Vacuum Cleaners/no suction


QUESTION: Hello!   I have a Fantom FY72K 03 upright vacuum. The brush turns but there is no suction. What should I do? I'm fairly handy but I don't know what kind of job it is.

ANSWER: Hi Jim! Thank you for your question.  Unfortunately, I am unable to locate a photo of the exact Fantom model you own. However, perhaps I can help you with a few general suggestions. The first of which is always regarding the belt. If you have suction at the hose, as if you were using only the tools, then we know it is from the hose down to the carpet that we have problems. You wrote the brushroll turns, but was that as you were looking at it? Unless it's under load, chances are it will spin even with a stretched belt. If it hasn't been changed in six months, change it. Just because it looks fine to you, doesn't mean it isn't stretched. When you release the handle as if you were going to vacuum, does the brushroll spin? Or, try stopping it with your hand. DO NOT stick your fingers in to stop it! Simply lay your hand, palm to it, against the brushroll. Apply pressure. Does it keep spinning strongly?
 Should it not have any suction at the hose, then you know it is either clogged somewhere in the length of the hose, or possibly, your filter(s) are loaded and need to be replaced. If you hold up the filter to the light, can you see any light through it?  To check the hose for clogs, remove it from the vac, if possible. Take a nickel or a glass marble and toss it in one end. How quickly does it come out the opposite end? Or does it? If not, well, the hose is clogged.
 Chances are, though, Jim, that you need a new belt. You would be surprised how many times I hear exactly your complaint. It is almost always the belt. Please submit a follow-up if you have further questions.
 Thanks again for your question, Jim. Happy vacuuming!

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

QUESTION: Thanks for your help.   I checked just now. The tools work fine. The hopper has stuff in it. The brush rotates very well and cannot be stopped with the hand (it leaves a weird lint pattern on the rug). But there is not only no suction from the slots behind the brush, but some air actually seems to be coming from there.
And I have no filter installed.

ANSWER: Hi again, Jim. Doesn't the vacuum require a filter? I am pretty sure it does. That will always influence the suction. Do you have new carpet? Or newer than two years? Is there fuzz built up behind the brushroll that could be blocking the suction? And just to clarify, you do have suction
at the hose, correct?

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

QUESTION: I took the HEPA filter out a couple of years ago. Nothing changed. The carpet is not new. I don't see anything behind the brush. Yes, there is normal suction from the hose that collects in the hopper.  This failure in the push mode happened suddenly. I did a lot of vacuuming before my sister visited and then nothing until recently. I could tell something was amiss one day because the brush was spinning, pushing the dirt around but not sucking it into the hopper.

Hi again, Jim.  Okay, so in my experience, these symptoms are remedied by either changing the belt, or unclogging the vacuum, or both. If the vac is just pushing dirt around, there has to be a clog between the place where the hose connects and the brushroll. You have suction from the hose, but you lose suction from there forward to the carpet. So there must be an obstruction.
I realize you may find this hard to believe, but it absolutely has to be one or the other or both.  You should be able to find a local independent vac repair that will install a new, fresh belt, and unclog it for you. We charge about $20 for the unclog, and $3.00 for the belt.  So it is within the realm of reasonable.
 Also, I strongly suggest a replacement HEPA filter. It does make a difference.
 Thank you for your question.  Happy vacuuming!

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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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