Thread Number: 14538
maneuvering Kirbys
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 153881   10/1/2011 at 16:16 (4,535 days old) by whirlpolf ()        

hi guys,
this may sound stupid to most of you but I wonder how pre-G-series models are thought to be pushed at all.
We have this thick woolen carpet (maybe two fingers thick when flat and trampled down, maybe 3 when brushed up).
None of my vintage Kirbys will pass over it easily, when you go "against the groom" it is even worse. Only the TechDrive-models can handle it without making the whole affair a real workout.
Not that I consider myself especially weak but how is an elderly lady supposed to use let's say a Heritage?
Or is there something wrong with the adjustments?

Cleaning and brushing up the pile is perfect as ever, but how do you push the older models in a reasonable way?
Models here:
Legend Heritage
Classic III
Heritage 84

On standard rugs and lower fitted carpets they work well and can be pushed, yet they keep being a far cry from "easy" as canisters or stickvacs might be.
I would like to use them more, but this pushing fight (as if the Kirby wanted to refuse to move, just like a blockheaded child) keeps bugging me. Way easier to grab my Lux, My Vorwerk, most of my Hoovers, any AEG and my Royals.
Thanks for any input.

Post# 153882 , Reply# 1   10/1/2011 at 16:20 (4,535 days old) by vinvac (Dubuque IA)        

vinvac's profile picture
Generally speaking,

If a Kirby is to hard to is adjusted incorrectly. To low. You would have the same trouble with a Royal.

Although, I know exactly what you are talking about, sometimes even if set correctly, they can still be hard to push depending on padding, ect.


Post# 153910 , Reply# 2   10/1/2011 at 23:02 (4,535 days old) by Sablekid ()        

Sometimes it helps to use the suction relief vent, but not all the time. Like said above, it depends.

Post# 153921 , Reply# 3   10/2/2011 at 01:57 (4,535 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
The suction relief vent is designed to reduce suction, as desired, for use on lighter-weight throw rugs and other delicate carpets. Mostly you want to have the vent fully closed for full power; also, it should remain in the closed position when you empty the bag.

If you reduce suction by way of this vent, be sure to always have the headlight cap down against the nozzle.


Post# 153922 , Reply# 4   10/2/2011 at 02:10 (4,535 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture

Hey Joe 


what lux and voorwerk models do you have , I have a few aswell?


When I was a youngster I used to build up my upper body strength buy using our legend 11, we had a large room with wooden flooring that a rug had been placed on with shortish cut pile. you needed all your strength to push the machine across the floor. saying that I will grab a pre g over any newer g any time , I find the g particularly the sentria cumbersome to use. I have two of them and must admit I hate them don't know why I bought them , trying to swap them for older models but in SA there are not many collectors :)

Post# 153935 , Reply# 5   10/2/2011 at 10:11 (4,535 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

One thing that will help on deep pile carpet is to push with the nap of the carpet and pull against it. This will also do a better job of grooming and cleaning. There are however some carpets that are hard to vaccum no matter what direction your sweeping pattern is.

Post# 153998 , Reply# 6   10/2/2011 at 19:38 (4,534 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
Having the Kirby brush roll adjusted correctly on both sides of the Rug Nozzle(as to its bristle length, and the thickness of the carpet being cleaned), a new strong belt, and having the height of the rug nozzle set correctly is very important, or else the Kirby will be practically impossible to push on certain carpets.

Also a FOUR ROW brush roll installed in the Rug Nozzle will help tremendously in the pushing of the Kirby,,infact,by installing a 4 roll brush roll, brand new belt, having it adjusted on both ends to the correct height, and adjusting the rug nozzle correctly to the carpet being cleaned,,,the Kirby should all but pull itself along,,you should be able to push the Kirby with one finger,,easily. Even the heaviest Classic Omega or Tradition.

Many times just cleaning the brush roll of any strings or anything wound around the brush, and installing a NEW BELT is all that is needed.

Remember too that in order to adjust the height of the Rug Nozzle itself correctly, start with the Rug Nozzle all the way in the UP position, (the adjusting lever should be pushed all the way down). Turn on the Kirby and one click (step) at a time, SLOWLY lower the nozzle until a change of tone can be heard in the Kirby Motor. Now STOP.
If the pushing and pulling of the Kirby at this level breaks the suction, lower the Rug Nozzle one more notch. If doing this makes the Kirby too hard to push,,the Brush Roll needs adjustment, and/or a new belt needs to be installed.
Be sure to have a FOUR ROW brush roll and brand new belt installed in any older machine.

Post# 154014 , Reply# 7   10/2/2011 at 23:30 (4,534 days old) by dualsanitronic (Omaha)        

Also,the MicroMatic adjuster which needs an allen wrench is designed for the situations where one notch on the toe touch nozzle adjustment is too high,and the next too low,to adjust in between. And you want the brushes to stick out far more than normal,and use the knurled, not smooth, belt to drive it. You will be amazed.The suction relief vent was eliminated somewhere along the way with The Tradition, though earlier Traditions had it.

Post# 154019 , Reply# 8   10/3/2011 at 00:57 (4,534 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

briankirbyclass's profile picture
Right on,,totally agree! Excellent points.
I was/am not a fan of the suction relief vent on the rug nozzle and always keep them closed.
To me, the suction shouldnt need cutting down in the rug nozzle. Dont worry about the suction of the Kirby unless your motor sounds like its blown a fan blade, or its NOT what it should be.

IF after all this adjusting, the Kirby is sticking ot the carpet or as what we used to say "Galloping" or jumping across the carpet when you push, pull,,the rug nozzle is TOO LOW,,or the pile of the carpet is extremely low. In that case then,,you DONT need to use the Kirby with the brush roll engaged,,turn the brush roll off by swinging the belt lifter around, put down the headlight hood, and vacuum the carpet that way,,or else, better yet, remove the Rug Nozzle and use the hose with the wands, coupler elbow and large rug nozzle attached. (Is what a Kirby salesman would tell a client)

Or if you are a vacuum nut, go and get your Electrolux Model G, with PN that is not so agressive! haha

Post# 156229 , Reply# 9   10/21/2011 at 06:41 (4,516 days old) by baglessball ()        

I find on certain carpets with older models of kirby they are hard to push! Generally after you pull it back and want to go forward. AS you push on the handle to go forward push the power plant with your foot too> Works a treat!!

Post# 156265 , Reply# 10   10/21/2011 at 14:08 (4,515 days old) by lunchboxsean ()        

Kirby Kick... That's hilarious... Seriously, I've never heard of carpet that thick. I've never heard of carpet one finger thick, though I do have fat hands.

Post# 157562 , Reply# 11   10/30/2011 at 20:48 (4,506 days old) by thissucks ()        

my kirby G3 clamps down on the carpet as hard as my omega with the drive off. however in one room they are both easy to push.

kirbys have increadible suction for some reason, and angle of the nossle makes the clamping effect worse. also handle size and position makes for poor leverage.

setting the brush a little lower than normal helps sometimes.

the cumbersome, immovible quality of the kirby is my favorite aspect about them, it means buisness.

Post# 157815 , Reply# 12   11/2/2011 at 18:42 (4,503 days old) by truckerx (Palm Springs, CA)        
Hard - to - push Kirby

truckerx's profile picture
As I recall, according to Kirby, one lowers the rug head a click at a time until the vibration from the brush roll is audible THEN DOWN ONE ADDITIONAL CLICK. In theory, this is supposed to be the optimal setting, but with thick rugs, the rug head may have to be raised a bit until the struggle ends and some cleaning efficiency remains.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy