I am a vacuum professional specializing in Kirby vacuum repair. I offer parts and supplies also. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and can't figure out what is wrong with your Kirby, here are some of the most frequent issues that commonly occur in G SERIES models and what is the probable cause/solution.
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PROBLEM: The Kirby makes a very loud, obnoxious noise when you start it up
POSSIBLE CAUSES: 1) Sometimes there is a piece of debris in the fan case. (Not likely, but possible) Take the power head, handle and cloth bag off of the Kirby, pick it up and turn it with the fan toward the floor and shake it to see if something falls out.
If there's nothing in there and it still makes the noise, you most likely need to replace the fan/impeller as it is probably cracked or broken. You can sometimes see fan damage by removing the power head, looking into the hole in the front of the Kirby and slowly rotating the fan by using the shaft in front. The damage can't always be seen that way, but if you can't see it, you'll need to take the fan case off so that the whole fan is visible to make sure. I have written complete instructions that should lead you through the whole repair. http://reviews.ebay.com/KIRBY-VACUUM-REPAIR-HOW-TO-REPLACE-THE-FAN-IMPELLER_W0QQugidZ10000000003711302
If neither of these things are found to be the case, check the carbon brushes. I don't have a guide written for this yet, but my switch repair guide (link below) will help you break down the Kirby to get to them. Unscrew both brushes, take them out and look at them. The remaining length of brush will pop out of the holder and if they are shorter than 1/2 inch long, I recommend replacement. (they are not expensive)
PROBLEM: THE KIRBY WILL TURN ON, BUT SHUTS OFF WITHOUT WARNING DURING USE
POSSIBLE CAUSES: There a few things that could cause this to happen.
1) You have a bad power cord. (This is the most likely cause) Turn the vacuum on and wiggle the cord in several areas to see if the machine shuts off. If it does, I have cords available in my store and they are VERY easy to replace. (even for beginners!!) CLICK HERE FOR A NEW CORD
2) The small tab that sticks out of the side of the mini emptor "boot" is not activating the power switch when attached to the Kirby. This can be caused by the boot being cracked, or the little tab on the side of the boot is worn down and is no longer properly triggering the power switch. Remove the boot and look for this little tab and examine it for wear/breakage. If the boot is loose or comes off VERY VERY easily when rotating it away from the machine, it is worn out and needs replaced. IN this case, the bag may be causing the machine to turn off if bumped or jarred. NEW BOOT LINK
3) The power switch may be malfunctioning. I have these switches available in my store. CLICK HERE TO FIND A SWITCH!
Here is the guide to replacing the switch. http://reviews.ebay.com/REPLACING-THE-POWER-SWITCH-ON-ANY-KIRBY-G-SERIES-VACUUM_W0QQugidZ10000000003752018
4) The carbon brushes are worn out and need to be replaced. CLICK HERE FOR NEW CARBON BRUSHES
PROBLEM: THE KIRBY WILL NOT TURN ON AT ALL
Please note......The Kirby has TWO safety switches that need to be engaged before it will operate. One is on the fan case in the front. It is activated by having an attachment attached to the front. (hose, power nozzle, etc.)
The other switch is on the side of the Kirby where the cloth bag attaches and is engaged by the little tab that sticks out from the side of the hard plastic cloth bag "boot". The bag boot MUST be completely engaged to activate the safety switch and allow the Kirby to power on. If you are having trouble getting the bag to properly engage, (sometimes they are STUBBORN) simply lubricate the black gasket that the boot fits onto with gasket lubricator, VASELINE, or try a tiny drop of DISHWASHING DETERGENT or HAND CREAM. It doesn't take much, so use the smallest amount possible to get the desired effect. You should hear a slight "pop" when the bag completely engages.
If neither of these things are indicated, it is probably again, either the power cord, switch or the carbon brushes.
PROBLEM: THE KIRBY IS SPARKING
PROBABLE CAUSE (MOTOR): Worn out carbon brushes, bad armature or perhaps BOTH
PROBABLE CAUSE (CORD): The cord has a short in it. Replace the power cord
PROBABLE CAUSE (POWER NOZZLE): There is something metallic stuck in the fan or power nozzle
PROBLEM: THE TRANSMISSION MAKES A CLICKING SOUND WHEN PUSHED IN NEUTRAL GEAR
PROBABLE CAUSE: This is a common characteristic of the G series models and should be ignored unless it is affecting the drive feature when the "D" button is pushed down. It does not normally indicate a problem.
PROBLEM: THE KIRBY HAS POOR SUCTION, OR CLEANING EFFICIENCY IS GREATLY REDUCED
PROBABLE CAUSE: CLOGGING The "boot" or fill tube inside the cloth bag may be plugged/clogged and needs cleaned out. Make sure that you check the hole where the bag plugs onto to make sure that it is not also plugged. This happens most frequently to those Kirbys which are used in a household with many pets or long haired animals. The fan case can also get plugged up with dirt or hair and should also be checked.
POSSIBLE CAUSE: The metal brushroll cover/baseplate on the bottom of the power nozzle is not engaged correctly and is causing suction loss on the floor. Look at it carefully to ensure that there are no gaps between the metal baseplate and the rubber bumper guard and that the two front tabs are seated properly.
If CLOGGING IS NOT THE PROBLEM....... you may not have the belt connected properly. Make sure that the green light on the side of the power nozzle is lit up when the vacuum is running. If not, please see my guide to changing the belt.....and make sure that you have the brushroll settings adjusted properly by looking at the notches on both ends when reinstalling it. If it is not put back in correctly, it could have an affect on the suction seal between the carpet and the power nozzle. Also, check the length of your brushes on the brushroll. If they are short, thin and worn, replace the brushroll. (Did I forget to mention that I have them in my store?? :0) ) To learn more about putting the brushroll back in correctly please see my belt changing guide.....
PROBLEM: THE KIRBY SMELLS LIKE BURNING RUBBER OR IS BREAKING BELTS
PROBABLE CAUSE: BAD BRUSHROLL OR IMPROPER HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT
Take the brushroll out of your nozzle, clean the hair and strings off of it and hold one end in each hand. Spin it, being careful not to touch the wooden brushroll at all. If the brush does not spin FREELY, it needs replaced, as it causing undue stress on the belt.
You may also be running the Kirby on too low of a height setting. Raise the Kirby height adjuster up ALL THE WAY, turn the machine on and then lower it slowly, one click at time. You will hear a sound change when the power nozzle makes contact with the carpet. GO ONE MORE CLICK LOWER after hearing the sound change. This is the proper height for that carpet. (You may have to change the height in different rooms if the carpet nap is different in each room.) NEW BRUSHROLLS AVAILABLE HERE
PROBLEM: THE CLOTH BAG IS EXTREMELY DIRTY ON THE INSIDE AND MAKES PAPER BAG CHANGES VERY MESSY
PROBABLE CAUSE: CRACK OR HOLE IN THE FILL TUBE INSIDE THE CLOTH BAG
It is common for G series machines with the old style fill tube to spring a fill tube leak. If you find a crack or a hole, I have new replacement fill tubes complete with zip ties in my store. Replace the fill tube and then follow my guide for cleaning the cloth bag....
This is all that I can think of at the moment, but if you have any questions not covered in this guide, please contact me and I'll help in any way that I can.
Don't forget to RATE THIS GUIDE BELOW to let me know if I helped anyone.....
Come visit my store for GREAT prices on Kirby supplies and parts!!