A slightly unusual workshop repair this time.
My brother-in-law popped in to see us for a cuppa recently and mentioned he was off to the tip with an old VAX cylinder style bag-less vacuum cleaner, in pieces, not the carpet washer type. It was on its way to the great scrap yard in the sky. Luckily, I was on hand to divert the sick VAX via the workshop.
It was being disposed of due to the flex having gone faulty together with the opinion that it wasn’t working that well before the mains cable failed. Well, I hate to see good machinery go to waste.
On this VAX, the mains flex is stored within the vacuum cleaner housing and is wound up on a spring-loaded coil during storage. When in use, the user can pull the mains plug until the desired cable flex length is reached. When the user is finished cleaning their carpet, a foot operated button causes the flex to speedily disappear back in to the vacuum cleaner. My brother-in-law had already looked at the spring-loaded mains flex winding mechanism, which had resulted in the bi-metallic coil spring escaping from the enclosure, freeing itself in to an orbit. It’s quite a shock and sometimes dangerous when this happens!
What to do. I was very nearly tempted to dump this vacuum cleaner too as the build quality of the whole thing reminded me of the plastic toys one gets in Christmas crackers, but that’s not really in the spirit of The Workshop.
Then I remembered I had a defunct Hoover Telios that was minus a motor, perhaps this would be a suitable parts donor? I liked the idea of making one working vacuum cleaner from two unhappy ones.
The Telios had a working mains lead flex, but the automatic spring loaded mechanism on that was past its best, so I decided to use the working lead on the VAX. The VAX would be without its flex winding mechanism, but at least it would work. I adapted a cable tie to make a cable grip, to prevent a user from pulling the cable from the VAX, when in use. The cable would have to be stored, wrapped around the vacuum cleaner, after use, a small price for working machine.
The other job was to address the poor performance.
This product is clearly an inferior Dyson rip-off and therefore has a couple of filters; one for the intake and one for the exhaust, like a Dyson. As suspected, both of these were virtually blocked! The filters on this model were not as easy to get at nor as easy to clean. I’m not sure whether these filters are meant to be washed, but wash them I did and after 24 hours of drying on the radiator, they were as good as new. Once refitted, full performance was restored, for the price of a bowl of warm water and Fairy liquid.
Finally, the VAX was missing its cleaning head for the hose, so I decided to use the Hoover one (which was quite a nice design) with the VAX’s hose. After some jiggery pokery and some electrical tape, it fitted.
What we’ve now ended up with is a working VAX vacuum cleaner, using some parts from a beyond economical to repair Hoover. Whilst it’s not the most elegant repair I’ve ever completed, I now have something working from two nearly condemned items and surely, that’s good thing?