Despite their vital role in cleaning the house, vacuum cleaners are not invincible. With time, wear and tear will get to them. In most cases, the hoses are the first to cave in.
Cracks and tears will slowly start creeping in. As a result, the vacuum cleaner will lose suction power. In some situations, the vacuum could create a mess around the house by spraying the dust it’s sucking in around the house.
If you notice more dust than usual after vacuuming or reduced suctioning power, it’s more than likely your vacuum cleaner is leaking. This guide will help you find the leak and a few tips on how to fix it.
What you need
It’s evident your vacuum has a problem. You need a few tools that will help you find the problem and fix it. Here are some of the items you will need:
- Wire coat hanger
- Broom handle
- A utility knife
- Duct tape
- Protective clothing including a pair of gloves and a nose mask
Before you start searching for the leak, you need to clean out the vacuum and the hose. Needless to mention, it’s going to be messy and dusty. That’s why you need protective clothing. If possible, complete this task outdoors to mitigate the amount of cleaning you need to do after.
You also need sufficient flow of clean air to keep the dust at bay.
Start the hose
If your vacuum is having any problem, there’s a good chance the hose is the problem. Starting with the hose is a practical strategy. It saves you the trouble of having to open the vacuum apart only to find the obvious part is the problem.
When checking the hose, a leak is not the only problem. It could also be a clog that is causing reduced performance.
Stretch out the wire coat hanger to create a probe which you will insert into the hose. If there’s a clog, it will stop the coat hanger from going further. If there’s a clog, try to jab the hanger into the clog and pull it out. It helps if you have a hook-like design at the end of the hanger.
If the clog is stubborn and won’t come out with the hanger, you can use the broom handle to force it out. All you have to do is slide the broom handle into the hose and move it around. Be sure to push the handle to the opposite end of the hose to make sure there are no more clogs.
If the clog is out, you can run the vacuum to see if power is restored. If the problem persists or there’s no clog, then you need to shift your focus to finding the leak.
Find the leak
Some hose leaks might easy to find and big enough to fit your fingers through the cracks. Other cracks might be harder to find.
For large cracks, you can run your fingers along the length of the hose from one end to the other. If you feel any bumps or gaps, you should give a closer inspection. If you can’t find the leak using this approach, you need to get a little creative.
Take the hose to a tap. Hold one end under the tap to fill it with water. The opposite end should be held higher than the end water is entering through to prevent the water from flowing through the other end.
Once you have a substantial amount of water in the pipe, close the tap and hold the hose in a U-shape. Check for leaks.
If you still can’t find any leaks, try sloshing the water around. The areas with the leaks will the water out, making it easier for you to identify them.
How to fix a vacuum leak
Now that you’ve identified the problem, you need a solution. A small hole is not enough to force you to buy a new vacuum cleaner. It’s something you can quickly fix.
There are two methods of fixing a leaking vacuum. Let’s start with the easiest fix.
If the leak is close to the end of the hose, you need to cut off the end of the hose using the utility knife. Once you slice the end, save the plastic connector and connect it to the area above the cut you just made.
You might need some duct tape to fasten the connector properly on the vacuum cleaners. Even though this method is simple, it will only work if your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have fitted plastic connectors that don’t come off.
For leaks at the middle of the hose or away from the end of the hose, you only need some duct tape, to get the hose working as good as new. You might need to clean the area to make sure the bond is strong and doesn’t become a pain in the future.
This method is a little complicated. But, it works if you have one of those vacuum cleaners with machine fitted ends that won’t come off.
This solution is not permanent, but it will keep you going until you can buy a replacement hose and restore the power of the vacuum.
Clean the area with the leak with dish soap. It helps to get rid of dirt and dust, which can compromise the sealing bond. Give the hose enough time to air dry before proceeding with the repair.
Take your broom handle and apply some chalk over half the length of the handle and slide it into the hose close to the leak. Try and stretch out the cracked area. You should see the chalk through the crack if you do this tight. Use duct tape to cover the leak. Once the area is adequately secured, you can take the broom handle out.
To get rid of the sticky area inside the vacuum spread some chalk on the floor and run the vacuum over it. It will get rid of the sticky spot and get rid of any clogging hazards.
In these simple steps, you can easily find leaks in your vacuum and fix them. All the tools are easy to find. You don’t need any experience. However, it’s important to note that the only long-term fix would be to replace the hose. However, these fixes will have the current working properly until you get the new hose.