Vacuum Cleaners/KIRBY G4


Hi, I own a Kirby G4 vacuum cleaner. Although it's considered an old dinosaur {as am I!!}, my Kirby is the best vacuum I've ever used. Two days ago, sadly, it gave out a little puff of smoke and now, doesn't turn on. I'm okay-ish with following instructions, even more-so with pictures.I know how to break a Kirby down [thanks Youtube} but I need help with diagnosing the problem. Could you, please, let me know where to start looking for the obvious culprit. I've heard that Kirby motors very rarely fail, so what else do I need to check.
Many thanks and kind regards,

Hello Roo, Thanks for your question.  Before writing it off as the motor, it could be electrical. From where did the puff of smoke originate? My first inclination is to check the power cord where it connects under the bag boot. It could be fried. And/or the switch in to which the cord plugs. Pry it off. Give it a sniff, and look for burnt plastic or blackened electrical blades.
Did the puff of smoke smell electrical or rubbery? Did the machine make any noise or give any sign prior to this? Maybe the previous time you used it? If the cord is fried, the switch will need, at the very least, to be cleaned. Removal of that power switch is a process which must be completed in steps to do correctly. I'm certain you already realize the switch is the same piece containing the toe on/off, running to where the bag boot locks on, and all the way to the front of the vacuum at the head.  This is why checking it is such a drawn out chore.
 If it is only the cord, you are safe. If it involves the switch, well, think about getting the unit to a reputable repair station maybe.  It may be more than you want to tackle.
 The Kirby G4 may be a dinosaur, but it is made to last and endure, perhaps just like you!
Best of luck. Please don't hesitate to ask me any further questions.  

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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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