The vacuum cleaner is one of the most common household appliances, and our main focus here, on VacuumsGuide.com. It is normal that, over time, vacuums will go through wear and tear, particularly in their hoses. Over time, the hoses can form tears, cracks and holes that rob the cleaner of suction power. As the leak worsens the vacuum will perform more and more poorly. If your vacuum has lost some of its cleaning power, a leak in the hose is most likely the culprit. Follow these steps to find and fix that leak.
Step 1 – Get ready
First, you’ll want to gather the necessary tools and materials. You might not end up needing all of them, but it’s good to have them close at hand, in case you do. You’ll want a wire coat hanger to pull clogs out of the hose, broom handle for straightening and stretching the hose, duct tape to fix any tears or cracks that you find, a utility knife to cut the hose, and either talcum powder or chalk to get rid of the adhesive on the hose. I’ve listed these in the left pic, it shouldn’t be too hard to find them around the house.
Remember that cleaning out the hose in a vacuum cleaner is almost certain to be a filthy undertaking. Even if the canister is empty, the hose and cleaner likely have debris and dust inside them. Take the vacuum cleaner outside or perform it over a tarp in order to protect your indoor floors and any furnishings. Make sure you’re not wearing your good clothes, watch your breath (consider wearing a breathing mask, if you’re allergic)!
Step 2 – Check the hose
Now it’s time to check the hose to see if it’s clogged. A good sign of a clog is that the vacuum not only has lost most of its suction power, but the motor either runs much more quietly or has a much higher pitch to its sound when turned on. If this is the case, disconnect the hose from the vacuum cleaner, and straighten out your wire coat hanger into a long, thin rod. Run the rod into the hose; if a clog is present, it will stop the hanger. Jab the hanger into the clog, and then pull the clog back on out. If you sense a clog but it won’t come out with the coat hanger, slide the broom handle down the hose, and move it around to loosen the clog so that it will fall out when you turn the hose end up. If it’s being especially difficult to remove, unhook the hose from both ends, and run the broom handle all the way through to force the clog out.
Step 3 – Find the leak
If the problem isn’t a clog, then it is likely to be a leak. Use your fingers to feel all along the hose from one end to another. In most cases, the gap in the hose is large enough for your fingers to be able to find. If not, take the detached hose into your utility room, and hold one end of the hose beneath the spigot and the other end higher than the first end. Turn the water on, allowing it to enter the hose. Turn the water off after a few seconds, and hold both ends of the hose up so that it looks like a letter U. Slosh the water back and forth in the hose; when it hits the leak, water will come out.
Step 4 – Solve it – the easy way
If the leak is near one of the ends of the hose, simply use the utility knife to cut that end of the hose off. Take off the plastic connector from the hose, and use the knife to cut right above the leak. Now put the plastic connector on the new end you just made, and reattach it to the vacuum cleaner.
Note: this will not work if your vacuum cleaner uses machine fitted plastic connectors that you can’t take off. You’ll know this is the case when the connector refuses to come off easily. In this case, see the next step:
Step 5 – Solve it – the hard way
If this is the situation with your cleaner, you’re going to have to go MacGyver style. That’s right – you’re going to need the duct tape. This is a temporary solution until you can either purchase a new hose or a new vacuum cleaner, but it will restore your vacuum cleaner’s power, at least for the short term. Clean the area around the leak with dish soap to get rid of any dirt, grease or dust, as these will interfere with the tape’s sealing power. Wait until the area around the leak is clean and dry before proceeding. Then put chalk or talcum powder over half of that broom handle, and then slide that into the hose from the end closer to the leak, stretching out the cracked area. Make sure you see the chalk or powder through the crack. Use the duct tape to cover the leak with strips. After you have the tape securely in place, take out the broom handle, and check the area around the tape to make sure that there are no more leaks. You’re not quite done, because now the inside of your vacuum cleaner hose has a sticky area: the inside of the tape. This will grab all sorts of junk and quickly form a clog unless you sprinkle some of that powder or chalk dust onto the floor. Run the vacuum over it, and repeat several times. The powder will cling to that tape, making your risk of clogs significantly less. This is only a temporary fix, because the powerful suction in the vacuum will warp the tape, making the edges start to peel. You can repeat these steps as many times as necessary, but it is not a long-term solution.
This is a reliable way to repair your vacuum cleaner hose leaks until you have the opportunity to replace the hose or the entire vacuum cleaner. It can be difficult to find new hoses, as manufacturers often phase out parts. However, buying a new vacuum cleaner can be expensive, so this gives you a solution while you save up the money that you need. If you are committed to buying a new hose, eBay is just one place where parts for older appliances show up, and usually at reasonable prices. This can keep you from having the expense of a new vacuum.
Still have problems with finding and repairing a vacuum cleaner leak? Post your question using the form bellow, I’ll do my best to reply. Good luck!
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