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Why is my Hoover Steamvac not Sucking up any Water? Tips on troubleshooting a broken Hoover Steamvac


Having several years experience diagnosing and repairing Hoover Steamvacs, I have come to two conclusions. First, Hoover makes an excellent carpet cleaning systems. Second, most breakdowns are easily diagnosed and often times the problem can be corrected without having to bring it down to the vacuum store for repair. So before jump in the car and head down to Clean Machines, go through this checklist and you could save yourself both time and money! (NB: The tips below do not apply to the Steamvac Duo, the Steamvac Agility, or the Steamvac Dual V or V2 models. The models involved are the models in the range F5815 to F5914-950.)

Problem #1 – My Steamvac is not Sucking!

If your Hoover Steamvac was working properly and suddenly it is not sucking any water, nine times out of ten, the culprit is the lid on the lower recovery tank. The lid on the lower tank (or dirty water tank) needs to hinge at the front and snap down at the back in order to creat a proper seal. If the lid snaps on but is not locked on at the front, you will not get any suction. Simply take the lid off, and ensure that when you put it back on, it must hinge on the front tabs of the tank.

Problem #2 – My Steamvac is still not Sucking!

Right now you are thinking that you shouldn’t have let your brother borrow your Steamvac. And you are right, because he used the hose attachment and returned it with the hose still attached to the front of the tank (some models only). Now when you try to use it there isn’t any suction. In this case, you are missing your tank duct. On models where the stair/upholstery hose attaches to the front of the recovery tank, one must remove a square plastic piece in order to attach the hose. This square plastic tank duct must be replaced before the Steamvac will operate properly in the upright position. So call you brother on the phone tell him to find it, or call me at the number at the top of the screen to order one.

Problem # 3 – My Steamvac isn’t sucking very well and the brushes are spinning slowly

Most the likely, the culprit here is under the recovery tank. Standing behind the steamvac with the lower tank off, to the right and front you will notice a round duct opening about 2 inches in diameter. This should have a rubber seal on it. If it is missing, look under the hood of the steamvac it may have fallen forward there. Otherwise, give me a call to get another one.

Problem #4 – My Steamvac brushes are not spinning or are spinning very slowly

Believe it or not they may just need to be cleaned! You can remove the rack of brushes by pinching the tabs on either side and pulling it out. The plastic is clear so you can see if the brushes and gears are gummed up with hair and carpet fibres. Rinsing usually works best. There are two more things to check if this doesn’t solve the problem. First, check that the switch for the brushes is set to high. Second, look under the clear plastic piece near the switch (it is removable). There is a small screen that collects lint and hair (like a dryer screen!). This is the air intake for the turbine that drives the brushes. Clean it off and your back in business.

Problems #5, #6, #7 – My Hoover Steamvac doesn’t turn on, leaks, or is really noisy

Unfortunately, these problems are usually a bit more complicated and need professional service. At Clean Machines we offer a free estimate/repair ceiling service which gives you assurance that repair bills don’t get out of hand. Please visit us at our store at 111 West 2nd Ave in Vancouver for all your Hoover Steamvac carpet shampoo, stain removers, and free tips on cleaning. And remember, the next time your brother wants to borrow your Steamvac, send him down to Clean Machines to rent one from us instead.

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22 Comments:

At June 12, 2008 12:27 AM , Blogger Mary said...

We bought a new Hoover Steamvac Dual V at Christmas. we never used it until tonight--June 12. Wonderful cleaned beautifully, for 40 minutes, just 3 feet from completing the hall, I stopped to dump the collection tank that wasn't but half full and put some more water in the top.
I had been using a tool along the edges of the hall, with the brushes off and just suction. When I went to turn on again, no suction, tried everything. reseating the lid, turning on the brushes that now don't work. The only thing that happens is low hum of something.
Help, this was a very expensive little job of about 300 square feet of cleaning.

 
At July 3, 2008 11:57 PM , Blogger Gwen said...

Thank you Vac Man, your suggestion was "spot" on.....ensuring the lid was on correctly resolved the problem I was experiencing...again thanks

 
At August 10, 2008 5:33 PM , Blogger Holly said...

thank you soo much! I really didn't want to have to call my mom and tell her that I broke her carpet cleaner.


stupid lid!

 
At August 26, 2008 8:11 AM , Blogger Suki said...

I found that I had two possible problems. The round duct opening seal you mention in #3 was one of my problems. I found it stuffed down beside the opening. I also discovered that the rubber seal in the recovery tank lid seemed to have shrunk a bit in two places. I purchased the rubber edging used to repair screens in doors and windows. With both problems fixed my machine is now sucking the water up like it was new. Thank you.

 
At October 15, 2008 3:35 PM , Blogger sjuicylicious08 said...

Wow! that was pretty much the problem, the lid. it wasn't sealed tight! after sealing it tighter, it was working fine. thanks for the help!

 
At November 15, 2008 12:53 AM , Blogger ajgilroy said...

This post has been removed by the author.

 
At November 15, 2008 12:55 AM , Blogger ajgilroy said...

THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. YOU SURE KNOW YOUR HOOVERS!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH. I KNOW IF I HAVE ANY PROBLEMS I'LL COME TO YOU. THANKS AGAIN.....YOUR THE VAC MAN!!!

 
At November 30, 2008 10:17 PM , Blogger Greg said...

This is great... I borrowed this unit from a friend and it only created a small lake in my living room. It was all that pesky lid. If anyone has any clout with Hoover, we should get them to put some good ol' engineering into the design and make it less easy to install it improperly.

Thanks for the help.

 
At December 9, 2008 3:50 PM , Blogger Patrick said...

Hi Vac Man,
I have a new SteamVac that has never worked. It blows quite powerfully out rather than blowing in. I followed each tip, and it still blows out...Do I need to re-seal the dump bucket??

 
At January 11, 2009 2:53 PM , Blogger DIYSue said...

My Hoover F6024-900 when in the floor mode there is suction both in the hose and on the floor. Also when suctioning it leaves several lines of cleaner carpet where it suctioned.

 
At March 20, 2009 9:56 AM , Blogger mack said...

I have a Hoover Steam Vac #F6030-900 that has a hand held upholstery brush that is attached to the machine by connecting it to a hose that is attached directly to the machine permanently. When I use the brush the brushes that are supposed to spin do so very slowly and when you apply the slightest pressure to the brushes they will not spin. Any ideas as to what may be wrong? Checked to make sure that brush assembly is correctly connected to hose and also made sure that brush assembly is clean. Thank for any help you can provide and hope you carry any parts I may need to fix the problem. Cliff

 
At April 6, 2009 10:02 AM , Blogger Debbie said...

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. YOU WERE RIGHT ON!!! My Hoover Steam Vac was not sucking up the water and leaving streak marks. The lid was not on just right on the recovery tank. It looked like it was on, but I took it off and put it back on and whalla, it worked.

 
At May 10, 2009 7:03 PM , Blogger Katt said...

I hope you are still responding to this site...I got my SteamVac a few months ago. The first time I used it, it was perfect. I cleaned it very thoroughly after use. This time it is not sucking up the dirty water from the carpet. I have checked everything listed here and it still doesn't suck up the water. Wish I had noticed before I got as far as I did. Now what?

 
At May 31, 2009 7:15 PM , Blogger Ronda said...

What a great website! Thanks so much for the tips. My problem was the seal had slipped off. Thanks for the concise, easy to follow tips.

 
At June 18, 2009 6:42 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

So that's what that black rubber ring was...thanks so much! My steam vac is sucking perfectly again!

 
At August 19, 2009 6:46 AM , Blogger msliss2 said...

Hi hoover man,
I tried the suggestions you had for the brushes not spinning on my steam vav.... Not succesful for me. I have 2 units and it did not work for either. Anymore suggestions?

 
At October 16, 2009 1:59 PM , Blogger mmnevill said...

Wow, that was a close one! I had actually dialed my friend's number to tell her I somehow broke her cleaner! I tried refitting the lid about 10 times, and still nothing, but then I finally figured out the sqare plastic rectangle thing you mentioned and fiddled with it, and it worked. You are awesome, and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

 
At December 8, 2009 10:00 AM , Blogger Virginia Ellen said...

We bought a used Hoover Steamvac Runabout. It works really well for the price. My problem is that the red float/sensor that stops the suction when the tank is full is operating when it shouldn't. I empty the tank, start shampooing, and the float seems to get sucked up, stopping the suction. I have to turn the machine off, the float falls back down, and I start again.
Any suggestions?
Thanks!

 
At February 13, 2010 12:06 PM , Blogger Berry said...

I have the same problem with the red float appearing after only a few passes.The lower tank is sealed and almost empty but the damn thing won't give suction for more than a few seconds.

What gives?

 
At March 1, 2010 9:26 PM , Blogger ms2clean said...

My advice to you is that it is cheaper to rent somebody else's. I am on my 3rd temperamental Hoover, so you have an idea of how much $ I have spent to keep my carpets clean. Invariably, it comes back to the exact same problem--no suck, and that sucks. When it works, it's a dream, but it has a mind of it's own. For something that is supposed to make your life easier, I have nothing but road rage with this idiot machine. I clean it, I rinse it, I pick out gunk from the brushes with my fingernails, I baby it and then when I really need to use it, it goes into its sulking mode and does nothing...and I end up with soapy water on my carpet and have to clean it up with rags. The luxury of owning my own carpet cleaner is nothing but a nightmare. My vote for buying it: don't do it. It's a waste of time and hard earned money. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

 
At March 31, 2010 12:17 PM , Blogger Johnny said...

I have bought 2 Hoover Steamvacs in the past 2 years. Shame on me. . . The first one was used 3 or 4 times, then the motor burned up. Repairman said water got into motor. OK--could have been user error. Just took the 2nd one out of the box, put together CAREFULLY, following directions. Set it up for upholstery cleaning. It worked well for all of 2 minutes--it will not dispense cleaning solution. Called the Hoover 800 # and talked to some very nice people who finally said I should take it to a repair person. Straight out of the box. Bought online 6 months ago, can't take it back to the store. I guess I'm **** out of luck. They do a great job--when they work.

 
At April 2, 2010 11:07 AM , Blogger clocklife said...

he sliding door in the back of my collection tank was mis-aligned, preventing suction. SUper easy fix!

 

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