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5 things Hoover wishes you knew about vacuums

Cheap, easy fixes that help you dodge service calls

Published: July 09, 2014 01:45 PM

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Hoover has been working on improving the reliability of its vacuum cleaners since the line became part of TTI Floor Care, the owners of Dirt Devil, and currently our top vacuum picks include Hoover. Still, there’s always room for improvement, so we asked Hoover about avoidable service calls—problems customers could remedy themselves if they were more in tune with their vacuums. Here’s what Hoover told us.

Vacuums need maintenance. It’s not just cars and outdoor power gear that need routine attention. To make your vacuum run best, perform a full system check every other month. Start with your filters; if they’re dirty, rinse and dry them. (If there’s a HEPA filter, replace it when it’s noticeably dirty.) Replace the bag or bin if full. Next, check the brush roll for wrapped-up hair and fibers and remove what you find. While getting at the belt to check for damage isn’t easy, keeping a spare belt around will help you avoid problems if your vacuum fails when you need it most.

Belts break for a reason. Vacuums typically use a belt that’s meant to break to protect the motor. One common reason is when the brush roll jams from pulling in items such as shoelaces, socks, and even rugs. In some vacuums, there’s a circuit breaker, which shuts the motor down if it meets significant resistance. Some vacuums also have a thermal overload protector that prevents the motor from overheating because of a clog. Most can be reset afterward by unplugging the vacuum and letting it cool down.  While you wait, check for whatever blocked the airflow.

Many broken vacuums can be fixed. If your vacuum’s motor still runs, your vacuum can probably be fixed. And most issues can be resolved at home for little or no cost. Checking hoses for clogs, washing or replacing your filter, cleaning excess hair off your brush roll, or replacing a belt is often all it takes to get your vacuum back up and running.
 
Vacuuming is more than just suction. Effective vacuuming of all your surfaces requires both agitation—from the brush roll—and good airflow throughout the system caused by suction. And, of course, you have to push the vacuum back and forth. Problems can occur from issues with any of these factors, but they’re resolvable.

Making multiple passes is normal. Cleaning pros recommend that you make at least seven passes over a carpet, the most challenging job for a vacuum, in order to pick up not just surface dirt but also fine debris that can get trapped deep in the carpet’s fibers. All vacuum manufacturers test their machines using many passes. If your vacuum isn’t  picking up at least the surface litter, it’s time to check for brush-roll and airflow issues.

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind

Top vacuums from our tests
When it is time for a new vacuum, a careful check of available features can help you match a model you’re considering to the type of surfaces you need to clean. Our vacuum buying guide can help you sort out the lingo. Then see our vacuum Ratings of more than 125 upright, canister, hand, stick, and robotic vacuums.

Our top bagless canister is the LG Kompressor LcV900B, $400, but we also recommend the bagless Hoover Platinum S3865, also $400. In our tests of uprights, the Hoover WindTunnel Max UH30600, $180, is a CR Best Buy, combining performance and value. Four other Hoover bagged uprights made our list of top vacuum picks, as did the Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Bagless UH70120, $130, our top bagless upright.

—Ed Perratore (@EdPerratore on Twitter)

   

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