Friday, July 9, 2010

Arch Nemesis


Do you know why I bought the Dyson? I bought it because I was enamored with the idea of the whole thing coming apart by simply pushing a few cool little yellow tabs. That meant I should be able to get to any problem areas and fix them myself. Combined with the whole never having to buy another vacuum belt again, I figured I'd be able to solve any issues that came my way.


Okay, I bought it for those reasons, and the fact that it just looks cool. My husband viewed it as cool. In fact, the vacuum was more his idea than mine. I think it reminds him of a transformer. Ever since we got the Dyson, he's done 75% of the vacuuming. They should use the man factor in their advertising campaign. (They should also include a warning to my husband that contrary to popular belief, this is NOT a shop vac. Or a wet vac.)

Aside from the whole being able to take it apart manually thing, I love that the Dyson can conquer the Cheerios. At least, it used to be able to tackle them. Lately, my vacuum that "never loses suction" has lost suction. I've taken everything apart on that machine at least five times in search of the elusive clog. It's been frustrating, knowing that there is something wrong with my machine that I can't fix myself.

The vacuum has been acting poorly ever since this winter, when we used it to clean out the fireplace. The Dyson has become so bad that sweeping the Cheerios off the carpet with a broom is more effective than using the vacuum. And we've got a lot of cereal on our floors; at least 30% of every box. The Cheerios would go in the front and get spit out the back in broken pieces, making the floors worse than they were to begin with.

In frustration, I took the whole thing apart again and uttered things about my vacuum that I never thought I'd say. Our relationship was going through a rough spell. I didn't know if we would survive. As usual, all the tubing was clear. I could not figure out what the problem was. The hose attachment worked okay. It appeared that the problem was around the brush bar on the bottom. I cleaned/cut away all the debris around the brushes and checked to make sure it was still spinning. When that didn't help, I cleaned out the canister and all the little holes with a toothbrush.

I'll spare you the gruesome details.


Still, the vacuum wouldn't work properly. I cursed the soot that I imagined to be clogging some inner workings that I couldn't get to. I came to accept that the machine would have to go to a repair shop.

As I was sitting there with disgusting piles of vacuum debris scattered around me, taunting me with the fact that I would have to use the broom to get it up off the floor, something dawned on me. I thought about the fact that when the vacuum is upright, in the position that transfers the suction to the hose attachment, it worked fine. It was only while the vacuum was in the tilted position that there was a problem.


I hinged the dismantled vacuum toward me,


and there it was,


the secret compartment.

As the machine tilted, a second, hidden hole was revealed. Two inches of tubing appeared that I had not inspected. There, held firmly in place over the months by a wedged puzzle piece, was the clog. Within sixty seconds, the machine was back up and running.


I'm sorry, Baby! I hope you can forgive me for the mean things I said!


Hydrant girl said...

We have a Dyson too, and we LOVE it!!! Had to share that we had the same problem but called the 1-800 number for help. Turns out we weren't smart like you to find the secret compartment. All has returned to normal in the land of Dyson for us too.

Glad you got it all sorted, and thanks for sharing. Now I know I'm not the only Dyson lover.

Natalie said...

I gave you a blog award :)

Allyson & Jere said...

That is hilarious! Good for you for being so persistent. So glad it's back up and running like a champ!

I really struggled between buying a Dyson or an Oreck. I put it out to all my facebook peeps, and while I got a lot of love for the Dyson, I also got VEHEMENT haters of the Dyson. And a lot of love for the Oreck. In the end, I got the Oreck, 'cause I got a smokin deal on it at Costco. But, I do miss detachable parts and the canister.

Jen at Cabin Fever said...

I've heard so much rave about that vacuum cleaner! Honestly we don't even have a functioning vacuum cleaner at all, but since our floors are wood its not a huge issue. The small rugs we do have easy to clean.

Not going to lie... this post kind of made me wish we had carpet so I could be cool enough to have one of these babies!

Cristina said...

I'm so glad that you and your Dyson has worked through your rough spell. I need a new vacuum cleaner actually, mine needs to be retired. And if I can get over the way the real life Dyson man talks I may get the machine Dyson vacuum cleaner. If it can pick up Cheerios then it can probably pick up just about anything.

Chantale said...

I love my Dyson and had the same problem. I couldn't find what was the problem but my fiance found the little secret compartment and now it works great again :D

Katherine said...

I so want a Dyson, but haven't been able to convince my husband that we need one. Maybe I need to try the "looks like a Transformer" technique.

Kami said...

Dun Dun Dun....I want a Dyson!

melaniek said...

I love the dyson commercials...then this kirby salesman came to my door while I was recovering from a bad stomach flu...lo and behold we now own a kirby and I love it. Great suction for all the cereal on our floor too!

DanielleCorrelle said...

I love my Dyson! Buuuut, after about 5 years I think we probably need a new one. Even when we take it apart and clean it (secret compartment and all!) it still doesn't have as much suction as it used to, and for some reason we have a problem with the hose, the clear plastic "stuff" keeps cracking, we're on our third already.

They should definitely advertise the "man factor," though! My husband uses it way more often than he ever used the one we had before.

Fire Wife Katie said...

It's amazing, the depth of emotional attachment a vacuum creates! :p

My daughter couldn't stand that I put that picture up there, with the dirt hidden behind the bow. She made me show her the original.

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef said...

You are cracking me up. I've been enamored with Dysons for awhile, but seeing I only live in a studio, it's kinda a silly thing to have.

Catherine said...

You are a genius! The Cheerios are all shaking in their boxes at your house now!

Jay said...

Man, this is hilarious.

I am having the exact same problem on a Dyson that had this issue since the first use. It is my moms and I took it from her to try and fix it.

The "Secret compartment" you are referring to is a small tube that you can actually access and dislodge by flipping the vacuum on its side. Sometimes this piece of tubing gets cracked, you can buy a replacement for about $7 on amazon.

Im glad that was your issue and you got it fixed, I had a ray of hope when I found your post thinking there really was a "Secret compartment" I had not checked yet. Alas... I had.. and that was not my issue.

SoMo said...

I love my Dyson. I use it on my wood and tile floors as well as upstairs where all the carpet hides. I have had it for about 7 yrs and rarely have a problem. When I had a slight suction problem I looked on google. That is when I discovered the secret compartment and the filter (I guess that is what it is called). I cleaned the filter and haven't had a problem since. They say every 6 months you should clean it, but I just do it when there is a suction problem. The best $300 I ever spent.

The Park Wife said...

You found the secret compartment much faster than I did! I do love my Dyson.

I hope you guys are doing well!
Take care,
The Park Wife

jadenotjaded said...

LOL..I love my Dyson too!

Just last month we took it all apart outside and took a leaf blower to it - got out so much dirt! It was invigorating! Makes me want to go vacuum...:)

Life with Kaishon said...

Way to go figuring out the problem! I don't think I would have been that smart! I always wanted one. I just can't talk myself into paying $500. Do you think they will ever be less?

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