Over time, any vacuum is going to start to lose suction. We get calls about this frequently – and we are glad people call. Sometimes they think their vacuum is beyond repair; however, often it can be fixed with a simple diagnostic check. Here we look at a bit of the science behind a vacuum losing suction and the steps to repair it.
Air Flow and Suction
A vacuum loses suction because it loses air flow. Those two phrases are often synonymous in common English; however, they are very distinct and individual terms.
Air flow refers to the amount of air (CFM) that is moving through the machine, while suction (also known as water lift or static pressure) refers to the amount of power generated by lowered pressure. Inside a vacuum barrel, pressure is decreased by the motor exhausting air; because air wants to be equal in pressure in all places, extra air will go right into the vacuum barrel – and that’s how your vacuum cleaner works.
In order for a vacuum to produce good suction, it must first produce good air flow. We wrote an entire article just on CFM and Water Lift; read it here.
Steps to Troubleshoot
Now that you understand that the amount of suction is affected by how much air is flowing through the vacuum, let’s take a look at how to increase air flow. Look for anything that is reducing air flow.
- Start from the hose and work towards the filters.
- Check the opening of the hose to ensure nothing has become stuck.
- Lay out your hose in a straight line. Shine a flashlight down one end and look for any debris.
- With your hose removed from the vacuum, check with your fingers in the vacuum port from both the outside and inside for debris.
- Check the filter(s). If they are visibly dirty, beat them off or wash them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- If cleaning the filters does not visibly make them appear any cleaner you may need a new pair of filters. Take caution when working around a HEPA filter – do not attempt to clean a HEPA filter unless it has an internal cleaning mechanism.
- If the filters are clean, remove the filters and check the air intake on the motor. Ensure it is clear of any physical debris or visible dust.
- If you complete all of the following steps and the vacuum still has a lack of suction, it is likely a motor problem. Most manufacturers will sell you the motor directly.
For Help With Your Dustless Motor
If you’ve tried all the above steps and your Dustless vacuum is still giving you trouble, give us a call. Chances are the motor has probably just aged out (although they can last for 10-15 years with light use). If you’re not getting any power at all, it’s probably motor brushes or electric problems.
Regardless of what you are experiencing, we put every component of your wet dry vacuum together right here in our facility in Utah. We can get you nearly any replacement part – down to the smallest screws.
Give us a call at (435) 637-5885 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be glad to see what we can do to help you!