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Vacuum Cleaners/suction or height problem of upright vacuum cleaner

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QUESTION: Hi Lisa,
I have an old Sharp upright vacuum cleaner, model EC12TWT4 from 1997. A few years ago, something broke that allows the vacuum sweeper bottom to tilt back when traveling with it from room to room. It just flops down when lifting it up, so have to carry it-- and it is not light-weight. I noticed recently that the suction was very strong when trying to clean area rugs, but ok to use on wall to wall carpet or with attachments. The height of the lower sweeper cannot be changed anymore, so is that the problem? I smell a burning rubber smell if it tries to vacuum area rugs that usually vacuum ok, so have to use the upholstery attachment and kneel down to do those by hand. Any info on which thing is the problem would be appreciated. I guess it's time for a new vacuum cleaner, but don't know which have a good rep. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER: Hi Eileen! Happy Holidays! This one is easy...you don't need a new vacuum (I loves the Sharp vacs), you need a new belt. That's all. That's the burning smell. Every six months, at least, whether you think it looks fine or not. It's just a fit-all belt. If you cannot find one specifically for Sharp, and you don't have a local independent vac shop, use a Bissell style 9,10,14, etc. belt.
Good luck to you, and thank you for your question!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Does a new belt also make it tilt back against the wheels, or just change the height? I just ordered the belts from Sharp and they will be here soon. My other question is the secondary filter. I just noticed in the manual that it should be changed every 10 months. When it makes a bad smell, I had been washing it and hanging to dry, based on past advice from a vacuum repair shop. Do you think washing it is enough? It looks in good shape, but the generic ones cost $18 plus shipping. Thanks again. Happy New Year!

Answer
Hi again, Eileen. No, the belt will not affect the height at all. What it will do is make the brushroll turn more effectively on your wall to wall carpet.  It will make the vacuum pick up more dirt because it is turning more aggressively.  I am sorry, it will not help with the broken handle release/ upright lock. You will still have to carry the heavy beast from room to room. There are very few parts still available for the Sharp vacuums. You may get lucky and find one in an old vac shop. But chances are slim.
 But at least with the new belt, it will pick up and fluff up your carpet like it hasn't done in probably a long while.
Thank you for your question.

Oh, and btw, $18? That's crazy! Keep washing it out. You're fine.

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Lisa

Expertise

Please ask me any questions regarding the efficiency, durability, and value of 99.5% of today's vacuum cleaners, residential and commercial. I am able to help, also, with your residential carpet cleaners and vapor steamers. I cannot answer questions such as "how much should I pay for my vac?" "how often should I change the bag, belt, filter?" or "how often should I vacuum?" , etc. I also will not advise you how to use equipment for other than its original application; including any disassembly or modification not approved by the unit's manufacturer.

Experience

I am the owner of a well-established (sixty-plus years), family-owned & operated vacuum retail and repair business. We are a full service/warranty center for 99.5% of vacuums manufactured. I, personally, have extensive hands-on experience with today's most popular vacuum cleaners, I have not only used the vacs in my own home, I have repaired them. I have been in the floor care industry for over 25 years.

Education/Credentials
I have attended certification seminars with the industry's trade association. My education, however, has been mostly hands-on, carrying on a sixty year old tradition in a brick and mortar 'mom & pop' location.

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