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Vacuum Cleaners/Kenmore Floor Level Actuator Lever


Hi!  Also an All Experts volunteer for insurance, believe you were of great help with my Bissell Steam Vac last year.   Anyways, old Eureka motor died, got a Kenmore 116-3459590 Performance Cleaning System, had a hole in the fan case, fixed that with silicon, pieces of cottage cheese container and screws, that is sealed.  Problem is, the floor level actuator (#5, part# 4368837) I believe was loose in the thing when I obtained it.  Schematic seems to show that it goes just to the left of the #32, the actuator, but it doesn't seem to fit there. There is a hole on one end, so it looks like it is somehow supposed to fit into the rod that holds the wheels that do the adjusting, but can't seem to find where it fits.  There is a slot to the right of what they call the packing port, #38.  This #5 seems to go right in there, but not certain how.  There were also two loose washers rattling around.  Do I need to take off the rod and wheels, to get this back on?  I'm not seeming to get any movement up or down with the actuator itself. I'll keep messing with it, but hoping you have some idea of how to get that thingy back in. :)  Bissell is running well.  The little red thing doesn't spin as well as it used to, but it sucks up the dirt.  Hot water DOES work best. :) Denise

Hi there again, Denise!  Wow, you certainly did your homework!  I wish everybody would be so complete with their info.  Here's the thing: the drawing sucks, compared to real life.  I guess that your original problem was the lack of height adjustment? Try placing the vac up to eye level. Then, release the handle. Check how far off the carpet the nozzle sits, use the width of your finger to judge. Now, put the indicator at low, check it. Now at high, check it. All with the handle released, as if you were using it.  Now does it adjust?
 The thing with vacuums is that they are a whole lot simpler than we tend to think. The height adjust mechanism on this Kenny, and a lot of others, uses a graduated lever to push out the front wheel carriage.  Then a spring allows it to return.  I am sure one of the holes or slots you described is where the spring would go.  One end of it will anchor around the wheel carriage.
 I think maybe I was clear...maybe not. So hard to read it, instead of seeing and doing.  Congrats on the fan case repair, though.  That is ingenious!
 As for the Bissell, the red thing should still be spinning happily. How strong do you make your soap? Easy does it. And you do remember to flush the lines with clean water before you put it away, right? Is there soap gunk in that little white screen under the red spinner? Check the pump belt, too. Easy, too, on that "hot" water. Some folks use it really hot from the tap and warp the snot out of their tank/bladder/nozzle.
 I don't know if this helped you much. But nice to hear from you again, Denise!

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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.


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.

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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