Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

Yessss, this is my second vacuum to bite the dust. (If you'll recall, my first one shorted out on me, complete with sparks and the smell of burning from where it was plugged in.) This is my second one, which we only purchased two and a half years ago (feels like only six months ago). There's a bit of a story, so let me get to telling it.

After my first vacuum shorted out on me, we had to go vacuum shopping. We ended up at Sears and bought a Kenmore Progressive vacuum (pictured above). My sister also needed a new vacuum around the same time and I was happy to recommend the one above as it had tremendous sucking power (made even more impressive by the fact that the one I'd had previously for eleven years must not have had much suction at all or maybe a steady decline of suction over the years to where this one felt magically powerful). So, she bought one too. We've been noticing in the past few months when we vacuumed, there would be a slight burning smell.

She called me two weeks ago and told me she'd burned the belt on her motor and broke one end of the brush off. She said the smell of burnt rubber lasted all night. Evidently, the brush is $35 to buy a replacement for an the belt is $5, so they were going to replace them even though they went out and bought a new vacuum. (Her husband wants her to have a backup vacuum as this is the girl who has gone through two mixers by burning up the motors.) She told me if I was smelling rubber I'd better check the belt on mine.

I proceeded to take it apart and check my belt and it looked perfectly fine, so I screwed it back together and went on about my business. Until Thursday night. I was vacuuming and had finished half the house and the smell of burning kept getting stronger and stronger, then BAM, a loud noise and a little smoky burning smell. I turned the vacuum off and turned it over and hollered to Pooker that I thought the vacuum just broke. I unscrewed the bottom and the little roller brush fell out at me on one side. It had burned completely off. I looked at the belt, but there was no problem with it, only that one side of the roller brush. Kind of odd. Especially since it just happened to my sister's vacuum in the last two weeks. Her roller brush must have broken on the side with the belt, which would explain why it broke the belt when the roller brush broke and fell into it.

I called her and let her know it was not her at all, but some genetic flaw in these vacuums (or a horrible ploy by the manufacturer to make you spend money on more parts every few years). So, we had to go out and get a new vacuum. It's a Bissell, especially for pet hair (I also shed hair like a pet, so it wasn't only because of Brownie). I wasn't happy about spending more money for a vacuum (I expect them all to last at least eleven years because my other one did). But I have to tell you that I love this new vacuum! It can recline almost flat backwards to you can slide it under more things and feel like you are getting everything really well. And, the brush rotates so fast, it is like a hungry animal straining to pick up everything it can so it actually kind of propels itself forward a bit. Nice.

No, we aren't going to bother replacing the brush on the old one. I'll be putting it out with the trash. I figure if it did it once (twice), then it will just do it again. I think it is a fatal flaw in the design and I sure don't need that. Plus, it is nice to have one that doesn't leave your freshly vacuumed room smelling like burnt rubber.

Well, must go. We've got food to prepare for our Super Bowl party (just the two of us, but we like to eat). We're having a hot artichoke dip (mmmmn) and later we'll have cheese fondue (also mmmmn). I've got to get my crafts table set up facing the TV so I can eat and do crafts during the game and watch intently during the commercials. I've tried reading during the game, but then it's hard to pull my mind away from the book to even care about the commercials. Craft time keeps the hands busy, but the mind free to watch the commercials. (Craft time is different from art time as crafts consist more of sewing or making gift tags, bookmarks, or what have you and art (for me) involves paint and a paintbrush or my fingers and it is all consuming and I lose myself in the colors and the paint and the moment and the movement. Couldn't do that and watch TV, either.) Happy watching and/or what have you and eating!

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