand. This seems to be a perpetual vacuum cleaner reality.

So today, in a fit of frustration, I decided to actually turn the stupid thing upside down and see if I could figure out WHAT the heck is going on with it.

Duh! Duh! Duhduhduhduhduh! Why did I not do this, like, SIX MONTHS AGO???????

And yes, I did unplug it first.

Materials needed: Philips head screwdriver. All the while muttering to myself "This vacuum cleaner SUCKS...except that it doesn't." har har.

So I unscrew the bottom. Lets see: We have in our family three long haired daughters, a seamstress (lots of thread on the carpet), two knitters and one spinner.

Imagine what the beater bar on this vacuum cleaner looked like.

Materials needed: Scissors.

I took the beater bar out and realized that not only was it hopelessly clogged with detritus, the belt was also broken.

Duh! Duhdudhduhduhduh. No wonder it was so stankin' (that's an actual work in Kentucky) hard to push. No beater bar means you are pushing with resistance. Like something out of a Greek myth designed to torture in a purgatorial way.

So, I start cutting the nasty hair and string and wool roving and yarn off the beater bar, glad that I'm apparently not allergic to dust. I ended up getting a comb and combing out the bristles on the beater bar. Finally it was clean. Had to run to K Mart for a new belt, but that was easy to do.

I managed to put the belt on and get the beater bar back into place without breaking a nail or buggering up my knuckles (which is what typically happens when I do vacuum cleaner maintenance, which might explain why I'm so reluctant to do it), and the bottom plate screwed back in.

Suddenly the vacuum works like it did when we first bought it. The rotating beater bar pulls the heavy machine across the floor, it actually sucks up dirt and combs the fibers on our carpet. Easy McPeasy!

Now, why did I not think of this sooner?

I'm blogging this, so that you can go get your crappy vacuum cleaner, clean it up, replace it's broken belt, and enjoy it working properly again. Have fun.

My husband is glad because I just saved our family about a hundred and fifty dollars.

7 comments:

elizabeth said...

yay! how wonderful!! saving the $$ too.. double yay!

My cat was gracefully jumping off the armchair yesterday and yep, clumps of Cleo hair floated to the ground. Sigh. And she complains about me not cleaning. humph!

:)

BelleArtMom said...

I have done *exactly* the same before with my vacuum! There are 3 girls and 5 dogs in my house. Luckily most of the house has hardwood floors and the only time I vacuum is when guests come over.

Hezra said...

I have done this so many times. Yes it is worth it. But yes icky . We have killed so many vacuums. Even with my wonderful maintenence skills. (because people who are male and adult here suck up giant things and poky things and literally BREAK THE MOTOR or poke holes in the hoses!!) We are where vacuums go to die. But so far this one is doing well. and the sad fact, I have removed most of our carpet. We have one area rug. But I vacuum instead of sweep most of the time. Hey, here is a funny piece of Charlie brown irony you will appreciate: The week after I pulled up ALL my carpet and faux painted the concrete floors, I won(by writing anamazing mommy essay) a carpet shampoo-er!!! lol I gave it to a needy friend, but laughed for days.

Veiled Glory said...

Wouldn't you know...my dad did the same sort of work today on their cannister vac. This time, long Asian hair was the culprit.

amy said...

Yea! Glad you got it fixed ...such a great feeling of accomplishment =-)

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Well done for solving the problems!

We have a Dyson cleaner, and every two or three weeks, it stops picking up and I have to flip it over and manually remove all the clogged up labrador fur and human hair from the beater equivalent (I swear that dog should be bald by now, he moults so much every day!) - and then it works as good as new all over again.
Scissors are normally an essential part of my maintenance regime, but at least I don't need a screwdriver....

thegeekywife said...

you fixed it! Hooray!