As with any machine, the maintenance of a vacuum cleaner It is necessary to prevent hazards, damage and improper operation. Industrial vacuum cleaners —unlike home ones— are more resistant but it is still important to follow a proper preventive maintenance plan.
As we have seen in previous articles, there are wet and dry vacuum cleaners, and also ash vacuum cleaners; all of them with different capacities: from 25 liters to 80 liters generally. The preventive maintenance guidelines are the same for all models but, as we will see, there are specificities for each of them.
Preventive Maintenance Schedule: Maintaining a Vacuum Cleaner
The key to getting the maintenance of a vacuum cleaner optimal is to always adhere to good use and cleaning practices. Here we will see what these good practices are about and how to carry them out without affecting work efficiency.
It is important to keep the vacuum cleaner unplugged when not in use; in this way problems arising from inadvertent ignition are prevented. In addition, the unit should be kept in a dry and damp location, away from the work site and preferably in a dust and moisture protective cover.
When using it, always remember to check the inside to make sure it is clean and in working condition. Connect the vacuum cleaner to the mains only after checking that the filters are in place and that the receptacle is properly closed.
After use, unplug the unit, empty the tank, rinse it and clean it with a soft cloth with a little neutral shampoo. Dry it with a clean cloth, and leave it open for a few moments to allow all the moisture to evaporate.
Store the unit with the cable properly coiled, in a place away from the hustle and bustle of the work area.
the cycle of maintenance It usually consists of a more thorough cleaning than that carried out on a daily basis. It is necessary to empty the tank first (can be achieved with the reverse cycle) and then unplug the unit.
The cover must then be removed for disassembly, inspection and cleaning.
Inspection of a vacuum cleaner
The first step in maintenance of a vacuum cleaner consists of disassembling the unit for inspection. For this, consult the manual to know which parts can be disassembled by the user. Remember: You should never disassemble a component that is not designed to do so.
In general, vacuum cleaners can be disassembled into four main components: hoses and accessories, tank, filters and cover. This last part is the one that contains the motor and most of the electrical circuits.
Check hoses and fittings for nicks, holes, and other breaks. If found, discard the hose or accessory as they cannot be repaired.
The inspection of the tank allows you to find adhered dirt, bumps, the presence of rust and scratches. If the container is plastic, look for holes or cracks. If it is stainless steel, it is difficult but not impossible that there are holes.
Take the filter apart and look at its appearance after cleaning: if it is green or yellowish, it should be replaced. The same happens if it acquired a dark color. In any case, check it with a magnifying glass to see if its surface appears smooth or if it has lint; in the latter case, replace it.
Lastly, carefully inspect the cover for dirt, stains, dents and cracks. If there are bumps or cracks, you must take the unit to an authorized technical service.
Cleaning the tank of a vacuum cleaner
Tank cleaning is an essential part of the maintenance of a vacuum cleaner, and it should be done with a soft cloth and the use of abrasives should be avoided, since scratching the internal surface will then allow the proliferation of bacteria, which will settle deep in those small grooves to reproduce. If there is dirt that is difficult to remove with a cloth and water, a chemical product should be used to remove or dissolve it.
Once the tank is clean, it should be wiped dry using a dry cloth. The process can be accelerated using isopropyl alcohol or methanol, as long as the surfaces to be cleaned are metallic and do not contain any plastic parts. The alcohol helps to dry the interior and remove any impurities or traces of hard water.
How to clean the filter of a vacuum cleaner?
The filters for these vacuum cleaners They are made with a special type of paper, which is porous to allow air to pass through, but whose holes are tiny, to prevent the passage of any particle of dust or liquid. Therefore, cleaning the filter should only be done with water (if possible distilled or softened to remove calcium minerals) and a neutral detergent. No other product should be used for cleaning as most solvents and chemical cleaners will damage the delicate porous structure of the paper, ruining it.
Cleaning the chassis and fan of a vacuum cleaner
The chassis (or casing) is the box that protects the motor and electrical circuits. It is usually made of injected plastic and contains nozzles and other parts that can be moved. The maintenance of a vacuum cleaner requires that these parts also be properly cleaned.
For proper cleaning of this component, the use of dry cleaning foam and a soft cloth is recommended.
The same recommendation applies to cleaning the fan, although an old toothbrush can be used to remove stubborn dirt in the corners, as long as its bristles do not scratch the plastic.
Specific maintenance of ash vacuum cleaners
These vacuum cleaners differ from the models prepared for dry and wet vacuuming in that they are specially prepared for vacuuming ashes; Although it is possible to use them to vacuum dust and other dry materials, their greatest potential lies in the cleaning of combustion residues.
The maintenance of a vacuum cleaner of ash is similar to that of other models; just add the existence of a physical barrier to sparks. This is located in the lid of the vacuum cleaner and encloses the paper filter with a fine metal mesh, which allows the passage of small particles but stops any sparks that could burn the filter paper.
We have seen how easily we can carry out the cleaning and maintenance of the vacuum cleaner to guarantee the maximum of its useful life.