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Loss of Suction in a Vacuum

If your vacuum isn't sucking, the problem is usually due to one of five reasons. In this video, Helen explains all and shows us the most common causes of loss of suction in a modern vacuum cleaner.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Helen from eSpares.

In the UK last year, we threw away approximately five million vacuum cleaners. Now the number one reason for chucking away a vacuum cleaner is loss of suction, basically it's not picking up as effectively as it used to.

In this video, I'm going to show you the five main reasons for loss of suction in a modern vacuum cleaner and what you can do to fix it yourself.

The five main reasons are:

  • Bags
  • Filters
  • Blockages
  • Gaps in the air flow
  • Motors

So, let's start with bags. Now, it's going to sound really obvious, but the first thing to check is if your bag's full because that's going to affect the suction. Also check for any rips or holes. Now, we always recommend that you try and get the genuine vacuum cleaner bags rather than a cheaper, non-branded equivalent because they're generally much better quality. Now, if you have a bagless vacuum cleaner just check that your dust canister isn't full.

Next up is filters, most vacuum cleaners have two filters, this Bosch is a good example. We have the pre-motor filter and the post-motor or exhaust filter. Now, you want to check, particularly the pre-motor filter that it's not dirty or caked in dust because this will greatly reduce the suction in your vacuum cleaner. Some filters are washable and it often shows you on the filter itself, or just check your instruction manual and that will also give you a guide as to how often you should be washing them.

To wash your filters, just rinse them under warm water and then leave to air-dry for about 24 hours. If your filters aren't washable, or they're damaged or in a really bad state, then just replace them because it's really easy to do. Clean or new filters will make a huge difference to the suction of your vacuum cleaner.

So, next up is blockages, if your vacuum cleaner has narrow-diameter hosing or tubing, it's very easy for things to get stuck. So just switch off your vacuum, and unplug it and then check all the hosing. You can use something like a coat hanger to check the extension tube. Now if you've got an upright, you'll also want to check the brush roll area, check that nothing's blocked there. If your brush roll has been damaged by a blockage, then all manufacturers offer replacement brush rolls, and they're dead easy to change.

Next up is gaps in the air flow. On a new vacuum cleaner, the hose starts off looking like this but over time the plastic degrades and coupled with the fact that most people pull along their vacuums by the hose, they can end up looking like this. Now it is a pretty extreme example, but even the smallest hole or rip can reduce the suction greatly. Now, on uprights, most of them have a connection between the hose and the base unit. Now you want to make sure that this a really secure and tight fit as it's a classic area for loss of suction in an upright.

Lastly, if you've tried all of the above and you're still experiencing loss of suction, it's probably due to the motor. Now replacing the motor on a vacuum cleaner is not an easy job but it's certainly doable and we have some videos online showing you how to replace the motor on a vacuum cleaner, and you may not even need to replace the whole motor, you might just need to replace the carbon brushes in the motor.

Bags, filters, replacement hoses, extension tubes and motors for all makes and models of vacuum cleaner are available on the eSpares website.

Thanks for watching.


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