A vacuum cleaner cuts cleaning time in half and keeps allergies under control. When your vacuum starts leaving dirt behind, it's time to have it fixed. Before you trash it or hire an expensive repairman, check the vacuum yourself. Often the problem is a simple clog or broken part that can be replaced. Here's how to fix both an upright and canister Oreck vacuum cleaner in the comfort of your own home.
Unplug the vacuum cleaner and lay it on the ground so you can see the bottom. You should see the bristles of the brush that picks up dirt from the carpet.
Remove the beater bar, the cylinder these bristles are attached to. Pull the ends of the bar loose and slide the rubber drive belt off.
Take the drive belt out. Look at where it attaches inside the vacuum so you can reattach it later. Check the beater bar and the drive belt for cracks or breaks.
Remove dirt and trapped hair or debris from the beater bar and drive belt. Purchase a new beater bar or drive belt if they are broken or cracking.
Loop the drive belt around the inside of the vacuum, as it was before you removed it.
Slide the drive belt around the beater bar and push the beater bar back into place. Empty the vacuum or change the filter. If the vacuum still leaves behind dirt, call a professional.
Unplug the vacuum. Remove the lid and clean out the inside. Remove any trapped debris or dirt, and empty the vacuum or change the filter.
Use a broom or mop handle to push debris out of the hose attachments. For thin attachments, make sure they are disconnected from the vacuum and use an air hose or water hose to blast out dirt. Allow the attachment to dry thoroughly in a sunny area.
Check the chord for exposed wires or a severed end. Call a professional to repair the vacuum, or buy a new one, if the wires are broken.
Follow Steps 2 through 6 from "Repair an Upright Vacuum Cleaner" to check and change the beater bar and drive belt of the vacuum attachment.
If your vacuum won't turn on, you may have a wiring problem. Have a professional take a look at it, or purchase a new vacuum. Check the vacuum's warranty. If it's still good, contact the company to have it repaired for free.