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General Kirby Vacuum Maintenance Tips

Disclaimer:
 Goodvac.com is not affiliated with The Kirby Company and/or The Scott Fetzer Company.  All manuals and maintenance tips for Kirby vacuum cleaners and repair manuals for Kirby model vacuums are authored by GoodVac.com and are not endorsed or approved by the Kirby vacuum manufacturer - Kirby Company and/or The Scott Fetzer Company.  These materials  should be only used at your own discretion and risk. .
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  • Why did you buy the Kirby vacuum:
    1. GREAT suction!!!
    2. Good aerodynamics of the nozzle
    3. Nozzle height adjustment REALLY works (not like in any other vacuum)
    4. Models from G3 have a tech drive that makes it EASY to push and pull
    5. Great for pet owners
    6. VERY versatile machine
    7. DURABLE; DURABLE; DURABLE.
  • To vacuum or not to vacuum:
    Vacuum what you would routinely vacuum in a house - floors, carpets, rugs, furniture, car, walls, blinds....
    Do not use Kirby vacuum in construction - you may ruin brush roll, fan blade, clog outer bag. Air that cools the Kirby vacuum motor is not filtered so using it in an extremely dusty environment may damage the motor. The motor is NOT insulated so sparks may ignite flammable fumes, sawdust (if you sawed off one 2x4 this is not a problem but do not use it in a carpenter shop). Do not vacuum concrete or driveway with the nozzle - brush bristles will wear out in no time. Do not use it on wet surfaces, absolutely no wet pickup!!!
  • Kirby vacuum brush and belt:
    Keep the brush roll clean and free of hair or carpet threads. Make sure belt is intact and brush roll is spinning when you are vacuuming. You have to know how to install the brush and how to properly attach the nozzle to the unit. More information on that is in our Online Kirby Manual.
  • Kirby vacuum bag assembly:
    Over 90% of Kirby vacuum owners who call to complain that Kirby does not work have bag assembly installed improperly. There is a switch that shuts off the motor if you take the bag off. So if you do not install it correctly (pressing all the way towards the unit) the motor simply does not turn on.
  • Kirby disposable bag:
    Change bag whenever dirt reaches the line (see picture below). When to change bagOtherwise dirt will cover the exhaust and obstruct the airflow. If air can not escape, Kirby will loose suction on the other end.
  • Kirby Transmission:
    Kirby is like a car with a manual transmission. If you leave it in gear and shut it off the wheels do not spin so it is HARD to push and pull when it is OFF and IN GEAR. Put Kirby Tech-Drive into "N" position and lift the Kirby nozzle all the way up when pushing it over your floors (nozzle has a metal frame so it may scratch the floor).
  • Kirby vacuum nozzle adjustment:
    For the best results, the height of the nozzle must be adjusted properly. Lift the nozzle all the way up. Turn on the Kirby vacuum. Start lowering it. Once you hear motor changing sound (nozzle touches the carpet), lower it one more click and leave it like this. We discuss it more in "Online Kirby Manual."
  • Fan blade:
    Kirby all of the sudden becomes VERY NOISY and is vibrating when vacuuming. Most likely cause - fan blade is broken. It is a piece of plastic that your local vacuum shop should not charge more than $50-$60 to replace. DO NOT operate Kirby with damaged fan blade. Excessive vibration may result in overheating of the motor and then it will turn into a $150-$300 repair.
  • Kirby vacuum STINKS:
    If it stinks even after you have replaced the disposable bag, the outer cloth bag has absorbed the smell. Take the plastic bag top off, take the bag off the plastic shoe-like base (you may have to buy a bag strap or use big cable tie to install it back). Put the bag in the clothes washer on LIGHT cycle. Do NOT dry it in a dryer (plastic bag clip or vinyl sleeve on the bottom may melt)! Let it air dry, preferably outside.
  • Kirby is so heavy:
    Carry it properly - go to "Online Kirby Manual" for instructions.
  • Kirby shampoo system
    It will take you a while to get a grip on how to shampoo. But once you do - you will enjoy it VERY MUCH. It does all the scrubbing and rubbing for you. If it takes longer than 5 hours for carpet to dry after you shampoo - you are doing something wrong. If shampooer does not make any foam - you are using the wrong shampoo or a little screen from the solution tank fell into the hose connecting it with the tray.
  • Kirby does not look nearly as good as when you bought it:
    With about a $20 investment and 1 hour of work you can get it nice and shiny again. We will discuss it in our Knowledge Base. If you need this information sooner - let us know and we will make it a higher priority article.
  • You think something else should be said on this page - let us know ...
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