Swiping the Dust off Top Issues with Vaccum Cleaners

The Dirt on Vacuums - Fixya Report

The Fixya vacuum report covers common issues and their solutions from popular vacuum manufacturers Dyson, Hoover, and Bissell. Overall, our report discovered some consistent problems across all vacuums with the roller brush and suction capabilities, but found that each individual brand had unique problems with their products that could not be found with their competitors.

Owning a quality vacuum cleaner is both an investment in the longevity of the device as well as an investment in your home. The accumulation of dirt and dust on your carpets and floors can build up quickly through the normal everyday use, making regular cleaning and vacuuming a priority for those looking to keep their home and belongings as clean as possible. Keeping your vacuum cleaner in working order is always going to be a good investment, provided you do your research and stay proactive in taking care of your device.

Which is where we come in.

Drawing from our unique and proprietary data found on the Fixya Fixboard, we will cover some of the the most common issues and solutions that each brand has with its vacuum products. In addition, we’ll highlight some of the steps those companies have made with their customer service to deliver exceptional value to their customers on both Fixya and their main website by utilizing our Fixya Pro service.

Along with being one of the more popular general product categories on Fixya, our vacuum cleaner category has brands that are utilizing our new Fixya Pro section on Fixya to connect directly with their customers and provide feedback, advice, and useful tips and tricks to help users like you get the most out of their devices. Along with helping to grow their business, these initiatives by companies to help users directly on Fixya are helping thousands of Fixya users each day get help from experts who understand the product the most.


Top issues with top Dyson vacuums


Long considered an innovator in the vacuum and home appliance field, Dyson Ltd. was founded in 1993 by James Dyson. Dyson first revolutionized the vacuum cleaner industry by introducing centripetal separators (instead of the conventional bag used by other devices) in his vacuum, resulting in an increased ability to pick up dirt in the house.

Drawing from its long-time innovative roots, today the company continues to be an innovator amongst its competitors—however, instead of just having innovative products, Dyson has extended that innovation to its customer service field. As a long-time member on Fixya, the customer service team at Dyson has invested a lot of time and resources into helping Fixya users get the most out of their Dyson vacuum cleaners by answering customer issues on the site with their registered FixyaPro account called “AskDyson”.

Common Problems & Solutions

Issues with the On Button - A common issue with Dyson’s vacuums was with the On button, which had the tendency to pop up and turn the machine off when it was in use. Along with posing the obvious problem for users who were looking to clean their home efficiently and quickly, the problem was compounded when users were forced to keep their hand atop the On button when they were vacuuming their homes. In order to avoid costly repairs of bringing your vacuum into a repairman or sending it into the manufacturer for them to take a look at it, a simple reset fix will do the trick.

The Fix:

  • Unplug your Dyson vacuum and sit in front of it.
  • Put your thumb on the on/off button.
  • Push down and slip your thumb off of it as fast as you can. You may hear a relatively loud pop, which is normal.
  • Repeat this process ten times.
  • Plug your machine back in and see if it works.
  • This process this will reset the machine. Also note, that this issue with the Dyson vacuum also acts as a warning that your filters most likely will need to be cleaned.

Motorized Brush Bar - Another common issue with the Dyson vacuum was that the motorized brush bar would not turn when in use, which resulted in users being unable to pick up any dirt from their carpets and floors. This brush bar helps facilitate the movement of debris into the section of the vacuum where dirt goes, as well as ensures that large pieces which may harm the device do not find their way into the vacuum.

The Fix:

  • When replacing the ball filter after washing it, ensure that the ball is put correctly back into place.
  • Press down firmly when resetting the ball into the vacuum.
  • Listen for an audible “click” that occurs when the ball is correctly positioned in the vacuum.
  • If the ball does not “click” when it is placed back into the vacuum, check to see if there are any issues with the housing mechanism that holds the ball.
  • If there are no issues with the housing mechanism, contact Dyson for a replacement ball.


Top issues with top Hoover vacuums


With a long history of dominating the vacuum cleaner industry during the vast majority of the 1900’s, so much so that in Australia and the United Kingdom the name “Hoover” became synonymous with every vacuum cleaner sold (even if it was manufactured by a different brand), Hoover is a company with a rich history that dates back decades. Like most home care brands, Hoover has branched out into different products as the years have gone by—including washers, dryers, kitchen appliances—but its vacuum business remains one of its most popular and recognized lines across the world.

However, the Hoover, much like its market competitors in the vacuum market, still has problems that cause issues for users despite its recognizable brand name. Those issues can be found below.

Common Problems & Solutions

Windtunnel Shuts Off - As a built-in safety feature, the Hoover Windtunnel will sometimes shut off for users in order to avoid overheating the device and damaging the delicate machinery within the vacuum. While this safety feature and obviously appreciated for the usefulness of protecting the vacuum from any heat damage, it can be frustrating when the Wind Tunnel is shutting off during light use (some users reported their Windtunnel shutting off within two minutes of using the device despite not using it for an entire day).

Here's the fix.

The Fix:

  • Replace the bag and filter in the vacuum.
  • Check to see if there is any debris clogging the hose or the machine.
  • Wash the filter at the top of the machine by removing the dirt cup and finding the washable filter. Remove the filter.
  • Clean the filter and let it dry completely before putting it back into the machine.
  • Doing this regularly (even before the machine shuts off) can be beneficial as it reduces the chance of the machine overheating and damaging the motor.

Steamvac Hose - Some of Hoover’s most popular vacuum cleaners come equipped with a steamvac hose that helps users of the device inject carpet cleaner into their carpets as well as get spills and marks off of the hard surfaces (such as the kitchen floor) of their home. Unfortunately, the Steamvac hose will sometimes malfunction for users, leaving water and solution trickling out of the hose and doing little to help in the way of cleaning the surfaces they want to clean.

The Fix:

  • Run two tanks of hot water and vinegar mix to clean the hose.
  • Plug the hose into the shampooer and run it through to further clean the hose.
  • Remove the plastic nozzle tip of the hose and blow into both ends of the nozzle to clean out any debris.
  • If that doesn’t help, run a piece of fine wire through the hose to clean it and remove any debris.
  • Contact Hoover to replace the pump on the unit.

Cleaning Solution Dispenser - The cleaning solution dispenser on some Hoover products will occasionally fail to dispense any cleaning solution despite the machine working well otherwise. While this does not effect the Hoover’s ability to vacuum dirt and grime off of your carpets and floors, the cleaning solution does help prevent the build up of dirt in the future and makes vacuuming a much more effective process when applied correctly.

The Fix:

  • Ensure that the hose and nozzle is free of any debris that may be disrupting the application of cleaning solution.
  • Remove the liquid dispenser tank and set it aside.
  • Look into the cavity of the machine where the tank attaches and find the plastic "plunger" piece that is surrounded by a black rubber circle.
  • Put a small drop of hot glue on the tip of this plastic "plunger" piece and let it harden.
  • Replace the liquid dispenser tank and try the machine again.


Top issues with top Bissell vacuums


Although Bissell may not have the globally recognizable brand name of competitors like Hoover and Dyson, the company is a significant player in the floor care product industry, holding down the #1 spot in North America in regards to floor care product sales in the region.

The company had its start in 1883 when it was founded by Melville Bissell, focusing on mechanical sweepers that Bissell developed in his home to help clean a store that he owned. With the success of this product, the Bissell company began to develop and manufacture vacuum cleaners. The success of their vacuum and other floor care products led them to overtaking Hoover’s previous dominance of the North American floor care industry in 2009.

Common Problems & Solutions

Solution Sprayer - Much like the Hoover, some of Bissell’s vacuum cleaners have a useful product feature that allows users to spray solution onto carpets and hard surfaces to aid in the cleaning process and help facilitate the pick up of dirt and grime from those hard to reach locations in your home. However, this solution sprayer posed the greatest amount of problems for people using the device, accounting for nearly 22% of the top issues with the Bissell vacuum cleaners. The failure for the solution sprayer to work clearly presents some frustrations for users - here’s how to get the fix.

The Fix:

  • Remove the water container from the bottom unit
  • Look up for two red plastic endings on the bottom unit
  • Using your fingers to clip sides of an ending, carefully remove it from its slot
  • Using pliers, release the clamp from plastic ending and remove the red plastic ending from the hose
  • Clean the ending
  • Put the ending back on the hose, slide clamp back on the ending
  • Insert the ending back in its slot
  • Repeat this process for the other ending

Suction Issues - Along with issues pumping solution cleaner out of the vacuum cleaner, a group of Bissell product owners also had issues with the suction aspect of their solution sprayer that resulted in the device being unable to bring water and cleaning solution back into the device. This issue would leave their carpets, floors, and other surface areas wet, attracting dirt and other grime.

The Fix:

  • Remove the plastic top that snaps to the part that holds the water bladder.
  • Inside that top piece is a compartment that protects the air filter.
  • Extensively clean the air filter, removing all the debris stuck to it.
  • Ensure that there is no debris or materials blocking the main line where the water is sucked into.
  • Check the water bladder to see if there is any blockage preventing water from being pulled into it.

Roller Brush - Bissell owners have run into issues with the roller brush on their device, which sometimes will fail to spin when the vacuum is turned on. This occurs even when the ends of the brush are placed properly into the grooves that hold the brush, as well as when the motor pulley still turns and the vacuum is still running. This issue makes vacuuming your carpet all but impossible, giving users frustration considering it appears that the rest of the vacuum appears to be functioning properly.

The Fix:

  • Pull the roller brush out of the vacuum
  • Remove as much hair and debris by hand then use a comb to brush the bristles out. Clean the track (not bristles) of the track with a small amount of kitchen cleaner and a washcloth. A little homemade kitchen cleaner and a washcloth do the trick nicely. Replace the brush and belt and then give the brush the same treatment with cleaner.
  • If that doesn’t work, stand the roller brush up on its end and prepare to take it apart.
  • Tap it softly with a small hard surface to separate the two parts of the roller brush.
  • Clean all of the hair and debris out of the middle of the roller brush.
  • Put the roller brush back together.

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