How to Find and Fix a Vacuum Cleaner Leak

A vacuum cleaner is one of the handiest cleaning appliances in every household, but its heavy use means it’s bound to wear and tear. Hoses are more prone to wear out than other vacuum cleaner parts. They will form cracks/leaks that diminish the vacuum cleaner’s suction power.

It is not surprising that the hose is the biggest victim of wear and tear since we constantly pull and tuck them multiple times when cleaning. Read on to know how to find and fix a vacuum cleaner leak.

Steps to Find and Fix a Vacuum Cleaner Leak

Here are the simple steps you need to follow in order to clean the vacuum cleaner leak:

Step 1: Determine Whether You Have a Leak

Unless you’re observant, you might not realize that your cleaner’s vacuum power has changed. One way of identifying leaks is by checking whether dust disperses as you operate the device. The other way is to check the dust bag capacity; if it’s not filling up, chances are your vacuum isn’t even collecting any debris.  

Remove the hose and insert a broomstick in the hose to check whether it’s clogged. Once you rule out clogging, then check for signs of decreased dust collection, loss of suction, and dusty air when vacuuming.

Step 2: Get Ready to Repair

If your vacuum cleaner has a leak, the next step is to gather the necessary tools to fix it. They include:

  • Broom handle or a long stick
  • Water
  • Chalk, or talcum powder
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape
  • Liquid soap
  • Screwdriver
  • Silicone sealant

The broom handle is useful for straightening the hose, and water is a useful method for locating small leaks, while duct tape will fix any cracks on the pipe. You might not need to use all the tools, but you don’t know what you may need, so it’s safe to have everything. 

Step 3: Locate the Leak

Locate Vacuum Cleaner Leak

Vacuum cleaner hoses operate more like springs. They stretch and retract back and forth. This movement causes wear and tear over time, and sometimes overstretching causes the hose to crack.

  • Unscrew the Hose

Removing the hose is an easy task on most vacuum cleaner models. However, some vacuum cleaners have a hose that is permanently attached. This will then require you to unscrew the panel to access the pipe connection. Most often than not, the vacuum cleaner manuals will have all the instructions on how to go about it. 

  • Stretch the Hose

Locating the leak is easy. First, stick the broomstick through the hose pipe to unclog and stretch the hose. Secondly, run your finger over the tube to see if you feel a gap somewhere along the pipe. You might also spot some wear and tear by simply looking at the hose pipe.

  • Fill the Hose with Water

The most efficient way is to fill the hose with water and check for water leaks if all else fails. To avoid water loss through the normal pipe openings, bend it in a U shape and fill the water. Slosh the water back and forth until you spot leaks on the pipe.

Step 4: Fixing the Leaks

fix vacuum cleaner leak

Once you identify the leaks, mark the torn part and commence the repairs. If it’s a small tear, then repairing it will be sufficient. However, replacing the hose remains the best solution, especially if the hose is badly damaged.

Here are the steps you need to follow. 

  • Clean the Hose

Repairs should be done on a clean hose; contaminants like adhesives and dirt will mess with your repair. Clean your hose pipe with water and liquid soap and rinse. Additionally, get rid of adhesives with chalk or talcum powder, then wipe it clean with a piece of cloth.

It’s important to point out that cleaning the pipe off its debris and dirt is going to be messy, so consider wearing gloves, protective glasses, and a dust coat. 

  • Repairing End of Tube Leak

This is probably the easiest repair. Remove the connector and cut the end of the hose with a utility knife. Re-attach or replace the connector and reconnect it back to the vacuum cleaner.

  • Repairing a Leak at the Center of the Hose

Leaks at the center of the hose are best repaired with duct tape. That being said, this is just a temporary solution, and you may need to keep reapplying the duct tape every now and then. If you have already cleaned the tube of dirt and grease, stretch the hose and apply the duct tape.

  • Duct Tape Repair

First, stretch the tube by sticking the broom through the hose. Sprinkle some talcum powder on the broomstick, so the tape doesn’t stick on the broomstick. Cut a long piece of tape to cover the damaged section.

Secondly, make several passes of the duct tape on the affected area. Note that you don’t need to use multiple layers of duct tape unless the leak is more than two inches. If it’s more than two inches, overlap the tape using the ‘X’ pattern.  

  • Remove the Broomstick and Reconnect

Slide the broom handle out of the tube and reassemble the hose. Don’t bend the hose too aggressively, as the tape can rip off. All that is left is reconnecting the hose to the vacuum cleaner.

  • Remove the Stickiness in the Pipe

The sticky side of the tape will be facing inside the hose, which can cause problems. Sprinkle some talcum powder on the floor and vacuum the powder so that it coats the sticky surface. This minimizes the likelihood of debris and dirt sticking to the pipe and clogging it.

If the tape wears off in the long run, remove the old tape, clean the pipe, and repeat the process.

Step 5: Repairing or Replacing the Seal

vacuum cleaner hose seal

Vacuum cleaners rely on good seals between joints for excellent performance. Clean the joints and seal surfaces with soapy water and a scrubbing material. You have to scrub gently; otherwise, you might damage the surfaces. If the seals are damaged or cracked, use silicone sealant to repair the damage. 

Step 6: Repairing Vacuum Cleaners Whose Hoses Are Permanently Fitted

Identify the leak, then clean the leaking section with liquid soap and rinse. Do it carefully not to get water everywhere.

Leave it for some time to dry before commencing with the repair. Take the broom handle, apply talcum powder on one end, and insert it on the hose – then spread the hose as you check for any cracks and use the tape to fix the leak.  

Step 7: Wash the Filters

Vacuum Cleaner filter wash

Every vacuum cleaner has at least one filter that prevents dust from going back into the environment. First, find where filters are located and pull them out by unclipping their retainer’s covers.

In some machines, you have to unscrew the filters to access them. Secondly, clean the filters with soapy water. The filter needs to be washed every two to three months to enhance the vacuum’s performance. 

Things to Do After Repairing the Leak

  • Don’t bend the hose aggressively
  • Avoid vacuuming debris or hard objects
  • Look for a suitable replacement for the hose

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make vacuum cleaner leak proof?

Yes, you can make your vacuum cleaner leak proof. You can do this by checking the seals and gaskets to make sure they are in good condition. If they are not, you can replace them.

Why does a vacuum motor burn out?

The motor in a vacuum cleaner will burn out over time because it is under a lot of strain. This is caused by the clogging of the filters and the accumulation of dirt, dust, and other particulates.

How do you fix a vacuum that won’t turn on?

1. Check the vacuum cleaner to make sure it is plugged in and turned on. Sometimes, the cord is damaged and it requires fixing. You can DIY by following the instruction on how to fix vacuum cord from our site.
2. If the vacuum cleaner is still not working, check to make sure the bag is not full and that the filter is clean.
3. Check to make sure that the filter is clean.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, the culprit of the leaking is normally the hose pipe – because well, we mishandle it, especially when cleaning a big room with limited power sockets. I hope you learned how to fix the leaks; if it continues, consider replacing them. 

Lastly, Rather than fixing a vacuum, it’s better to maintain a vacuum cleaner to keep it working for a long time. But sometimes it can be a question of using it properly. Yes, you read that right, there are wrong and correct ways to use a vacuum cleaner, and you can learn how to use a wet and dry vacuum cleaner correctly by following our tips.

What other tips do you have on how to find and fix a vacuum cleaner?

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