I knew Dash didn’t at all appreciate my vacuum cleaner, but I didn’t expect him to kill it.
To be fair, it’s just the brush assembly that gave out, and it’s because Dash is a medium-haired cat and sheds, not because he actually did anything to it.
Apparently cat hair was getting into one end of the brush assembly and collecting between the bearing and the cap on the end. I’d noticed a faint burning smell, but I couldn’t tell where it was coming from so I ignored it. Then the weekend before last I had the vacuum on and I was cleaning up around the litter boxes with the hose when suddenly it started rattling and shaking horribly. I took it apart and discovered the brush wasn’t fixed on its axle, but I didn’t disassemble the brush assembly until the replacement arrived today.
Here’s the mass of cat hair that was between the bearing and the cap on the end of the axle:
Here’s the bearing (if you look closely you can see part of the gap between the edge of the bearing and the wall of plastic that’s supposed to hold it in place):
The friction of turning against the cat hair caused it to heat up and eventually melted the plastic around the bearing so the bearing became loose and was no longer holding the brush steady. At that point the brush was wobbling far enough to rub on its surroundings, which is why I found flakes of burnt plastic on the carpet when the bearing finally went.
I ordered a new brush assembly from Bissel last weekend to repair it. While I was ordering I went ahead and ordered a spotbot too since I’d been considering it for a while (I have white carpet) and it was on sale and even got me free shipping for my entire order.
The spotbot came in on Wednesday (it was shipped from a different place than the brush assembly), so I immediately tried it on a spot that Talore threw up a hairball on a couple weeks ago and I hadn’t managed to clean it as well as I wanted:
Apparently it’s important that the carpet actually be clean around the spot that you’re cleaning. I knew that section of carpet was darker, but I thought it was a stain and it’s been like that since I got the house. Now I’m thinking the carpet just wasn’t cleaned thoroughly before they sold the house to me, so I’ve got a clean spot that’s obvious in the middle of a big dirty patch.
It also looks to me like the spotbot doesn’t do a great job of cleaning around the edges of the spot it’s placed on, so with the dirty carpet it collects a bit of dirt around the edges where it was already dirty and cleans the middle. I’m inclined to accept it, since the spotbot wasn’t made for cleaning large sections of carpet. Despite that, I started just using the spotbot to clean the large section of carpet, but I’m not sure it’s worth the time and trouble.