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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Vacuum

Hello, dear readers!

Sorry I haven't written for a few days. Life has kept me busy. As the baby becomes more mobile, I have to constantly chase after her so that she doesn't hurt herself or do something bad. She's not walking yet, but she's getting better at pulling herself up on furniture and standing up for longer periods of time. Her preferred method of transportation, for now, is crawling on all fours.

And playing on the bed!

Though it may not seem like a big deal, I finally got a new vacuum! For pretty much the last year or so, I've been using a shop vac to vacuum our home. While it was good about picking up surface dust, hair and kitty kibbles, it simply could not get down deep into the carpet to get the ground-in dust and hairs. I needed a better vacuum, specifically a pet one because of the kitties, so I set about researching different brands and reading the ratings/reviews on Amazon. My hubby wanted me to get a Kirby vacuum, but I was NOT going to pay what we spent on our car for a damn vacuum! I found a pet vacuum by Bissel that was rated pretty well, but when I saw it at Walmart on a recent excursion, it was more than what I was willing to pay.

Fast forward to yesterday. While running errands, we stopped into a local refurbished tech shop. My hubby has a long history with this place as he used to hang out in this shop working on his various Linux projects, conversing with customers, etc. He even had his own little work station set up next to the register so he could do his computing. As such, we've gotten to know the staff pretty well and some of the regular customers too.

This is what I wound up getting. Pic found here

In addition to computers and other bits of outdated technology, the store also gets donations of furniture and appliances. It's less of a tech shop than it used to be and more like another thrift store. One donation they acquire pretty regularly are used vacuums. The proprietor had somehow acquired a whole bunch of Shark brand vacuum cleaners, and a few others. I noticed there was a fairly modern Hoover pet vacuum in the mix. Since it was priced at $45, I almost didn't buy it, until I saw on the announcement board at the front entrance that vacuums were on sale 25% off. Needless to say, I bought it. $33 is not a bad price to pay for a vacuum.

When we got home, I decided to try out the new vacuum on the living room carpet. It picked up the kibbles and kicked up a ton of dust...except they weren't going into the dirt canister (this vacuum is bagless). I tried out the hose extensions and felt almost no suction. It was then that I noticed the "idiot light" (it's not so much a light as it is a system check indicator. The term "idiot light" comes from my husband who uses it to describe the indicator lights in modern cars in which a light on the dashboard goes on saying that something's up, but provides no specific details about the problem; hence "idiot light") starting to go from green ("good") to red ("bad"). I figured at this point that there was a clog somewhere in the machine since this would occasionally happen with the shop vac, so I took off the bottom plate of the vacuum which covers the belt and brush roll. The belt and brush roll looked ok, but a small pile of dust and dirt appeared on the floor from the intake hose. I emptied out the hose, replaced the plate, and turned on the vacuum again. Same problem. My husband was itching to return the vacuum the next day, but I told him to hold off until all troubleshooting had been completed.

I then proceeded to look up the model number online so that I could download a manual. As it turned out, this was the Hoover Windtunnel 2 Rewind Pet vacuum, and despite the lackluster reviews I read regarding Hoover's other pet vacuums, this one rated pretty well for performance. Sure enough, the manual described the idiot light changing to red as indicating that there was either a clog or the filters were dirty. I checked the filters and they were fine, but sure enough, when I detached the main hose from the dirt canister, I saw the clog. I had my husband run a conduit pipe through the hose (the same way he'd unclog the hose in the shop vac when it needed doing so) and he was surprised by the gobs of dog hair that came out. Needless to say, once I reattached everything, the vacuum worked perfectly fine. The dust, hair and kibbles all went into the dirt canister like they were supposed to. It disappointed me to think that somebody had gotten rid of a perfectly good vacuum cleaner all because of a clog that could easily have been removed. A glaring example of disposable consumerama at its finest...

Seriously, we could have MADE a dog from the amount of hair that came out of the hose! Pic found here

So now that I have my new vacuum cleaner for the home, the shop vac will be designated to the shed where it will be utilized to vacuum the car. Now, I must research who's got the best rental deal on a carpet cleaner. I have no idea how long its been since the living room carpet was washed and cleaned. It's good to do that at least once a year. I wonder if my mom would send me her ancient Bissel carpet cleaner. She hardly uses that thing anyway...

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