Thread Number: 15656
Known issues on Kirby G6?
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Post# 166562   1/21/2012 at 10:08 (2,993 days old) by Sanifan ()        


Well, I picked up my second Kirby - it's a G6.

First off, I have to say I like the look and color scheme a lot more than I thought I would. From pics, I felt it wasn't my cup of tea. Seeing it in person, though, made me change my mind. The word that describes it best I think is "masculine."

I saw it in the thrift store for cheap ($4!). It was in very decent shape. I was in a hurry, though, so I didn't plug it in for a test. I figured for $4 it wouldn't't be too much of a loss. When I had a chance to look at it at home it didn't work, of course.

I had a cursory look at the normal stuff - cord, etc. It seems that the switch doesn't click with the authority one would expect (slightly loose and mushy feeling), and I noticed that someone had removed the screw that secures the bezel that surrounds the rectangular on/off button. As if they had disassembled that part to diagnose the problem. So I'm thinking the issue may be the switch. Am I barking up the right tree? If the switch is faulty, is it easy to find a replacement for a reasonable cost?

Are there any other common known issues with the G6 that I should be looking at? I can't wait to get it up and running!


Post# 166574 , Reply# 1   1/21/2012 at 12:40 (2,993 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        

Start with the simple things and work up.Is rug nozzle in proper place and emptor fully rotated to engage safety switch?This can be loose if people remove it to use rug renovator.Does cord have loose prongs or obvious wear?On G-3,4 switch trouble is more likely,less so on later models.This is more of a multi-function control unit than a simple switch as you will see.Bottom screw is often missing and may not indicate a problem.Also remove nozzle an examine fan,usually good unless much abuse.Turn fan pulley by hand,should turn easily with the same "feel" at all positions.This should a good machine at bargain price.Good luck.

Post# 166580 , Reply# 2   1/21/2012 at 13:13 (2,993 days old) by JHGVac ()        

Hello Sanifan,


The first thing I would try is to make sure the mini-emptor is completely swung into position.  I picked up a G5 in the fall that supposedly was non-running. When I got it home the first thing I did was push the mini-emptor in REALLY hard until it clicked.  Sure enough it started right up. You will notice there is a little tab on the mini-emptor that must actuate a small switch on the body of the vacuum in order for it to run.


If you have already tried this, you may have an issue with the switch itself.  It is actually located right there underneath the housing next to the mini-emptor.  It is an integrated unit, with the receptacle for the power cord, the nozzle/hose speed switch, mini-emptor safety switch and main power switch all in one body.  The main power switch gets actuated via a linkage that runs from the rear lever you depress with your toe along the side of the machine.  I haven't seen this linkage for sale so much, but the switch unit itself is not hard to find. I'm including a link to one that also includes a diagram of it and some instructions.


The picture is from a G3 I have currently partially disassembled which may give you an idea of the lay of the land.  (Sorry I couldn't keep the switch and the rear lever and linkage both in focus).


You probably want to make sure the motor is not seized up completely by making sure the fan spins freely. Also, I think the brushes can get gunked up enough to keep the circuit from completing, but I'm not sure how you diagnose that. Maybe someone else can chime in.


Good luck,




Post# 166635 , Reply# 3   1/21/2012 at 20:52 (2,993 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

broomvac's profile picture
I totally agree with your description of the G6! I feel the same way!

As a matter of fact, it's my favorite Kirby!

You can see my post on it in the thread below.


Post# 166654 , Reply# 4   1/22/2012 at 02:19 (2,993 days old) by Sanifan ()        

Thanks for the great information, picture, and link. I feel that I may be able to fix it. Taking a look at the inside and understanding that the switch module is one big drop-in piece, and that it's obtainable, gives me hope.

I hoped it was as simple as the emptor switch, but no, not that easy. The emptor clicked on and engaged the safety switch. Still no power. On Monday I will check the fan to make sure the motor isn't seized up. If it turns, I'll take the cover off to see if power is making its way down the cord. If so, it would have to be the switch module or a blown motor. The brushroll looks really clean, so I don't think there's debris jamming it. I'm hoping for the easiest, least expensive fix, but we'll see!

How often does a motor burn out on a G series Kirby? I guess worst case would be a bad motor. Are these available? It seems they'd be quite pricey if they were.

Wish me luck!

Post# 166660 , Reply# 5   1/22/2012 at 07:04 (2,993 days old) by sarasvacshack ()        

checking out the switch problems, make sure the post on the removable head is not broken off and is activating the safety switch in the front of the unit. We have had several Kirby vacuums that have had that post either broken or damaged, and it would not activate the switch when put on the unit.

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