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How to use a vacuum cleaner

  • Avoid vacuuming solid objects like pebbles and pennies. In many vacuum cleaners, the air full of dirt goes right past the blower on its way to the bag. Those objects become projectiles that can damage the blower.
  • If the sound of your vacuum cleaner suddenly changes (gets much louder or higher or develops a rattle, for instance), stop the machine immediately and figure out what is wrong. Running a vacuum cleaner with one problem can quickly cause further damage.
  • Remove dust and debris as you go, anywhere you find it. A tangle of hair or a dust clog could cause a problem directly or could cause other things to overheat. Brush, pull, or wipe it out of the way, and try not to push it further in.
  • Listen to your vacuum cleaner for any noise that is out of the ordinary, and try to figure out what is causing it. Franklynn Peterson advises, "Here is a rough guide to use in locating noises. Bent fan blades should stir up considerable vibration as well as noise. Worn ball bearings generally rumble and have spurts of sound mixed in with the general din. Sleeve bearings, when they wear, put out a steady scraping sound." Ball bearings may also produce a high-pitched whine.
  • Motors are costly, so consider carefully whether you want to replace one that is blown out. It may cost almost as much as the vacuum cleaner.
  • Regular maintenance can prevent more major repairs.
  • The first time you open up your vacuum cleaner, look around inside to understand how it works. Vacuum cleaner configurations vary, but here are the basics:
  • At its core is a motor that drives an axial blower (like a fan, only stronger). The blower drives air out an exhaust, creating a vacuum. This vacuum carries soil and dirt out of your carpet and through a bag or other filter.
  • The motor usually also drives a brush roll, also known as a beater bar or agitator. This is a cylindrical brush that rotates in contact with the carpet to loosen soil.
  • The electrical wiring carries power through a switch, through a fuse, and to the motor.
  • Check office supply, janitorial supply, or vacuum cleaner stores stores. They sell a magnetic bar that goes across the front lower edge of the cleaner to pick up metal objects like paper clips and paper staples before they enter the vacuum cleaner. If you install such a strip, occasionally remove this debris.